When we went to Disney World the first time, D and I were pretty naive about what we needed to have with us in the parks. There were some items that we wish we had brought with us and some items that we didn’t have enough of.
Disney World isn’t just your average day trip to the neighborhood park down the street. You won’t get by with just a few diapers and snacks. You need to make sure you’re prepared so you can relax and just have fun. Now that we have been a few more times, we have created a pretty good list of things we like to have in our Disney World park bag.
The above picture shows everything that we include in our park bag, excluding a few items that we used up before returning home. Looking at all that stuff makes me wonder how we ever fit everything in just one medium sized backpack. But with a little organization, we did. Please keep in mind that Disney has a size requirement for any bag that enters its parks. You can find that information as well as other park rules here.
Instead of explaining about every single item in our bag (because that would make a novel of a post) I’ve narrowed it down to ten items I feel are essential for families to include in their Disney World park bag, no matter the age of their children.
Park tickets, IDs, cash, credit cards
Obviously you won’t be able to get into the park without a ticket. If you stay at a Disney resort, you have the advantage of wearing your ticket around your wrist in the form of a Magic Band. But if you stay off property or at Shades of Green, the DoD owned resort near Magic Kingdom, you will receive a plastic rectangular card that you touch to the reader before entering the park. You definitely don’t want to lose it so make sure you keep it in a safe place.
I prefer not to bring my wallet into the parks. It makes an already hefty bag that much more cumbersome. Instead, I put all cards I may need (park ticket, driver’s license, credit cards and insurance cards) and our souvenir cash into a sandwich size ziplock bag that I place in a specific pocket in the backpack for safe keeping.
If you only pay attention to one item on this list, this is it. DO NOT forget to bring water. The Florida sun is hot and it’s easy to get dehydrated if you don’t drink enough water. Sure, there is always the option to buy water, but at $3.00 a bottle, it’s a much better deal to bring your own and refill it at a drinking fountain.
This one is a no brainer since the majority of people carry their phones with them everywhere they go. Cell phones make it easier to keep in touch with members of your party if you get separated. I also use my phone as a camera instead of hauling my nice camera around the parks. If you don’t have a phone with a decent camera, make sure to bring another one. You’ll want to have photos to remember all the fun you had on your trip.
If your kids are anything like mine, they probably eat a lot. Ladybug will eat her way through the grocery store and then ask for another snack once we’re back in the car. Having food in the bag allows you the freedom to snack whenever someone is hungry without having to stop what you’re doing.
I bought eight of these small towels from the dollar store before we left. They’re great because they come wrapped in small packages so they don’t require much space in your bag. I loved having them on hand to wipe a sweaty face or to drench with water to keep us cool.
During our Epcot day, D didn’t drink enough water and developed a really bad headache. It was a good thing we had some Tylenol in the bag so that he was able to get it under control enough to enjoy the evening. Buddy was teething so I threw in the Infant Tylenol at the last minute, and I’m so glad I did. I’m not the kind of mom that gives out Tylenol, except as a last resort, but it was nice to have during those times when he was so uncomfortable that nothing else worked.
Okay, I take it back when I say that you only have to pay attention to one thing on this list. Sunscreen is another item that you absolutely CAN NOT leave at home. I repeat: the Florida sun is hot. I don’t care how easily you tan, you will get burned if you don’t protect your skin. Even applying sunscreen every two hours religiously wasn’t often enough for us. We still got a little burned. So don’t forget the sunscreen.
Extra clothes/ziplock bags
During our first trip to Magic Kingdom, we forgot to bring an extra outfit for Ladybug. We paid for it after an unfortunate vomiting incident made it necessary to spend money we weren’t planning on to buy an outfit so that Ladybug didn’t have to spend the rest of the day sitting in her own puke. We now bring an extra outfit for both kids just in case something happens to the first one they’re wearing. It’s also nice in case you have a child that doesn’t like being wet after running through the Casey Jr. Splash n’ Soak area. Where should you keep the dirty outfits? Make sure to pack a few gallon sized ziplock bags to put them in so they don’t get anything else dirty or wet.
I hate germs. Yes, I realize that germs are everywhere- even at the most magical place on Earth. Think about it- with thousands of people visiting the parks each day from all around the world, each of them bringing their own germs, you’re bound to pick up more than a few. Make sure to pack plenty of sanitizer in your bag to keep your hands clean when you aren’t near a restroom.
Activities to entertain the kids
This is a must for families of young children. In this post, I list some ways to keep your kids entertained while waiting in line. We like to bring bubbles, books, coloring books and markers, and sticker books, to name some suggestions. While waiting for nighttime festivities to start, glow sticks from the dollar store are a fun way to pass the time.
Sometimes it can be daunting trying to decide what to pack in your Disney World park bag. With these ten items, you’re sure to have fun knowing that you’ll be taken care of during your time in the parks.