Off site Restaurants good for bringing lunch into the park?

maxiesmom

The Mean Squinty Eye Works
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
I know Disney Park's mom's panel is not always an accurate source with respect to Disney policy but here is something I found:

https://disneyparksmomspanel.disney.go.com/question/picnic-areas-parks-decide-bring-picnic-lunch-park-313199/



Has anyone been kicked out of eating areas or seen people kicked out when using their personal food instead of the quick service restaurant's food? I have not noticed any signs restricting the areas to Disney food only.

I've never noticed anyone attempting to eat in an area with their own food when it is being monitored by CM's and they are only allowing guests with food to occupy a table. I'm wondering if someone with their own food would be allowed to sit since they "have their food and are ready to eat".

Is there an official Disney policy on this that someone can reference?

On some occasions they won't even let you into the seating area until you purchase food. They will have CMs who don't let you sit.

As to an official policy, I'm not sure if there is one. However I wouldn't take food from home and go eat it at McDonalds. Very tacky. And there shouldn't need to be a written rule for people to get that. Not every eatery at WDW is run and owned by WDW.

And yeah, the Mom's panel is outright wrong with lots of things. They used to let you comment on their posts, but so many were being told they were wrong or inaccurate they stopped allowing it. Disney doesn't even verify the things they post, which is ridiculous.
 

Day-Day

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
On some occasions they won't even let you into the seating area until you purchase food. They will have CMs who don't let you sit.

As to an official policy, I'm not sure if there is one. However I wouldn't take food from home and go eat it at McDonalds. Very tacky. And there shouldn't need to be a written rule for people to get that. Not every eatery at WDW is run and owned by WDW.

And yeah, the Mom's panel is outright wrong with lots of things. They used to let you comment on their posts, but so many were being told they were wrong or inaccurate they stopped allowing it. Disney doesn't even verify the things they post, which is ridiculous.

I included that scenario in my post; wondering if they are looking for food purchased at that establishment or just make sure people aren't sitting at a table before they have whatever food they are eating.

Also, comparing usage of facilities within a them park to eating at a private restaurant outside of the park does not make sense to me.

Still wondering if there is a rule on this or if it is just someone's point of view vs someone else's point of view.
 

maxiesmom

The Mean Squinty Eye Works
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Also, comparing usage of facilities within a them park to eating at a private restaurant outside of the park does not make sense to me.

Which is why I pointed out that not every eatery is owned and operated by Disney.

Not to mention if you are bringing in outside food, how does that give you any claim to a Disney table? Your theme park ticket does not entitle you to that table, purchasing a meal from the Disney eatery does.
 
  • Day-Day

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2009
    Not to mention if you are bringing in outside food, how does that give you any claim to a Disney table? Your theme park ticket does not entitle you to that table, purchasing a meal from the Disney eatery does.

    Seems like some people disagree with this opinion.
     
    Last edited:

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    I know Disney Park's mom's panel is not always an accurate source with respect to Disney policy but here is something I found:

    https://disneyparksmomspanel.disney.go.com/question/picnic-areas-parks-decide-bring-picnic-lunch-park-313199/



    Has anyone been kicked out of eating areas or seen people kicked out when using their personal food instead of the quick service restaurant's food? I have not noticed any signs restricting the areas to Disney food only.

    I've never noticed anyone attempting to eat in an area with their own food when it is being monitored by CM's and they are only allowing guests with food to occupy a table. I'm wondering if someone with their own food would be allowed to sit since they "have their food and are ready to eat".

    Is there an official Disney policy on this that someone can reference?
    We've been at WDW when CMs barred people from coming into the seating area at Pinocchio Haus if they hadn't gotten food at the counter. People coming in with bags were directed to the lines, and were not allowed in the seating area. At another place, we were escorted to an open table once we got our food. Can't remember which place that was though.

    I included that scenario in my post; wondering if they are looking for food purchased at that establishment or just make sure people aren't sitting at a table before they have whatever food they are eating.

