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Disney Food for Families: An Ode to the Sand Bucket

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster discusses a great bonus you can find with some kids’ meals on Walt Disney World property!

It’s long been said that Disney is in the details. One of my favorite Disney details is the container for children’s meals at some of the counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World. What is this magical container? The sand bucket!

Buckets ready to be called into action

There are restaurants located near the pools or sandy areas at Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, the Yacht & Beach Clubs, and the Caribbean Beach Resort that serve their kids’ meals either in, or with, a new, clean, green sand bucket, complete with an attached little yellow shovel. (Editor’s Note: I’ve also seen ‘em at Restaurantosaurus in Animal Kingdom?!)

Sand bucket listed on the menu at the Beach Club's Hurricane Hannah's

The bucket makes me happy on many levels:

  • You get a meal AND a toy for about the same price as kids’ meals in other areas of the parks.
  • You don’t take up valuable suitcase room packing bulky toys from home.
  • Your kids are immediately entertained for hours by building castles, allowing mom and dad to sit nearby enjoying a frosty beverage.
  • When you’re done with the bucket, you can leave it at the pool, and feel confident in knowing that other children will make good use of it.

And the castle building begins!

It’s win for the whole family. So, thank you Disney. Thank you for the little green bucket. You’ve made my world a better place to be.

What’s your favorite thing about Disney kids’ meals? Let us know in the comments below!

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11 Comments

  1. I am so with you on this one! Loved the bucket on the last trip, and not planning on bring sand toys this time ’round – the kids are already looking forward to getting the Disney bucket.

  2. Griffin says:

    We got one last year at Restaurantosauraus as you mentioned. The problem with getting one there is what to do with it? We ended up throwing it away because we didn’t want to carry it around the rest of the day. It’s a neat idea if there is sand around, but not that useful inside of a park.

  3. Angie says:

    I would guess they had them in Animal Kingdom so you could bring them over to the dig site.

  4. canadianslovewdw says:

    is there any disney branding on it or just a generic made in china dollar store item…

  5. Erin says:

    It’s just a plain bucket. To me, that’s actually part of the charm. If it were a special bucket, then my kids would become attached to it and want to bring it home. But since it is fairly generic, it serves it’s purpose at WDW, but then we don’t feel any need to bring a dirty bucket home with us. Perfect.

  6. Kimberly says:

    Another lover of the green bucket! My DD had a blast at Stormalong Bay with hers, then handed it off to a child who was just arriving as we were going in for the evening. We did this every day for a week and it never got old to her – or to me.

    Like Erin, I love that it’s not branded so we don’t have to bring it home. ick.

  7. PageK says:

    You know, I could swear that circa 2003, there was a dessert at Ohana’s served in a bucket. I need to dig through my photos and check it out!

  8. Josh says:

    I totally remember all the little green buckets being carried around in the wave pool at Blizzard Beach and was wondering where all the little kids were getting the from.

    Thanks, Erin!

  9. Kim says:

    I’m also a Mom that loves the green bucket! When we drove to WDW, we even brought them home and packaged friends souvenirs inside of them!

  10. Shayne says:

    Brilliant! I love that as many times as we’ve been to Disney, I’m still learning new stuff!

    We purchased DVC at Beach Club in 2009 and will be taking our first trip there with our kids later this year. Great to know about the bucket kids meal option at SAB!

  11. Katie says:

    I love the garbage pail at the waterparks!! It is soft serve ice cream with tons of toppings! It is also served in the plastic sand buckets. There is enough ice cream for for people or more!

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