Packing for a Walt Disney World Vacation can be quite the process, especially when you consider which items need to go into your checked luggage, vs. your carry-on bag, or park bag. Bringing certain items from home is essential so that you do not find yourself having to repurchase them (often at higher price points) while at Disney parks and resorts, and some items you might even have a difficult time tracking down without leaving Disney property. Here are some items to consider that can make all the difference to have in your park bag:
You’re probably on top of it, but it never hurts to share a reminder to pack all the basics. By this, we mean things like your driver’s license, credit and debit cards, cash, passport if needed, Disney park tickets, hotel room keys, car keys, gift cards- anything that you will definitely need while out in a theme park for the day.
As for Disney gift cards and park tickets, take a picture of the numbers on them with your phone. If you have the Disney gift card number, you’ll be able to purchase a new gift card and transfer the balance from your old one if you end up losing it. And Guest Relations Cast Members will be able to help with lost park tickets if you have that information saved, too.
Sanitizer & Masks
Especially after dealing with years of a pandemic, you may want to throw an extra hand sanitizer into your park bag. Masks are currently not required at Walt Disney World except for while onboard transportation. Still, even if you are only wearing masks on transportation, you may want multiple masks for multiple days of your trip, and if you are wearing them more than on transportation you will certainly want some extras. While we hope we’re coming out on the other side of pandemic restrictions, be sure to confirm mask policies with Disney ahead of your trip just to be safe.
Aspirin & Prescription Medication
If you have prescription medication that needs to be taken throughout the day, the last thing you’re going to want to do is trek back to your hotel room if you happen to forget it. Aspirin is also a good choice to throw in your bag- Whether you are headache prone (like me) or are feeling some muscle aches after a few days in a theme park, it is worth it to have aspirin ready to go in your bag than to have to run to first aid or purchase some from a store.
Sunglasses, Hats, & Sunscreen
The Florida sun is no joke, and neither is the price of purchasing sunscreen at Walt Disney World! Pack these items and bring your own to the parks to avoid overspending on them if you happen to forget them at your hotel room.
This might seem like an odd suggestion, but hear me out- It’s a place to store your phone or camera during an afternoon rainstorm or spin on an attraction where you might get wet. If you have small pieces of clothing that are wet and you don’t want to make the rest of your bag wet (thinking ponchos, toddler swimsuits, etc…) you can throw them in a gallon-sized Ziploc to keep everything else dry. AND if you pick up a snack you can’t quite finish, bringing a bag is a convenient way to save it for later.
Portable Phone Chargers
The reality of a Walt Disney World vacation is that using your phone is a necessary part of the experience. The My Disney Experience app has everything you need to know to plan your stay in it, and will enable you to mobile order food from quick-service restaurants. And if you are planning to take advantage of Disney Genie and Lightning Lane, those offerings can all be selected from your phone.
You can always find an outlet if you need to, or purchase a Fuelrod charger from one of their vending machines around Walt Disney World, but bringing your own portable charger is the easiest (and least expensive) way to make sure your phone stays charged.
This might seem obvious, but even if you plan to use your MagicBand to charge purchases to your Disney resort, still bring some form of payment to the parks with you. It doesn’t happen likely, but if the MagicBand payment system goes down you do not want to get stuck!
Chapstick & Hair Elastics
These two items are surprisingly difficult to track down in Disney Parks. Chapstick is extremely hit or miss if you’ll find it in a store, and your only bet for hair elastics in a Disney theme park is whatever Disney-themed hair ties or scrunchies a select few stores may be selling, and they will certainly come at a pretty penny.
…Especially if you are on a budget or traveling with young kids. Having snacks on your person means you will save some money over buying everything at the parks, and if the kids are randomly hungry after you’ve already been in line for a ride for 45 minutes you can slip them some pretzels or Goldfish instead of hopping out of line.
Umbrellas and ponchos at Walt Disney World are expensive and rain in Central Florida is inevitable. I prefer packing an umbrella and putting it in a plastic bag when it’s wet, but if you’re more of a poncho person you can find cheaper alternatives to Disney’s ponchos at your local dollar store.