What are the items that must be in your bag when heading out to a Disney Theme Park for the day? Check out our 10 Best List!
Our Park Bags
What’s in OUR park bag (or bags)? With two young children, we tend to pack a bit more than the average person. Usually, we each take our own bag to the park, along with a diaper bag.
|Lisa sports a LeSportSac bag on Main Street, USA|
Lisa opts for a minimalist approach. Her bag is slim and holds the essentials, her ID, money, Key to the World Card, Ticket, phone, small point and shoot camera, park maps, and lipstick. She may even squeeze the kids’ autograph books and pens in there. It also becomes home to all the Disney confetti Bella picks up. Her bag of choice is either her Mini Hipster or her LeSportSac.
|James’ permanent attachment is the backpack|
James is the family mule, he carries everything else. Bottles of water, First Aid kit, Sunscreen, extra clothes, snacks, Ponchos, DSLR camera and video cameras, plus camera accessories. All of this goes into his backpack. The key is utilizing the different pockets to organize everything so it’s easy to find.
|Our Diaper bag (bottom) usually hangs on
the back of the stroller, but can be carried as well
The Diaper Bag – This hangs on the stroller most of the time. But we remove it when we leave the stroller unattended. As you might guess, it holds everything we need for keeping our kids clean and happy: Diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, extra clothes, toys, snacks, etc.
Different Bag Approaches
In reading through the great comments on our giveaway post, it’s evident that there are a few different approaches to touring the parks when it comes to what to bring.
The Minimalist – “Efficiency” and “Speed” are your buzzwords. No security check for you if at all possible. It’s the bare minimum, wearing shorts with extra pockets, or carrying the smallest bag possible.
The Average Joe – You’ve conceded that there just isn’t enough room in your pockets for the things you want or need to bring into the park. Your bag of choice is a backpack or messenger bag. Easy to carry, and doesn’t get in the way too much.
The Uber-Packer – “Be Prepared…” For Everything! You’ve got anything and everything in your bag(s) and you’re prepared for any situation that arises. Your bag of choice is whatever it takes to hold all of it! The bigger the better! The more pockets, the better! And everyone in your group who’s capable is carrying something!
The absolute musts, these were on just about all of our readers’ lists. If they left it off, they must have assumed it was understood these were already in their bags! You might get away with just sticking these in your pockets or using a strap. But all it takes is a few accessories and you’ll need at least a small bag.
At Minimum, you’ve got to have your park ticket, ID, room key, and some cash or a credit card. Add your insurance cards, other credit cards, gift cards, etc. and you’ll need the whole wallet.
2. Cell Phone
Free WiFi in the parks and the great apps now available make your cell phone even more of a necessity in the parks! You’ll want to bring a spare battery and probably your charger as well!
The recharging stations at the Tangled Area were one of our 10 Best things about New Fantasyland!
Your phone may be your camera, and that’s fine. But some like to have a dedicated camera for photos and video, and sometimes separate devices for both. You’ll need to decided whether to carry extra batteries, extra memory cards, charger, and maybe even extra lenses or even a tripod!
A day at a Disney theme park often starts very early and ends very late. It includes a lot of walking and standing around, often in the sun, heat, and sometimes rain. Here’s what our readers had in their bags to cope with that.
You need to stay hydrated, and bottled water in the parks is pricey. While Disney provides water for no extra charge (drinking fountains, or ask for ice water at restaurants), many people choose to bring their own water. Personally, I’d opt for a refillable bottle that can be stored inside the bag for when you’re on a ride or inside an attraction.
Disney keeps its parks extremely clean, but any place with that many people is bound to have some germs. And all those snacks mean there will be messes. At minimum, you’ll want to have a travel-size hand sanitizer. For families with kids, wipes and tissues are a necessity. Some of our readers said they pack small towels or washcloths. I could see those getting soaked in ice water and being used to cool yourself off on a hot day!
This category would also include everything to keep your little ones in diapers clean. Extra diapers, wipes, lotions, etc. Each Theme Park has a baby Care Center, which is a nice, cool, comfortable place to change, feed, or just let your little one get some relief from the sun and heat.
If there’s one thing out of our control, it’s the weather. Sunscreen is a must for most of us in the sun, and rain storms can pop up out of nowhere. If being wet may bother you, our readers suggest some ponchos for the family, or a travel umbrella. Other popular items to consider: hats, extra clothes, jacket or sweater, sunglasses, moleskin, and a portable fan/mister.
As much fun as a day at a Disney park can be, it can also be a stress time-bomb waiting to go off in your face. Thankfully, it’s a bomb that can be defused with proper planning.
7. First Aid/Medication
A travel size first aid kit can be a life saver (figuratively) to deal with those manageable issues like cuts, scrapes, bruises, blisters, etc. You can also pack some pain relievers, and make sure to bring any prescription medications you need to take during the day or as needed.
Each theme park has a First Aid station. For more serious issues, check out our post on How to Handle Medical Emergencies at Walt Disney World.
Disney has some amazing snacks. But constantly buying snacks will get expensive. Pack handy snacks like mints or gum, goldfish, pretzels, or fruits to help stave off the cravings. It will save you money too, allowing you to splurge on that “I gotta have it” snack!
Want to know what to splurge on? Check out our 10 Best Snacks at Walt Disney World
Disney Parks have great rides and shows, but it’s not all about those traditional attractions anymore. Disney is getting interactive, and guests are getting interactive on their own as well. In addition to park maps and time guides, our readers are packing their Pin Trading gear, Autograph Books, Pressed Penny books, and Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom cards. On top of that, we’ve got guests bringing books to read while on line, bubbles, Disney guides, Nintendo 3DS games, and even glow sticks, which is a great idea at night!
Your Personal Touch
|Our personal choice is usually a festive hat or a Disney friend|
10. Random Items
The last spot on our list goes to the thing that might be individual to you but not needed by everyone. It could be something that fits one of these other categories, or it might be completely off the wall. One reader had a blanket in their bag. I’m not quite sure if that was for napping, having a picnic lunch, for sitting on while watching the parade, or perhaps for hiding under out of a fear that someone will steal their Mickey Bar.
Sentimental, quirky, necessity, or just because… this last item is whatever you want for whatever reason you want it, provided it fits in the bag, of course.
A shout-out here to Zip-loc baggies. I’m a big fan of having these in your bag, in all different sizes. Basically, you can use them for storing all the items we listed above and keeping it all separated and dry. And throw some extra in there for the off-chance you’ll need one. They have many uses!
Thank you so much to all our readers who took the time to comment and let us know what you carry in the parks. We really enjoyed your participation! We’d love to hear more from you, and perhaps that will help inspire future posts and maybe even future giveaways.
So, We want to know: What is the weirdest thing you take to the parks? And what kind of bag do you prefer?