Your Disney vacation can be the ultimate adventure of magic, fantasy, and thrills. And with all the hustle and bustle the Disney Parks bring, the last thing you want to be thinking about during your trip is how much you wish you had packed one thing and left another at home. There are so many things you should bring to the Disney Parks (and plenty of items that are actually banned). But today, we’re going to share the top things you don’t want to forget when going on vacation and what you should probably leave at home.
What to pack
Portable battery pack
We highly recommend bringing your own portable external batteries (Amazon: $19.99) for charging your cell phone throughout the day. While we don’t like being on our phones at Disney, we do love using our phones for pictures, and we never want to be caught without a charged phone. Disney Parks have awesome devices called Fuel Rods that at $30 are more expensive but have the added benefit that they can be easily switched out throughout the day as you need them. Bring your own portable charger from home, or purchase a Fuel Rod in the parks once you arrive. Either way, a portable battery pack is one of our must-bring items that guests often forget.
Remember that episode of “Modern Family” when Gloria wears high heels to Disneyland and ends up buying Minnie Mouse slippers after her feet hurt too much? Don’t make that mistake. This may be a no-brainer to some, but we definitely err on the side of comfort when it comes to footwear. This means you shouldn’t bring shoes you just bought and haven’t broken in yet or shoes that you think look nice but aren’t actually very comfortable. Disney Parks involve a lot of walking, and walking for miles more than you typically do is pretty much unavoidable. If you’re just spending one day, bring your most comfortable shoes. If you’re spending multiple days or a week at Disneyland or Walt Disney World, we suggest bringing two to three different pairs of your most comfortable shoes, as well as inserts or other foot care items that will make your experience a little more comfortable. You’ll thank us later.
A poncho (Amazon 4 Pack: $8.49) is one of those items that you probably don’t think you’ll need, but trust us, it’s highly convenient and sometimes essential. It takes up virtually no space in your suitcase or park bag, it’s lightweight, and it only costs a couple of dollars. If you love water rides like Splash Mountain but don’t enjoy walking around in wet clothes after, a poncho is your best friend. Or if you’re visiting the parks when it rains, a poncho is your best option for staying dry. This is always an essential if you’re traveling to Walt Disney World no matter what time of year, and although it rarely rains at Disneyland, you may as well bring it with you just in case.
Portable fan and chilly towel
If you’re visiting Disney Parks during the warmer, hotter months, staying cool is an essential. We love bringing portable fans (Amazon 2 Pack: $15.98) and chilly towels (Amazon 4 Pack: $13.99) to help us keep our cool when spending hot summer days at the parks. You can only hit those water rides so many times, and not every queue is indoors in the cool air conditioning. Bring a lightweight battery-powered fan or a towel that stays chilled when wet in order to keep yourself from overheating (and getting cranky like we do when it’s too hot outside). These don’t take up much space in your bag (especially if you’re planning on wearing them most of the time during the day) and they are very affordable.
What to leave at home
These get very annoying at bag check, plus they can be heavy to tote around the parks all day. Oversized bags are also difficult to maneuver on and off of rides, as you must keep your bag with you when riding attractions. If you are able to, we suggest bringing a small, lightweight backpack or crossbody bag that is easy for you to carry and fits all of your essentials, like your phone, a refillable water bottle if necessary, sunglasses, and wallet. If you are visiting the parks with your small children and you need to bring a diaper bag, bring one that is easy to hook on the back of your stroller. If you want to bring a larger bag because you are staying at the parks all day, a great option is to rent a locker located at the front of the parks. Keep your must-have essentials in a small bag that you will bring with you, and store your large bag with all of your extra items in the locker.
One of the top things we recommend to leave at home is your own stroller. There are many companies who rent strollers for guests at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, some of which even deliver your stroller to your hotel room at an extra cost. With the accessibility of stroller rentals inside the Disney Parks and throughout the surrounding area, there’s no reason to bring your own stroller when traveling. The convenience of a rental will cost you a bit more money, but it will save you the headache in the end.
Bulky, heavy items
Lastly, we suggest leaving bulky, heavy items at home, especially if you are not planning on renting a locker. If your cell phone has a good enough camera, leave your larger camera at home. Bring a poncho instead of an umbrella, which will take up too much space and is quite inconvenient to constantly take out and put away when getting on and off attractions. Don’t bring a giant, heavy water bottle, and instead pick up free water from any Disney quick-service dining location. If you anticipate it will be colder at night, tie a lightweight jacket around your waist and dress in layers so you don’t have to pack a bulky jacket that is annoying to bring around with you. You should be prepared, but always be mindful of the items you are bringing. If it’s too heavy to carry, you may not actually need it, and lockers are always available if need be.