How to Pack a Perfect Park Picnic

So you’re headed to one of Orlando’s world-famous theme parks for the day, but you don’t want to blow your entire budget on food once you’re in the park. One of the best solutions to this is to pack a picnic or snacks to take with you into the parks. But bringing your own meals can be tricky with each park having its own rules and regulations. So here at Homes4uu, we decided to go through the rules for you and give you a guide to packing the perfect park picnic for your trip.

Perfect Park Picnic

Not All Parks Are Equal

Not all parks treat outside food the same. None allow any alcohol or any glass container larger than a baby food jar, and all allow some kind of small snack or baby food. SeaWorld has the strictest rules for outside food, followed closely by Universal Orlando with Legoland coming in next and Disney having the most flexible approach to outside food and drink.

There is some logic behind at least SeaWorld’s strict attitude, for all the thrill rides they have on property they are still primarily an aquarium and rescue operation. Outside food could be hazardous to the animals so they generally restrict all outside food and absolutely prohibit straws as they are a choking hazard for the animals. The only other park to restrict things like straws and balloons is the Animal Kingdom for the same reason. With that in mind, we’ve got a list of do’s and don’ts for each park.

The Allergy Exception

Before we get to the specific rules for each park there are some exceptions that all parks allow. If you have an allergy or medical need you can pack your own meals. Now most parks do have accommodations in place for people with special dietary needs at the restaurants, but there are cases where it’s easier to bring your own food. Another exception is baby food. This isn’t an item that most parks provide so you can pack meals for your little one with no questions. Baby food containers are also the only glass containers allowed in the parks. If you have a question about what you can bring to one of the following parks, you can always contact guest services before your trip.

SeaWorld And Universal Orlando

If you are heading to SeaWorld for the day you can bring small snacks along with you. This won’t help with full meal replacements, but if you have a pack of granola or trail mix on hand when you get a food craving you’re much less likely to buy that impulse ice cream. However, you can’t bring coolers, glass containers (other than baby food jars) or straws! Universal Orlando is the next strictest of all the parks when it comes to outside food and drink. You can pack a small insulated bag under 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” inches deep, inside you can pack any small snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated or heated.

No Straws at the parks

 

Legoland

This is the first park where you are really allowed to pack a picnic, but you’re still restricted to an 8.5” x 6” x 6” bag to pack it in. That said, you can pack anything that doesn’t require refrigeration or heating. So if you have the chance to make yourselves some sandwiches you can have a picnic lunch between exploring the park and riding your favorite Lego-themed rides.

 

Walt Disney World

No trip to Orlando would be complete without a trip to Walt Disney World. That said, a Disney Trip can be the most expensive. Lucky for you this is also the park that allows you the most freedom when it comes to outside food. Disney allows you to bring a cooler into the parks, but only if its smaller than 24” long, 15” wide and 16” deep. That’s enough space for sandwiches, snacks, and drinks. Again, you can’t pack alcohol or glass bottles, but anything else that doesn’t need heated or refrigerated is fair game! You can also rent a locker at the front of most of the parks to store your cooler in while you are in the parks as well.

So what makes a great Disney picnic lunch?

That’s really up to you. But you can pack any sandwich or snack that doesn’t require heating or refrigeration, chips, pretzels and small snacks as well as bottled water and soda. You can also ask for ice water at any quick service stop. And if you’re looking for the perfect place to eat your meal we have a few suggestions for you. In Magic Kingdom you can dine at the tables on Main Street USA. The best spot is the side street to the right when you’re walking towards the Castle.                                                                                                                      

 

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