Disney to Offer New Line of Prepackaged Snacks in its Theme Parks
Disney's theme parks are introducing a new line of pre-packaged snacks, following an industry trend toward appealing to more health-conscious buyers.
Photo courtesy Disney
The "Snacks with Character" collection will offer 11 types of bars, cookies, and trail mixes, with relatively subtle Disney character branding. Disney said in a press release that it developed this new line for "guests looking for dietary alternatives related to food allergies or lifestyle choices."
"To create these treats, Disney Theme Park Merchandise teamed up with well-known specialty suppliers such as Ocean Spray, Enjoy Life Foods, Way Better Snacks and WOW Baking Company. Several of the dietary needs addressed in the new assortment products include gluten-free, nut-free, and other allergy-friendly products," the company announced.
Note that while Disney is calling these snacks "better for you," it's also taking great care to avoid the word "healthy." While new allergen-free alternatives are always welcomed, and many believe that these types of snacks are better for them than traditional prepackaged fare, let's not forget that they still are processed snacks. They're not natural food items, such as piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. Nor are they freshly made — they're shelf-stabilized just like the chips, crackers and bars you'd find at your local grocery.
Which brings up a point — we haven't seen the prices for these items yet, but we will take a moment to remind you that one of our top items of advice for theme park visitors is "Don't buy anything inside a theme park that you can get for less outside the park." Disney's theme parks do allow visitors to bring pre-packaged food into the park, so if you've got a brand of snacks that you like from your local grocery (or that you can pick up on your way into the park), bringing them in might be a better deal than buying pre-packaged snacks at Disney, no matter what the brand.
Friends who we were with the first weekend in October bought a few of these snacks. They were already on sale in the Grizzly Airfield section of DCA. I don't know what the prices were, but I tried a couple of them, including a lemon cookie. They were not bad, but were not something I'd seek out again.
Good to here as my wife has celiac and avoids gluten and eating can be a pain especially in the parks.
Unfortunately, buying anything outside of Walt Disney World is next to impossible for on-site guests who arrive by air. By design, Disney makes that virtually impossible.
Not buying any snacks inside the parks when you can buy them outside the parks is a good way to save money. The Disney-brand snacks aren't necessarily bad by any means (at least not the ones that I've eaten) but they don't taste much different from your regular pretzels or gummy worms. For on-site guests flying into Orlando, they can always buy snacks at their local grocery store or whatnot the day before and make sure they have enough to go around when they enter the parks.
Amazon, Staples, and Walgreens online will all deliver food to the Disney hotels.
I recommend Garden Grocer to buy groceries online for onsite guests. They have a slight markup for the service and delivery charges, but they are cheaper than the Disney retail prices. I highly recommend you purchase water, drinks, snacks, and breakfast even if you're on a Disney Dining Plan, which includes 2 meals a day. Better to eat breakfast in the room. Most rooms have refrigerators to store perishables and a microwave.
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