    Also, comparing usage of facilities within a them park to eating at a private restaurant outside of the park does not make sense to me.

    Still wondering if there is a rule on this or if it is just someone's point of view vs someone else's point of view.
    I've seen it happen - bringing food into an establishment that sells food? Why would anyone think that is okay anyways? You're taking seats away from paying customers. If you are WDW, find a wall, eat standing up, go to one of the few areas that is not connected to a restaurant. It's that simple, and courteous.
     

    maxiesmom

    The Mean Squinty Eye Works
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2004
    Seems like some people disagree with this opinion.
    I'm not sure why anyone would think they were entitled to a table. Each individual eatery charges for their services. They are not free for all. Come on, do you pull up to McDonalds, sit down, and take out food you brought from home? No different. Your ticket to the park does not include dining. Even that is a separate purchase.

    I think people want it to be ok so they will try and argue that it is fine. Even though common sense says it isn't. But I will call it what it is. Taking up a table and eating food you didn't purchase from that establishment is classless and tacky.

    I can't help but wonder if people here owned their own restaurants how they would feel. If people came in with outside food and proceeded to take up a table.
     

    paisleys

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2013
    I'm not sure why anyone would think they were entitled to a table. Each individual eatery charges for their services. They are not free for all. Come on, do you pull up to McDonalds, sit down, and take out food you brought from home? No different. Your ticket to the park does not include dining. Even that is a separate purchase.

    I think people want it to be ok so they will try and argue that it is fine. Even though common sense says it isn't. But I will call it what it is. Taking up a table and eating food you didn't purchase from that establishment is classless and tacky.

    I can't help but wonder if people here owned their own restaurants how they would feel. If people came in with outside food and proceeded to take up a table.
    Well said! We once saw a group of people hand over bags of QS food to their two friends sitting at Spice Road and run around to go sit with them and couldn't believe the audacity to take up a large TS like that. I forget all of the details of what happened as it was awhile ago but I think they made them leave.
    Anyway, back to the OP--at WDW there are no close off site restaurants that would make it feasible (feasible to me anyway!) to bringing food in. It's not easy or convenient. Leaving property to go grab Subway would take hours, even if it's within a mile of WDW property. Plus if you brought it in, the dragging of the food in 90 degree weather in crowded lines seems torturous. The park food may cost a little extra, but factor in your time and carrying food around it becomes worth it. And I am the mom who usually has a peanut butter sandwich or vegan jerky in my purse for when I am out and about at home during the day.
     
  • NYCgrrl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2017
    HS has lots of street seats but hides it by using few traditional benches:).
    It has quite a few places with ledge, planter seating, and benches: the end of Sunset Blvd on the side to enter the Rock and Roll Coaster, around the lake with many benches clustered by the park entrance side, and on the other sides of the lake, shaded ledge seating. There is also ledge seating as you enter Toyland but not much shade yet.

    Should you decide to walk from/to Epcot - HS the path is lined with benches and you get a nice view of the waterway as the Friendship boats pass back and forth. A bit livlier in atmosphere is the seating on the Boardwalk.

    At Epcot via the IG you'll find lots of benches leading to the bridge by the France Pavilion; part of it used to be a smoking area.
    You'll find seating throughout this park within the grounds of various pavilions. For instance, there a great seating area near Club 33 at the UK Pavilion. Amazingly serene and nature based are the picnic tables with umbrellas behind the pagoda easily reached via the ramp. Just keep your eyes open for seating throughout the pavilions that blend into the scenery. Seating and some tables are available in both Future Worlds. I recall that some is located near the "Skipping Fountain".

    AK has so much seating I can't even recall all the places to find it but one spot that sticks out is the picnic tables at the former smoking area at the back of the park between Asia and Africa off the main road. As well we frequently meet at the quick service area for Yak and Yeti(?) and have never been asked to leave by CMs probably as there is so much seating.

