After many vacations to Walt Disney World under my belt, I’ve carried a plethora of personal things in my park bag. Most of the time I’ve had much more than I really needed, and my bag was unnecessarily heavy. Other times I’ve forgotten crucial things and found myself backtracking to the first-aid center or spending money at a gift shop for what I had forgotten to pack for the day.
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Through much trial and error, I’ve developed a good list of items to keep my park bag as light as possible, yet still packed with the essentials of what I will truly need during my day. All of these items keep me comfortable in the parks and let me use my time as efficiently as possible without any unnecessary pit stops.
A small pack of baby wipes/hand sanitizer. Regardless of whether you are actually traveling with a baby, I find that a small pack of baby wipes is a must-have for a day in a Walt Disney World park. Wipes can quickly and efficiently clean up a messy ice cream mustache wipe or sticky hands. Wipes are perfect to cool a sweaty face off while standing in line, and they also come in handy for cleaning crumbs off of a quick-service table that might not have been cleaned off by a cast member. Many people choose to just carry hand sanitizer instead for a quick hand cleaning in between bathroom breaks.
A small container of aspirin or ibuprofen and a few Band-Aids. Disney provides pain relievers from their first aid stations in the parks, but it’s not always convenient to stop by these places. Save yourself time by carrying a small bottle with you. Blisters are no fun to deal with when you’re doing a lot of walking in the parks, and it’s much easier to have a Band-Aid on hand then to limp back over to the first-aid station for assistance.
10. Chapstick or lip balm
Being out in the sun or wind all day will result in dry and chapped lips. Avoid the discomfort and apply chapstick or lip balm before you begin your day, and then reapply several times while you’re enjoying your time in the parks.
9. Sunblock and sunglasses
No matter what time of year you’re in Walt Disney World, the sun will be strong. Reapplying sunblock every few hours is a must, and sunglasses are also important to remember. Both are available for sale at your resort and in the parks, but buying them at home and keeping them in your park bag is a much less expensive option.
8. Hair ties and/or hat
I love the faster rides at Walt Disney World, like Test Track and Expedition Everest, but I don’t enjoy my hair flying around in my face and getting tangled. Having extra hair ties solves the problem, as well as being important for hot days. Having a hat on hand is a good idea for warmer days as well to keep the sun off of your face.
7. Small notebook and pen
There are many situations where I find myself wanting to jot something down, whether I want to remember where I saw a particular souvenir that I’d like to purchase later, or even the name of a kind of wine from my dinner that I’d like to look for when I return home. The notebook also really comes in handy for entertaining kids while waiting for a meal to arrive or a long line for an attraction.
6. Magic Band/Cash/ID
Even though I’m wearing my Magic Band, I think it’s also important to keep my ID with me for emergencies. It’s always a good idea to carry some cash and maybe even your credit card/debit card in the event that your Magic Band fails to work correctly. A few vendors in the parks only accept cash, like the balloon vendors in Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.
There are photographers are all over the parks that will take your picture for you and add it to your Magic Band so that you can view it later for download or purchase. If you don’t want to take advantage of that option and don’t want to take pictures with your cell phone, be sure to pack your camera, along with extra batteries or a charger.
4. A small bag to keep things dry
I keep a large Ziplock bag with me to keep my phone and camera dry during rides where I’ll know I’ll get wet. The bag also comes in handy to store the rest of my Mickey pretzel to snack on later.
3. Poncho and/or windbreaker
Showers can spring up quickly at Walt Disney World, especially in the summer months. Having a poncho is definitely more convenient than carrying around an umbrella or huddling under a roof until the rain stops. If I don’t have a poncho on me, I usually with have a windbreaker or jacket with me for cooler temperatures in the early morning or late evening.
2. Water bottle
Frequent water breaks are a must for a day in the parks. You can buy water bottles from the beverage carts, but that will get expensive very quickly. A better option is to bring a reusable water bottle and fill it up at water fountains during the day. Another popular way to stay hydrated is to ask for a complimentary cup of water at a quick service restaurant, but that’s not always a convenient choice.
1. Cell phone and charger
Using the My Disney Experience (MDE) app on your phone allows you to easily keep track of your FastPass + times and dining reservations. Take advantage of the cell phone charging stations throughout the parks to make sure that the MDE app doesn’t drain the battery.