The cost of a trip to Walt Disney World can get expensive fast, however, there are some easy ways to cut down the cost, one of which is bringing your own food to the park.
The cost of food at Walt Disney World varies greatly depending on where you choose to eat, however, roughly you’ll find a snack such as a churro cost around $9 inc tax, a drink costs around $4, a fast food meal costs around $15 and a sit-down meal costs upwards of $30.
Food, drinks and snacks are permitted at Walt Disney World with some exceptions such as; no alcohol, no food that requires heating (except babies bottles) and no glassware. You’ll need to tell security during the bag screening process if you have any food items with you.
For babies, glass baby food wares/jars are allowed and you can heat baby food using the microwave at the baby care centre only. It’s against Disney’s rules for staff members to assist you in reheating food in any way. That includes, in the hotel, restaurants or any of the parks.
If you have a medical certificate then you may be able to get a pass to allow you to bring in some of the restricted foods. I’d always suggest speaking the Disney cast team at Guest Relations about this in advance.
Depending on the snacks you bring to Disney World you may find it beneficial to bring them in a cooler bag or box – the year-round heat in Florida is stifling and can quickly ruin certain foods if not stored correctly.
Don’t forget to bring a water bottle. Water at Disney World is free. You can fill your water bottle up at the drinks fountains or get a cup of water from any of the quick service locations. Alternatively, bottles of water can be purchased for upwards of $3 per bottle from the majority of the snack carts located around the park.
You could opt to store your food in one of the lockers situated around the Disney World parks. However, this can come with a certain amount of stress as you’ll be required to go back to the locker when you want to pick up the food.
Lockers cost between $7 and $9 for 24 hours and a require a $5 key deposit. The dimension of lockers at Disney World parks is 11 by 9 by 16 inches.
Consider checking the measurements of the bag or cooler box you plan to bring with you in advance, to ensure they’ll fit comfortably inside the locker.
If you have medical issues such as dietary restrictions or allergies the being able to bring food into Disney World with your specific dietary requirements in mind reduces stress and makes the entire trip much easier.
So if you’re unsure about anything to do with the food your bringing into the parks or your park bag, check with Guest Relations in advance to avoid disappointment.
However, you might find that the benefits of bringing snacks into Disney World are more financial. With counter service meals retailing for around the $15 mark, and buffets costing upwards of $40 per person eating at Disney World with your entire family can become very expensive, very quickly.
If you’re nervous about eating at the parks, don’t worry. Walt Disney World has an incredible reputation for accommodating all dietary requirements.
Just discuss the nature of the allergy or requirement with your server in advance – again if you’re worried and want to prepare in advance, speak to guest relations who will be able to assist you further.
Benefits To Bringing Food & Drink To Walt Disney World
Here are some of the benefits we’ve found to bringing food and drinks into the park;
- Medical Issues – If you have medical issues that include allergies or dietary restrictions then bringing your own foods and drinks that fit your specific strict dietary requirements helps reduce stress and medical issues reduce stress when it comes to finding a suitable full meal inside the park.
- Money – Bringing your own food into the park can significantly help you to cut costs on your trip. While a bag of chips inside the parks will be around $4, you can buy a multipack of 28 in advance at the likes of Walmart for that same $4!
- Fussy Eaters – If you’re from outside of the USA then you might find the foods inside the Walt Disney World parks to be different to what you might experience elsewhere in the world. If you’ve fussy eaters, then take the risk out of a $7 snack and bring a range of snacks from Walmart (or another grocery store) that all cost less than $7 in total. From there they are bound to find one they like.
When dining with a fussy eater at Disney World we found it best to eat at one of the buffets such as Crystal Palace or Hollywood & Vine so they had as much to choose from and try as possible rather than committing to one meal.
Tips For Bringing Food & Drink To Walt Disney World
If you’re planning on bringing food and drinks into Walt Disney World, here are some hints and tips to maximise your experience;
- Due to Florida’s warmer climate, consider buying dry snacks or bringing a cooler bag so that items don’t become ‘mush’ in the sun or melt.
- While you’ll find bottles of water at Walt Disney World for upwards of $2.50 you’re able to fill your water bottle up from the water fountains scattered around the park completely free.
- Consider storing your drinks and snacks in one of the lockers situated around the park. While you’ll have to go back to the locker when it’s time to eat you won’t have to drag around the food in the sum. Lockers can be rented for the 24 hour period for between $7 and $9 depending on the size.