Packing the perfect bag to bring into a Disney theme park is not rocket science, but it can be hard to not over pack and bring unnecessary things into the parks! Follow these tips to pack the perfect bag while saving space and sanity!
One of my favorite things to do in the days leading up to my vacations is planning what I’ll bring into the parks each day. For some, this is silly and a little too Type A planning, but for me it’s one of the best parts of planning!! While I don’t have kids just yet (so I’m not an expert on packing park bags for children!), I have learned over the years what you DO need to take and what you DON’T need to take into the parks!
First things first, you need to find the perfect park bag! On our very first Disney trips as adults, my husband and I made Downtown Disney our first stop because we desperately needed a bag to take into the parks! We found that the World of Disney store has a ton of backpack options – but drawstring bags were our favorite! They are lightweight and hold just the right amount so that you don’t over pack easily!
TIP: To condense the things you pack and save space in your bag, keep smaller bags on hand to keep inside your main bag! As you’ll see below, I like to designate small bags for certain essentials!
Sunglasses, mouse ears, and autograph books… oh my! These things can easily start to take up a lot of space, so be sure to only pack what you know you will use or wear! These fun souvenirs are essential to your day at the Happiest Place on Earth, so be sure to take at least your autograph book!
TIP: Characters such as Mickey and Minnie need thick pens to hold on to when signing autograph books, so you’ll need to purchase an autograph pen in the parks if you don’t already have one! If you don’t want to spend $5 on a pen, bring a thick Sharpie from home.
As much as I’d like to tell you I don’t spend any time on my phone at all while at Disney… that would be a lie! Between taking photos and checking attraction wait times on the My Disney Experience app (which is updated in real time!), my phone battery goes down way faster than I’d like! To make sure that my phone doesn’t die on me, I like to keep either a USB cord to plug in at one of Disney’s many charging stations within the parks, or an external phone charger that I can just plug into my phone while we are on the go! I also like to keep my earbuds on me, just in case!
TIP: During the busier seasons, wait times can get pretty long, so make the most out of your time waiting in line! My husband and I like to load up our phones with games to play while waiting in line. Among our favorites are Heads Up, Two Dots and Flow!
This should be a no brainer, but purchase things like Band-Aids, Ibuprofen or Tylenol and gum before traveling to Disney World! Simple things like these will skyrocket in price once you enter the parks, plus gum isn’t even sold at Disney World (crazy but true!).
Now, I know I said I’m no expert in packing for the kiddos, but I am a nanny and know how to keep children occupied while waiting in lines! I like to buy these Disney fun packs to give to little ones when things get boring for them. These activity packs can be found in Target’s dollar section!
Another extra tip – if staying on property and utilizing the dining plan, a lot of people will be tempted to bring their refillable mug into the parks, but since you can only refill them for free at your resort, having them in the park doesn’t really do you any good! If you can, avoid bringing it with you to save space in your park bag, and just ask any counter service restaurant for a cup of water! They’ll happily give you a free cup of water to take with you on the go!
I hope these tips help you choose what to put in your bag while prepping for your days in the Walt Disney World parks! Be a little picky with what you put in your bags, so there’s more room for souvenirs you purchase in the park! And don’t forget to grab a park map and times list on your way in, you’ll need it!
My name is Haley Tucker and I am a vacation planner with Travel with the Magic! My services are always free to those who book their vacations with me and I help with every magical detail from choosing the right resort for your family to planning your dining reservations and FastPass+ selections! Contact me for your free, no obligation quote and let’s get started planning your next Disney vacation!