Disney Quick Tips – Packing Your Carry on Bag

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Packing for the Disney Parks can be both stressful and exciting. There are several different thoughts on what to pack in your carry on bag when you fly to Disney:

  1. Pack everything you need for your entire vacation in one bag so you don’t have to deal with bag check.  This is my father.
  2. Pack only in your pockets- keys, wallet, money, ID, chapstick- and carry a book.  This is my husband.
  3. Pack a backpack with as many books, magazines, toys, handheld games, snacks and gadgets as possible.  This is my oldest son.
  4. Pack a little bit of everything, just in case.  This is me.

Several years ago when our family flew to Los Angeles to visit Disneyland our carry on bags basically contained the items listed in #2 and #3.  We were only focused on keeping our son, then age 9, occupied on his first flight.  It worked beautifully on the way out to California.  However, on the return flight home, we had a much different experience.  One flight was delayed which meant the connecting flight was missed and there were no more flights to our destination until the next day.  Look back at the items in #2 and #3… we weren’t prepared for this.  After spending too many hours in the airport and eventually a night in a hotel, I made a list of items that will always be with me on a flight, just in case!

  • 1 complete change of clothes for everyone in your party including underwear and socks
  • 1 lightweight jacket/ sweater for each person
  • travel toothbrush and toothpaste for each person
  • travel deodorant for those who need it
  • wash cloths and a hand towel- to wash and dry  your face
  • small travel size soap- to wash your face
  • small pillow and light weight blanket for each person
  • ear plugs for those who can wear them
  • travel lotion
  • medicines
  • hair ties
  • hair brush
  • hand sanitizer
  • magazines or books

If children are flying with you, plan on adding snacks, toys, games, books, diapers, wipes, formula, bibs, and additional clothes.   When you have to spend unexpected time at an airport or in a hotel, it’s nice to have your own “stuff” instead of buying or using loaners.  You also know your own family best so bring any other special or important items you will need that are not included in this list.

Also, if you are taking Disney’s Magical Express to your Disney Resort, remember your checked luggage will be several hours behind you arriving at the resort.  If you plan on going straight to the parks when you arrive, plan on packing any items you’ll need at the parks in your carry on bag.  If you plan on going swimming once you reach your resort, pack your swimsuits and sunscreen (travel size) in your carry on bag so you can hit the pools as soon as you arrive without waiting on your checked baggage.

What is a “must have” on your carry on list?  I’d love to hear!


  • Flying Your Family to Disney Without Going Crazy! Part One: Planning Ahead (chipandco.com)
  • Top 5 Uses for Carabiners at Disney World (chipandco.com)
Disney Quick Tips - Packing Your Carry on Bag

Disney Quick Tips - Packing Your Carry on Bag

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One thought on “Disney Quick Tips – Packing Your Carry on Bag

  1. Emergency credit card and cell phone plus charger. I just traveled with a 9 mo and though it would be great to carry on a lot of stuff, between her and the diaper bag I couldn’t lug much else.

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