Carrying a bag when visiting Disney Parks is an absolute must. You never know what you may encounter on your visit, and having a bag packed with essentials will help to keep you prepared and keep your day moving along efficiently.
“Essentials” may look a little different to each family, but we believe that there is a list of core essentials that should be in every parkgoer’s bag.
Today, we’re going to share with you the items that we have found to be must-haves over our family’s many visits to Disney parks. If you are going or planning a trip to Disney, use this list to make a shopping list before your trip!
This post is part of our Disney Travel Tips series
Are you working out what sort of bag you’ll need? We have you covered for this, too with our favorite Disney backpacks
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If you typically have a large wallet in your purse, we recommend finding a small and compact option to bring to the parks with you. You only need the essentials, such as a photo ID and credit card; leave all other valuables behind in a hotel safe.
Orlando especially is known for pop-up rain showers, and sometimes they can be light and short, and other times you may get caught in a pretty heavy downpour.
We always recommend keeping rainwear in your bag, whatever the season, including a rain poncho, umbrella, and maybe a light jacket. We can’t stress enough to buy your rain ponchos ahead of time because you can find them within Disney shops, but you will pay much more than you would pay in a standard store – they know a captive audience when they see one!
When walking around the parks all day, trust me, you are going to get sweaty and potentially smelly. A small deodorant and other hygienic toiletries will help keep you comfortable and fresh all day
Ladies, don’t forget a small pouch with feminine hygiene items – and if you have tween/teen girls, be prepared!
Although we will say enjoying Disney food and treats is without a doubt a part of the experience, and we encourage you to try a variety of things while you visit, it can be quite expensive after a few days, especially if you are one that likes to snack a lot.
You would be surprised just how hungry you get when you are walking around a theme park all day! To alleviate some of the burdens on your wallet, Disney also allows you to bring food into the parks. We will always pack a few nonperishable or packaged snacks in our bag to enjoy between Disney meals.
Refillable Water Bottle
If you are a water drinker, you will save a ton of money by bringing your own refillable water bottle into the park. A bottle of water at any of the snack stands will run you about $5-$6 per bottle; however, if you have your own water bottle, you can refill it for free at any of the drinking fountains and water stations throughout the park grounds.
Going hand in hand with your refillable water bottle, if you are one that is not a big fan of plain water, having some sort of enhancer such as Mio or Crystal Light is a great way to enjoy a flavorful beverage without the added cost of purchasing a drink in the parks.
For added benefits during your visit, try something with extra electrolytes and hydration, such as Liquid IV or Powdered Gatorade Packets.
With how much we use our smart devices these days, the battery life more than likely will not last you the entire day at a Disney park, especially if you are like me and like to be there from open to close.
Make sure to have a portable charger (or maybe two) in your bag to allow you to keep your devices going strong. Don’t forget the right cords!
First Aid Kit
A basic first aid kit is an absolute must if you have kids! You are bound to have someone fall and scrape a knee or something of that nature, they’re just so excited to be at Disney World! There are first aid stations and medical help on-site at Disney Parks, but it is much simpler to take care of it yourself if it is a simple injury or situation.
Hand Sanitizer and/or Wipes
It is so easy and convenient to have either hand sanitizer or some kind of wipes with you for those times that you enjoy a sticky treat, or your hands are feeling a little dirty from touching all of the ride cars and rails in line queues.
These supplies make for a quick and easy cleanup without the need to stand in line at the bathrooms to wash your hands.
A Reusable Straw
If you weren’t already aware, Disney properties have banned disposable plastic straws in an effort to reduce waste and save the turtles and other sea life that may suffer from trash being disposed of in the ocean.
They do offer eco-friendly paper straws to their guests but if you’re like me, I am not a fan of paper straws at all. For this reason, I like to pack a reusable straw that I can carry with me and use when I’m having drinks at the parks.
If you have little ones in your group, they can become a bit restless waiting in long lines and spending the day walking around the parks.
