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Disneyland is a magical place, and we all want to make the most of our visit. One question that often comes up is if you can bring food into Disneyland. The answer is yes – but there are some rules that you need to follow.
In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about bringing food into Disneyland, what you can’t take and tips on what to pack!
Bringing your own food and drinks to Disneyland is one of the best money-saving tips since we all know how expensive a day at Disneyland Resort can be! And if you’re trying to keep your costs down, it will save you plenty of anxiety if you know what you can bring and what you can’t.
So this is the ultimate guide for taking outside food into Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park, whether it’s your first visit to Disneyland or your 100th!
Disneyland Food Rules: What Can You Bring To Disneyland?
When it comes to what you bring into Disneyland and what you can’t, the official policy can be somewhat confusing.
But fear not – we have answered all your Disneyland food rule questions to make it easy to plan your next Disneyland visit!
What To Expect On Arrival
When you visit Disneyland Resort, you will be required to go through a security checkpoint before you reach the main entrance.
This checkpoint is for Disneyland, Disney California Adventure Park and Downtown Disney.
At this security point, all bags and items you are bringing into the park are subject to security checks. This includes strollers, cooler bags and excess clothing.
You must advise the security cast member of any food items you have in your backpack or stroller storage.
If you are visiting Disneyland for the first time, this process may seem a little daunting so knowing before time what you can and can’t bring into Disney parks will help make your security experience a lot quicker and easier!
Can You Bring Food Into Disneyland?
Yes, you can bring food into Disneyland, however, there are some guidelines you need to follow before you decide what food to bring with you to the Disney Parks and Downtown Disney area.
The food items that you do bring can not be stored in glass containers, must not require heating as there are no heating or chilling facilities and must not be stored in a large cooler.
Large quantities of food are not allowed. You must only bring a reasonable amount for self-consumption for yourself and your family.
You also cannot bring any food with pungent odours that might bother other guests.
We will go into more detail on what you can’t bring below.
Can You Bring Snacks Into Disneyland?
Yes, you can bring snacks into Disneyland. Absolutely!
In fact, this is one of our favourite ways to save money at Disneyland.
Yes, it is fun to treat yourself with a special Disney treat while you’re there, but for the most part, bringing your own snacks can save you a lot on the day. Especially when you have kids that want to eat all day long!
Can You Bring Drinks Into Disneyland?
Yes, you can bring drinks into Disneyland.
There are water refill stations inside Disneyland Resort, allowing you to refill your reusable water bottles. You can also bring other types of nonalcoholic beverages into the park, as long as they are in plastic bottles. No glass bottles are allowed.
You cannot bring alcohol into Disney Parks or Downtown Disney.
Can You Bring A Cooler Into Disneyland?
Yes, you can bring a cooler into Disneyland, however, there are some rules and exceptions that apply.
Bringing your own cooler can be a great way to pack a full lunch and chilled drinks with you for your day at Disneyland, so long as you follow the cooler guidelines.
Disneyland Cooler Guidelines
You may bring a small, soft-sided cooler bag into the park but it must be within the specified size. Your soft sided coolers must not be any bigger than 24″ long x 15″ wide x 18″ high (61 cm x 38 cm x 46 cm).
Pull-along coolers or roller coolers are not allowed past Disneyland security no matter their size. This includes soft-side roller coolers.
Disney does not allow anything that pulls behind you to be taken past security, which includes things like beach wagons too.
If you do want to bring a carry cooler with you that is larger than the approved size, you can bring this past the Disneyland security gates, but not into the Disneyland parks.
You can instead store it in the Disneyland lockers in the complimentary picnic area.
This picnic area is outside the theme park gates and has plenty of large lockers and picnic tables with umbrellas for anyone who would like to bring their own lunch for the day. You simply need to head out to the external picnic area to do this.
This space is great for enjoying a picnic lunch when bringing food with you.
Alternatively, small carry coolers that meet the size approval guidelines can be taken into the park and stored in the lockers within Disneyland so that you don’t need to carry them all day.
Can I Bring Ice Into Disneyland?
No, you cannot bring loose ice into Disneyland. You also cannot bring dry ice into the Disney theme parks.
If you are bringing a cooler into a Disney park, note that loose ice is not allowed. Even if this is inside your cooler.
This is largely for security reasons as a security cast member will need to go through your cooler to ensure you aren’t bringing anything you shouldn’t.
To keep your food chilled, you can bring frozen ice packs or frozen water bottles inside your cooler.
You can put ice cubes into ziploc bags, however, reusable ice packs are a much easier option and less likely to cause issues with park entry.
If you need ice for any reason when inside Disneyland Park, you can get free ice water at some of the dining facilities if you order at a window.
What You Can Not Bring Into Disneyland
We’ve covered a lot about what you can bring into Disneyland, including properly packaged food and drinks, and even a small cooler bag to keep your food chilled for a day at the park.
But often it helps make everything clearer when you know specifically what you cannot bring into Disneyland.
