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MickeyHereWeCome!
01-24-2010, 03:06 PM
We are planning a trip in June. I've never gone in the summer before, so I want to be proactive when it comes to dealing with the heat. Does Disney allow you to bring in a small cooler that has water and other snacks? We've been to so many theme parks over the past years, and they all have a no "outside food" policy. They have a picnic area outside the park, and you have to take your food there to eat it.

It would be so helpful (and cost effective) to be able to bring our own water bottles in, so we don't have to buy them constantly. I understand tap water is free, but several of us are kind of picky with tap water;).

Is bringing our own stuff in a possibility? We've brought in snack baggies with pretzels, etc. in the past, but haven't tried bringing in an actual cooler filled with stuff.

TIA

GaSleepingBeautyFan
01-24-2010, 03:32 PM
Yes as long as it small and doesn't have wheels. No glass bottles allowed.

I saw plenty of people with coolers in June. I talked to one family about what they packed and they had lunch and dinner in their cooler. It looked really good too. They had ham/cheese sandwiches, pickles, chips and choco chip cookies for lunch and for supper they had cold fried chicken, coleslaw (I don't think I'd have been brave enough to put that in a cooler), fresh cut up vegs and slices of choco cake for dinner. Yummo.

And yes, I really did ask them about what they had (instead of just peaking into their cooler) much to the embarrassment of my DD who was with me.

santa's surpriz
01-24-2010, 03:46 PM
Cold Fried Chicken is our favorite picnic food.We are going back in October and I am planning to picnic lunch when we go to DHS. Some reason we also feel DHS has a poor selection when comes to counter service, so I am being a little proactive thise year.

growinupdisney
01-24-2010, 04:17 PM
Last year we took a soft sided cooler....I wish now I had put sandwiches in it since my 2 year old would have eaten from it and we would have saved alittle extra $ we were at FW so we actually had the stuff to do it. Instead I just put 6 bottles of water juice boxes and snacks. Which still saved us alot doing that alone. We also carry a backpack where I would put a few bottles of water in it. We hardly ever buy drinks this is a huge $ saver. We do like to eat at the parks because when we are at home we do not eat fast food at all and only go out to eat about once maybe twice a month. So its a treat. My husband is a chef and runs the restaurant so we eat from there and we both love to cook so we enjoy cooking at home.
Since my little one will still be 2 on this next visit I think I will bring some sandwiches just to have especially if we order something we don't like this happened at DHS last time.

here757
01-24-2010, 04:23 PM
i never thought about cold chicken... my kid eats it all the time out of my fridge..
my husband wears a camel back.. its always got ice water in it.
there is extra room in it for snacks too..
gronola bars. apples.
just make sure its not swishable :P

billwendy
01-24-2010, 07:21 PM
Hi!

Unless we have some one with a stroller with us, we dont bring a cooler. I do usually have one of those little drawstring backpacks and we carry iced tea/ lemonaid mix. We just ask for cups of icewater and add the drink mix to drink. I also usually carry some packs of crackers, gum and maybe a can of nuts. These hold up pretty well. Please make sure everyone drinks and drinks and drinks water - you will be sweating a LOT!!!!! HAve FUN!!!

MickeyHereWeCome!
01-24-2010, 10:12 PM
Thank you all so much. This is so good to hear! It has always been a "no no" in all of the other parks we've visited, so I probably wouldn't have even thought about it if I hadn't read about the idea here.

starsweeper
01-24-2010, 10:52 PM
My understanding is that WDW isn't too strict about outside food, at least that's what seems to be the consensus from this board. My kids are lactose intolerant but LOVE milk, so I plan to bring our own milk into the parks for meals or snacks. I always travel with some of their favorite (and healthy) snacks, so we'll have those as well.

kwitcherkicken99
01-25-2010, 07:22 AM
Be concious of packing things that won't melt easily! :)

I can't really help on main food items, but we packed fruit bowls and they held up well without being cooled. We also toted around the 100 calorie packs of snack mix, cheese its - again, they held up really well. Keep an eye out for coupons or when they go on sale - otherwise they cost too much!

brymolmom
01-25-2010, 08:54 AM
We bring a soft sided cooler (and if no stroller you can throw it in a locker) stocked with sandwiches, fruit, drinks, and 'goodies' - candy or cookies. Don't worry about hiding anything - the security person usually says something about how 'lunch looks good' or similar. Saves times on standing in line, definitely saves money and is often healthier.

Deb & Bill
01-25-2010, 06:43 PM
It is only supposed to be a smaller sized cooler, like a 6 pack/12 pack size.

And plan on finding a bench to eat. Tables and chairs at counter service areas are reserved for the guests who bought from the counter service. There are no picnic areas at the theme parks at WDW.

SoExcitedForDisney
02-04-2010, 03:35 PM
I have a question. We have the Disney dining plan but one of my sons has food allergies. There doesn't seem to be much (if anything) for him to choose from on most counter service menus. If the rest of us are buying from the restaurant is it ok if he eats food that is brought in? We won't have a problem at our table service restaurants.

Thanks!

jlearn
02-04-2010, 03:59 PM
I have a question. We have the Disney dining plan but one of my sons has food allergies. There doesn't seem to be much (if anything) for him to choose from on most counter service menus. If the rest of us are buying from the restaurant is it ok if he eats food that is brought in? We won't have a problem at our table service restaurants.

Thanks!

There is no problem with bringing food in, but dont just go off of what is listed on the menu. Call ahead and ask about alternative foods for the allergies. From what I understand, QS has alternative menus that you can choose from. You will need more time for food prep, but it can be done. At a TS, speak to the wait staff or the chef to accomodate your needs.

