Want to save $400?
When I originally wrote this article back in 2017, we were saving a lot by bringing in our own drinks. Now that Disney has changed the price of bottled and fountain drinks by around a dollar each, you'll be saving even bigger by packing a few bottles of water, tea or soda in your suitcase. I've updated this article to reflect the current prices. Bottled sodas have gone up from $3.50 to $4.50, regular fountain drinks from $3.29 to $3.99 and bottles of water from $3.00 to $3.50. A Powerade is $5.00
How much can you save? I've broken it down for you! You'll be surprised!
I am not exaggerating when I say how easily you can save HUNDREDS when you go to Disney Park. Bring along a few bottled drinks or a refillable water bottle. It's easy, cheap and takes almost no effort to save hundreds!
If you like to go bag free, bring along a refillable bottle that collapses and hangs from a clip because at any counter, you can ask for a cup of ice water, for free.
What if you are like us though, and just don't like to taste of Florida water? Can you still save? Yes. Keep reading and get ready for a surprise.
How much does it save you? Is it enough to make it worth the hassle? I'm going to use my own family as an example and do the math for you!
Because it seems like no one is ever thirsty at the same time and we don't want to stop and stand in line repeatedly, we bring our own drinks for much of the day. The first few visits, we used a soft sided cooler, but now that our youngest may not need a stroller as much and Mr. Disney Magic would prefer to carry as little as possible, we bought a cooler backpack, and worked the numbers.
There are 2 adults and 2 kids in our party. The adults each typically drink 2 waters in the pre lunch hours, and 2 in the afternoon/evening. We do buy drinks at lunch and dinner, plus on afternoon breaks and during the evening at our resort, fill up our mugs. We make sure to drink a lot, because in Florida’s heat, not drinking is a recipe for disaster. That comes to bringing in to the park 4 drinks per adult, per park day.
The little people, we plan on 3-4 juice boxes or pouches for in the pre lunch hours, and 3-4 for the afternoon/evening. Of course, they take some of our water, get drinks at lunch and dinner, and the resort on breaks. That equals 8 juice boxes per kid, per park day. (Now when I say juice boxes, I don't specifically mean there is juice in them. Some are, but some are those mostly flavored water things, but for simplicity's sake, I'm calling them all "Juice" and using those numbers for our math.)
The last few weeks, our grocery store has had 24 packs of spring water regular priced for $3.99. That means it's approximately 16.6 cents per bottle of water. With sales, 8 packs of the larger Juicy Juice boxes were $3.00, making each juice box 37 cents per juice. To get a bottle of filtered, not spring water at Disney, it's going to be $3.50, and a bottle of juice is $3.29.
A full day for our family costs less than $7 for drinks, when we do this hybrid way of buying some, and bringing some, whereas if we stopped and bought 16 kids drinks, and 8 adult drinks, be it water, juice or whatever, it would be around $96. Five days in the parks equals a savings of $480 just for bringing in our own drinks. That's a LOT of Disney magic we could spend elsewhere. Our kids love flavored water too, so if we skipped the juice, and just some some water flavoring packets we would save even more! Seeing as a 6 pack of bottled soda is often on sale for $3.00 in our area, I'd say 50 cents for a bottled soda is a LOT fairer of a price that $4.50.
Yes, it can be a hassle sometimes to bring your own in the regard that you have to take a few minutes to plan ahead of time, but its not really too bad. We grab a few drinks in the backpack in the morning, restock in the afternoon, and save a lot of money! The good thing about carrying drinks in a backpack, is it's heaviest in the mornings when you have the most energy, and gets lighter as the day goes on. For us, having cold drinks any time we want it without having to wait in a line is worth it!
But how to bring the drinks with you?
There are three easy ways!
If you drive, load up the car before hand. We froze our waters beforehand, and they lasted for a week with just the occasional bucket of ice tossed in a cooler since the mini fridge never quite gets it cold enough.
If you drive but just don't have the room to make the haul with your drinks in tow, you can stop off at a nearby grocery or drug store before arriving at your resort.
If you fly, or even if you drive if you don't want to spend a second of time or space worrying about picking up the water, you can use a Grocery Delivery service, like Amazon Now, Amazon Prime, or Garden Grocer. They will take all of the worry out of it and bring your order right to you, (in Amazon Now's case, within 2 hours!) This is great not only for drinks, but also snacks or other food for your trip!
Does Disney mind you bringing in your own sodas, juice or water?
Not at all! Disney is very generous letting you bring in your own snacks but also your own non alcoholic beverages. It's perfect for you Pepsi or Dr. Pepper fans too, because with Disney's long time affiliation with Coca Cola, you won't be able to find Pepsi or Dr. pepper brand drinks in the parks or resorts.
While bringing in drinks may not work for everyone, it works pretty well for our family. Have you ever brought your own drinks or water bottles in? Does that work for your family?
Even though Disney upped the price to park at their parks back in February, they did it again in October, along with a slew of other increases. If you didn't know already, it's going to cost a little more to park on your next visit to Magic Kingdom, or any of the other House of Mouse residences.
While the nightly parking fee if you stay on property still covers the parking fee if you visit a theme park, anyone staying off property, will pay a little more.
Standard automobile $25 (Up from $22)
Oversized parking $30 (Up from $27)
Preferred parking $50 (Up from $45)
Keep in mind, that you only have to pay once per DAY to park. If you leave and come back, as long as you have your receipt from earlier, you won't have to pay again.
Does the increase in parking mean that there's going to be a higher resort parking fee? Will this make you more likely to stay on property? Or off?