Stop Paying for This at Walt Disney World

Water feature

One of the best Disney Parks budget hacks might be easier than you think. While there are several items that seasoned Guests at Walt Disney World and Disneyland know not to purchase at the theme parks (typically because they’d be more expensive), one such necessity might be so obvious that it doesn’t even come to mind.

Among said items that you are better off purchasing before you arrive at Walt Disney World are ponchos and umbrellas, and sunscreen, as these items can be purchased from your local Walmart or Target, and in some cases even the dollar store, all while giving you substantial savings over buying them in the Parks. Even so, we can totally understand buying sunscreen in the Magic Kingdom in a pinch when you forget to bring your own, but there is one item you can rest assured you’ll never need to spend the extra cash on.

Spaceship Earth, EPCOT

Credit: Disney

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The one thing you should not pay for at Walt Disney World is water. While it might seem like everything at Disney Parks has a price, water (at least tap water) is complimentary. And, given how much water it takes to stay hydrated on a hot day in Central Florida, paying for water bottles can add up quickly. Here’s what we recommend instead.

Bringing your own water bottle

Bringing your own water bottle to Disney World was a bit more of a hassle years ago, but recently this has become much easier. More and more refillable water bottle stations have been popping up around the theme parks in recent years, so if you don’t mind carrying it, and always want to ensure that you have fresh water on your person, bringing your own bottle to the Parks is a great way to stay hydrated.

As for which water bottles work best to bring to the theme parks, it’s all a matter of personal preference. Some Guests like to use collapsable water bottles because they are easy to carry when they are not filled, while others are all about insulated bottles that will keep water cold. You could also purchase a water bottle that has a crossbody strap to make it easy to carry in the Parks if a small bag is all you’d need.

Water bottle at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Canva Creation

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Where to get free cups of water

If you aren’t interested in carrying around a water bottle, remember that you can always get free cups of tap water from any quick-service dining location while you’re out in the Parks. These cups of water are not rung through the register or listed if you mobile order in the My Disney Experience app, so you will need to head right to the pickup counter to ask for one. Just remember to be courteous to the Cast Members working, as they are likely very busy.

Hate the taste of “Florida” water?

We mean no offense at all to Floridians, but many out-of-town Guests are not thrilled with the taste of Florida’s tap water. In general, the tap water taste won’t be an issue with water from Disney’s quick-service restaurant as it is usually run through a filter. Another solution though, if the taste still throws you off is to bring your own water bottle with a built-in filter, then you can ensure that your water will be crisp and refreshing.

Casey's Corner in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

Credit: Disney

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A final note on water for Disney Resort Guests– While they are not as popular with the Disney Dining Plan still paused, Disney Resorts do still offer refillable mugs. Some Guests love to bring these to the theme parks (and that’s great if you do, too!), but remember these are only refillable at your Resort.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."