First things first – what is a park bag?
My family tells me I use too much Disney jargon, so I want to make sure I am explaining myself well. A park bag is a bag (I use a backpack) where you carry all the items you need or might need during a day at the parks. Some people pack enough stuff that they could survive in the jungle for a week, but I don’t want to carry such a huge cumbersome bag all day. I prefer to carry a moderate amount of stuff and if I have to cave and buy something at the park I will.
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What you carry in your park bag will vary by the members of your group and how old they are. If you would like a printable version of my park bag packing list and my Disney World planning timeline subscribe and the links will be sent to you once the subscription is confirmed. Are you looking for a full Disney World packing checklist? I have that, too.
- Magic Bands or Park tickets
- Sunscreen – I usually buy the Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen Stick because it works well for us and is super compact (about the size of a deodorant). Affiliate Link: Buy on Amazon
- Thermos – I bring an insulated thermos water bottle for each of us. It is amazing to have a cold sip of water in the middle of a hot and busy day. You can also request free ice water at the parks.
- Matador blanket – A super thin foldable blanket (affiliate link:buy the newer version of mine on Amazon) that can help keep your seat dry if it has recently been raining or mark a viewing spot for a parade.
- A costume and custom ears – Or if your child is already wearing the costume, some room to put it in bag later when s/he suddenly hates wearing said costume.
- Light layer – As evening approaches or when you go into a restaurant you may find yourself or a member of your group is a little chilly.
- Poncho or rain coat – Because, well, Florida. If going to Disneyland it is less essential, just check weather reports to be safe.
- Bug repellant – Just in case. I always bring some since I am first to be attacked, but have yet to use it at any Disney park.
Autograph book and click Sharpie – I prefer the click Sharpie (affiliate link:buy it on Amazon) to regular ones since I don’t have to worry about losing the lid. It seems easier for the characters like Mickey, too. Here’s a link to the beautiful custom autograph books we always order.
Band-aids – Great for miscellaneous boo-boos and blisters.
Wet Ones wipes – Hand sanitizer is usually fine, but sometimes you just want to wipe the yuck off of your hands, too. So to save space I just bring the wipes.
Clorox wipes – Nice to have in case you need to wipe down a table to eat at a quick service restaurant. Also, I am a germ freak. Especially after Elizabeth got very sick at the end of a trip when she was 4 years old at Disney World. Can’t be too safe!
Snacks – I don’t usually pack anything for the adults in the group, but make sure I pack allergy-safe snacks for Elizabeth. You are free to pack whatever snacks your crew would want.
Coloring book and crayons – We have coloring items to kill time while waiting for a parade or at a restaurant. I usually buy the $1 Grab & Go packs at Target.
Glow items – I usually buy packs of bracelets, necklaces and wands at the dollar store. The bracelets double as a stroller marker at night (which is way more helpful than I ever imagined).
Maps/Times Guide – These items can be found at the entrance to the park or on the official Disney World and Disneyland phone apps. Sometimes I want to save my battery or just want an old-fashioned map so I always grab a paper one as a back-up.
Spare batteries/portable charger – I have used the heck out of this Anker charger (affiliate link: buy it on Amazon) and still love it.
Ziploc bag – To keep phone dry on water rides.
For those traveling with babies or other small children:
- Diapers and wipes
- Baby food
- Bottles and formula
- Sun hat
- Blanket or snuggle toy – For little ones that actually sleep in a stroller. You lucky ducks.
- Small toys – To keep them distracted during waits
- A change of clothes – Because with little kids sometimes you need an outfit change because of a diaper mess, food or potty accident
- Gallon Ziploc bag – To safely hold whatever happened to the first outfit
- Stroller cover – Much like a poncho, but for the stroller. This will save you from having a soaking wet stroller if rain starts when you are waiting for or on a ride. I usually use a cheap clear shower curtain and clothespin-type clips to hold plastic in place. This trick has saved us a few times.
- Battery powered fan for stroller (affiliate link:buy it on Amazon)
This has been my park bag packing list for several years now and (knock on wood) it has worked like a charm on our trips.
Do you need more help planning your Disney World trip? Check out other Disney World tips and tricks in my Disney World Guides.
Or are you going to Disneyland in California? I have helpful articles for you, too!
I can’t wait for you to experience the magic at the Disney Parks!