In regard to Six Flags, you can actually buy some kind of mini meal plan online, making it cheaper.
However, at most other amusement parks where the food is mostly an afterthought, I leave for the afternoon and eat somewhere else before returning.
When we went to Disney last month, we carried a water bottle to fill up in the parks. That saved us some money and dining credits.
At home (Kings Island), we would usually show up after work. We have a picnic with the kids in the parking lot and go then go in.
I could say it takes money away from the parks when you bring food in and that's what helps keep the parks operating and yadda yadda, but honestly if the parks (speaking of Disney and USF) really were concerned they would stop people at the gate. I see people eating huge bags of Doritos and there's no way they coudl have smuggled that in with the bag searches going on now.
I myself prefer to enjoy the food as part of my day at the parks.
If our snacks can't tide us over for some reason, we always grab something to eat at one of the restaurants right on site.
There seems to be at least one "must buy" food at every park. What is your favorite at each park? And which park has the best Thanksgiving menu?
It can be obtained at any venue which serves alcohol.It may be tap water (and as little as 8oz served over ice), but it's free; you can have as much as you need.
I usually eat in the park.
Unless it's a planned picnic lunch, with coolers and proper care, lunch/dinner in any amusement park is part of the experience.
Why risk personal liability over convenience?
If I go with my buddies, we buy awful food from Wal-Mart that will last the duration of the trip and also eat out once daily. We usually just eat something in the morning and don't eat again until dinner.
There's some good fare at not unreasonable prices to be found as we've discussed before here on TPI.
That doesn't mean that suits everyone's budget of course but it works for us.