Although visiting the Disney Parks is an exciting experience, one thing that can really put a strain on the fun is being unprepared. Carrying a park bag isn’t always convenient (see: security bag check lines), but for many guests, it’s a must!
We’ve got your back [pack] — We’re chatting about the 12 park essentials you NEED in your park bag.
Cooling Towel/Misting Fan
If you’re visiting Walt Disney World in the summer months (or at any time, really), you’ll need a way to chill out. That central Florida sun can be brutal, so prepare to stay cool with a cooling towel or a misting fan! A cooling towel can help tremendously, as it feels quite cool when activated by water and absorbs and evaporates sweat from your body. Click here to get your own cooling towel!
If you’re more of a mister fan (or you’ve got kiddos who are!), you can purchase those in the parks, but you’ll pay a premium for that convenience. Unless you absolutely MUST have a character mister, you’re better off buying it before you go and sticking it in your luggage. This one charges by USB cable and uses a lithium battery for several hours of coooooling.
For cooling action without a battery that also encourages the user to stay hydrated, get yourself this misting water bottle. You don’t get the fan cooling, but the immediate hydration helps!
No matter which Disney Park you’re in, sun protection is a must — and not just the shoulders you may usually think about protecting. Be sure to grab lip balm with sun protection, too, and possibly a stick sunscreen for small patches of skin like the rim of your ears. This pack includes everything you need in pack-able sizes – plus it’s made with all-natural ingredients.
A pricier but seriously awesome option is translucent sunscreen powder. If you’ve ever known the struggle of coating a squiggly kid in sticky sunscreen (especially babies!), this stuff is a LIFE SAVER! This makes reapplying mid-day on a sweaty kid (or adult!) a breeze. A little goes a long way and you can even brush it on your scalp to avoid that dreaded hair-part burn!
As you likely know, Disney Parks on both coasts are phasing out single-use plastic straws, so if straws are a must to you, consider packing your own. We love this colorful set that comes with straw cleaners and eight straws.
One thing that many guests love about the Disney Parks is how tirelessly Cast Members work to keep the parks nice and clean. While visible litter and mess might be under control, we’re more concerned about all. those. germs. Yeah, that’s a LOT of guests touching those same handrails and lap bars as you! Don’t forget to pack your hand sanitizer to kill bacteria and germs on your hands. This spray will kill those germs and leave you smelling fresh!
If you’re bringing your smartphone to the Disney Parks (gotta have access to My Disney Experience (MDE) and social media!), don’t forget to pack your charger cable and a portable charger, too! These are essentials if you’re not taking a break to charge at your resort mid-day. But even if you are, taking photos, updating your status, checking wait times and FastPasses, and using the MDE map to get where you need to go all drains battery life. And who wants to spend valuable park time sitting next to an outlet in the parks? This charger is small but powerful — just what you need to stay connected!
This is a simple, essential park bag item, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget to pack your sunglasses! And it could be a costly mistake. You may get a headache from squinting all day, lose valuable time running back to the room to get them, or have to buy a new pair in a gift shop (hello, mark up!) when you had a perfectly good pair at home. To help keep your shades safe when they’re not on your face, store them in this hard-sided sunglasses case that’s Mickey-ready in red and black!
We don’t always think of the Disney Parks as a place that might need storage bags (despite Ziploc’s sponsorship of Splash Mountain!), but there are tons of uses for them! Store leftovers from a meal (think: things that don’t spoil, unless you’ve also got a cooler!), contain wet or soiled clothes (real-life happens), or keep track of all the little pieces that came with your kiddo’s souvenir set (just trust us on this one…). You don’t know what you’ll need a storage bag for until you need a storage bag! We like these reusable ones because they’re sturdy and water-tight.
Beware of sudden thunderstorms in the parks — but better yet, be prepared with a poncho! This set of five will cover a handful of your crew and allow you to keep touring even as the crowds leave the parks to avoid the rain! Plus, they’ll save you a boatload of cash compared to the ones sold in the gift shops!
If you prefer to use an umbrella when the rain hits, choose one that’s small and light so you’re not weighed down. Bonus of an umbrella over a poncho: much easier to shake the rain off and close for storage. (Stick your pocket umbrella in a storage bag to ensure it doesn’t soak everything else in your park bag!) We like this pocket umbrella that comes in a bunch of fun colors (because why use a boring umbrella when you don’t have to?!)
Refillable Water Bottle
Whether you’re concerned about the environment, lid-less cups, or saving money, carrying a refillable water bottle can be a great idea. This Brita bottle is filtered to remove some of that Florida water fountain taste (you know what we’re talkin’ about!), or ask for a free cup of water at any quick-service spot that serves fountain beverages and pour it in. (Fill directly from a water fountain, then you save a paper cup, too!)
Mole Skin for Blisters
We all do our best to avoid blisters at the Disney Parks: walk around in our park shoes for weeks ahead of time, don’t wear the same shoes on consecutive days, research all the best brands. But blisters are still a part of the Disney Parks experience for a lot of us and they might hit when you least expect them. Bring along these Mole Skin Pads to protect your skin and keep your feet comfortable for long days of touring!
Finally, be sure to pack any medications you’ll need for the day — and some you might need without warning! Bring pain meds for headaches, motion sickness pills, nose spray if you’ve got a cold or congestion, and anti-itch cream for any pesky bug bites. Keep them all in one place with this stylish pouch (it comes with a cooler pack in case you need to maintain temperature for certain medications)!
We haven’t exhausted the list of what you might need in your park bag — especially if you’re traveling with kids and need substantially more things for them. But for most of us — kids and not! — this list of essentials will keep the good times rolling!
Now that you packed your park bag, check out all the ways Disney World has got your back in our video below!
And if you love this video, there’s plenty more for you to enjoy over on our DFB YouTube Channel!
What’s a park bag essential for your visits? Share with us in the comments so that we’re all better prepared!