Have you wondered if you can take your own food into Disneyland?
The technical answer is actually…”No, you can’t.”
Whether you knew it or not, you can’t actually take in your own food.
That being said, we do.
I know, I know, call us rule breakers, but I will get more into this in a minute. First, let me share the actual policy by Disney themselves:
Many people do not know that this policy actually exists? Why? Probably because Disney does not enforce it.
We have brought our own food into Disneyland for years – every time in fact. Sandwiches, Lunchables, snacks galore, water and a myriad of dozens of other eatables. We generally load the bottom of our stroller with a case of water. Disney does have some water fountains to refill but we like the crisp, fresh water, so we literally bring in a case. We also bring in hearty snacks like trail mix, granola bars, protein bars, veggies (like carrots), fruit like apples, bananas, and oranges. All things that you don’t have to keep cool. We have also brought in items that have needed to be kept cooler, and we just take a lunchbox size cooler for those things like cold sandwiches, cheese sticks, etc.
Let me start my excuse for bringing our own food based on the fact that we did have dietary restrictions. Our daughter had a deadly peanut and tree nut allergy and we needed to provide food for her for her protection. She has since been cured (I know, completely AMAZING!!).
But, the first time that we came in with loads of food, we were not questioned once as to why we were bringing in cheese sandwiches, cheese sticks, Lunchables, granola bars, water, juice and the whole kitchen sink. In the many visits we were there going through security, having our bags and stroller checked and clearly chock full of food and drink, then eating our homemade sandwiches and Lunchables inside of the parks in line, sitting on park benches or wherever we could find, no one Disney Cast Member questioned us at any point.
A couple of years ago, our daughter was cured of peanut and tree nut allergies, so we no longer have diet restrictions. Yet, we still take our own food and we still have yet to be questioned.
We do it to save money. Our kids eat several “mini-meals” throughout the day. A day in Disney for 8 people eating many mini-meals would be a great expense.
Most of the time, we plan to eat one meal and sometimes one snack in the park each day. This means there are still 10 other hours that I have got to keep kids satisfied. I take in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Lunchables, trail mix, homemade snack packs, granola bars, fruit, etc. into the parks to satisfy those little munchkins…and I won’t lie – my husband too! Ok, ok – I enjoy some snacks myself as well.
We still also take our own case of water too! Even on this side of no dietary restrictions, we still have yet to be questioned.
I haven’t tried taking in a large cooler – only lunchbox or a little larger size. So they might have issue with an actual cooler. But as of now, if you have any dietary restrictions at all, there’s no question. If you don’t there’s probably still no question.
Note that this official rule applies to both Disneyland and California Adventure Park as well as the unofficial “it’s okay” policy. They both use the same security checkpoint and so this has been our experience for both parks.
BTW, you can get free ice water at any of the quick service stands. We enjoy having the actual water bottles to carry around, but even if you forget those – you can at least get water!
Do you take your own food and drinks into Disneyland or Disney World?