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Disney in a Minute: What is a Popcorn Bucket?

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We’re here with a series of quick posts, “Disney in a Minute,” bite-sized nuggets of information that can better help you understand a Disney term or planning topic. Enjoy!

The term “popcorn bucket” seems self-explanatory and in many ways it is. At Walt Disney World, a popcorn bucket is indeed a vessel containing one of Disney theme parks’ classic snacks – fresh popped popcorn. But the situation is a little more complicated than meets the eye.

A popcorn bucket can be a savings tool. At Walt Disney World, a standard serving of fresh popcorn in a cardboard container currently [late 2023] costs $5.50 (special flavored or colored versions may cost more). If you buy a serving of popcorn in refillable plastic bucket, you’ll pay $13.00, but each subsequent serving in the bucket will be half price: $2.25. The offer is technically “valid for length of stay” but enforcement is murky.

A popcorn bucket can also be a souvenir. In additional to basic bucket-shaped buckets, Disney routinely offers popcorn containers in fanciful shapes such as park icons or animated characters. Depending on the shape, the collectible buckets are often initially priced in the $20-40 range. The more prized versions of these may end up on eBay for many multiples of the original cost. The fancy buckets may be sold at regular popcorn carts, either WDW-wide or at select locations. A few of the most popular popcorn buckets (we’re looking at you Figment bucket) have resulted in hours-long waits to purchase or even the use of a virtual queue.

Have a question about a Disney term that is unfamiliar to you? Suggest it here for an upcoming Disney in a Minute segment.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

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