    At MK our favorite take a rest off the feet spot is Tom Sawyer Island and they've picnic tables near the play area at the top of the island. When Aunt Polly's is closed there's the rocking chairs and checker tables nearby along the water's edge.
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    HS has lots of street seats but hides it by using few traditional benches:).
    It has quite a few places with ledge, planter seating, and benches: the end of Sunset Blvd on the side to enter the Rock and Roll Coaster, around the lake with many benches clustered by the park entrance side, and on the other sides of the lake, shaded ledge seating. There is also ledge seating as you enter Toyland but not much shade yet.

    Should you decide to walk from/to Epcot - HS the path is lined with benches and you get a nice view of the waterway as the Friendship boats pass back and forth. A bit livlier in atmosphere is the seating on the Boardwalk.

    At Epcot via the IG you'll find lots of benches leading to the bridge by the France Pavilion; part of it used to be a smoking area.
    You'll find seating throughout this park within the grounds of various pavilions. For instance, there a great seating area near Club 33 at the UK Pavilion. Amazingly serene and nature based are the picnic tables with umbrellas behind the pagoda easily reached via the ramp. Just keep your eyes open for seating throughout the pavilions that blend into the scenery. Seating and some tables are available in both Future Worlds. I recall that some is located near the "Skipping Fountain".

    AK has so much seating I can't even recall all the places to find it but one spot that sticks out is the picnic tables at the former smoking area at the back of the park between Asia and Africa off the main road. As well we frequently meet at the quick service area for Yak and Yeti(?) and have never been asked to leave by CMs probably as there is so much seating.

    At MK our favorite take a rest off the feet spot is Tom Sawyer Island and they've picnic tables near the play area at the top of the island. When Aunt Polly's is closed there's the rocking chairs and checker tables nearby along the water's edge.
    That's a great list, except at AK the area behind Yak and Yeti belongs to the CS right there. We've had trouble finding seats after we got our food because others were just sitting there, resting.

    Also, the area you describe at the UK pavilion belongs to the restaurant there, doesn't it?
     

    Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    I know Disney Park's mom's panel is not always an accurate source with respect to Disney policy but here is something I found:

    https://disneyparksmomspanel.disney.go.com/question/picnic-areas-parks-decide-bring-picnic-lunch-park-313199/



    Has anyone been kicked out of eating areas or seen people kicked out when using their personal food instead of the quick service restaurant's food? I have not noticed any signs restricting the areas to Disney food only.

    I've never noticed anyone attempting to eat in an area with their own food when it is being monitored by CM's and they are only allowing guests with food to occupy a table. I'm wondering if someone with their own food would be allowed to sit since they "have their food and are ready to eat".
    We have extensive experience with this. As I outlined in an earlier post, we bring all of our own food in. Lunch, dinner, drinks, etc... The only QS place I can recall that has ever said we weren't allowed in was Cosmic Rays, and that was during Xmas week and/or Thanksgiving. Pretty much every other QS place not only allows us in, but the CMs sometimes even help us find a table, or help clear ours when we're done. Over the years, we've done it literally hundred upon hundreds of times and never once been kicked out of a place we were sitting. The places we typically use:

    MK: Tomorrowland Terrace (for lunch), Pecos Bill, the outdoor seating area across from Pirates (if the weather is nice), Pinocchio Village Haus
    Epcot: Electric Umbrella, inside the Land Building
    AK: I forget the names of the places...the restaurant across from Dinosaur or the pizza shop
    HS: Commissary, outdoor tables near the lake, outdoor tables heading toward ToT and RnR, pizza shop near Muppets

    If the weather is nice, we try to eat at outside tables simply because we enjoy it and DW gets cold in the restaurants. We also try to eat at slightly off hours if we can (doesn't always work out), so that we aren't in peak rush hour.
     

    NYCgrrl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2017
    That's a great list, except at AK the area behind Yak and Yeti belongs to the CS right there. We've had trouble finding seats after we got our food because others were just sitting there, resting.

