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10 Things to Take into the Parks!

So, you’re planning your family’s first trip to Walt Disney World. You’ve got your matching shirts purchased and your swimsuits packed, but you’re just not sure what to bring with you into the theme parks? Read on to learn about the essentials you need as well as some helpful suggestions to help you survive a day in the Disney parks!


My park backpack (and Marie from Aristocats!)

First things first, you\’ll need a bag to carry all of your stuff! I personally prefer a backpack since they have plenty of room to carry everything as well as pockets to make organization a little easier. Plus backpacks are hands-free which is a major plus! If you\’re not a backpack person, you could consider bringing a tote bag, a sling bag, or even a waist pack if you don\’t plan on bringing everything on this list.

Don\’t worry about having to rent a locker or find somewhere to store your bag on rides–every ride at Walt Disney World has a place in front of you or under your seat to store your belongings! Now that you\’ve got your bag, what should you put in it?


1. The most important thing you need to have on your person at all times when you are at Walt Disney World is your Magic Band! Your Magic Bands hold your park tickets, your FastPass+ reservations, and they are also used to track your Photo Pass photos! You can even use it to find the best route from where you are to your next location. If you\’re staying at a Disney resort, it is also your room key, your credit card for purchases, and your dining plan payment (if applicable).

2. Another essential to have on you when you\’re in the theme parks is your smartphone, but more importantly, you\’ll want to download the My Disney Experience App onto your phone. This app allows you to see and change your dining and FastPass+ reservations, make new FastPass+ reservations after you\’ve used your three pre-booked for that day, see your PhotoPass photos, find out the wait times for attractions, and you can even use the map feature to locate the closest restroom, character meet, or restaurant.

One of the newest features is the ability to place a mobile order for food at some of the counter service restaurants . This feature allows you to skip the long line by ordering your food on the app and checking in once you arrive to pick up your food. Think of it as a FastPass for your lunch!



Portable phone charger.

3. Speaking of phones, you may want to bring a portable phone charger or power bank. These will allow you to keep your phone charged throughout the day which is essential since you can easily spend upwards of twelve hours in the parks on any given day! You can purchase these on Amazon or other major store or from the Mobile Charging Stations located throughout the parks.

4. You\’ll want to capture all of your fun memories from your vacation, so another thing to consider bringing to the parks is a camera! No need to lug around a heavy DSLR, a small digital camera or even the camera on your cell phone will do just fine. If you purchase the Memory Maker package for your trip, you may not want to bring a camera since you\’ll be able to utilize the Photo Pass locations throughout the parks to have your pictures taken, and everyone gets to be in the pictures that way!

5. Another thing you may want to consider bringing with you into the theme parks is your wallet. While your Magic Bands can be used to charge purchases to your room, it is always a good idea to have your insurance cards on you just in case, and you\’ll need your ID to purchase adult beverages! If you\’re staying off property, you\’ll likely need your driver\’s license and credit card for the day, too.

6. The next must-have is sunscreen. The central Florida sun is intense, even in the winter months. You don\’t want to let a sunburn ruin your fun! Make sure to buy this before you arrive at Walt Disney World in order to avoid paying way too much for sunscreen in the parks or resorts. You will want to apply before you head to the theme parks and re-apply throughout the day especially if you get wet on rides like Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids!

7. Speaking of the central Florida sun, it is almost always hot in Walt Disney World. It is absolutely essential to stay hydrated when you are spending a day walking miles and miles in the theme parks. You may want to consider bringing a refillable water bottle with you in your bag. If you do, make sure it is not glass as no glass products are allowed in the parks. You can get free water at any counter service location, but the best place to get it for free is at the Starbucks locations in each park as well as Disney Springs. There you can get triple-filtered water (no swamp-water taste!). If you\’d rather not lug around a water bottle all day, you can purchase Dasani bottled water all over the parks at any counter service location as well as ice cream and snack carts.


The best water bottle is one you will use! I like very insulated ones, so that my water stays nice and cold! Florida water has a definite taste, so you might consider bringing individual packets of powdered Gatorade, lemonade or other similar water flavorings.

8. Another item you can bring to help you beat the heat is a battery-powered personal fan. A fan will be your lifesaver on a long, hot day in the theme parks. It will help keep everyone cool and prevent meltdowns from little ones as well as grown-ups! Misters are also good!

Mister sold at Disney World

USB mini fan that plugs into your smartphone! These are very inexpensive and found at Amazon and other retailers.

9. You can expect rain during your Disney vacation. It rains almost every day at Walt Disney World. These rain showers often only last 15-30 minutes, but you may want to consider bringing a compact umbrella (or more than one for a family) or disposable rain ponchos.

Wearing ponchos in Pandora!

Ponchos are also great to protect your clothes and gear on water rides! If you don\’t want to bring either of these items, you can easily duck into an indoor ride or shop to wait out the rain. You usually won\’t be waiting too long! Ponchos are available in the parks for about $8.

10. Lastly, you may want to bring along some personal items. I always pack a small first-aid kit that includes band-aids, Neosporin, Tylenol, Tums, and Moleskin (for blisters). Hand sanitizer and wet wipes are also good things to bring with you to clean off sticky hands and surfaces and keep everyone clean and germ-free. Another personal item to consider is deodorant! Obviously you want to apply this before you leave your hotel room in the morning, but it never hurts to reapply throughout the day when you\’re sweating it out in the parks!

Now, these are some essentials that apply to any group traveling to Walt Disney World, but every group is different. Groups traveling with babies will obviously want to bring along a packed diaper bag to the parks. Families with kids may want to consider bringing a change of clothes in case their little ones get wet or dirty or extra snacks. People with medical needs will want to bring along their medications. The best thing you can do is think about the daily needs of the group you\’re traveling with and plan accordingly, and you\’ll enjoy a fun day in the theme parks!

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Katie is a lifelong Disney fan who visited Walt Disney World a few times throughout her childhood, but developed a passion for the Disney parks and planning Disney vacations after planning a trip for her first wedding anniversary back in 2014. 


Since then, she has been to Walt Disney World at least once a year, and fulfilled her longtime dream of going to Disneyland in 2016. She enjoys Dole Whips, riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and touring all of the different resorts that Disney has to offer. Contact Katie to plan your next Disney vacation!

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