Every time I go to Walt Disney World, I spend so much time thinking about what I will need in my park day bag to make my day as magical as possible. If you are a parent, you know how quickly your bag can fill up! Depending on who is traveling with me, I like to carry a crossbody bag or a backpack into the parks. Both are very comfortable and are able to fit on attractions securely. Here are my Top 10 suggestions on things to bring along with you into the parks to have your day go smoothly.
10- Hair Brush– This may not apply to everyone, but, I have long, thick hair and those water rides do a doozy to my hair. I love having a small hairbrush or comb with me so I can brush through it to avoid a knotty situation at the end of the day. And don’t forget some hair ties too….they are great for pulling wet hair back and keeping it out of your face!
9- Mints and Gum– You may have never noticed this, but, Disney does NOT sell gum ANYWHERE on property!!! Their rationale behind this is that they want to keep their parks and resorts looking as pristine as possible. You are allowed to chew gum in the parks, so no worries there. Just be sure to dispose of it properly when finished. There’s nothing worse than stepping in gum or having a stroller wheel get all gummed up. And, you may already have this in your carry-on bag for your flight to avoid the dreaded ear popping!
8- Hand Sanitizer– Hand sanitizer or wipes is a must for my family! Disney is a very popular place, and with being popular comes people…and germs. I connect a little hand sanitizer to the outside of my bag so it’s readily available throughout the day for my family to use. And we always take a little extra time to wash our hands just to reduce the risk of getting sick. Because, getting sick in Disney is no fun!
7- Sunscreen– This is an obvious one, as Orlando remains sunny and fairly hot all year round. A small container of sunscreen will help keep you and your family’s skin protected and the ouchies away.
6- Portable Charger– I started bringing one of these with me in 2013. With the introduction of the My Disney Experience app and using my phone as my main photography source, I quickly realized that my battery life was draining faster than ever. I love carrying a portable charger to give my phone a quick burst of energy while we are eating a meal. Then, I’m ready to go when we are done to continue capturing those beloved Disney memories!
5- Water Bottle– This is another biggie for me. We usually have a case of water delivered to our resort to enjoy throughout our trip. Bringing a water bottle into the parks will save so much money. And, you can ask for free cups of water at any of the quick service locations. Don’t pay for bottled water in the parks…it’s ridiculously expensive!!!
4- Autograph Book and Pen– My past trip was the first year my oldest son really loved interacting with the characters and he was obsessed with getting as many autographs as he could. We used an 8×10 photo mat to have the characters sign with Sharpies and then framed his favorite photo from vacation. Autograph books, pillowcases and hats are other great ways to collect your favorite characters signatures.
3- Cheap Sunglasses– It never fails that someone in our group always loses their sunglasses in the parks. Most recently, it was my mom who lost her’s on Dinosaur in Animal Kingdom. Bring along a check (yet stylish!) pair that you won’t mind if you lose. It’s much easier to swallow than losing an expensive pair. And while you’re at it, keep a backup pair in your room, just in case.
2- Flip Flops– Your feet will thank me on this one! I love to rotate shoes throughout my trip to ensure that my feet stay comfortable. If you love to wear sneakers to the parks, throw a pair of flip flops into your park bag and switch into them before you get onto any water rides. There’s nothing worse than walking around in wet socks and shoes, thus leading to blisters.
1- Ponchos– You can usually find cheap, compact ones in the camping section of any major store for less than $5. We stock up on these and throw one or two per person into our park bags. They are great in the event of a popup storm or even on water rides. I always wear one on Kali River Rapids in Animal Kingdom!! Side note on Kali River Rapids: The center of the raft where you used to be able to put your belongings no longer exists. So be sure to stow your valuables in one of the lockers outside the attraction or under your poncho!
So those are my necessities for traveling with my family. What do you like to pack in your park bag? Let us know!