With all the planning that goes into a Disney trip, there are a few things that people don’t think about. What to bring with you into the parks is one of those things. After taking an hour to get to the park and go through security checks, the last thing you want is to not have something you need. Whether you’re a family of five or just solo-tripping it, here are 13 must-have items for any day in the theme parks!
A Holder of All the Things
I know this seems obvious. If you’re bringing things with you, you have to have some place to hold them, duh. If you’re a woman, you know the struggle of having no actual pocket room in any pair of pants that are made. Why give us pockets that aren’t even big enough for our phones… much less anything bigger than lip balm? And IF we have pockets in a dress or romper (shout out to the MVP of the dress pocket!) they aren’t really secure for our valuables.
Which leads me to the holder of all our things.
I love a good tote, but for an all day at Disney, you need something that has a zipper and something that will be comfortable to lug around all day. I suggest a backpack. It doesn’t need to be a multi pocket, going on a campout for the week kinda thing… no, just a simple one.
I personally like taking my Fjällräven Kånken Backpack. 1) It has 30-something different colors so you can find something you love… or buy a lot and coordinate them to your outfits. And 2) it is water resistant. This is a real win for any ride you could get wet on and you just never know when that afternoon rain shower might roll on in. You can even go full disney and get a Loungefly. They are all the rage in the parks. Here is a tropical version! If you want a different bag, go for it. But make sure it can fully close!
All the Things
If you are like me and have the biggest wallet in America, grab a tiny one to throw in your bag to the parks. That way you can take a few items that you’ll need like your ID, credit card and cash. We always take our AP card, too — just in case our MagicBand didn’t work. That way you aren’t lugging around unnecessary cards. *cough* Target *cough*
I don’t care if I have the latest iPhone, that mother is gonna die between rope drop and closing down the park. We do a lot on our phone but even if you don’t, using the My Disney Experience App and taking pictures will drain it.
You can buy an external one to take with you or you can do the FuelRod stations Disney has. (Portable Phone Charger & Battery Purchase Kiosks) My suggestion is to bring your own. That way you have it with you when you need it and you don’t have to go hunt down a charging station to get or replace one. It is really your preference on which you’d like, but I would highly suggest being prepared than you being stuck with a dead phone.
Queue the Usher song: “It’s getting hot in herrrre!” (But let’s keep on all our clothes… this is Disney after all!) But man does it get hot, especially in Florida. My theme of this post is JUST BE PREPARED. (Emily… restrain the Lion King song… don’t do it.)
I love my pink Mickey fan. (It also lights up colors at night!) I like this one because it is small in size but gives a mighty blow (giggle, giggle). It isn’t too heavy so it isn’t going to weigh the bag down. It works great for me when I am hot but you can also get any portable fan. I also see this neck fan EVERYWHERE in the parks. Big fan favorite for a hand free breeze. If you get a different one, pay attention to weight and size. While it might be a great fan, you are going to be carrying it around all day. But hear me loud and clear, when you’re waiting in a line in 100 degrees and 98% humidity, you’re gonna thank me you have some air flowing in your sweaty face.
This company is amazing to begin with. If you haven’t heard of them, they have normal straws, big straws, sporks and all sorts of amazing “foreverables”. I love having my straw with me in the parks for all my drinks. I know I am helping the planet and it is something that is only mine. They come in super cute carrying cases and all colors. Plus, with more places going to paper straws— you know three swigs and it becomes a suckless little soggy cup invader and sip inhibitor. SO to avoid that nightmare of going through 10 paper straws, you’ll want this thing on hand. Best new park must-have in my opinion.
If you think this is something I am just adding because of COVID, you have not been around very long. I have always brought sanitizer with me to parks, because GERMS. Don’t believe: here is a picture of our second date in Disney.
Yup, that pink thing hanging off the bag is some good ol germ killer. If that isn’t further proof, check out this travel essential post from 2018! Haha. I digress. Always try to wash your hands when you can but when you’re in a bind or just need some hand sani, it is there to kill those germs.
For the most part I can apply sunblock in the morning and be good for the day. But trust, if that’s not you, or you miiiiiiight need some later, BRING IT WITH YOU. You don’t want to have that internal debate in your head if you are going to spend $25 on a small bottle of sunscreen in Magic Kingdom’s Emporium, or just be fried. And being burnt to a crisp is no fun for the rest of your trip. Even if you don’t think you need it, protect your skin!!
Let’s keep this one short and sweet. If you’re new, Disney doesn’t sell gum. Period. If you are a gum lover like myself, you bring it or you’re out of luck. That’s all I’ll say about that.
One of those things that you don’t think about ‘til you need them. And in the middle of a park, if you need band-aids, you best have them right on you. If not, you’re either gonna be miserable and will have to walk to Disney’s first aid for some, or leave to get some from your resort. Those last two are time sucks. Bring them with you in case those new shoes said, “NOT TODAY TIMMY”, and gave you the blister from H-E- Double hockey sticks.
NOW, clearly this is a new addition to my bag. Things with masks are quickly changing. You now do not have to wear them outside, but they are still required on rides, and inside buildings. If masks are still a thing when you go, my best tip is to bring more than one type. You might looooooove one but by mid-day it might not be cutting it anymore. Or you have a backup if it gets wet or sweaty or you spill on it… it is just better to have some different options in case you need them. I love these Kitsch ones and am always a fan of some cute disposable ones too.
(Not for everyone. Your mileage might vary.)
All it takes is the perfect weather combined with an outdoor ride and “hello, chapped lips.” If you’re visiting in the summer, you’re going to need the SPF protection. For me, dry lips are one of the most annoying things. Take it if you agree.
Florida is wonderful. But it is a guarantee that in certain seasons, it is going to be perfect in the morning, STORM in the afternoon, and go back to blue skies right after. If you’re a person who spends all day in the park, you might want to take a poncho with you. You can buy the awesome Disney one or just some throwaways from Amazon. Or don’t take them at all. I’m known to risk it, take cover when needed, or just get drenched. It’s all part of the Disney experience lol.
Rides, weather, etc all can contribute to a nagging headache. Good to pack a travel Advil/Tylenol while you’re in the park just in case. Also obviously pack any prescription you need to take at specific times. It is important to stay healthy so you can have the best time possible.
This is definitely a personal preference. We take healthier snacks because those are harder to find in the park. If I could just have churros all day long without throwing up, I would. And sometimes I do. (Not throw up. Just eat junk.) But it is nice to have an organic granola bar and trail mix on hand just in case. It is also nice if you are trying to save some money. A $5 snack times everyone you’re traveling with times 7 days in the parks can add up quickly.
There you have it! Here are some really good items not to forget on your next trip and some to consider! Either way, be prepared and you’ll have the best time ever!!!
Did I forget any of your essential items?
I am ready for the next Disney trip now! Florida, here I come!