I’ve been going to Disney parks since I was 3, and I live in Chicago – which is close to a Six Flags park, which I visit almost annually. I think it’s pretty safe to say I’m a bit of a theme park expert. At least, I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to packing for your trips!
I’ve learned throughout the years what I absolutely MUST bring with me, no matter what park I’m visiting – and what I can leave behind. I’ve also learned about a few items that I didn’t think I WOULD need, but ended up wishing I had on multiple occasions! Below are a couple of things you need to invest in before your trip – trust me, you’ll be glad you did!
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A High Quality Backpack
This may sound like an obvious item, but you’re going to need a good backpack at the parks. A small purse can be helpful if you’re going to be just hanging out at Disney Springs or going to the park with just a few hours in mind, but if you’re going to be there all day, you need the storage space. Trust me! I recommend bringing the following with you to the parks:
- Your camera and phone, plus a portable charging bank like this one (how cute is that one?! Seriously! It looks like an old iPod mini!)
- A change of clothes (in case you’re like me and can’t stand wearing wet clothes after Splash Mountain!)
- YOUR MAGICBAND!
- A water bottle (usually we will have someone who isn’t hungry use a snack credit to buy a bottle of water. Ridiculous, I know, but then we keep refilling that one all day long)
- Your wallet or coin purse to keep a card and ID in
Many people carry even MORE than that, especially if you have kids!
Make sure the backpack you bring is nice and sturdy, in case you do go on rides like Splash Mountain where you may get wet. There are no lockers at the ride loading point – so you need SOMETHING to hold your expensive phone so it doesn’t get ruined! This is also helpful if you did some souvenir shopping already – I recommend waiting till the end of the night, but if you just couldn’t wait to grab that stuffed Mickey, he’ll be safe and dry in your backpack!
I recommend a cute, yet still practical, bag like this one with a cute Disney design. Who says you can’t still be fashionable at the parks?!
A Good Camera
If you’re going to be trying to take Instagram worthy shots, your iPhone is just not going to cut it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten some brilliant shots on my iPhone, but it doesn’t hold a candle to my DSLR camera. I use a Canon Rebel, and I purchased a certified refurbished model that was a few models old. When it comes to buying a camera that you’re going to be using just for leisure, you can save by buying an older one. It still has all the features you need without breaking the bank for a newer model! Pro tip – the newer models have only slight differences, and they’re only really applicable if you’re a professional photographer who is going to be using it for business.
One thing I did invest in was getting an adorable camera strap and a zoom lens. The lens that comes with the camera is nice, but isn’t going to get me close enough to get good shots! The pic below was taken with my zoom lens. Look at that quality!
Don’t forget to read my post on how to properly find a spot for parades before heading out with your fancy new camera!
Phone Charging Bank
I mentioned this above, but a phone charging bank is an absolute must. Sure, you could try to fight for an outlet at a restaurant or in the bathroom, but who wants to waste time doing that? These little banks are super convenient and hook up to your normal charging USB cable. Just charge the bank like any other device, and you’re good to go for the day! You can use your phone while it’s charging, or just let it chill in your bag. Either way, this is perfect so you never lose power while trying to snag new Fastpasses or check when your reservations are!
A Light Hoodie
You might be thinking – wait, WHAT? I’m going to Florida in the middle of July – why do I need a hoodie?! Well, as you might expect, Disney tries their best to keep their guests cool, and that includes blasting the A/C wherever possible. For some, it might be nice and relaxing – but if you’re like me (and every other female in my family) that A/C is a bit too much. We literally got so cold in Tony’s Town Square on time, we used tablecloths as drapes to keep us warm! I wish I’d gotten a picture of this.
You can pick up a very light sweatshirt at most stores like Target or Walmart for relatively cheap, and since they’re light, they don’t take up much room in your bag.
There you have it! Those are just a few of the things I recommend bringing with you on an all-day Disney park binge. Your life will be a lot easier if you pack up these items before you leave – you can find them at the parks, but for triple the price!
Anything else that you feel has saved your LIFE at Disney? Drop a comment below!