Your theme park bag is one of the most important parts of your entire trip. Without a well-packed bag, your park day can get derailed quickly. After all of the time, money, and excitement you've put towards your vacation, that's the last thing that you want! I give to you one of my most coveted tips...how to pack your park bag!
Be sure to grab my FREE park bag packing checklist below!
First things first, you'll actually need a park bag. The park bag that you choose will depend on who you're traveling with and which parks you're visiting. I've previously talked about the best park bags for every guest. I suggest starting there if you're trying to decide on what type of bag you'll need. However, today we're going to focus on what goes inside that bag!
The first things you're going to carry with you are the obvious basics. This includes things like cash, credit cards, and IDs. I personally prefer not to carry my entire wallet, and instead use a zip-top wallet. If you're looking for a luxury version, this Michael Kors wallet is perfect. This Vera Bradley change purse is very similar to the one I carry. (Except mine has a Hufflepuff print!)
You likely always have your phone with you anyway, but make this is more important than ever. You'll use your phone to take photos, order food, check wait times, and can even house your tickets and park passes into there! Therefore, you're also going to want a portable charger in that bag, too. This is identical to my favorite charger! (I couldn't get a link to my exact charger, sorry!
Health and Safety
The next category we're going to make sure we have are anything related to health and safety. Face coverings* (if you're wearing them), hand sanitizer, and band aids. Hand sanitizer has long been a staple on my packing lists long before 2020, but now it's even higher on my list! Band-Aids are another good one to carry with you. In addition to their normal uses, you'll definitely want those to cover any blisters on your feet. There's nothing worse than touring with blisters!
*This list previously recommended 2 face coverings per person, per day. As of April 18, 2022, face coverings have become optional at all Walt Disney World locations. You know your family best! Do what works for you and your travel party.
Florida is not only hot, but V E R Y humid. It's also full of unpredicted weather. It's not unheard of to have a beautiful morning and evening with a monsoon-level storm for an hour in the afternoon. For this reason, you'll need to be prepared, rain or shine. The first item you'll need, no matter the temperature, is sunscreen. (Don't make the major mistake that I made a few years ago!) With all of that heat, I also recommend either (or both!) a personal fan and a cooling towel. I also encourage all clients to carry ponchos with them. A poncho will allow you to get around during any downpours and are also a game-changer when it comes to water rides! Which brings me to my final category...
Ready for Anything!
There are a few items to include in that park bag that may not make sense when you read my checklist, but trust me on this! The first is a variety of Ziploc bags. Use one to keep face coverings (if you're wearing them) safe and clean while you're eating. Use a larger gallon size to hold wet ponchos. If you're riding Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids, you can also keep cell phones in a sandwich size bag to help keep them extra dry. (I'm a big Ziploc fan, clearly.) I also recommend carrying a hydrating lip balm. Finally, I recommend a water bottle strap. This one doesn't necessarily stay in your park bag, per say, but staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do.
If you found this list helpful, be sure to check out some of my other packing tips:
Best Items to Beat the Heat
New Items to Pack
Click here to get a full, comprehensive vacation packing checklist.
One of my TOP travel tips is a simple one, but one that many people overlook. STAY HYDRATED!
Drink water more frequently than you think you need to. (Just be stationary and in a designated area to do it!) Between the heat, the walking, the adult beverages, or any combination of those...it’s easy to become dehydrated quickly in the parks. Find a spot to sit and sip some water AT LEAST once per hour!
I always like to bring water bottle straps with me to the parks to remind me to hydrate! The one is this photo is one of my “vintage” WDW lanyards from the 90s, but Amazon has tons of options. Quick service locations will offer a free cup of water. Use that to refill those water bottles!
Do you have any other tips for staying hydrated in the parks?
Your park bag is one of the most important parts of your trip. Whether you're traveling solo, with a family, riding rides, or shopping, I'm breaking down the best bag for each type of traveler! Just make sure you follow my only rule: ALL BAGS MUST ZIP!
For the Family Traveling Together: Full-Size Backpack
Invest in a great sturdy backpack. I have one from Thirty-One that I bought YEARS ago to use as a park bag, and still use it on every trip. (And yes, that's my maiden name embroidered on it! Told you I've had it for years!) This bag has two large zipper pockets to keep things organized, a smaller zipper pocket (great for snacks), two side pockets for water bottles, an interior zipper pouch, and the world's most comfortable shoulder straps. There's plenty of space to keep everyone's things organized and protected.