Why BYOF is the best route to go to save money in Disney Parks

While many find ways to sneak alcohol into Magic Kingdom, the real savings come when you bring your own food.
The Food and Wine Festival kicks off it's second half with new food options! Photo credit Brian Miller
The Food and Wine Festival kicks off it's second half with new food options! Photo credit Brian Miller /

You don't have to sneak food into a Disney World park or at Disneyland. You are allowed to bring it in. In fact, you can bring in smaller sized coolers that you can carry with you.

For those families with kids, we all know that a small cooler tucked under the stroller is a life saver, especially in the hotter days of summer. Did you know that, unlike other parks around the country, you can bring in your own food? Heck, you can bring in a four-course meal if you want to.

Cooler restrictions per the Disney website "Do's and Don'ts Page" lists no cooler larger than 24" long x 15" wide x 18" high. They also can not be pull-type or push-type coolers regardless of size.

So why the big deal about bringing in your own food? Even if you want to experience some of the culinary treasures that Disney parks offer, bringing snacks alone will save you a lot of money or you could simply bring in a bunch of fried chicken, lunchmeat rollups, chicken nuggets, and yes even McDonald's hamburgers and then simply spend your money on snacks.

Saving money is important to a lot of people and everyone wants to find a way to trim some of the fat off their big vacation. Food is one way to save. Our family is six people strong and at $10.00 and likely a lot more at just the basic counter service places, we drop nearly $100.00 for food each day of our trip. Or at least we used to.

My kids know that the burger at one of the restaurants is going to taste like every other burger and the fries are, well, fries. But they also know that sacrificing a burger for a chicken nugget sandwich on a Hawaiian Roll will get them a Dole Whip or a Mickey Pretzel or whatever else they come across.

Needless to say you don't need to spend on food at Disney, at least until they start putting restrictions on bringing it in. Bring your own, find a nice spot under a tree or on one of the new tables at EPCOT's Showcase Gardens and...enjoy!