We’re sharing the must-have things you need on your packing list for Disney World!
Wondering what to bring to Disney World? We’ve got you covered!
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Are you struggling with what to pack for a day at Walt Disney World? Let’s figure it out together with our nine vital Disney World packing list items.
Walt Disney World comprises four distinct parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
Even though the experience at each theme park is unique, your Disney packing list will likely be the same regardless of where you’re headed.
But the question remains: what do I bring on my Disney vacation? Knowing how to pack for Disney World is so important!
With so much to do and see at Walt Disney World, you could spend a day or more exploring just one of their magical parks.
To make the most of your time, it’s essential that you’re prepared for everything Disney (and Mother Nature) could throw at you.
Luckily, I’ve put together a handy Disney packing list with everything you need to spend a successful day at any Walt Disney World park.
Let’s take a look at what you need to bring, so you don’t leave any essentials behind in your hotel room.
1. A Comfortable and Lightweight Park Bag
First, you’ll need a comfortable and lightweight park bag to carry all of your Disney World essentials.
The most important thing to consider when selecting a park bag is how heavy the bag is when it’s empty.
Considering Disney World’s physical size and the many adventures you’ll embark on, you’ll likely carry this bag around from morning til night.
A too-heavy backpack will feel like a ton of bricks once loaded with your other vital packing items.
Consider a bag made of lightweight materials like nylon to keep your back and shoulders in tip-top shape all day long.
Other features to consider in a Disney day bag would be the amount of storage offered, padded shoulder straps, concealed compartments for your wallet or other valuables, and a waterproof exterior (just in case you get caught in the rain!).
If backpacks aren’t your style, other great alternatives are cross-body bags, a fanny pack, or a sporty sling pack.
Whichever type you choose, take it for a test drive around the house before you leave. Try a different style if you can’t stand wearing it for more than a few minutes. You’ll be glad you did!
2. Rain Gear and Extra Clothes
There’s a saying in Florida that says, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” It’s so true!
Florida weather can be tricky and unpredictable, especially in peak tourism season.
One moment it’s sunny and humid (classic Florida heat!), and the next, it’s pouring rain. That’s why it’s essential to come prepared.
There’s no better way to weather any storm than with a classic rain poncho. Many retailers sell individually packed ponchos for the whole family that can easily fit into any park bag.
Plus, a variety of colors ensures that everyone in your party gets the poncho they most prefer.
You can check out our list of the best rain ponchos for Disney World to ensure you’re prepared!
You can also check out our tips for enjoying Disney World in the rain.
Weather-aside, Disney World also offers 12 water rides across the four main theme parks, including classics like Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the always exciting Splash Mountain.
If you’re planning on getting wet, it’s a good idea to bring a change of clothes. After all, there’s nothing worse than walking around in wet clothes and squeaky shoes.
Consider packing an entire extra outfit, including a t-shirt or sweatshirt, pants or shorts, socks, and underwear.
To save space in your day pack, you can roll your clothes instead of folding them. Rolling will also prevent your clothes from wrinkling, so you look neat and tidy at all times!
Expert tip: if you’re worried about your belongings getting wet on water rides, Disney World does offer locker rentals at all park locations.
3. Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen!
Protect yourself from the Florida sun by packing enough sunscreen to last the day.
Remember that most sunscreen manufacturers recommend that you reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming.
To cut down on time it takes to apply, many brands offer waterproof, continuous spray options so you stay protected no matter what the day may bring.
A quick press of a button will have all the people in your party sufficiently covered in a matter of seconds.
Sunscreen sticks are also great to carry in a back pocket and provide excellent and quick coverage for sensitive areas like your face and the top of your ears.
For an added layer of protection against the sun, clothing and hats with built-in SPF protection are an excellent addition to your Disney World wardrobe.
Many of these clothing items are also breathable and quick drying, so you can continue to lap those water rides without feeling soaked while waiting in line.
Don’t forget to protect your eyes as well. Sunglasses are a functional fashion. You’ll look good wearing them while keeping your eyes and the delicate skin around them protected from the sun’s UV rays.
Keep the case for your sunglasses close by, or invest in a lanyard. It would be a real bummer to lose your sunnies on one of the many rides.
4. Spending Money
It’s nearly impossible to leave Disney World without a souvenir, and honestly, why would you want to?!
With so many shops and vendor stands to explore, you’ll want to have a little money set aside for that special Disney-themed memento.
To help keep their cast members safe, Disney World is increasingly recommending electronic payments. Their preferred payment method is credit and debit cards or gift cards.
Don’t have a credit card or debit card? Don’t worry, cash is still accepted despite the recommendation.
To avoid overspending, set a budget for your souvenir purchase in advance (you can even purchase Disney gift cards for this purpose).
Knowing how much you want to spend will help you pick the perfect souvenir without breaking the bank!
Make sure that you take your time when picking your souvenir.
