If you’re going to Disney World, you’ve probably been planning this trip for months, so you want everything to go as well as possible. To make the most of your trip, there are a few things you should make sure you have with you in the park.
Most of these things can be bought in the park, but getting them ahead of time is a great way to save money and make sure you’re not scrambling to find them in the park.
Now let’s get to the list!
The Disney Packing List Essentials
Even if you bought your tickets online, it’s a good idea to have them printed out just in case you have a problem pulling them up on your phone. And if you’ve got Magic Bands, don’t forget to bring them.
Cash & Documents
There are ATMs in the park, but to avoid the fees, it’s a good idea to bring some cash of your own. Of course, you don’t want to bring too much, so if it gets lost or stolen, you’re not out a bunch of money. Shops and restaurants take cards anyway, so there shouldn’t be any need to stuff your pockets full of money.
Comfortable Day Bag
Obviously, you’ll need a bag to put the rest of this stuff in. Choose one with padded straps and pockets for keeping things organized and accessible.
Cast members at counter service restaurants will even refill your water for you.
Outside food and drinks are allowed inside Disney parks, so bringing your own snacks is a great way to save money. I recommend avoiding snacks that require coolers or cold packs so you’re not carrying a bunch of extra weight and bulk.
Phone & Battery Pack
A phone is essential for taking pictures and for coordinating with other group members if you separate. A charging pack (and cables) will ensure your phone’s battery remains charged so you can use your phone as much as you’d like.
Meet and greets with characters is an essential part of the Disney experience, so make sure you have an autograph book before you go.
Disney World visitors can walk up to 10 miles in just one day at the park, so you absolutely need to have comfortable, supportive shoes.
Water rides and rain can leave your clothes soaked, so it’s a good idea to have a spare set of clothes so you have something dry to wear. If you’re visiting Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach, you’ll especially appreciate having a dry set of clothes for when you leave and return to the hotel.
Large zipper bags can protect spare clothing and store wet or dirty clothes while you’re at the park. Smaller ones can protect documents and electronics.
Weather Packing List for Disney World
Afternoon storms are frequent in Orlando, so you should be prepared for them. Once they hit, there’ll be a lot of people cramming up various gift shops trying to buy ponchos, but you can avoid the hassle (and the dramatic markup) by bringing your own. A poncho also helps keep your clothes dry on water rides like Kali River Rapids or Splash Mountain.
Umbrellas are handy because they protect you not just from rain, but from the harsh Florida sun. Small, collapsible umbrellas fit easily into backpacks.
Apply sunscreen before leaving for the park, then reapply it throughout the day. Time spent waiting in long lines is an excellent opportunity to reapply. Look for a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with at least 50 SPF. I like Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen because it doesn’t feel sticky or greasy. It’s also a good idea to have an after-burn gel like Sun Burnt in case burns do occur.
You don’t want to be squinting all day, so sunglasses are a must. A pair with UV protection will also prevent sunburn on your eyes and the area around them.
Lip Balm with SPF
Just like the rest of your skin, your lips can burn. It’s a good idea to carry lip balm with SPF to not only prevent burns but also help keep your lips from getting chapped.
Basic Hygiene and First Aid Packing List
After Burn Gel
Ideally, you’ll avoid sunburns altogether, but if they do happen, it’s a good idea to have something to treat it.
Hand Sanitizer & Wipes
Disney does a great job keeping the park clean, but the fact is that surfaces in the park are constantly touched by tons of people. Use hand sanitizer between washing your hands to keep your hands clean and wipe down surfaces before eating.
Applying Body Glide before you get dressed is a must if you want to prevent chafing and blisters as you walk through the park.
Disney offers on-site First Aid centers, so you don’t need to worry about anything more than the basics. Things like moleskin, band-aids, alcohol wipes, pain reliever, and Tums will all reduce the odds of having to visit a First Aid center, and without adding too much weight to your bag. If you have any prescription medications you need, make sure you have those too.
Optional Items for Disney
Pennies and Quarters
Flattened penny collectors will want to make sure that they have quarters and shiny pennies for the flattened penny machines.
If you’ve got little ones, a stroller is a must. As we’ve already established, a day at Disney can involve a lot of walking, and a stroller makes it much easier on small children.
If you’d like to trade pins at the park, you may want to buy a multipack ahead of time to get you started. That way, you won’t be searching for pins to trade in the park.
This list should get you started with planning what to take to Disney World, but depending on your circumstances, you may not need everything. There may also be other items that are essential for you, so use your discretion when packing your day bag.
And remember, if your group includes several adults, you can divide up the items that can be shared, like sunscreen and first aid supplies. That way, one person doesn’t have to carry everything. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll need to stow all bags in lockers before some rides, so you don’t want to bring in a bunch of bags either.