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Menu Monday: When It’s Hot, Save Some Dosh at Walt Disney World (Pt 2)

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Well, like Toy Story 4 or Frozen 2 I am back, with a sequel to my previous article on free water at Walt Disney World. I would kindly ask that you read that article first (if you haven’t already) as this will help you understand how my harsh judging system works. It will also enlighten you to the best places go get free water in the Magic Kingdom. In this follow-up, which I hope does not go straight to DVD like Simba’s Pride, I am going to review the free water options in the other three main Disney theme parks. Wish me luck.

As you all know, Christmas is getting nearer so really there is no better time to do a saving money article. Who couldn’t do with saving up to $40 a day on your Disney holiday (vacation)? (Price based on a family of four each drinking four bottles of water each a day at $2.50 a time). Water is a necessity when touring any Disney theme park, but why pay out every day when Disney offers free water?

So without further ado, I will start with Epcot and everyone’s favourite; yes it’s Club Cool. If you have yet to experience this then you really need to. Coca-Cola have (Ed. – note British English uses plural possessives to refer to companies) set up a number of sample stations for their drink products around the world. OK, so it is not technically “water” but it’s free and it is a drink, albeit in mini cups, but they are limitless. I would definitely recommend Italy’s famous Beverly, but if you have already tried this, maybe taste all the different flavoured Fantas. Just remember that there is no limit to how many you can have.

Well if you are not paying for water you can afford more cakes!
Well if you are not paying for water you can afford more cakes!

The World Showcase is different, though because you can order and receive free water in most of the Pavilions, especially if you are dining in one of the many gorgeous options spread around World Showcase Lagoon. When you leave Future World and enter the World Showcase, the Refreshment Port is a great place to start as its queue is never too long and the water is filtered, served in large cups with lids and straws. This you will recall from my first article is  more formally known as a “Full Package Water”. The Refreshment Port is located on your way to the Canadian Pavilion but please do not confuse it with Promenade Refreshments, otherwise you will be drinking beer rather than water…. Some of you might believe this is a serious upgrade but no, for me that would be a little bit illegal. (Ed. – Another great place for water in Epcot is Sunshine Seasons at the Land. You may fill your water bottles from the self-service fountains there or use one of Disney’s cups.)

Photo courtesy of Disney (c)
Inside of the ABC – Photo courtesy of Disney (c)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a few more places to go for a lovely cup of refreshing ice water than both the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  ABC Commissary is probably one of the best (although not my favourite as you will find out), located by the old American Idol Experience (that is now a sort of mystery as to what it will be turned into, but I suspect it will be something Frozen which would go well with ice water). It is very much like the situation in Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café in the Magic Kingdom because you have to squeeze (no shoving please) in and out of the railings (and other guests) to the front counter where you can then have to just catch the eye of the Cast Member, who is manning the soda machines, and politely ask him or her for your required numbers of iced waters, hopefully this should quench your thirst.

If this is not effective enough, or you need another quick and free hydration boost throughout your stay in the park, then why not go and grab some refreshments and have a cheeky snack simultaneously?

Get there early and thanks Ryan Kilpatrick for the photo
Get there early and thanks Ryan Kilpatrick for the photo

The Starring Rolls Café http://touringplans.com/hollywood-studios/dining/starring-rolls-cafe is perfect, however the service is slow inside because they are extremely busy and it does close at 4:00PM. The early closing always caught us out when we were in the Park as we used to go along at about 5:00PM and were then of course disappointed. This is the best option for an early morning snack and hydration boost, rather than going at 2:00PM and not being able to enjoy and admire their ButterFinger cupcake skills (and as I love a cupcake, this is my favourite).

I did say that Disney’s Hollywood Studios had the most options didn’t I? Well here are a couple more. If you venture behind Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Playground Adventure, you will find the Studio Catering Co. which is a great quick stop; but not during the typical lunch or dinner hours because this is when it is at its busiest. The Backlot Express, Echo Lake, is probably one of the best places in the park for ice water. It is often overlooked, but has a huge seating space that is not very busy. The reason for me rating this so highly is because they just hand over the empty cups for you to fill up at the soda machine. They do only give you small cups though but the water is filtered with lids and straws, once you have filled it up at the soda fountain. However this is an article about free water that is legitimate, please do not use this for anything else.

The not Full Service Water from Animal Kingdom
The not Full Service Water from Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a slightly more tricky. This Park has to be one of the worst for overheating, especially in the humidity high months that Florida kindly provides. So it is really important to keep the liquid levels topped up. Good quality free water is rather scarce at Disney’s Animal Kingdom which is not helpful for this article. When you do manage to locate somewhere that provides free water (and do not worry I do have a few tips), it will not be a “full packaged water” as they will always provide them in small cups without lids or straws (for the protection of the animals).

Wheres my water? Who cares, I have an Zebra cupcake!
Wheres my water? Who cares, I have an Zebra cupcake!

As a family we always find that we do the most snack stopping in this park so we load up on those yummy Mickey pretzels, ‘Jungle Juice’ slushies and animal themed cupcakes. Every time you sit down and take a rest, whether it is with a snack or not, it is best to just ask the nearby counter service for a few cups of ice water. Also remember that in places like Pizzafari and Flame Tree Barbecue you can walk straight up to the counter and ask a Cast Member for the waters. The ultimate, not so well known stop for water, has to be Kusafari Coffee on the way to Kilimanjaro Safaris. Here you receive nearly full package water (no straw) and if you have noticed in the picture there might be the animal themed cupcakes I previously mentioned. But there is a time catch, just like Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which is that the animal cupcakes are not on the menu until after 11:00AM. (Ed. – Restaurantasaurus has the same self-service beverage stations that Sunshine Seasons does. This is a big favorite for TouringPlans researchers on the go at Animal Kingdom.)