Here is a list of items that are banned from Disneyland:
- No glass – You cannot bring your food in glass containers. The only exception for glass containers is for baby food jars. Glass is otherwise prohibited. This includes for drink bottles.
- No heating – There are no microwaves, refrigerators or food storage facilities available within Disneyland Park. This means you cannot bring any food that needs to be heated or cooked.
- No sharp knives – You cannot bring sharp knives into Disneyland. If you need a knife, your best option is to bring a disposable plastic or wooden knife as most other options will be turned away. This includes pocket knives!
- No alcoholic beverages – You can not bring alcohol into Disneyland or any of the Disney parks. Non-alcoholic beverages are allowed, so long as they are not in glass bottles.
- No large coolers – You cannot bring any cooler that is bigger than 24″ long x 15″ wide x 18″ high (61 cm x 38 cm x 46 cm). You also cannot bring any roll-along or pull-along coolers.
- No loose ice or dry ice – You cannot bring coolers with loose ice cubes or dry ice into the parks. Your ice needs to be bagged or ideally, use ice packs for keeping food fresh.
- No dangerous items – While this is common sense that you cannot bring any weapons or dangerous items into the park, it is worth reviewing the list anyway. This includes self-defence devices that you might not have considered dangerous. This also includes illicit substances.
- No artificial noisemakers – Whistles, horns and anything else noisy are prohibited.
- No recreational devices – You cannot take any bikes, skateboards, scooters etc into Disneyland, and this includes shoes with in-built wheels. You also cannot take drones or remote control toys.
- No folding chairs – You cannot take your own chairs into Disneyland or Downtown Disney District.
- No large bags – You cannot take suitcases, backpacks or bags that exceed the maximum approved size. This is the same size restriction for cooler bags. Bags must not be bigger than 24″ long x 15″ wide x 18″ high (61 cm x 38 cm x 46 cm).
- No extra large strollers – Your stroller must not be greater than 31″ wide and 52″ long (79x132cm).
- No wagons – You cannot bring any pull-along item, including beach wagons or stroller wagons, or any mobility device that has less than 3 wheels and cannot maintain its own stability when stationary.
- No selfie sticks – No selfie sticks or extension poles are permitted in Disney parks. This one got us on our last visit. We forgot we had the mini selfie stick in the bag and Simon had to run back to the hotel to drop it off.
- No large tripods – You can bring a tripod so long as it is small enough to fit into a standard backpack. It also must not extend over 6 feet (182cm). This one always surprises me as that sounds huge!
- No animals except service animals – The only animals allowed to enter the park are approved service animals, which must remain on a leash or harness at all times.
The other Disney park rule that may surprise some people is that anyone over the age of 14 is not permitted to wear a costume or a costume mask.
This is so there is no confusion about guests being Disney cast members (staff and performers) while visiting the park.
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You can find the latest Disneyland Resort rules here.
Best Disneyland Packed Lunch Ideas
If you are wanting to save money on meals at Disneyland, bringing your own packed lunches can be one of the best ways to do this.
While there are some great food options for meals at Disneyland Resort, including several quick-service restaurants, these costs can add up quickly when you are visiting the amusement park with your family.
Especially if you are spending several days at Disneyland!
Here are some great options for packed lunches to take to Disneyland:
- Savoury muffins – Muffins are great because they often don’t require chilling and they make an easy grab-and-go lunch for amusement park days.
- Cheese and bacon rolls – These savoury rolls are one of my favourite no-cook, no-chill lunches when we travel and want it fuss-free. They are the kind that has cheese and bacon, or just cheese and herbs sprinkled on top.
- Croissants – A croissant with ham and cheese is a simple lunch idea. You might like to add your fillings just before you’re ready for lunch.
- Peanut butter wraps – You can cut these into pinwheel sizes or leave them whole.
- Sandwiches – Before you consider taking these items, consider your fillings. You don’t want them soggy from tomato or sauces so you may want to take your bread or wraps separate from your fillings and make them when you’re ready to eat.
You might get some more ideas from these no-cook camping meals and road trip meal ideas.
Best Snacks To Take To Disneyland
You might decide you want to dine at one of the many Disneyland restaurants or cafes during your visit, but still want to save a little bit of money on snacks.
Bringing your own snack items can be a fantastic way to cut your costs.
When visiting Disneyland with toddlers and young children, it also helps to have a few of their favourite snacks on hand anyway, since young kids like to snack often and can become very irritable if they have to wait.
One of the hotels we stayed at for a Disneyland trip had free breakfast muffins and fruit for guests.
These were perfect for our first morning before we had a chance to visit a supermarket!
So what can you bring into Disneyland to snack on?
Here are some of the best snacks to bring to Disneyland parks:
- Snack bars – One of the easiest snack ideas is muesli or granola bars, protein bars and other types of packaged snack bars. They are easy to pack and a minimal-mess snack for all ages.
- Crackers – Boxed or individually packaged crackers are another simple option, such as Ritz or rice crackers.
