Updated for 2016!
If you ever re-filled a water bottle to avoid buying another drink, then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess! The average person needs to drink eight glasses of water on a day of light to moderate activity. When you add in walking miles and standing in often un-shaded lines at Disney World theme parks, there are times when you will definitely need to drink even more water to avoid dehydration.
If you are buying all that H2O on your trip, you are going to $pend a $mall fortune on an already expensive vacation. The Solution?
Disney World Food Tip #4: Bring Your Own Bottle With You!
Many new visitors to Disney World associate bag checks with the inability to bring food into the theme parks. Well, thank goodness for us, long gone is the time when you were not allowed to bring food and drinks with you into the parks. So plan ahead and bring in your own water.
We asked our Cheapskate Princess Facebook fans if they re-used water bottles or added anything to their water. Their answers could help you plan your next vacation.
7 Tips for Water Bottles at WDW
1. Freeze It
It’s hot most of the year in Orlando. Melanie talked about the heat, “We bring our water bottles from home, and I have flavor packets that we add to it. However, it was so hot last time we went, I was just happy to have plain old cold water to drink.” Many people freeze their water bottles the night before, which allows you to drink cold water as the ice unfreezes. You can even hold the cold bottle on your neck or wrists to cool your body down.
Max offered this great tip,” Pour out about a half-ounce of water from each bottle before freezing. Water expands when it freezes, and this way, the bottom of the bottles won’t bulge out. And just remember you’ll have to go through bag check, so don’t bring any glass bottles in (that means no Snapple!)”
Mary says they always bring water bottles with them. “We fill them up at night and pop them in the freezer. By mid morning in the park, they have started to thaw, and we continually add cold (free from any quick service!) ice water to them. I don’t mind the taste of Florida water, but we always have one or two squeezable drink mixes in our bag to add to the bottles if the kids want them. It saves us a ton of money on drinks and water keeps us hydrated in the heat. Sodas aren’t good for hydration Plus, I’d rather save my money for a Dole Whip Float!”
2. Recycle It
You can re-use your bottles. Don’t throw the bottles away, but simply refill the bottles throughout the day. We have some suggestions on where to get that water on #3 and #4.
Sarah had a different plan for adults and kids, “We reused water bottles for the kids and definitely brought flavoring for the water. The kids enjoyed it because they get plain tap water at home. For the adults, we purchased water bottles with replaceable filters in them, since we preferred to avoid the flavorings. We bought water bottle straps prior to our Disney trip and carried our bottles through all the parks with no issues at all. Would definitely go that route again – it worked great for us!”
Shannon has a helpful suggestion. “If you are carrying your water bottle in your park bag and don’t want everything in your bag to get wet from the condensation, slip the water bottle in a sock. That way the sock will absorb all the condensation from the water bottle.”
3. Fill It Up With This
Counter service restaurants and snack spots will often give you FREE ice water, or at least ice, in a cup if you ask. You do not have to make a purchase to ask for a cup of water, and then use this water to refill your bottle.
Misty uses this technique, “We just ask for free glasses of ice water at the quick service restaurants.”
4. Order Water for It
Speaking of saving money, when you are ordering counter service meals, don’t order soft drinks. Order water instead. It’s free as long as you don’t order the bottle, and you can now use it to fill up your water bottles. Think of the money you’ll save, even if the kids don’t thank you.
Jen plan to use this approach, “I brought my camelbak that has a filter in it. Its kind of annoying to carry though and it gets warm very quickly, so next time I’ll probably just ask for a cup of water at the restaurants. Though one place in Animal Kingdom I believe had the machine out in the open, so I just filled my water bottle with water there.”
Andrea advises, “We brought flavors like Crystal Light or Hawaiian Punch in our back pack and added the flavor to free cups of water from the quick service restaurants.”
5. Fountain Fill It
There are water fountains everywhere around the Disney property.
Beth Ann looks for fountains, “We take reusable water bottles with us and add Koolaid or Crystal Light mixes to it! We also have a backpack cooler that we carry them in so they kind of stay cool. We just refill at the nearest drinking fountain. It definitely saves money by not having to buy waters or drinks throughout the day.”
6. Add Flavor to It
While there are water fountains everywhere around the Disney property, not everyone wants to drink it. Many vacationers add flavoring to their water to give it a little extra zing.
Lisa, “I’m not a fan of Florida water, and to buy bottled water in the park is very expensive. So I bring different flavors of the liquid drink mixes. Easy to pack and carry!
Michelle says to add, “Koolaid Singles!”
Heather says, “Bring along the Koolaid flavor shots for the kids and crystal light (with caffeine, of course!) for the parents! Our Disney Vacation Planner was kind enough to send a case of water to our room, but the flavors to add certainly helped keep everyone hydrated and kept us from buying other expensive drinks when we got tired of water!”
Briget seems to be using most of our suggestions, “I bring reusable water bottles that we fill up at the hotel and freeze, and then we bring them in to the park. Buying water for six is way to expensive. We all order glasses of water and go back for another before we leave restaurants, and then we refill our bottles and use fountains. The kids use flavor packets when needed, and I add a lemon tea bag to the bottom of mine. The water at both Disneyland and Disney World tastes yucky!
Cindy is a Britta Water fan, “I bring the Brita Water bottles from home. Fill them in the room and then put that water in an empty water bottle that I purchased during the day. Always put Crystal Light in the ‘Disney’ water to help with the taste. Even filtered in my Brita Water bottle it still tastes bad to me.”
Amanda, which happens to be me, says, “I like to bring Gatorade with me in powder form or a really strong concentrate. I drink this during dinner with my FREE water cup, and then I add what’s left into my water bottle.”
7. Don’t Get It as a Snack Credit
(unless it’s Free Dining)
If you bring your own water with you, you won’t have to waste those Disney Dining Plan snack credits on water. A much better idea is using those credits to buy cupcakes or brownies. Of course that suggestion is for those of you that purchase the meal plan credits, but I’d still prefer a Disney brownie on vacation over a bottle of water any day.
Laura does use snack credits for water, and she offers this suggestion, “I reuse water bottles, and I bring crystal light flavor packs. Another tip I have is when using the dining plan eating Quick Service at my resort, I get a bottle of water or soda but use my resort mug for my drink with my meal. That way I can save the bottle drink for in the park.”
It all goes back to the idea of saving money. If a bottle of water at Disney costs $2.50 and up, you can save around $1 to $2 per bottle, depending on what state you bought your water, and that savings will add up fast.
With the money you save on water, you can spend more $$$ on cool Disney souvenirs, like a purse or a new set of Mickey Mouse ears.
One Extra Tip
Other fans have suggested the Brita bottles with filters as an alternative to traditional plastic bottles.
Tonja, “Or first trip is in September, and we bought Brita water bottles with the filter. I’ve been drinking so much more water already!”
Katie, “We plan on using the Brita bottle with a built-in filter this time. Save time and a snack credit! Green for the environment and your wallet!”
Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you slipping those water bottles back into your backpack!
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Amanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.
Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast.
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