Disney World Planning 101 Planning Tips

Can I Bring Outside Food into Walt Disney World in a Cooler

 

Can I Bring Outside Food into Walt Disney World

Unlike other theme parks, Walt Disney World DOES allow you to bring outside food into Walt Disney World, with a few exceptions of course!  I personally like the dining plan.  I have visited with a few different people and they each found something on the menu.  However, bringing in your own food is a viable option for you as well.  Whatever works for you and your family due to allergies, dietary restrictions, or a picky eater.

Whatever your reason, when deciding what to bring into the parks there are a few rules you MUST follow!

Number 1: Glass containers and alcohol are NOT permitted in the parks.  No, if’s, and’s, or but’s.  There is only one exception to this rule, small baby jars of food are allowed.

Food

In order to abide by this rule, it is best if you pack prepared foods and fresh fruits that don’t require much prep.  However, this isn’t always possible if you are packing a full lunch.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apple slices, oranges, grapes, trail mix, granola bars, small bags of cereal, crackers, mixed nuts, cookies, dried fruit, pretzels and chips are good options for take-along foods you can snack on throughout the park.  Important note:  Disney Cast Members are NOT allowed to heat up anything at the parks and resorts.  For babies who need a bottle heated, there are microwaves at the Baby Care Stations at the parks and the Quick Service locations at each resort.  We do not recommend heating up food in the Baby Care Stations at the parks.

Drinks

As for drinks, cans of soda and bottled water are permitted, but again do us all a favor and don’t try to carry in alcoholic beverages.  I would hate for you to be the person that had their food seized because you didn’t follow the rules. Packing wine to enjoy in a Disney resort hotel room is fine; leave it there. There are plenty of  Walt Disney World restaurants that offer a cocktail, beer, or glass of wine for your pleasure.

In addition, DON’T bring juice boxes into Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. All plastic products are banned at Animal Kingdom as they constitute a hazard to the animals.

Coolers

Can I Bring Outside Food into Walt Disney World

Now that we have gone over what you can bring into the parks, let’s discuss how you are going to bring outside food into Walt Disney World.  Like wagons, you can’t have anything that you can pull behind while at the parks.  If you are bringing a cooler to store your food and drinks it MUST be a smaller, soft-sided cooler. A large cooler is anything bigger than 24 inches by 15 inches by 18 inches.  In addition, no hard-shelled coolers are allowed in the parks either.

Guests are not limited to just snacks or just a water bottle; a full lunch of sandwiches, fruit, dessert, etc. is fine.  However, loose ice is not permitted in the parks.  All loose ice must fit inside a ziplock bag.  Keep this in mind when you are packing your cooler.  Of course, just like everything else, your coolers will be searched as well, so be prepared.

Storage

Coolers can be a real pain to carry around all day.  Don’t worry, we have some options for you.  Option one, If you have a stroller you may have room to store a cooler.  This would be your best option in our opinion as this option is free.  Option two is park lockers.  All the parks have lockers that are available for rent available at the front of all four Disney theme parks and both water parks.  Plus, at Epcot, additional lockers are available at the back International Gateway entrance. Keep in mind, that you may be far away from your food when your family decides it is time to eat, plan accordingly.

I would say Walt Disney World is very accommodating to all guests allowing outside food and drinks inside the parks.  Have you brought outside food into Walt Disney World?  Tell us about your experience.

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Jessica Jones
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