    Also, the area you describe at the UK pavilion belongs to the restaurant there, doesn't it?
    OK I was wrong about Club 33's entrance in the UK. The seating area is part of the garden and you'll see an extended awning that say's "30". Club 33 is located at the American Experience and has no outdoor seating that any one can seefrom the front. You can see it here:


    As for Yak and Yeti, I've never been there when it was so crowded that people with trays couldn't find a place to sit unlike say Pecos Bill over at MK. A reasonable person would move if they saw a scenario such as you described:).
     
  • Day-Day

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2009
    Yak and Yeti has been one of the worst places in our experiences when trying to find a table after getting our food. The area needs expanding either out or up by adding an upper level. And yes, many people loiter in there after eating or maybe not eating at all.
     

    NYCgrrl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2017
    Another spot in Epcot at Japan Pavilion. Video starts at 2:20 and the seating portion ends about 2:20. Go up the ramp by the pagoda and it leads right to it. Very picturesque:

     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    Another spot in Epcot at Japan Pavilion. Video starts at 2:20 and the seating portion ends about 2:20. Go up the ramp by the pagoda and it leads right to it. Very picturesque:

    Yeah, those tables are for the CS restaurant at the top. They are always full when we go there, and it's a pain to find a seat after we get our food.
     

    NYCgrrl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2017
    Yeah, those tables are for the CS restaurant at the top. They are always full when we go there, and it's a pain to find a seat after we get our food.
    Actually, I don't think all of the seating pictured in the video are "dedicated" to the CS restaurant. That's an exceptionally long ramp and I can't see in particular the seating nearest the koi pond being part of the restaurant. Sorry there are so many QS restaurants you have problems finding seating at. I've had issues finding seating at MK's Pecos Bill and Casey's Corner the times I tried them but neither places need worry about me returning; too messy and chaotic.
     

    ENJDisneyFan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2016
    They are always full when we go there, and it's a pain to find a seat after we get our food.
    Really? That area is one of my favorite places to grab a drink or snack and hang out for a bit to enjoy the peace and quiet. I rarely see more than one or two tables being used, even during busy times like F&W and spring break.
     

    NYCgrrl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2017
    Really? That area is one of my favorite places to grab a drink or snack and hang out for a bit to enjoy the peace and quiet. I rarely see more than one or two tables being used, even during busy times like F&W and spring break.
    Some of the best and most realistic theming at Epcot! We normally take a different route to Katsura and it shows another view of the gorgeous landscaping. We tend to eat indoors and neither the ordering lines or seating have been full over Thanksgiving, Christmas, or spring break. Not sure if the new Japanese restaurant will impinge on the existing outdoor seating.
     

    MickeyWaffles

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2010
    Just wanted to add one more great spot to stop and eat a packed lunch or snack - the covered area tucked back in Storybook Circus. There are picnic tables, smaller tables and chairs, places to charge your phone, etc. I’ve never seen that spot packed and we often stop to take a rest there. It’s not associated with any QS location and there is usually seating available even when the park is crowded. We don’t pack lunches but I’ve given my kids snacks there, etc. People just don’t seem to hang around back there and it’s such a great spot!

    I didn’t see it mentioned above, but apologies if I missed it!
     
    Last edited:

    jalapeno_pretzel

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 13, 2015
    We never brought in our lunches, but another benefit to doing that besides cost I could see would be that you could have a quicker lunch and not lose as much time out of your day. Sometimes we get lucky and have quick service at a CS restaurant, find a table easily, and don't use up much time, but other times it's standing in a long slow moving line and then a hard time finding a seat. Seems like our more recent trips were worse on the time it took to get a CS meal. Maybe we will pack a lunch if we go again!
     

    jalapeno_pretzel

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 13, 2015
    There's a Panera, a five guys, and a chick fila all near celebration. If you don't mind eating that kind of stuff cold (maybe skip the fries) you could pick up sandwiches the night before and bring them in. Also I'm thinking a nice BBQ sandwich with some coleslaw on top could be good cold.
     


    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates


    Top