It's Disney! They will make it magical for you, but you just have to ask. Have a great time!

stitch09
02-04-2010, 04:16 PM
my family finds ways to bring in drinks/food. we carry around a back pack that contains our video camera, ponchos, tickets, camera, and small bags of snacks. ""snack-sized" bags of mini oreos and chips ahoy, as well as rice krispie treats, fit easily in a bag. we also carry water jugs with straps on them. before we leave our hotel to head to the parks, we fill the jugs with lots of ice and then bottled water (we bring our own bottled water to the hotel). as a family of four, 2 water jugs is plenty. make sure you fill them with a lot of ice, that way the water will stay cold even in really hot temperatures! we've been to disney 14 times, and doing the above has worked for us every year!

PrincessSteph
02-04-2010, 04:33 PM
We just returned from our Disney vacation. All week I packed water, juice boxes and tons of snacks. I never had any problems!

This was a huge money saver for my family!

mom2att
02-04-2010, 06:27 PM
Tables and chairs at counter service areas are reserved for the guests who bought from the counter service.

Question along this line: if I buy only a soda at a cs place, am I entitled to find a seat there? I know this is a hot button topic here, but I am truly curious.

2004champs
02-04-2010, 07:30 PM
last time we brought colapsable water bottles and one with a filter.

disneygirlsanddrew
02-04-2010, 08:38 PM
We have a stroller but also carry around a backpack where we carry snacks for our daughters and drinks. We take trail mix, packs of crackers, gum, disney fruit snacks, etc.

Deb & Bill
02-05-2010, 12:34 PM
Question along this line: if I buy only a soda at a cs place, am I entitled to find a seat there? I know this is a hot button topic here, but I am truly curious.

If you were the guest who bought a full meal at the counter service place and saw another guest with a home packed lunch sitting at a table and you who purchased the cs meal couldn't find a seat, how would you feel?

mistymouse5001
02-05-2010, 12:41 PM
If you were the guest who bought a full meal at the counter service place and saw another guest with a home packed lunch sitting at a table and you who purchased the cs meal couldn't find a seat, how would you feel?

How on earth did you get 25,000 post ? You must know tons ! Have you been in July ? Do you have a trip report ?

Dixiemom
02-05-2010, 12:46 PM
My kids like the Hawaiian Punch Singles To Go and other water flavor additives, so I keep an assortment of those in my backpack along with a couple of 16 oz. waters that I can refill when need be....of course there are snacks packed as well. Gotta save where you can :)

Deb & Bill
02-05-2010, 01:15 PM
How on earth did you get 25,000 post ? You must know tons ! Have you been in July ? Do you have a trip report ?

I've been posting a while. I have been in July and it was hot and humid. I don't do trip reports (I did one years ago and that was all I ever did).

mom2att
02-05-2010, 04:06 PM
If you were the guest who bought a full meal at the counter service place and saw another guest with a home packed lunch sitting at a table and you who purchased the cs meal couldn't find a seat, how would you feel?

Well, since you asked . . . to me the attitude of said guest matters more than what they are eating. I'd much prefer a guest who brings in a lunch, takes up the minimum of space, cleans up after themselves, and vacates their table after eating to a person who purchases a full cs meal, uses a table for 6 or 8 when there are only 2 guests (and plenty of tables for 2 available), leaves a mess on the table, and occupies that table for a long period after finishing the meal.

But that's just me. I do try to be courteous of other guests, whether I am eating my meal off a tray or out of a cooler. And yes, if the place is packed, I avoid sitting there. But to say the seats at a cs place are off limits to anyone who is not eating cs food seems a little extreme, especially for those cs places with ample seating at times when there are many seats available.

So if you see me sitting at a half-empty cs place drinking my coke (purchased at the same cs place) and eating my pb&j, I promise I'll be out of your way ASAP. Fair enough?

think-like-tink
02-05-2010, 05:52 PM
We are planning on bringing our own snacks this time around. So far, here is my list:

Fruit snacks
the individual (sp) bags of cheezits/ or some 100 calorie snack bag.
WATER of course.

Anyone else have anything they found held up well?popcorn::

singnring
02-06-2010, 07:53 AM
We are planning on bringing our own snacks this time around. So far, here is my list:

Fruit snacks
the individual (sp) bags of cheezits/ or some 100 calorie snack bag.
WATER of course.

Anyone else have anything they found held up well?popcorn::

Granola bars
Trail Mix
Dry cereals
Apples
Oranges
Pretzels (we always buy the big bag of Mickey pretzels @ the park!)

pilotwife_02
02-06-2010, 08:18 AM
We are planning on bringing our own snacks this time around. So far, here is my list:

Fruit snacks
the individual (sp) bags of cheezits/ or some 100 calorie snack bag.
WATER of course.

Anyone else have anything they found held up well?popcorn::

We brought our own bottled water and apple juice (for the kids) and just stored it in the bottom of the stroller. No one ever said anything and security always checked under the stroller when they checked our bags.

As for snacks we bought the larger bags stuff and then I packaged them into small snack sized bags myself. For 1) it was cheaper then buying prepackaged and 2) I could get a little more per serving. My kids usually want more than is in one of those individual snack bags.

The grocery store had cute McQueen sandwich/snack ziploc bags so the boys thought they were cool (I also saw princess ones).

Here's some of the things I brought:

pretzels
cheez-its
animal crackers
wheat thins
goldfish
Nilla wafers
cereal
fruit snacks
raisins
granola bars
cereal bars
grapes


And no, I didn't bring all these in on the same day :rotfl:)