Rules on bringing outside food to Orlando theme parks

When traveling to theme parks, especially on a budget, outside snacks are important. However, different theme parks have different rules on what’s allowed. The chart below breaks down the information.

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No Snacks For You

Universal Orlando does not allow any outside food or drink. You can’t even bring a Coke into the CityWalk area. I know because I’ve tried. When you drive to Universal Orlando (meaning you’re not staying onsite at one of the Universal Resort Hotels), you enter security between the parking deck and CityWalk. There, you will have to throw your snacks/drinks away, or finish them before entering the park.

Some Snack For You 

SeaWorld allows guests to bring snacks and drinks, but no meals. How do they typically differentiate? Bread. So, no sandwiches, but crackers are okay. They also won’t allow full fast food meals, but fries would be acceptable. This is a gray area and depends on the team member searching your bag. Though drinks are fine, SeaWorld (and Disney’s Animal Kingdom) does not allow plastic straws/lids. This includes juice boxes. Plastic straws/lids can be fatal to an animal if ingested, so this safety measure works to combat that. You can leave meals in your car/paid locker and eat them at the picnic area outside the park.

Snack For You 

DisneyWorld has no restrictions on snacks/drinks/meals. However, like SeaWorld, straws/lids are not allowed in Animal Kingdom for the safety of the animals.

Allergies, health problems, etc. 

The parks will make exceptions for guests with severe food allergies or diseases like diabetes. They’ll also make exceptions for religious beliefs that dictate a certain type of food. Explain your concern with the worker checking your bag, and you shouldn’t have a problem. They may bring an assistant manager to discuss your reason for bringing outside food.

Bending the Rules

No theme park worker is going to check your pockets unless you look suspicious or your pockets are overfilled. If you want to sneak a sandwich into SeaWorld or some crackers into Universal, be sure to put them in your pocket. This is an easier feat for winter when pockets are usually bigger.

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