- Popcorn – Our kids love popcorn and we always get the small bags that are suitable for lunch boxes. These are perfect for theme park snacks too.
- Trail mix – A mixture of dried fruits, nuts and seeds is great for snacking and gives kids a good energy boost. This is often a healthier alternative to pre-packaged snacks since you can make your own and store them in small plastic containers or ziplock bags.
- Fruit – Fruit that doesn’t easily squish in your bag can be a good option, such as apples. Otherwise, chopped fruit pieces or berries in plastic containers are another great option.
- Veggie sticks – Carrot and celery sticks are great, especially combined with a small tub of hommus or another favourite dip.
- Dried fruit – You don’t have to worry about keeping dried fruit chilled.
- Chips – Small bags of chips are usually favourites for kids!
- Muffins – Homemade or store-bought muffins are one of our favourite road trip snacks and they work just as well for theme park days! We really love these applesauce oat and banana muffins.
- Puree pouches – These are great for toddlers and small kids since they are usually fairly mess-free and easy to pack.
- Cheese sticks – A string cheese stick can be easy to pack and younger kids tend to love them.
- Pretzels – Another quick and easy savoury snack for the whole family.
Food Not To Bring To Disneyland
If you’re wondering what doesn’t make a great snack to pack for a day at Disneyland Park, here are some of our recommendations:
- Soggy fillings – If you are planning to make sandwiches, wraps, rolls or rice cakes with fillings ahead of time, consider what fillings you use. You don’t want them ending up a soggy mess by lunch time! Go with things that aren’t as moist or consider constructing them just before you’re ready to eat.
- Chocolate – There is nothing worse than melted chocolate or chocolate biscuits so leave the chocolate behind. You can always grab a sweet treat at the park if you really want.
- Bananas – Any fruit like bananas that will get squashed or bruised in your backpack or go brown once peeled isn’t ideal.
- Messy snacks – Anything that is really messy, leaky or hard to eat is best left behind too. You don’t want to be stressing about your child making a mess of their clothes when you’re only halfway through the day.
- Things that require chilling – Unless you plan to bring a cooler and reusable ice pack, leave the perishable snacks for another day. This includes dairy snacks like yogurt or cheese and meats.
Tips For Saving Money On Food At Disneyland
It can be great to cut your costs when visiting Disneyland. After all, the food can be a little bit of a tourist trap when you get excited to see all the Mickey-shaped treats and delicious dole whip drinks.
There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy some of these special treats while still saving money on food and drink when visiting a Disney park.
Here are some of our favourite tips to cut costs on food at Disneyland:
- Pack a lunch – As we’ve discussed above, you can definitely bring your own food into Disneyland. This can save you money and time on having to buy food at the park.
- Buy snacks from the supermarket – Grab some easy snacks that the whole family enjoys from the supermarket to bring with you each day. If you don’t have a hotel fridge, your options are a little more limited but there are plenty of ideas above!
- Bring your own water bottles – Bring your own reusable water bottle for the day. You can take your own water bottles to Disneyland Resort and refill them at the water refill stations. This is great idea for saving money on buying water and far better for you than soft drink too!
- Plan to have one special treat each – If you know your kids will be upset at not sampling any of the famous Disney foods while you’re there, budget so that each family member can choose one Disney park food to try. This is much cheaper than buying all your treats and meals.
- Go elsewhere for lunch – There are loads of great places to eat in Anaheim that are affordable so you can exit the park for an hour or so and grab food elsewhere. This is best if you have multiple days at the parks and aren’t trying to fit everything into one day.
- Have a big breakfast – Start your day with a big breakfast that will keep everyone full for longer. This means you might get through to lunch without needing any snacks. We actually went to Denny’s for breakfast one day before the park opened and were full for most of the day. As Aussies, it kind of felt like this was somewhere we should try at least once and it was fine.
- Research dining options – If you do decide to dine at the park, research ahead of time what dining options you have. The quick service restaurants are often cheaper than table service restaurants, so even this can help save a little money. Check the Disneyland website for the different dining options and dining reservations.
Planning your Disney vacation soon? Make sure you check out our ultimate Disney packing list so you don’t forget anything!
DISNEY TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES
If you are planning a visit to a Disney park soon, check out our Disney guides to help you prepare for your Disney adventures:
- Tips for first-time visitors to Disneyland
- Disneyland with toddlers
- Best copycat Disney recipes
- Disneyland hacks to make your visit magical
- Disney tourist traps to avoid
- Tips for visiting a theme park with a toddler or baby
- How to surprise your family with a Disney trip
- Fun things to do in Anaheim
We hope that this Disneyland food guide has given you a great overview of what you can and can’t bring into Disney parks, especially when it comes to bringing outside food into Disneyland! Knowing ahead of time what is allowed will help make your park entry much quicker and easier and prepare you for a wonderful day at the happiest place on earth!
Do you usually pack snacks for theme park visits?