Packing your own food can save you money but it also poses unique challenges. You can’t just bring whatever you want into the Disney parks and each one has their own set of guidelines. Here’s what is and isn’t officially permitted, and what you can probably get away with.

Disneyland

The official stance is:
“[..] with the exception of food items for Guests with specific dietary restrictions, outside food or beverage items are not permitted in either of the Disneyland Resort theme parks.”
There is a picnic area with umbrellas and tables where you’re encouraged to enjoy your brought-in meal. It’s located across from the lockers so you don’t need to carry your meal around with you while in the park, which is convenient. Disneyland is also a pretty small park so planning to walk back to this picnic area for a meal isn’t incredibly cumbersome. You’re probably wondering at this point what you’re supposed to do about things like snacks or bottled water. While officially you’re not able to bring those items into the park most people agree that they won’t be removed if you have them into your bag. There’s no sneaking anything in, either – a bag check is done upon entrance. If you attempt to bring snacks into the park follow these guidelines:
  • Be reasonable. Having one bottle of water in each person’s bag isn’t too bad, multiples are a bit excessive. You can always refill it inside the park.
  • Stay away from glass. Glass containers are not permitted inside Disney Parks.
  • Soft coolers only. Hard coolers are also not permitted in the parks so stick with something soft it you want to keep perishables cool.
  • If you’re travelling with a big family maybe try separating the food between family members. It might be overwhelming to see 10 sandwiches all together for them at the gate even if it is only one per person.
A couple snacks are probably going to be permitted into the park but entire meals are likely not.

Disney World

Unlike Disneyland, Disney World is a lot more relaxed on their food restrictions. You’re allowed to bring any food items into the park with the exception of alcohol. The only restriction is what you put your food in.
  • Glass containers, except baby food jars, are not allowed.
  • Coolers are also not permitted. Small, soft sided coolers should be ok though (we used one).

Special Exceptions for Babies

Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World have special facilities designed to help parents with babies. What you’ll find there (food-wise):
  • Access to a sink
  • Microwave for heating baby food or formula
  • Shop that sells formula, baby food, etc
Food rules can change at any time so make sure to check before travelling. If you have special dietary restrictions you can also inform restaurants and have special food made.