Are You Ready for Walt Disney World’s Paper Straws?

*This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase via our links, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you*

In 2019, The Walt Disney Company eliminated single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers at all their locations worldwide. As you begin planning your next vacation, and you really prepared to use the new Disney paper straws?

Disney has been committed to environmental stewardship for more than 60 years ago, going back to the founding of the company. Walt Disney said, “Conservation isn’t just the business of a few people. It’s a matter that concerns all of us.” Eliminating single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers will amount to a reduction of more than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually. With Americans using more than 500 million plastic straws every day, this can go a long way toward straws not winding up in the ocean, reducing pollutants in the water, and harming less marine life.

In the grand scheme of an entire vacation, how much time you spend with a Disney paper straw will be a very slim portion, but a lack of knowledge could contribute to vacation stress. 

Our Fans Thoughts on Disney Paper Straws

Katie, “We literally just got home from WDW today. It’s awesome that Disney switched but those paper ones do suck. I went through two for one frozen drink before I said screw it and took the lid off and had to wait for it to melt to drink it.”

Linda, “While I appreciate the intent of paper straws, I absolutely hate the feel of them in my mouth~~texture issue!!”

Heidi, “I used a paper straw at Disneyland for some frozen lemonade to share with my preschooler, and it disintegrated. I get that we want to be environmentally friendly. But there are some tools of the trade that paper just can’t fix. There are straws made of compostable materials that would be better than the paper.”

While many vacationers seemed to appreciate the environmental benefits of paper straws, lots really hated the straws themselves.

Take Jill for example, “When we went to Disney world this summer I found out no plastic straws.  It’s like a phobia I have with paper straws; I just can’t drink from them. We went to T-Rex one night and found they still had plastic. I went all around and asked random servers and the bar for straws. Brought them with me the rest of the trip. Sorry Disney, you can take my money but not my plastic straws.”

Unlike plastic straws, paper straws fall apart when they get wet, and you may need several per drink just to finish. 

That may not be the worst part. 

Disney Paper Straw Allergies:

Shea, “My friend’s granddaughter has celiac disease and she was told my one of the Disney chefs not to use the paper straws. They are not gluten free. Their grandmother said she didn’t know all the details but mentioned pasta and starch being used for binding agents. We had gone to Disney World the week before they went, and I never saw anything warning people about this.”

I did some research on allergies to paper straws. The National Celiac Association indicated some eco-friendly straws may contain gluten, which presents challenges for anyone dealing with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. The NCA suggests avoiding straws made from wheat, rye, pasta and cookies. To stay safe, they recommend avoiding straws or simply ask if the straw you receive at a restaurant is gluten-free. You can bring your own straws, and be sure they are made from GF materials such as plastic, bamboo, stainless steel, silica or glass.

Bring Your Own

Lots of our readers simply brought their own straws to avoid paper straws disintegrating or causing allergies.

Christina, “My son is autistic. We have a Ziplock full of straws in backpack no matter where we go!

Michelle, “We bring reusable straws as well…the point is to stop using plastic ones, and handing them out kinda defeats the purpose, not to mention endangers the animals at Animal Kingdom.

Mandie, ” I bring my own straws also. My own plastic ones. Metal straws leave a metallic taste and paper fall apart. Paper is really bad in alcoholic drinks.

Andrea sent us a picture of how she totes her straws, “I finally found use for the churro pouch.”

No Straws at All

I’m inherently lazy and cheap, and I do not have any medical issues that require me to even use a straw much less a certain type of straw. I just drink from the cup with no top. Tamara echoed exactly why I am straw-lazy, “While reusable straws are great, who is going to stop after every meal and snack stop to go and clean it?”

However, many travelers will need another alternative to paper or plastic straws. There are some pretty good options available.

Glass straws for a Disney vacation.

Glass Straws

Cyndy,I use glass straws. I don’t care for the hard plastic or metal ones and the silicone ones are okay. You can find glass straws made from the same glass as beakers. I really love them!”

They now offer shatter-resistant glass straws, which can be used in cold or hot drinks and come with a lifetime guarantee. They are dishwasher safe and come with a little cleaning brush to get them extra squeaky clean.

Silicone Straws

Virginia, “I bring silicone straws that can be washed and reused. I didn’t have any trouble with the paper at Disney, like I thought I might. Even the frozen Coke was fine. We ended up just using our silicone straws one day of our trip. I rinse them as soon as possible so no germs stay in there for long.”

Rachel, “I would hands down take my reusable silicone ones or get one of the travel stainless ones that clip on bags or keychains. Why continue using plastic straws?!

They now offer FDA approved silicone straws that are BPA free, which are long-lasting, reusable, and flexible. You can cut them in different lengths, and you can’t break them through chewing or bending.  For easy clean up, they are dishwasher safe.

Silicone straws with a cleaner for your Disney trip.

Metal Straws

Angel, “I bought four metal straws from Bed Bath and Beyond for about $8, and I take them with me on all my trips.

Stainless steel drinking straws are reusable and will not rust, corrode, stain, or break. The stainless straws are easy to clean in a dishwasher, which can save you money. Many of them come bent at the top for the perfect drinking angle.

In case you are curious, what else will the Disney company do toward conservation in future years? 

Cruise ships and resorts will be transitioning to refillable in-room amenities, which reduces 80% of the plastics in guest rooms.

They will be reducing the number of plastic shopping bags in the parks and on cruises, while offering guests the option to purchase inexpensive, reusable bags. 

They plan to completely eliminate polystyrene cups across all their globally owned and operated businesses as they continue reducing single-use plastics. 

Now you know!

If you were unaware before, now you know you’ll be using the new Disney paper straws, wherever around the world that happens to be, and you may need to come prepared or just simply enjoy your drink until the paper straw collapses. The faster you sip, the sooner you get on a ride… 

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you standing in line to order a drink at a Disney park…

Amanda, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

 

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Mike Ellis

Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.