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Disneyland Article
Can You Bring Food And Drinks Into Disneyland
ID:
TMS-5605
Source:
nerdwallet.com
Author:
Jennifer Coates
Dateline:
Posted:
Status:
Current
For many people, visiting the happiest place on Earth takes not only stamina, but also finding creative ways to experience the magic on a budget.

Whether you’re visiting the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, as a solo Mouseketeer or family of four, bringing outside food into Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park can dramatically cut your costs

You can bring food and drinks into Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park, as long as you’re aware of Disneyland Resort’s policy and restrictions. Here’s what to know so that you and your group can refuel on a budget throughout your park adventures.

Can you bring food into Disneyland Resort?

Disneyland Resort has a relatively lenient policy when it comes to packing a sack lunch for your visit. Its rules state that guests are permitted to bring food into Disneyland Park and California Adventure for self-consumption.

This means that you’re free to pack food and snacks prepared at home, like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a bag of pretzels and a banana, for example. Or, you can purchase food from an outside restaurant or fast food establishment and eat it inside Disneyland or California Adventure.

Even so, there are a handful of restrictions that your food must comply with, mostly related to storage.

Restrictions for outside food at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park

Here's what isn't permitted in either park:

Food in glass containers. An exception is made for small containers, like baby food in a glass container.

Food that requires heating to safely consume. Frozen meals, for example, aren't allowed.

Food that requires reheating. There are no public microwaves available in either park; park dining establishments won’t reheat your outside food.

Food that requires processing. Outside food should be premade and ready for consumption upon entering the park. Food that requires additional processing isn't permitted.

Food that requires refrigeration. There are no public cold storage units or refrigerators inside Disneyland or California Adventure.

Food with pungent odor. This restriction is subjective, but use your best judgment and pack a lunch that has little to no odor.

In addition to these restrictions, there are also rules for how you bring your outside food into the park.

If you plan on storing food in a full-sized cooler on your Disneyland trip, you’ll need to leave it in your car. Coolers that you bring into either park must be about the size of a beverage six-pack. You also can’t bring loose or dry ice to keep your food cold in the cooler; only reusable ice packs are permitted.

Alternatively, coolers that are smaller than 19 inches x 24 inches x 31 inches can be kept in non-refrigerated jumbo lockers that you rent outside the main Disneyland Park entrance. If you go this route, you can enjoy meals in the public picnic area that’s adjacent to the lockers, just before the Disneyland Resort esplanade.

Can you bring drinks into Disneyland Resort?

According to Disneyland Resort policy, you can bring drinks into Disneyland and California Adventure. The key restriction is that outside alcoholic drinks are prohibited inside either park.

You can bring nonalcoholic beverages in aluminum, metal or plastic bottles, and there’s no rule that the beverages must be unopened. For example, if you opened and drank from a water bottle on your way to the park, you wouldn’t typically be asked to throw it away at the security lines.

At Disneyland, for example, you can find a water station by the restrooms at the Black Spire Outpost courtyard or near Autopia. Water stations in California Adventure can be found at the Ancient Sanctum within the Avengers Campus and by the restrooms at San Fransokyo Square.

Buying food at Disneyland Resort

Unlike visitors who budget for food at Walt Disney World Resort, people visiting Disneyland Resort don’t have a dining plan option.

If purchasing food and drinks at Disneyland Park or California Adventure Park is more to your taste, different types of dining options are available that cater to a range of budgets.

Casual dining. Visitors who want to grab a meal in a relaxed setting, but with table service, can opt for casual dining options throughout the parks. Some restaurants, like Cafe Orleans in Disneyland, accept reservations.

Fine dining. California Adventure also offers signature dining options for a touch of elegance. If you’re looking for an elevated dining experience, there's Carthay Circle Restaurant and Napa Rose.

Character and themed dining. At character dining experiences, you can meet Disney characters during specific meal periods. Themed dining offers a casual, but unique, atmosphere. Meet your favorite characters at Storytellers Cafe in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa (accessible from California Adventure) or have a river-side, lantern-lit dinner at Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland.

Quick service. For lower-cost food options inside the parks, visit a quick-service eatery. These offer walk-up food and drink service, and some accept mobile orders, for a fast bite on the go. Grab the perfect corn dog at California Adventure's Corn Dog Castle or get a plate of fried chicken at Disneyland’s Plaza Inn.

Snack carts. At nearly every corner, you’re bound to bump into a snack cart. Both parks offer various snack carts that sell churros, fruit, beverages, ice cream and other treats including larger-than-life turkey legs.

The bottom line

You can bring food and drinks into Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park, assuming the items are stored properly (primarily not in a large cooler), don't require heating and are nonalcoholic.

Packing your own sustenance for a park day is a frugal way to enjoy Disneyland Resort while ensuring you and your group stay hydrated and energized. Planning ahead and getting acquainted with Disneyland Resort’s food policy and restrictions can help you avoid unexpected snags upon arriving at the parks.

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