Do you carry a bag when visiting the parks? If it’s your first time, you may be wondering “What should I bring with me in my bag?”. Today I am going to tell you everything that I make sure gets packed in my Disney park bag.
If I could go bagless, I would because that means you get to skip the Bag Check lines, but there are some essentials I must always have with me. I do switch up the type of bag I carry depending on how I feel. Sometimes I’ll have a backpack style or sometimes I carry a cross-body purse.
The backpack I like to carry is the Vera Bradley Lighten up Backsack (shown below). It feels very light and can carry a fair amount of stuff. It’s one of the most comfortable backpacks for me.
Now, let’s get to what I like to pack in my bag!
Florida is hot and sunny! You need to be hydrating at all times, especially during the summer months. You can get ice water from any of the quick-service restaurants, but I always like to have a water bottle on hand so I can grab a sip anytime. I always order groceries to my room and part of my order always includes a case of water. You can order groceries from a service like Instacart or Amazon Prime.
For the same reason as #1, it’s hot and sunny in Florida! Make sure to protect your skin because a bad sunburn can really put a damper on your vacation. I always make sure to have a smaller travel sized bottle on hand to throw in my Disney park bag to re-apply if needed throughout the day.
Not only is my iPhone my go-to photography device, but having a proper smartphone will also give you access to Disney’s My Disney Experience app. An essential tool for touring the parks as you will have access to ride wait times, fastpass times, your Photopass pictures and so much more, all at your fingertips.
Even though Florida is known for being sunny, it is a tropical destination, so rain can roll in at any time. If you visit during hurricane season (June – November), then you will most definitely want to be prepared for rain during the day. I always throw a poncho in my bag, just so I am ready in case it does start to rain. That way, I can just throw on my poncho and keep going. A lot of people will leave the parks, so having a poncho so you can continue touring can sometimes work to your advantage if the crowds clear out.
#5. Autograph Book & Pen
Do you plan on meeting some characters? If so, make sure to carry an autograph book and pen with you! It will create a cute little souvenir for you. Don’t forget the pen and try to make sure it’s a larger sized one so characters in costume can handle it properly.
#6. Blister Band-Aids
You will want to be prepared for all the walking that you will be doing. Sometimes, this can create havoc on your feet, especially if you are not used to walking long distances in your shoes. I always make sure to have a few blister band-aids on hand just in case one of us needs them. There is nothing worse than walking around with painful feet from a blister. To avoid that pain or having to leave the park, throw a few in your bag as precaution.
#7. Cooling Towel
You will see a lot of people carrying those mister fans in the parks to cool off, but personally I find them too bulky to carry around. Instead, I opt for a cooling towel. Much more compact and just as refreshing when you wrap it around the base of your neck. They fold up really small and weigh nothing in your bag.
I absolutely must have gum on me at all times. Sometimes if I feel a bit queasy from a ride, chewing on a piece of minty gum always helps. You will NOT find gum sold in any store in Disney, so you will have to bring your own. If chewing gum is important to you, then make sure to pack it in your Disney park bag.
#9. Money/Gift Cards
If you are staying at a Disney hotel, then you will have the option of charging any purchases on your Magicband. I prefer to use cash and gift cards as much as I can since charging on my credit card can result in fees from the exchange rate (I travel from Canada). If your preferred method of payment is cash, then don’t forget to bring it along with you.
If you want to save on food, then make sure to pack your own snacks. Like what I do for water, I also order snacks in my grocery order. I’ll throw a few in my bag each day so I can easily grab something on the go and save a few bucks.
#11. Wet Wipes
Disney is a magical place, but there can be germs lurking! With so many people in one place, you are at risk of coming in contact with germs. Washing your hands is always the best practice, but for quick on the go hand washing, I like to have some Wet Wipes on hand. I like to purchase these single pack wet wipes so they don’t take up too much space in my park bag.
Are you a pin trader or do you want to get in to pin trading? If so, don’t forget to bring your pins along with you to the parks. Every cast member will have pins on them to trade, so best to have them with you in case you spot one that catches your eye and you want to make a trade!
Be prepared for any minor ailments, like headaches or cramps. You wouldn’t want it to cut your day short, so I always bring along some type of pain reliever just in case I need it.
#14. Portable Charger
You want to make sure your phone stays charged at all times, especially if it is your only source for taking photos and videos. Having a portable charger with you can be a lifesaver. If you forget to bring one with you, there are several locations throughout the resorts and parks where you can purchase fuel rods on the go.
BONUS #15. Flip Flops (Animal Kingdom Only)
On the day I plan to go to Animal Kingdom, I will always pack a pair of flip flops in my bag. I like to wear running shoes as I find them the most comfortable, but not great footwear if you plan on riding Kali River Rapids. I made that mistake once and then ended up with soaking wet shoes for the rest of the day. Now I have learned my lesson and do a quick shoe change before I get on that ride 😉
These are my essentials that I bring with me every time, but for a full Disney park bag checklist, you can check out the one I have posted in my Planning Guide. Also, please sign up for my email list and you will get full access to all my FREE planning worksheets.
Do you bring anything with you to the parks that is not mentioned above? Tell me in the comments below!
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Laura is a mom of one adorable girl with a love of all things Disney. She traveled to Disney World with her family in 2010 and was hooked. They have since been a total of over 15 times. With all her knowledge of planning Disney trips, she now wants to share that with others. She loves giving guidance, tips and advice to others planning their magical vacation!