What You Should Have in Your Disney Park Bag
What you bring to the park is one of the most important decisions during your park day. Being prepared allows you to save money, time, and, most importantly, your sanity. It never hurts to over-pack. You can always rent a locker and put some of your excess supplies there. However, the more prepared you come, the less you will have to worry about during your day. Here are my park bag essentials.
Bottled water is the MOST important item you can pack in your Disney bag. Many Disney experts will tell you to bring a refillable bottle and fill up at the water fountains. Others will tell you to go to a refreshment stand and ask for a free glass of ice water. These are good options, but they’re not always convenient.
Having bottled water on hand will allow you to rehydrate wherever you are. There are times when you’re not near a water fountain or a refreshment stand (like when you’re on the three hour line for Flight of Passage). It’s more convenient to bring water with you than having to search it out. It will also save you money on buying beverages in the park.
Tip: If you’re traveling into Orlando, stop by a local gas station before or during your vacation. It’s always cheaper to buy bottled water outside the Disney resort. You can also pack your favorite brand of bottled water in a suitcase. By the end of your trip, the water will be gone and the suitcase can carry your souvenirs.
Food is the second most important item to pack. You should always have portable snacks on hand. Cookies, chips, carrot stick, apples, granola bars, Pop-Tarts…whatever you and your family will munch on. If you’re on a budget, pack a lunch. It’s a great way to save money and eat a more nutritious meal.
Sunscreen is essential in the summer months. Once it gets cooler, sunscreen is not as necessary. However, it’s always better to be over-prepared.
Make sure to buy a cheap pair before coming to Orlando. You don’t want to risk losing your Ray Bands on Big Thunder…
Phone / Camera
Your phone will be your ultimate guide in the parks. It will tell you your Fastpass + reservations, your dining reservation, ride wait times, directions, and so much more. Mobile devices have become must-haves in the Disney parks.
If your phone has a great camera, don’t bother bringing a camera with you. It’ll just take up space and will be another item you need to keep track of. If your phone camera is less than desirable, go ahead and pack it. Photopass photographers aren’t always around when you need them.
Phone batteries die a swift death at Disney. The My Disney Experience App is a battery sucker. You can buy a portable charger in the park, but it’s cheaper to bring your own. You can also leave your phone at Guest Relations and they will charge it for free. However, it’s often inconvenient to walk to the front of the park just to drop off and pick up your phone. Bringing your own portable charger is a decision you won’t regret.
Different forms of Payment
If you’re staying on property, you can charge everything to your room using your MagicBand. However, it’s nice to have different forms of payment on hand. Using cash will allow you to track your spending better. Giving children Disney gift cards is a great way to teach them about budgeting and how to spend money. You never know if Disney’s computer system will be down (it rarely is, but it can happen). Therefore, it’s also important to have a backup plan.
This is important if you’re a Florida resident looking to buy discount tickets. Or if you want to buy a beer at EPCOT.
If you’re a fan of collecting autographs, you should always have it on hand. You never know if Peter Pan will make a special pitstop from Neverland…
If you’re visiting during the cooler months, it’s always great to pack a sweatshirt. It can get pretty cool during the morning and evenings. If you have smaller children, it’s always good to have an extra set of clothes on hand. Accidents happen and sometimes you don’t want ice cream stains in your family pictures.
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Thanks to Brittni Sutter for writing this article! As a lover of all things Disney, I’ve made it my life’s mission to learn about the history and artistry the House of Mouse. I’ve vacationed to half of the resorts and plan to complete the Disney Parks mecca in the coming years. I fill my life with as much magic as Disney can muster and I love encouraging others to do the same.