Whilst the park bag checks slightly delay entry into the parks it can be worth it to have a few comforts that will improve your experience for a full-on day. We recommend a back pack with comfortable straps that spreads the load. It is also a great place to store any purchases to keep your hands free. Below are a few good ideas of things that are always in our bag:
Wallet & Tickets
Carry different methods of payment, a combination of cash and card, proof of ID (Photo ID such as Driving License) is sometimes requested for credit card transactions. Make sure you also have your touch to enter admission card or MagicBands to hand for park entry and for FastPass+.
Hat & Sunglasses
This is a personal preference which comes in many forms, regardless we recommend some kind of head and/or eye protection from the Florida sunshine. Oh and a little tip from personal experience best to stow any hats in bag before splash mountain!
In Florida suncream is a must, make sure you pack one suitable for your skin type and apply as required. To protect your bag & contents it’s a good idea to place it in a sealable clear bag in case of incident. You may also choose to carry some sort of SPF lip balm.
Pre-downloaded with My Disney Experience (MDE) App, this is one of the best way to monitor wait times, book FastPass+, get directions, check your itinerary and book restaurants. As a UK visitor we tend to turn our data off to save large data costs. The Walt Disney World Parks, Resorts and Disney Springs all have free WiFi to utilise, whilst this is a great service it can be a little temperamental so we suggest you take a screenshot of your MDE app daily itinerary to make sure you know the time of your FastPass+ and Dining reservations are.
Portable Battery Charger
Charge is something that seems to mysteriously disappear from mobile phones whilst in the parks. A combination of capturing those holiday photos, posting on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and using the MDE App. Trust us you will be please you have a method to recharge.
Camera, Spare Batteries & Memory Cards
This is a personal choice for some their phone is enough, but for others a Camera is important for those holiday snaps. Depending on the day planned we will vary our equipment. Whatever you choose to use make sure you have enough battery and memory to catch those magic holiday memories. Top Tip – If you didn’t purchase memory maker then don’t worry the Cast Members are happy to take a picture with your camera, all you have to do is ask.
Water Bottle / Hydration Pack
I know it sounds boring but keeping hydrated is key to having a good day in the parks. If you keep yourself hydrated you will not tire so quickly. To save money buy water in bulk at Walmart / Publix, it is much cheaper than in the parks. Just chill in the Villa Fridge the night before, then simply take it with you. To keep it cool for longer we often decanter into thermally insulated bottles or a hydration pack (such as a Platypus, Camelback) This is another top tip, we find a hydration pack means you drink little and often as you don’t have to remove your bag or ask someone to get it for you.
During the cooler winter months and even for some during the summer due to restaurant air conditioning this may be a good idea. A light sweater is often all you need for early morning starts in the cooler months.
Not wanting to miss out on a potential trade we always carry these with us, for us pin trading is a big part of our trip and a great way to interact with Cast Members and other park guests.
Pain relief tablets can be found in limited park locations best to take in your own for convenience. Another must is blister plasters, your feet will inevitably take a pounding in the parks, we have always been amazed how shoes that have never given us issue start to rub after a 12 hour park day. For these occasions having a small pack of blister plasters has always helped to keep us going.
Taking snacks into the park can save dollars and great if you need a quick energy boost, great items are cereal bars, bags of nuts, crisps (aka chips) etc.
Items we don’t generally carry but should be considered:
When it rains in Florida it pours, best to be prepared with a poncho or light waterproof at the ready. The ponchos are small and do not take up much space in a bag, either buy one in the parks (only available on rainy days) or save a few dollars and buy ahead of time. These can also be used on water rides for those party members (or bags) that you don’t want to get wet.
Autograph book & pen
A must for kids and adults alike the autograph book is a great way to engage with characters. Most Disney gift shops will sell a variety of books and pens to fit most budgets. Pen wise be kind and provide one of the large pens this will make getting those important autographs easier and present the book open on the page you want signed.
Walt Disney Word do have some park rules on items that are banned. Common items you should be aware of are selfie sticks, tripods over a certain size, glass containers and Animal Kingdom bans plastic straws. Please take a look here for the full list.