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The Disneyland Picnic Area is one of the most underutilized parts of the park, in my humble opinion. As a huge fan of Disneyland, I always want to make the most of our time there and save as much money as possible. One of my favorite ways to save is to take advantage of the Disneyland picnic area.
Whether it is to save money, meet dietary needs, or just make sure you have food for a picky eater, the Disneyland picnic area is a great spot. If you also have a child that may need somewhere to decompress mid-day, and you don’t want to leave the resort, this is also a great option.
Disneyland Lockers and Picnic Area: What You Need to Know
This is one of our favorite ways to save money on our time in Disneyland. There are so many great ways to take advantage of this little perk in the park! One of the best ways to save money at Disneyland is by bringing in your own food. With that, my family loves to utilize the picnic area in Disneyland to not only get in a good, filling, affordable meal but to give us a short break from the parks.
Where Is The Picnic Area in Disneyland
If you are coming from the trams, turn left after the Tram loading area, and you will see a break in the bushes to enter the picnic area. The lockers and picnic area are outside the parks, at the edge of the esplanade before Downtown Disney.
They are surrounded by bushes, but you can walk past the Lost and Found, lockers, and bathrooms, and through the gates, when coming from the parks or Harbor Blvd.
What is available in the Disneyland Picnic area?
The Disneyland picnic area includes picnic tables and benches, as well as some Disneyland lockers. What I love about these lockers is the size. They are much larger than the lockers throughout the rest of the resort.
In fact, the large lockers can easily fit a carry-on bag in them. This is ideal if you are going to be there for just a few hours before leaving town, or if you like to pack an extra change of clothes or extra food.
How to use the Disneyland Picnic Area lockers
You can see the kiosk where you go to get the lockers right beside the lockers themselves. You can pay with cash or a credit card, so super convenient for everyone. There are both large and extra-large lockers here that are $12 and $15.
Don’t assume you’ll need an extra larger locker. They are a pretty decent size, so we can easily fit a hard-sided cooler with a bag of food as well as sweatshirts and other sundry items in just the large locker.
Things to remember about using the picnic area
Remember, you do not want the lockers in the esplanade if you plan on taking a large cooler. You also can not use the lockers in the park. Hard-sided coolers will not be allowed past the gates. They are one of many items “banned” from Disney parks.
However, when we have gone with our friends and their five kids, we needed an extra-large locker. With 12 of us (8 kids) we needed a lot of snacks, and a lot of food since we would eat both lunch and dinner out at the picnic area. SO- we purchased an extra-large locker for the day for $15.
The $15 was worth it when you consider the cheapest meals run approximately $7+/person (hot dog with chips). We saved more than that easily, within our first meal.
Why we love Disneyland’s Picnic Area
Now, a lot of people wonder about the picnic area. You may have been to other parks, where the picnic area left a lot to be desired? Well, I love Disneyland’s picnic area. It is very clean, quiet (except once in a while when the monorail goes overhead or you hear the cap gun go off from the Jungle Cruise) and you still get to hear the music playing so you still have that Disney feel.
They have recycling bins, lots of shade, drinking fountains to top off your water bottles, and it just feels very relaxing there.
Why we use the Disneyland picnic area outside the park itself
A little background on how we decided to use the picnic area. In 2007, the first day we went to Disneyland, with our friends we took a small cooler- and ended up getting a locker. It wasn’t really planned, but yeah, that is how it worked out.
That day was great, and while at the end of the day our feet hurt from walking so much (which none of us were used to), and just all the excitement of the park, we lasted the entire day.
The next day, our friends with the 5 kids didn’t come, but my parents did. They drove to the park (whereas we had walked the day before). So, instead of paying for a locker, we put the cooler in the car and came back to the vehicle for lunch.
Something happened, we didn’t make it through the entire day. As we rode the tram back to the parking garage, we realized how tired we were, how much our feet hurt, and we ate, and went back to the tram, now sore and barely able to move (all of us). So we only stayed a few more hours in the park.
We didn’t think much of it since we had done so much, but when we didn’t leave the park the next day we went, we again, made it the entire day.
Our final day, once again, we returned to the car, and we decided to leave right then. It became clear that sitting, and leaving the excitement of Disneyland was a cue to our bodies that it could let us know it was tired.
More Disneyland Tips
While using the Disneyland lockers and picnic area outside the park is one of our favorite ways to save money, there are tons of other great tips we have to share. Check those out below!