First things first, I prefer to carry a backpack. I find that since a crossbody bag pulls on just one shoulder all day, it starts to get achy by early afternoon. So for me, a backpack it is!
I try to keep things as minimal as possible to keep my bag light and open for any possible purchases**. I have a mid sized backpack that has water bottle pockets on each side, comfy shoulder straps, and happens to have a strap with a buckle across the chest that connects the shoulder straps. I always thought this was silly and unnecessary until one day I randomly snapped it and I walked around a bit with it snapped. I was suddenly mad that I had never done it before! It was so much more comfortable!! So I often wear it snapped on a regular basis now.
My backpack also has a laptop sleeve that I use to protect my ears when I take them off! That way they stay flat and don’t get crushed.
There are a few affiliate links included in this post, but I only include links to things I truly use and love.
Here’s what I keep in my bag
I condense to a small, card only wallet. You don’t need to bring very many extra things. I put only my ID, some cash, and a credit card or two just in case in the wallet.
For my family and I, sunscreen is an absolute must. My husband thinks I’m a little crazy, but I throw my sunscreen in a plastic bag in case it were to spill or even just because it gets kind of greasy and I don’t want that all over my other stuff. I like to have a chapstick with SPF in my bag as well.
Between looking at FastPasses, booking new FastPasses, checking reservations, mobile ordering, checking your Memory Maker photos, checking wait times for rides, looking at the map, and the Disney Play app, not to mention any regular phone usage, my phone seems to quickly run out of juice. You can rent external chargers at the parks, but they are cheaper to buy on amazon in advance and bring with. Just remember to bring the cord for your phone! We also charged our stroller fans while there with the external chargers. THIS is the one we’ve used many times and love it
I love the Clorox brand spray sanitizer. THIS is the one I love and use No one wants to get sick while on vacation, so anything I can do to help avoid it, I’ll try! I put a sanitizer in one of the water bottle pockets so it’s super easy access. It’s a bit on the expensive side for hand sanitizer, but it is a 4 pack and I use them all the time and still haven’t finished one a year later!
It’s nice to be able to keep on truckin even if it decides to rain on you a bit! Even though they are a bit pricey, if you have ponchos from the parks and they get torn, you can exchange them for new ones in the stores!
Reusable Water Bottle
Water is free. I repeat WATER IS FREE. You could easily spend a hundred dollars, or more, over the span of a vacation on water bottles alone for your family. Any quick service restaurant will happily give you as many cups of water as you ask for! We bring THESE water bottles with us and get bigger sizes for the adults and smaller for each kiddo.
I like to keep a small Neosporin and some Band-Aids, along with ibuprofen in a small baggie for any just in case situations.
Depending on the weather, you might want a light coat or sweatshirt to have in the early morning or evening. If the kids are with, I keep a complete change of clothes for them, and for adults, I usually bring an extra shirt just in case.
You can bring your own food into the parks! When I am in the parks, I love to enjoy all the delicious snacks there, but sometimes you just want a little snack while in line, so it’s nice to have a few on hand
I like to bring a couple extra ziplock bags in case something were to get wet I can still carry it, but the rest of the bag can stay seperate and dry. Or before going on a water ride, or during any rain shower, you can protect anything you might want to be sure stays dry.
If my kiddos are with me, an autograph book and pen are a must. They love having these books for meeting characters. My son also loves the penny press machines. Quarters fit perfectly into the plastic tube that mini M&M come in, so we put quarters and shiny pennies in one of those to have ready for the machines. One of those extra bags can come in handy to keep all the newly pressed pennies from getting lost!
I bring a change of clothes for my kids just in case. Of course you could buy something new if they get wet or messy (or in the case of my daughter, poop all over everything … twice), but I’d rather not pay park prices for a new outfit, and I also don’t want them super messy in all the photos. She needs diapers and wipes too, but we still need a stroller, so those go in the bottom of the stroller and not IN my bag.
Above is what I have in my own bag, but here are some extra things some people like to add to their bags
- Sunglasses or a hat
- Paper maps
- Spray/misting fans
- Coins for penny press machines
- Contacts – my husband always likes to have an extra pair with just in case
- Change of clothes (especially if you have small kids with you)
**Pro tip: If you are staying on property, you can have any purchases made in the parks sent to your hotel for no charge! Packages are delivered by 3pm the following afternoon. If you want that purchase before the next day, you can have it sent to the front of the park, so as you exit that night, you pick it up!
Now that you know what to bring to the parks with you, let me help you get there. I’d love to help you plan your next Disney trip! Fill out the form under “Free Quote” or email me directly at Jill@ThinkTheHappiestThoughts.com