While ideally we would all like to go to the parks without a bag in tow, for many of us that’s just not possible. I’ve compiled a list of things you should take with you into the parks to save you time, money, and your patience.
10. MagicBand or card
In order to get into the park you’ll need your MagicBand or card with valid park admission. You will also use your band or card to get and use FastPasses so be sure to keep it close by. Additionally, MagicBands can be used to get your photopass pictures and if you are staying on Disney property your MagicBand can also be used to pay for meals (if using the Dining Plan) and merchandise (if you set up charging privileges). With many different colors, designs, and decorations there’s a MagicBand for everyone!
9. Cell phone
Cell phones serve a variety of purposes at the parks. From getting in touch with family members, to using it as a clock to taking pictures to remember your trip, having a cell phone is a valuable tool for a good day in the parks. If you have a smartphone you can download the My Disney Experience app to check wait times, make FastPasses, and check times.
8. Portable cell phone charger
Since cell phones are so essential, keeping them charged is important. After all a dead cell phone isn’t much help! While there are some charging stations around the park, no one wants to be tied down to an outlet instead of exploring the parks. To keep your cell phone charged, be sure to carry a portable charger. You can find them at most stores for around $20 and most of them are lightweight so they won’t take up a ton of space.
It’s no surprise that Florida is hot and sunny, after all it is the sunshine state! To keep you and your family from getting painful sunburns make sure to apply sunscreen each day. Reapplying every few hours will ensure that your skin is well protected so be sure to bring sunscreen into the parks with you.
6. Park map/Times guide
While all the information in the park map and times guide is on the My Disney Experience app, having paper copies available can be quite useful. If your cell phone dies or you are trying to save the battery you can use the map and times guide to find them. If you are traveling with kids, you can keep them entertained by having them look at the maps and circle what they want to do. Then when your vacation sadly comes to an end, they make great souvenirs to put in a scrapbook of your trip.
5. Ponchos or umbrellas
While Florida is the sunshine state it tends to rain for a short period of time most days, especially in the summer. Most guests tend to leave when it rains, but by bringing your own poncho or umbrella, you can wait out the rain by enjoying lesser wait times. Pick up some ponchos at your local dollar store and you end up saving money by not paying park prices for ponchos and umbrellas.
4. Basic first aid kit (band aids, antibiotic ointment, etc)
Cuts, bumps, and bruises are bound to happen on vacation especially when traveling with children. While each Disney park has a first aid center, if you’re at the back of the park you may not want to run to the front of the park just to get a band-aid. By carrying a small first aid kit with you, which can be bought at most stores for only a few bucks, you can handle small injuries right away. Plus first aid kits are usually so small they won’t take up a lot of space or add weight to your bag.
3. Something for characters to autograph and a marker/pen
For fans of character meet and greets, this is an essential. Autograph books and pens can be brought in the park, but there are so many more options than just books. I’ve seen characters sign shirts, backpacks, canvases, and hats among other things. Or make your own book with room for pictures. The options are endless just be sure to bring a pen or marker (thicker ones are easier for characters to hold).
2. Snacks and drinks
Disney allows you to bring snacks and drinks into the park as long as they are not in glass bottles and it is not alcohol. Take advantage of this by carrying a few small snacks and a drink in your bag to munch of in between meals this way you stay full and save money. Be sure not to take anything that can melt or can spoil if not refrigerated unless you take a lunch box with an ice pack.
1. A bag to carry it all in
Lastly, with all this stuff you’ll certainly need something to carry it in! I like taking a backpack, that way I have room for everything I need and more, but a tote or other type of bag will work too. Make sure its comfortable for you to carry as you will spend many hours carrying it and one that you wouldn’t mind getting wet in case of rain or water rides.
With these few things, you’ll have your bag packed and ready to go to the parks in no time!
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