Author’s note: This is an accessible tip for those who require a straw to aid in drinking. I want you to be aware of the possibility that someday straws may be limited at Disney Parks. I am hoping to prevent others from being caught off guard like I was on the Disney Cruise Line. I am not implying that straws have or definitely will be eliminated at Disney Parks. Also, here is an article that better explains why some people need straws.
I recently returned from the WDW Radio Alaskan Adventure cruise on the Disney Wonder, and I had a big surprise when I first boarded the ship. Of course, my first stop was Cabanas for a quick bite to eat and a cold drink. To my surprise, there were no plastic straws or lids at the drink stations at Cabanas or at the Deck 9 drink station. Before sailing I had heard a rumor that Disney Cruise Line was phasing out plastic straws in favor of paper straws due to oceanic environmental concerns. I did not think this would affect my sailing date on June 18, 2018, because it was only rumored and not confirmed. Well, I was wrong.
Upon inquiring about a straw, as I need them to drink since I have cerebral palsy and drinking from a cup is hard to do and can be messy, I was informed by a head waiter that DCL has removed plastic straws and lids from the drink stations. After explaining my need for a straw in order to drink she went and found a small supply of straws for me and even put a note on my reservation that I needed them. At subsequent meals, our assistant waiter made sure that I had a straw in my beverage every night. I even asked my friend Chef Greg, the Executive Pastry Chef for DCL who was on board this trip, about the straws and lids, and he confirmed that this is a fleet-wide change and DCL is sourcing new sippy lids, but they had not arrived yet. Paper straws were available at the various bars around the ship.
Eliminating plastic straws and lids is not new to Disney, as they are not available or allowed at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park per the Disney Park Rules and Regulations, see Prohibited Items, point “m”, and a question about straws was recently answered on the Disney Parks Moms Panel. This seems to be a hot topic right now as Seattle has banned all plastic straws and utensils in restaurants. And according to this July 9, 2018, ABC News article, Starbucks and other companies are phasing them out as well.
So, my WDW Tip of the Week is to bring a small supply of bendy or reusable straws with you if you really need to use them. I tried a new set of stainless steel straws while I was at Walt Disney World this month. The set came with a thin bristle brush for cleaning, so hopefully, this will be a good alternative for me. I found the stainless straws easy to drink out of, and I liked them better than the paper straws at Animal Kingdom, as the paper ones dissolved easily and the tops crushed if bitten on.
Please return to the WDW Radio Blog/Podcast to learn more about our Alaska cruise. I will be posting trip reports soon!
(All photos are the personal property of the author.)
To learn more about Andrew, aka Disney on Wheels, and read his recent posts for the WDW Radio Blog click on his name at the top of this post.