What to pack for a Day at the Parks
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Even for a Disney veteran, deciding what to pack in your Disney bag can be a challenging task. You definitely don’t want to under pack, however you don’t want to over pack and carry a bunch of other stuff around. As a newbie to the parks it can be daunting to figure out what you should and shouldn’t pack in your Disney bag.
I am the person who will always under pack for a trip to Disney. I hate carrying extra stuff around the parks. Especially when I end up having to carry a toddler around as well. Most of the time I can manage with what I have, but it seems like there is always something else I wish I had packed.
Being a family that visits disney several times a month with a toddler, we almost always have a Disney bag packed ready to go. Since we are passholders, most of our trips hardly ever last a full day. We carry the same essentials that any person visiting Disney should have in their bag. You never know when a two hour trip around the world at Epcot will turn into a 6 hour adventure.
Now that you are ready to begin packing your Disney parks bag, you first need to find a suitable bag. There are countless options for the kind of bag you can use for the bags. We prefer to use a backpack. You may want to pack a cooler or use two bags.
Whatever style of bag you decide to use, it can’t be any larger than 24” long x 15” wide x 18” high. This shouldn’t be problem if for using any standard backpacks or lunch totes.
Before you pack your bag make sure you are familiar with Disney’s policy on prohibited items. https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/park-rules/
What to pack?
Reusable Water Bottle
Bring your own refillable water bottle to the parks with you. You can always ask for a cup of water with ice at any of the quick service restaurants and refill your bottle, or you can use any of the water fountains around the park. Many of the water fountains will actually have cold water. If you forget to bring water, expect to pay $3 for a bottle of water or drink. While packing water, go ahead and thrown in an extra drink to two to avoid having to buy drinks later.
In Florida during the summer you can expect rain for at least 15 minutes every afternoon and you want to be prepared for it. Wouldn’t you hate to be walking around soaking wet for the rest of the afternoon after that quick downpour. I know I hate walking around the parks all wet. Yes you can buy ponchos at most stores throughout disney, however you may not be able to make it in time if you are standing in line for your favorite ride. A rain poncho can easily be thrown in your backpack and won’t take up much room.
While Disney cast members do an excellent job trying to keep everything clean around Disney. However, you may want to sang a table before they can clean it. Clorox wipes are great for wiping down the table to eat, or cleaning up a small mess.
Keeping your hands clean throughout the park to avoid germs is a challenge. Having hand sanitizer will make it easier to clean your hands before eating a snack or having lunch.
While this may not seem like a priority to have in your park bag you will regret not having it when your phone dies. If you plan on spending a large part of the day at the parks your phone will eventually die. You will want/need to charge it. You will use your phone to take pictures of your adventures, exploring the Play Disney app while waiting in line for rides and using the mydisneyexperience app to plan your day. Check out some of our favorite apps to use while at disney.
If you are the kind of person who doesn’t want to use your phone for pictures bring your camera. You can take thousands of photos throughout the day. The only limitation with a camera is no selfie sticks, however many people find ways around this and they end up in the parks.
Trying to visit disney on a budget, pack your own snacks so you are not spending tons of money on food throughout the day. A bag of popcorn will easily run you 8 dollars or a churro will cost you 5 dollars.
Florida gets hot during the Summer. Many of us joke that Florida has two seasons: hot and hotter. It can easily reach 100 degrees during the afternoon in the summer, throw in the humidity we have in central Florida and it can become unbearable. Having a small portable fan will help keep you cool while standing in those long lines or just walking around. If you have a toddler a Fan is an absolute must if you want to spend any length of time at disney.
I am horrible about remembering sunscreen, but having and using sunscreen is important to have on in Florida. Even when the sun isn’t shining it is possible to get burnt. I usually get burnt the worst on a cloudy day, because I am not expecting it.
This seems like a no brainer, but we have shown up to disney several times with one of us missing our magicbands. No its not the end of the world, just more of a headache. You will just have to go over to guest services to get a pass to enter the park. We always keep a set of magicbands strapped to our Disney parks bag.
Being out in the sun all day can dry out and burn your lips. Having a good Lip Balm with SPF can help keep your lips moisturized and from burning.
Disney does a great job of keeping the mosquitos away from the parks and resorts, they can’t keep them all away. The mosquitos become most active right around sunset. Having bug repellent will make for a happy toddler who isn’t scratching all night at their arms and feet. If you have ever been bitten by a mosquito they are a pain.
First Aid Kit
You want to make sure you have bandages, antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone for those pesky mosquitoes, pain relievers.
Ziplock bags will be great to have to store random things that will collect in your backpack. They are also great to keep your wet clothes after splash mountain, or your kids outfit after they spilt their lunch on it.
In an effort to go green, Disney has replaced all their plastic straws with paper straws. Having your own reusable straws will allow you to enjoy a drink without having to taste a soggy paper straw. It is important to remember when packing straws to bring to the parks, you cannot bring in any plastic straws into Animal Kingdom. They will confiscate any plastic straws you try to bring in, even the ones attached to your kids juice box.
If you forget to pack gum and get a craving for it, you will be in trouble as Disney World does not sell Gum on property.
Baby Essentials for your Disney Parks Bag
If you are visiting disney with a baby or toddler here are some extras you will need in your Disney Parks Bag.
If you are visiting Disney with a little one, you will need to have a stash of diapers for your day. Make sure your Disney Parks bag is always packed with a handful of extra diapers, running out will be the worst feeling ever.
Just with diapers, you will need to have a decent stash of baby wipes to clean up messes.
Bring a couple with you, your baby will without a doubt drop one or two or one will get left behind somewhere. Put the Pacifier on a pacifier clip and clip it to the child so it will be harder to lose.
If you want to keep anything dry while you are at the parks, it will be the stroller, so make sure you have a good rain cover that will fit the stroller and keep it dry during the afternoon rain showers.
Don’t worry if you happen to forget any of these supplies, each park has a baby center located in the park that you can go and purchase the items you need.
Make sure you have your disney bag packed and ready to go for your next trip to disney. What is your must have for any trip to Disney?