School’s getting out soon and that means vacations for a lot of families. Time to get away from the stresses of life and spend time together creating memories. Of course, some of the most popular places to vacation are theme parks, such as Disneyland and Disney World. Everyone wants to know the cheapest place to buy tickets, the best place to stay, which rides to go on first, and the list goes on. About a year and a half ago, my family went to Disneyland for the first time and it was so fun! I learned a lot about planning and what I wish I’d known before going and the next time we go, I will be even more prepared! However, one question that I see asked all the time in groups and on Facebook is “what food can I bring into the park?”
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Disney’s Outside Food and Drink Policy
Taken directly from Disney’s website concerning outside food and drink:
“Guests are allowed to bring food items—such as snacks or foods that do not require heating—into Disney theme parks. Inform a Security Cast Member of any food items when you enter the park.”
That’s pretty broad if you ask me!
What This Means For You
As a visitor of the park, you are welcome to bring any food or drink (except alcohol) into the parks that doesn’t have to be heated up. This gives you a huge variety of options! When my family went, we knew we wanted to save money by only eating one meal inside the park each day. That meant we ate breakfast at the hotel and packed ourselves a lunch to take with us into the park, along with snacks and drinks, which we replenished when we went back to our hotel mid-day. Now, this could be a little overwhelming depending on the number of days you’ll be at the park and how big your family is. But my goal is to provide you with some options of what to take into the park and how to pack them and then you can pick and choose what will work best for your family.
Pack It Up
Cooler: Before we left home to drive to California from Utah, we picked up a small cooler from the store. (We bought this one.) When choosing it, we looked for one that had a hard plastic insert, zipper/mesh pockets on the outside and big enough to hold an ice pack. It also had to fit in our stroller since we didn’t want to carry it around on our shoulder all day, nor did we want to have to put it in a locker. (Check HERE for size restrictions.)
Plastic Containers: This was a suggestion I saw on Facebook and I thought it was genius! If you are going to be bringing any snacks that are easily smashed or need to be divided up into smaller portions, you can grab some small plastic containers with lids to put them in. We have some from Rubbermaid that would work perfectly and you could easily refill them.
Bags: Sandwich or snack sized bags that zip at the top are a handy way to divide up portions for those things that don’t need to go in a plastic container. I’d recommend just bringing a box with you that you can fill up with snacks at your hotel or the larger cooler in your car. We try to save and reuse these as much as possible. You could also look into buying reusable sandwich bags!
*Pro Tip* Pack your snacks the night before you go to the park, if possible. This will save you a lot of time in the morning when you’re trying to get out the door!
What Food Should I Bring?
I’ve divided this next section into categories to make it easier for you to choose what your family likes to eat. Try to choose a variety of options so you’re not eating the same snacks all day long.
- Grapes (frozen)
- Carrot sticks
- Celery sticks
- Peppers (cut)
- Broccoli (cut)
- Cauliflower (cut)
- Cucumbers (mini, sliced or spears)
- Apple slices
- Ranch/PB/Hummus in individual portions or small plastic containers
- Crackers (w/hummus)
- Pretzels (w/PB)
- Graham crackers
- Cheez Its
- Snack size cookies (individually packaged)
- Granola bar (ones that don’t have chocolate because they will melt and make a mess)
- Dried fruit
- Fruit rope/Fruit leather
- Trail mix
- Fruit snacks
- PB Bites
- Frozen Gogurt
- String cheese or Babybel cheese
- Hard boiled eggs
- PB & J sandwich
- Frozen Uncrustables (will be thawed by the time you’re ready to eat them)
- Bagel w/cream cheese
- Lunch meat
- Tortilla wrap with lunch meat and cream cheese
- Powerade/Vitamin Water
- Juice Box
- Water bottles
- Crystal Light flavor packets or liquid flavoring, such as Mio
*Pro Tip* You can ask for cups of ice water at any location that has a drink station and just fill up your empty water bottles from that! Also, having flavored water really helps you drink more and tastes better even if it’s warm.
- Plastic spoons, forks, or knives
- Napkins or wet wipes
I hope you got some ideas about what to pack for your next (or first!) trip to one of Disney’s theme parks!
If you haven’t planned your vacation yet, be sure to check out Get Away Today for discount park tickets and vacation packages. Click here and use the code Sunshine to get $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. They also offer a layaway program where you can make payments on your vacation with no interest! Find out more here. (Plus you can combine the $10 off code with the layaway program!)
What do you think of this list? What else should I add to it? I’d love to get your suggestions and continue updating it to create an ultimate snack ideas resource!