It’s a good idea to keep small toys, crafts, or coloring books and activities in your bag that can be used to occupy some of their time and keep them moving throughout the long day. (You may also want to check out some of our boredom busters for waiting in line at Disney).
Although you can access the park map on your mobile device, we’ve always found that having a physical map works best for our family.
We like to plan out our day, so will take a pen and mark up our map to coordinate and organize which rides we want to hit first and make a schedule of our day. Another bonus to having the physical map is it is handy if your phone or smart device dies throughout your day (see portable charger above!!)
Nothing is worse when you are trying to enjoy your day at Disney World, and you have a headache come on, or perhaps your feet are in pain from walking around all day.
We always take a travel-size medicine container and throw in a few OTC pain reliefs in case it is needed.
Portable/Battery Operated Fan
As we mentioned before, Orlando is HOT! It’s pretty warm all year round, but if you are visiting between the months of April-August, you will certainly want to have this item in your bag!
A handheld, battery-operated fan is a great way to keep you a little cooler as you walk around the parks. If you can find one that also provides some misting, that will be even better!
Autograph Book and Sharpie
As we’ve made our way through the COVID season, Disney has introduced more and more character experiences and opportunities to meet your favorite Disney characters.
Be sure to keep an autograph book and pen/marker on hand to ensure you’re prepared and ready to get the autographs of those you meet.
Due to the mess and cleanup that it causes, you cannot purchase gum at Disney Parks. It is not a prohibited item for you to bring into the park, but you just won’t find it in any snack carts or shops. If you are a gum chewer, be sure to pack your own.
If you plan to ride any water rides, such as Splash Mountain, you will definitely want to have something to keep your smart devices safe and dry.
These dry-bag phone pouches are a great option and are affordable. In a pinch, you can also use Ziploc bags as a solution.
The penny machines scattered throughout each park are a great and cheap way to get a souvenir to commemorate your experience.
Most machines cost 50-75 cents plus your penny, so make sure that you have plenty of quarters and pennies packed in with you.
If you are anything like us when you visit Disney, you are probably taking a whole lot of pictures. I mean a lot!
With smartphones these days, digital cameras are not as popular, but I will say it is nice to have a separate device to take your photos on, and this way, you can conserve your phone battery for other uses – and may not feel so nervous about the kids having a go with the camera!
We hope that this list has provided you with some good ideas for what you may need to pack in your Disney bag. If you have an upcoming visit to Disney World or Disneyland, be sure to take this list with you and make a list for a pre-vacation shopping trip to ensure you have all the essentials on hand.
Did we miss any essential items that you may carry in your Disney bag? Feel free to share with us and other reads to ensure that we aren’t missing out!
More Disney & Orlando Planning Tips
- Got a family of 5+ or staying in a group? The Best Disney Accommodation For Large Families
- Stay off-site in Orlando – These Hotels Offer Shuttles to Disney & Universal
- Planning out your day at Disney World – Is it Worth Parking at WDW?
- Do you know Disney’s stroller rules? – These are the best Disney size-compliant strollers
- Traveling with toddlers? – This is the best Disney Park for younger children
- Dressing for a day at Disney – cute and comfortable outfits and, most importantly, the ideal shoes to wear for Disney
- Planning to visit Disney during the holiday season? Everything you need to know about Disney World in Winter
- Enough of theme parks? Here are all the best Non-Theme Park Days Out in Orlando
- Mixing Disney and a beach vacation? Discover the Closest Beaches to Disney World in Florida and Beaches Nearest Disneyland in California
More Family Packing Checklist
Do you love a packing checklist as much as we do? Signing up for our mailing list will get you complete access to all our travel checklists, or you may like to read more of the details, including:
- The Ultimate Packing List for Baby Travel
- What to Pack For a Day at The Beach
- Help Your Little Kids to Independently Pack
- Packing Checklist for Your Tweens and Teens
- Best Packing List for Family Hikes
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