Packing your park bag for Disney is considered an art form in my book. You want to make sure that you have everything you’ll need to get you through the day, but you don’t want to pack too much and be weighed down with heavy cargo. Knowing what to bring with you, and what to leave behind is crucial. Here are my top 15 items for your Disney Parks bag.
Sunscreen: The Florida sun can be brutal so be sure to keep your skin protected by reapplying often.
Lip Balm: The sun can really do a number on your lips. Along with your sunscreen, make sure to protect your lips by using a lip balm containing SPF throughout the day.
Sunglasses: Unless you want to shell out $20 or more dollars on a pair of sunglasses that you probably would not buy in your normal life, make sure to bring your own pair with you. I like to keep a pair in my park bag, and a backup pair at my resort.
Food and Drink
Snacks: Of course food is plentiful in the parks, but if you are trying to watch your budget or your calories, both can add up quickly. Go for snacks that are light, full of protein, and don’t require refrigeration. I like to pack protein bars such as Cliff Bars or a LARABAR. Trail mix with nuts and dried fruit is a great option as well. Avoid fruit that will bruise in your bag throughout the day or protein bars dipped in chocolate, as these will melt.
Water Bottle: You can get FREE water at any Quick Service dining location – just ask. I also like to bring a water bottle with me and refill throughout the day at drinking fountains. Why break the bank buying $3.00 water bottles all day when you can stay hydrated for free?
Hand Sanitizer: Germs are everywhere! Don’t bring home the unwanted souvenir of a cold of flu virus. Stay healthy and germ free by sanitizing often.
Wet Wipes: Hands, especially those of children, tend to get sticky throughout the day. Whether it’s a Mickey Ice Cream bar that melted, or cotton candy fingers – there is bound to be a reason to use a wet wipe! You can usually pick these up before your trip at the dollar store.
Table Covers: Disney Cast Members do their best to keep eating areas clean, but sometimes the power of the messy guest is just too much to keep up with. Disposable table covers are great for sticking to the table to make sure that there is a clean, mess free space to eat your meal. This also makes clean up easier for you because you can just peel it up with all the mess on it, and throw the whole thing away.
External Phone Battery: With all the photos that you’ll be taking and all the times you will be checking out wait times on your My Disney Experience app, it’s nice to have an external phone battery with you. Of course, you can always look for outlets or charging stations throughout your day, but I like the freedom and charging my phone in my park bag as I’m on the move.
Ziploc Bags: Water rides, such as Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids, and electronics, such as your new iPhone, camera, or chargers, do not mix! Before jumping on these rides, tuck these items into a re-sealable bag and save yourself the heartache of your brand new smartphone going for a swim. Additionally, if you tuck your sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and water bottle into a gallon size Ziploc bag, you will save yourself the hassle of having to rinse off or wring out the other items in your bag when one of these bottles leaks.
For Your Comfort
Towel: Before heading to the parks for the day, grab a hand towel from your room. These roll up nicely for the bottom of your bag and have so many uses when you are in the park. Use it to wipe away the sweat of a long hot day, wipe of wet seats on rides, use for stroller shade, or sit on it during parades.
Ponchos: Don’t get caught out in the rain without your poncho! These fold up super small and are great to have on hand in case an afternoon rain storm pops up. While I would never wish bad weather on anyone’s vacation, rain at Disney can actual mean less crowds!
“Freshen Up” Kit: Maybe I’m vain, but I like to have a couple of items in my bag to keep my fresh throughout the day. A small hairbrush, travel size deodorant, and some lip gloss is usually all I need to get me through the day without feeling (and looking) like a zombie.
Pins: Pin trading is a great way to interact with Cast Members! Not only will they share their pins with you, but they will share their knowledge as well. Not sure where to stop for lunch? Ask a Cast Member while you scan their lanyard for the perfect Tiana pin. These small keepsakes take up next to no room in your bag, are relatively inexpensive (as long as you are only buying one of two to get yourself started), and can be displayed numerous ways once you get home.
Autograph Book and Pen: Some of my best Disney memories include meeting my favorite characters. Collecting character signatures in your autograph book is a fun way to interact with all your favorite characters, and gather some FREE mementos from your trip. Get creative with them when you get home and make a collage or add them to your scrapbook.
If you have these items in your park bag, you can be sure that your day at Disney will be a little more magical and stress free. Of course, what you bring in your bag will depending on if you have children and what ages they are, but I think these 15 items provide a good general guideline.
Did I miss anything? What items do you always like to have in your park bag? Share your thoughts and tips with me in the comments.