Must-Have Items for Your Disney Park Bag
The first rule of being a Disney-park goer: always come prepared. And being prepared means having some specific items with you to make your park day a bit easier, and in turn, a bit more magical!
Living 1,006.1 miles away in Pittsburgh means that we don’t get to visit Disney quite as often as we’d like, and when we do make the trek down to the sunshine state, we only have a limited amount of days to visit the parks - which means that we need to make the most out of all of those days, regardless of what the weather looks like, and regardless of how much of our vacation budget we’ve already spent!
So today, we are sharing our list of must-have items in your Disney park bag (especially for those long get-the-most-out-of-your-tickets park days!).
A Solid Backpack-Style Bag!
The first and most important piece of packing your Disney bag: the bag itself! Make sure you have a solid bag, preferably with a zipper (so it doesn’t accidentally open!), that can house all of the items you’ll be taking with you. We recommend bringing a backpack-style bag (opposed to a crossover-style), since you’ll be carrying your items around for quite a few hours in the parks! Also, make sure your bag isn’t too cheap. We’ve made the mistake of bringing a $10 drawstring bag with us into the parks, only to have it break an hour into a 12 hour park day! Carrying around all of our stuff in a plastic grocery bag was not the funnest thing in the world 😉
And if you’re looking for a great backpack for the parks, give this one a look! It’s lightweight, water resistant, has a ton of pockets, and is relatively cheap!
Refillable Water Bottle(s)
Paying out of pocket for snacks/meals and want to save a TON of money on drinks? (Water bottles in Disney cost $3.50 a piece as of October 2018). Here’s a tip: stick to water, and better yet, bring your own water bottle into the parks! There are water fountains located around each park where you can easily refill throughout the day.
Nick and I turn into germaphobes when we enter a Disney park, and we hate having to find a restroom to wash our hands in before eating, especially if we’re standing in line for a ride or don’t know where the closest restroom is! Our champion when those unexpected hunger pains strike is a little bottle of hand sanitizer that hangs from one of our backpacks. It’s easily accessible and helps us stay as healthy as we can throughout our trip!
Speaking of snacks, Disney has some amazing snack options (turkey legs, ice cream sandwiches the size of your head, Dole Whip, and giant cupcakes - oh my!), but eating multiple meals, as well as multiple snacks on a day where you’re spending 8 to 12 hours in a park can be so expensive! Plus… you’re walking around the entire day, which is bound to make you a bit hungrier than usual. We like to bring granola bars, pretzels, and peanuts to tide us over until our “big meal” in the park (we usually stick to one paid meal per park day!). And this might go without saying, but make sure to bring snacks that aren’t perishable - melted chocolate or stinky cheese at the bottom of your bag will not make for a very happy end to your day! (Been there, done that - a few times! 😉 ).
Poncho or Compact Umbrella
A poncho or small umbrella will save the day if you get caught in a rain storm while you’re at a Disney park! Instead of being cooped up beneath an overhang waiting for the storm to pass, you can keep experiencing the parks while staying (mostly) dry! During the spring and summer months, we’re able to find cheap, clear one dollar ponchos at our local Dollar Tree - so we always stock up as soon as we see them for our next trip!
This one probably goes without saying, but I think it’s worth reiterating! Nick is a ginger with the fairest skin of all, which means that he’s applying sunblock all day long - even on cloudy days… and rainy days - ha! Forgetting sunblock for him puts us both in a state of emergency!
Five words: do not forget your sunglasses. I (Jenna) have a bad habit of forgetting my sunglasses on park days, and I always regret it! That Florida sun is rough (especially when you’re used to cloudy Pittsburgh weather!), and without sunglasses, your walk around any park can quickly become uncomfortable. And if you can… bring a backup pair, just in case you lose your original pair!
Portable Battery Charger
Planning on snapping selfies on your phone throughout the day? Or simply want to make sure you have a way to communicate with the rest of the people you’re traveling with, no matter how long you use your phone or decide to stay in the parks? If so, a portable battery charger for your phone is a must-have! You can easily pick up one of these on Amazon.
Small Plastic Bags
We’ve learned this one the hard way - always bring a small plastic bag to place your phone in so it doesn’t get wet on water rides! #deathtophonebysplashmountain
You might be wondering why gum is a part of this list, since it’s more of a personal choice - but for those of us who are gum chewers, did you know that Disney doesn’t sell gum anywhere on their property, which means you can’t find it anywhere in the parks? It’s true! This was one of Walt himself’s own stipulations when the park first opened. One of the things he despised most about county fairs he had attended was the amount of (gross!) chewed gum everywhere. Just make sure you don’t throw your gum on the ground when you’re finished!
This could be a game changer on a sweltering hot summer park day, especially during the hottest summer months of July and August when humidity is at an all-time high! A “mist bottle” not only acts as a regular water bottle, but also provides a fine mist to keep you cool! Take it from our personal experience of honeymooning in Disney during the hottest week of the year back in August of 2015 - you might want to have something to cool you off throughout the day so you don’t melt. Actually, after that trip, we decided we would try to never go down to Disney in August again! But, if we do, we will totally be bringing one of these with us!!
In contrast to the mist bottle above, during the winter months when it’s a bit cooler, consider bringing a light sweatshirt with you for the cooler winter Florida evenings - it does tend to get chilly at night, even in Orlando!
Until next time, to Boardwalk & beyond!
Jenna & Nick