Pizza and free water - heaven!
Pizza and free water – heaven!

I thought I should also just add this little note on the end here because a few people commented on my last article saying how they usually bring sachets and drink mixes into the theme parks to mix with their ice water.  Or they bring water bottles already prepared with frozen water. These are both really good tips for remaining hydrated and adding a blast of flavour to non-filtered water really helps. If anyone else has any helpful tips they would like to share please feel free to comment below.

Love Alex x

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Alex Duncan

Hi, I am Alex and I am 13 years young! Something else unique is that like Harry Potter I am a wizard! No, wait, sorry, I meant to say I am from England! Although we live in England I am so lucky that we have a second home in Clermont, Florida and this summer marks my 38th trip. I am attend Tonbridge Grammar School for Girls and am a 1st Kyu brown belt double black tip in karate. I have a 10 year old brother, Kieran, who wants to be the Captain of a Disney Cruise ship one day and my Mum and Dad are also big Disney fans (well they bought the house after all). I love shopping, adore Taylor Swift and I am on Twitter and Instagram. I have skills! Love always, Alex

18 thoughts on “Menu Monday: When It’s Hot, Save Some Dosh at Walt Disney World (Pt 2)

  • I’ve enjoyed both of your posts on water, Alex. It’s interesting for me to see the opinion of someone who isn’t local on what our local water tastes like. For me, the stuff right out of the tap, no ice, is no big deal (it’s the water I grew up with), but I know some people find it awful. Being a university student, I’m always looking out to save some “dosh” too.
    Keep up the writing. The best way to get better at something is to do it a lot and get feedback. Looking forward to your next post.

    • I am glad you enjoyed them Ric! If I lived in Florida full-time, I would have to have some soft of filter for my water. If only I was not so fussy…
      Mind you, in the English summer the water from the tap goes really cloudy. I would rather have that taste than water that looks like watered down milk 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement!

  • To get this post back on track as regards how to save money, here’s one my wife and I tried on our last trip: Order your soft drinks without ice. I actually learned this on a previous trip from a Brit family in line ahead of us. As it turns out, the soda comes from the machine ice cold anyway. If you order without ice, you easily get 2x, perhaps 3x the soda. Thus, a small soda is (usually) plenty to share between two people.

    Another tip is to buy a Brita bottle. They are quite inexpensive at Wal-Mart ($8.88 around here). The filter removes the taste of sulphur from the water so you don’t have to worry about which establishments give you filtered water and which don’t. Just pour the cup of ice water in your Brita bottle and viola, tasty water!

    • Thank you very much Lee and Robin for this little tip. We do that all the time, it also means your soda does not get watered down when the ice melts from the hot Florida temperature! I wish I would have thought of the Brita Bottle idea before I had written the blogs…. would have saved quite a lot of time 😉

  • I love reading all the Britishisms! Thanks for the fun post, Alex. There was a time when the Animal Kingdom had been giving out straws made of cardboard-like paper. I haven’t seen this as much recently, have others experienced this as well?

    • Thank you Erin. I remember those. My Dad used to chew on them like an Ape so I guess thats why they stopped (sorry Dad, love you).

      Alex x

  • It doesn’t matter that it has some errors. The biggest error is Disneydad being a major pain and attacking a 12 year old in public.

    For what reason? some personal English Teacher thing to crave to correct everyone? On a user content Blog? Why? Because they can sit back say “oh…I corrected their English..I’m RIGHT..SO RIGHT”

    That’s rather sad. I hope you get better and find a better a fight than to attack 12 year olds.

    /I’ve left some errors in this post…I hope it annoys you.

    • No, it amused me. Thanks!

  • This column has more errors than most essays I graded as an English teacher in middle school. This is an excellent website with high standards. Please make every effort to screen for poorly-written drivel before posting it.

    • This blog entry is written by a 12-year old. She is giving her perspective, in her words. Yes, there are grammatical mistakes, but seriously, give her a break! I think perhaps your time would be more wisely spent writing your own blog rather than criticizing everyone else’s work.

      • Spot on.

    • That’s harsh and it’s not riddled with errors. Suggest you post the blog you wrote when you were 12 on a UK website and we can take a look at that.

    • Thank you for your comments. I appologise to the TouringPlan team for the few errors in the article.

      It will not happen again.

      Thanks Alex

      • Thank you, Alex. As anyone can see, I have complemented you for well-written and informative posts before. And as you already understand, progress is hindered when others allow age or gender to excuse simple errors easily caught by proofreading.

      • DisneyDad,

        I think you meant “complimented” (gave praise) and not “complemented” (completed or perfected). Surely you’re aware of the difference since you used to grade middle-school essays. Hopefully, you’re also aware that adverbs ending in “-ly,” such as “poorly,” should not be followed by hyphens.

        Notice how these points allow for learning by correcting mistakes and providing a means for knowing what the correct usage is for future reference. Compare that with your post, in which you only state that something is bad without providing any alternatives.

        I feel bad for the middle-school students who were subjected to your condescending and unproductive criticism. However, if you truly are a “DisneyDad,” I feel even worse for your children. I suggest focusing on making criticism constructive and not using “progress” as an excuse for being a sourpuss troll.

      • Thank you for proofreading and catching my errors. Incidentally, you feel badly for those students, not “bad.” I, however, enjoyed your reliance on logical fallacies to support your thesis. Perhaps I’ll put my children up for adoption… After paying for therapy, of course.
        Let’s debate the Oxford comma some time soon! 🙂

      • I thought this article was very well written and informative!

        We liked Backlot Express for grabbing a cup of water.

  • Ed. – you got the singular/plural bit backwards, I think.


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