Normally we would recommend packing as light as possible when traveling to a theme park in Florida, but for this time of year it is better to come prepared. We are currently in our summer/rainy season so whenever we venture to the parks we bring a little more and we recommend you do too.
Here are our must have items for Disney:
- Park Passes/Magic Bands
- Ziplock Bags (various sizes) - These work for everything from wet socks to keeping your cell phone dry in the rain. Did you know you can still use your touchscreen phone through a ziplock bag?
- Reusable Water Bottles - We love our reusable bottles, especially ones that keep your water colder longer! You can get free water from anywhere that serves fountain drinks to fill up throughout the day.
- Cell Phones - Photos, maps, reservations, FastPasses, clock, etc. You can eliminate so many other items with your phone.
- Charging Cords or Portable Charger - We normally just bring one, but if you have more than 2 people in your party, you might want to bring more.
- Umbrella - If it's a particularly rainy day we prefer one of the large tennis style umbrellas (Home Depot sometimes has them on sale for under $5). If there is just a slight chance of rain, we just bring a small umbrella that fits in the backpack.
- Ponchos/Rain Jackets - We have seen lots of parents drape ponchos over strollers to keep their kids dry. These are also great for covering your bag or yourself on water rides. I recently saw some at Home Depot for under $2! I've heard that the Dollar Store sometimes stocks them too. Don't spend the $20+ on the ones in the park that you will just use for a few hours!
- Sunscreen - Even if it is overcast, you can still get burnt and skin cancer is not worth the risk. The one we use also contains citronella to keep the bugs away!
- Lanyard with a Waterproof Case - Keep your cards handy so you don't have to worry about a wallet. We keep our bank card, IDs, some cash, and any membership cards (Tables in Wonderland, D23 membership, Annual Passholder Discount and Parking Cards, etc.) that we might need close by.
- Mickey/Minnie Ears or Baseball Cap - Because it is DISNEY!! :)
- Sunglasses - Don't bother bringing your expensive pair that you would be devastated if you lost or broke. Some cheap ones work exactly the same!
- Extra Pairs of Socks - If you decide to brave one of the many water rides or you get caught in the rain, an extra pair of socks is a welcome relief.
- Gum - Nowhere on Disney property is gum sold, so bring your own if you want it.
- Water-Misting Fan - After the rain comes some serious humidity, so bring the fan! We bought ours from Disney about 5 years ago and it still works great! We put some ice and cool water in and it is so refreshing!
- First Aid Kit - Band aids, antibacterial ointment, pain relievers, allergy medication, and any prescription medication you may need to take throughout the day.
- Sweaters - Lots of the rides and attractions will feel much cooler than normal if you are soaked to the bone from the rain or from Splash Mountain.
- Autograph Book - Bringing your own will give you a lot more freedom than if you buy one in the park.
- Large Pen - The characters that wear gloves have a more difficult times grabbing smaller pens or markers.
I pack some smaller things in their own case in the actual backpack (sometimes I even just toss them in a quart-sized ziplock bag)
- Feminine Hygiene Products
- Extra Hair Ties & A Few Bobby Pins - I have lost more than my fair share of hair ties on attractions.
- Touch-Up Makeup - Any makeup products I might want to use to touch up throughout the day; especially if we have a dinner reservation at one of the nicer restaurants in the park.
Now we know it may seem like a long list, okay, it is a long list, but it actually condenses down quite nicely. Throughout most of the year we can get by with just a small backpack and a few necessities, but during the rainy summers and cold winters it is time to bust out the larger backpack and bring some extras.
We hope you found this list helpful for the next time you head to the parks.
What are some of your in-park essentials for any time of year? Did we forget anything?