When you are planning your trip to Disney, it’s overwhelmingly exciting! If you are anything like me, you get excited even thinking about all the possibilities and the fun you are going to have! You are probably also one of two types of people: the super planner who makes lists and thinks about what to plan and pack for every single occasion; OR you are the easy goer, who plans a little here and there but decides it’s more important to enjoy the experience then worry about the little details! Do you fit into either one of those categories? We have been both to be honest, and living here and experiencing Disney on sometimes a weekly basis the one thing that we have learned as a family is you can’t skip out preparing, planning and packing a day bag if you have little ones!
If you are the super planner you have probably already thought about this and maybe even stressed a little. Don’t worry pal, I’ve been there and I’ve got you covered! If you are the easy goer, you may or may not have thought about it but it’s not on the top priority list! They have everything you could ever want at Disney and that is absolutely true; but bringing some precious items into the park will not only save you a lot of money, but it will also help you maximize your time and keep everyone happy!
What should I bring into the parks? What should we or can we bring in our day bags?! This is probably one of the number one e mails I get from friends and it’s why I wanted to make it our second installment of magic Mondays! We’ve already covered 5 Things to Know Before Disney, which you can catch up on if you missed it! I think what’s equally as important is knowing and starting to think about what you will need once you are inside the Disney Parks!
Here is a list of 7 things we ALWAYS bring with us, every single time we go!
- A Change Of Clothes: I always pack a change of clothes for Linc whenever we go to the parks: especially Magic Kingdom and Epcot! My little loves to get wet and there are many opportunities for him to play around in the water, even at Disney Springs! Some of our favorite spots are little splash pad area’s like MK’s Casey Jr’s Splash and Soak Station. It’s a great place where he can run and play and we can often sit, take a rest, and have a little adult time to just talk. Always having a change of clothes means we don’t have to say no! Linc can enjoy anything in the parks that has water and we can enjoy watching him play! It’s also nice because it’s Florida and well it does rain sometimes. We don’t mind getting wet but sometimes Linc wants a dry pair of clothes. It’s just always nice to have a spare shirt, shorts and undies.
- Water: We bring a giant bottle of water in the parks! I personally love the Hydroflask because it stays cool no matter what (it even kept ice from 9 am-5 pm one day!) We have one for Tuck and I and then a smaller one for Linc. You can bring water or juice into the parks and it’s a lot cheaper than having to buy drinks. Now, if we pass by a Dole Whip or a Frozen Lemonade, you better believe we are stopping and treating ourselves! You will need lots of water with all the walking you will be doing around the parks and you might have to remind yourselves like we do to actually stop and drink. If you are planning on making your trip over the summer, double up on the water and pack a few extra bottles in your bag!
- Snacks: Yes!!! You can bring snacks into the park and we do! You can actually bring a family cooler into the park. We bring a variety of snacks and we have our favorite spots where we like to stop and take a break. I will be sharing those later in another post! We bring pretty easy ones that can be thrown into the backpack and then easily pulled out: goldfish, pirate booty, apples, oranges and pretzels. I did attempt to take Linc some chicken once but it just didn’t end up as well as I thought it would. We do have our favorite treats and we do stop and splurge but having snacks with you will prevent a lot of the melt downs that we see happen a lot of the time!
- Band-aids: I always carry a handful of band-aids in my bag at all times! Our first trip to the park when we were just visiting from Virginia Beach, Linc took a huge face plant dive in Casey Jr’s Splash area and we immediately had to go home. It was the end of the day so we were all ready, but Linc was a little traumatized because he was gushing pretty badly from a few areas on his body. Since then, I always carry band-aids and I’m always using them. Little ones run and trip and they skin their hands, knees or elbows and what makes it better? A band-aid! You walk around the park so much and if you aren’t wearing the right shoes, you get a blister! What makes that feel better? A band-aid! Band-aids are just handy to have and they take up no space what so ever!
- Sun-screen: We don’t carry this as often as we should because I forget to pack it, but sunscreen in stick form was in our bag for a long time! One thing I have noticed about Magic Kingdom especially, it’s the hottest place on earth. The sun just beats down and if you are sensitive to sun burns, pack sun sunscreen, please!
- Camera: Please, Please, Please bring a camera with you to the parks! Disney does have memory maker and we do love it! They will capture all your moments with the characters and the rides and they do a good job. BUT, and for me as a children and family photographer this a big but, unless you bring your own camera there won’t be anyone to capture all the really true disney magical moments that happen in between! Some of the most iconic moments aren’t with the characters at all but when your little one puts on their Mickey ears or eats their first Mickey Bar! It might be a silent moment while waiting in line for a popular ride that your find yourself looking right at the perfect moment that captures your entire Disney experience. One of my most favorite pictures from our first trip ever was Linc jumping in the water from Casey Jr. Splash and Soak. Please bring your own camera and don’t rely just on your i-phone or the memory makers! I brought (the first time) my 35 mm and my 85 mm, yep I went big. I ended up using the 35 mm a lot more than the 85 but I was glad that I had both. Now I usually switch between the 35mm and the 50mm and bring just one!
- Tylenol: I debated whether or not to put this in here but I do always carry with me Tylenol or Asprin. I suffer from really horrendous migraines. I actually have medication that I take daily for migraines and sometimes depending on the day I will bring one of my prescriptions with me just in case. Usually though, I will bring something in case I don’t drink enough water and I get a headache. If you are planning full park days, I think it’s a good idea to bring something with you in case you need it for headaches (from dehydration or lack of food), or for sore muscles, aches and pains from walking too much, or anything else that you might need it for.
Bonus: If you’re like me, I always pack a change of shoes too! I usually wear flip flops to the parks but recently I messed up my ankle and have had to wear decent shoes. This bugs me, especially if you read the 20 Things about me post! So lately I either wear flip flops and pack shoes to wear when my ankle hurts, or I will wear shoes and keep my flops in the car for when we are done!
That’s pretty much what we bring every single time! There are days when we know we will be spending more time than usual and we pack certain extra things! There are certain parks where we bring extra’s (like Hollywood Studio’s always means a Star Wars something whether it’s a costume or a figurine!). These are our basic essentials if we are going for a typical day at any of the parks and we think they make a good suggestion/base packing list for what to think about when you start packing your own day bag!
There are a few extra things we bring that we will be sharing exclusively to our newsletter friends when we launch that in the next month! Yep, we are launching a newsletter full of Disney Goodness!
These are special things that we only want to share with those who are truly interested, and they are pretty top secret 😉
As always, we are just a family of three who have learned a bit while living here in Celebration for a year now! We aren’t Disney experts by any means but we do visit a lot and we wanted to pass along any tips or tricks that we have learned not only from our own experiences, but also from our friends that visit and also work at Disney!
If you have any questions about our Bag and what to pack, shout out to us in an e mail! We are happy to help in any way that we can!