We’ve taken our kids to Disney a couple of times and each time we go, I try to make notes of things to remember for our NEXT trip – let’s face it, once you go, it’s not like you’ve crossed it off of your to-do list. You’re always thinking of what to pack for the NEXT trip! The ages of children drastically affect the items needed to get through a day at the parks, but this list is a great starting point and is filled with the items I (and a couple of friends) won’t leave home without!
1. Duct Tape
I’m of the school of thought that there ALWAYS needs to be a roll of duct tape on hand. Its uses are limitless. We’ve used it for poncho repair, shoe repair, bag repair and more. After paying gas station prices for a teeny roll on our last trip, I’m now placing it on my list of things I MUST pack on the next trip. This one is ADORABLE! Check out other designs here. (affiliate link)
2. Rain Ponchos
Rain is a probability if you’re staying multiple days at the Disney parks. Certain times of year, it’s almost a guarantee. Disney sells ponchos, but they are a lot more expensive than you’ll pay if you plan ahead a little. Unless you camp/backpack often, you’ll really only need an inexpensive one like the one below (affiliate link). They’re lightweight and usually fold/stuff into a little bag which makes them easy to toss in the bottom of your backpack.
3. Ziploc Bags
Keep phones/cameras/wallets in gallon sized ziplock bag inside your backpack. Also, keep a couple of empty ones in there for unforeseen circumstances – rain drenched socks, diaper blowouts, etc. Whether they’re disposable or reusable (aff links), they’re priceless in a pinch.
4. Smart Phone
I love being unplugged during vacation, but Disney has a great app for checking wait times and food reservations, as well as changing Fast Pass selections. While you’ll hopefully want to leave your work/emails/texts behind while you’re on your magical getaway, you’ll find that your smart phone comes in quite handy. But even as awesome as your app is, you still might want to check out #12 on the list.
5. Portable Charger
If you are going to be using the apps on your phone a lot while you’re out and about, you may want to bring along a portable charger to help keep you powered up. This one (affiliate link) holds a charge for several hours and can re-charge your phone while you’re on the go. There are vending machines in the parks, but they’ll cost you $30 a pop.
6. First Aid Kit (At least band-aids)
Accidents happen. Even at Disney. Don’t forget to throw a first aid kit (aff) or at least a couple of band aids in your bag just in case. Even if there are no scrapes, there may be blisters from all of the walking. (And if you’re really stuck, a clean tissue and Item 1 on this list will help with blisters!)
7. Collapsible Water Bottles
No one wants to carry around bulky water bottles all day. These babies roll up and fit right in your backpack. Or use the clips and attach them to belt loops or the outside of your bag. We just used them on our trip and they were AMAZING!! There’s a slight learning curve with drinking from them, but they were high quality and DIDN’T LEAK! Grab some of these (affiliate) from Amazon.
The Florida sun can be brutal! Even if it’s not a time of year you’d typically apply sunscreen to yourself or your kiddos, you’d be wise to slather them down anyway. Sunburn on Day 1 can really put a damper on the rest of the trip.
Don’t load yourself down with snacks, but some nuts, protein bars or other small, non-melty items will be great to stash in your bag. Even if you have the Disney Dining Plan, it never hurts to be prepared for the “Mom, I’m hungry” that’s sure to come! These (affiliate) are small and stave off the hangry.
10. Hand Sanitizer
I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that every hard surface at Disney is antimicrobial. That’s just how awesome they are in that magical land. But, until I find that out for sure, I’m packing my hand sanitizer (affiliate) just in case. I still have kids that put their hands in their mouths and even one who’s at the “lick things” age. I know the sanitizer won’t protect us against mouth germs, it will help protect us from other people’s mouth germs! I’m not a germ-o-phobe, but I understand numbers. With the number of folks in the parks on any given day, there are billions of germs just waiting to get in!
11. Light up glow necklaces or bracelets
If you’re traveling to Disney during the winter months, there’s a lot of fun to be had after the sun goes down. And as soon as the sun begins to set, the merchandise carts hit the streets with a wide variety of items that light up. The parks are dark at night and having something that glows on your stroller and/or kids will help you be able to keep an eye on them in your final hours at the park. Save your wallet and grab some fun things before you leave home. Stick them in your backpack and surprise your kids in the park! Items like the one below will cost you around $15 in the park. Grab 2 of these for less than that! (affiliate link)
12. A Guide Book
I know. It seems silly. In this day and age of technology, why would you need a book? I’ll tell you. When you’re at the parks, your carefully planned itinerary will change in a minute. And you’ll probably be using the My Disney Experience app so much that your phone battery keeps getting zapped. This guide book helped us tremendously. It’s very well organized and we were able to flip in it and make quick decisions about how to alter our plans without feeling we were wasting times. It has dining descriptions, attraction descriptions, Hidden Mickey lists (the kids LOVE these) and so much more. Plus, it was something to keep the kids occupied with in line. Pick one up here. (affiliate link)
I hope this list is a great starting point for you! It may seem like a lot, but even if you packed every single one of these items into your backpack, the weight would still be pretty light! Happy packing!
Planning your trip? Use this post to help you design matching shirts!