Fun Food Facts: Walt Disney World

Food Network Magazine's editor in chief, Maile Carpenter, shares what she learned about the Disney dining scene.

Photo By: Jeff Harris

©Richard Green / Alamy Stock Photo

Photo By: Jeff Harris

Photo By: Brian Hagiwara

Photo By: Jeffery Salter ©2015

Cucumbers Come with Mickey Ears

A team at Epcot developed a special tube that shapes the cukes as they grow. You can often see them in the greenhouse during Epcot's Living with the Land boat ride, or try them on a salad at the Garden Grill Restaurant. 

You Can Pay for Lunch with a Wave of Your Wrist

If you're staying at a park resort, you can link your MagicBand to your hotel account, letting you pay for anything just by extending your arm. It can also act as your room key, admission ticket and FastPass+ for rides.

You Can Bring Your Own Food Into Any Park

There are very few exceptions, like glass bottles (but baby food jars are OK), alcohol and large coolers. Also on the do-not-bring list: selfie sticks.

There's a "Right" Way to Walk on Main Street

People generally walk on the right, so Main Street is designed accordingly: Visitors mostly pass food shops on their way into the park. The other side of the street has more souvenir shops, so you'll pass those on the way out (if you keep right!).

Mickey Ears Show Up Everywhere

We'd heard stories about Disney staffers positioning cups and plates to look like Mickey, and we witnessed it firsthand at Animal Kingdom when we bought two drinks and an ice cream sundae.

You Can't Buy Gum

Apparently this ban came from Walt Disney himself — he didn't want gum stuck on the streets. You won't see litter, either. A trash can is rarely more than 30 steps away, wherever you are!


At Animal Kingdom, you won't find plastic straws. They're prohibited for the safety of animals, along with balloons. 



Dining Tips

Dinner is free if you're under 3. There's no charge for kids under 3 at buffet restaurants; they can eat off your plate. And park admission is free, too — as long as your child is not yet 3 on the first day of your visit.


Lunch service starts as early as 10:30 a.m. You should take advantage of the morning start time. We had our choice of tables at Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom at 11 a.m. on a busy weekend — but by the time we left at 11:45, the place was packed.