Every generation has its Disney trends and this generation’s light-up bubble wands. Disney World has fantastic t-shirts, blankets, and character statues if you want something classic and long-lasting.
Of course, you can never go wrong with a pair of Mickey Mouse ears.
Lastly, I highly recommend waiting until you’re about to leave the Disney park before purchasing your souvenirs.
You can spend your day window shopping and planning your purchase, but wait to check out until you’re ready to leave.
Doing so means you won’t have to add any extras to your park bag or risk breaking fragile items (traditional souvenir resort hotel delivery is currently paused at Disney World).
5. Water Bottle and Snacks
Disney World has relatively lax rules about what you can and can’t bring into the parks, which means you are allowed to bring food into Disney World.
Food- and drink-wise, pretty much anything goes as long as it’s not in a glass container, is not alcoholic, doesn’t need to be heated or refrigerated, and doesn’t give off too pungent of a smell.
This is excellent news for people with food allergies or sensitivities, parents of picky eaters, those trying to eat healthy at Disney World, or anyone with dietary restrictions.
I recommend investing in your own snacks to bring along. Choose high-quality, healthy snacks like protein bars, trail mix, veggie sticks, and cut fruit. These choices will help keep your energy high and your costs down.
If you opt to pack food that requires refrigeration, a small cooler with bagged ice or ice packs is the best way.
Remember, Disney World does not allow rolling containers as they may pose a trip hazard to other guests.
A refillable water bottle is also a must-have item.
Walt Disney World parks have many water fountains where you can refill your reusable water bottle as often as possible.
After all, staying hydrated is one of the ways to keep everyone feeling refreshed all day long, so having your own water bottles on hand is helpful.
Remember that Walt Disney World resort cast members will inspect all bags when you arrive at the parks.
Make sure your foods are appropriately packaged and playing by the rules to avoid hang-ups when you pass through security.
6. Small First Aid Kit
Whether you’ve tripped over your own feet hustling towards your favorite ride, worn too-new shoes and given yourself a blister, or forgot to reapply sunscreen and ended up with a nasty sunburn, a small first aid kit is sure to come in handy.
The best first aid kits come packed with essentials like bandaids, gauze, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, and travel-sized pain relievers of acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Your first aid kit is also an excellent place to store personal medications if you have any.
Just because it’s a first aid kit doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
Pick up one of these “Mickey Mouse Ouch Pouches,” and your first aid kit will be cute and on-theme.
These transparent pouches make your items easy to find when you need them, and because the Ouch Pouches are purchased empty, you can customize your first aid kit to fit your unique needs.
If you forget an item for your first aid kit, feel the Disney rash cropping up, or need advice from a professional, Disney parks have First Aid Stations.
These stations are staffed with licensed nurses who can help you in a pinch. You’ll also find free sample sizes of common over-the-counter medications, bandaids, and more.
- How to Prevent Blisters at Disney World
- Tips for Taking Care of your Disney Feet
- Best Shoes to Wear to Disney World
7. Phone and/or Camera
With so many iconic photo locations in Disney World, you’ll want to make sure you have your phone or camera available at all times so you can capture the moment.
Disney World has so many social media-worthy backdrops! You can skip the Memory Maker service and use your own camera instead!
The beautiful locations are perfect for displaying your new Mickey ears, taking a selfie at Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, or posing for Disney Princess pic with Anna or Elsa by your side.
Your smartphone camera has everything you need for on-the-go snaps.
With a smartphone, you can also take advantage of Disney World’s newest services: Disney Genie and Disney Genie+.
These services are built into the My Disney Experience app and give you access to fun PhotoPass lenses that transform the scenes around you in certain areas of each park.
If your photography skills are a little more advanced and you don’t mind carrying the extra equipment, digital SLRs offer more polished and personalized photos.
Being able to swap out a lens can take a picture from so-so to magical in a matter of seconds.
Don’t worry if you’re not a natural shutterbug; Disney World offers 20-40 minute photo sessions for an extra fee at their Magic Kingdom Park.
A professional photographer will accompany you to the best photo locations where they’ll capture the fun and excitement of your Magic Kingdom experience.
You’ll walk away with many photos to choose from that you can purchase and download from the comfort of your home.
This is the perfect alternative if you’d rather live in the moment than watch it unfold from behind a screen.
Whichever option you choose, ensure your camera is ready to capture your picture-perfect moments at Disney World.
8. A Forward Facing Stroller
This one is for all the parents of small children out there! If you’re tempted to bring a wagon into any of the Disney World parks, think again!
Like rolling containers, wagons (or any device you pull behind) pose a tripping hazard to other guests, impede traffic flow, and add to the overall congestion of Disney World parks.
If you’re bringing a stroller, ensure it is forward facing and no more than 31” wide by 52” long.
If you’re unsure of your stroller’s dimensions, take a quick moment to measure it at home before you leave for the day.
Alternatively, Disney World parks have size check locations outside their park entrances.
If your stroller exceeds the measurements set by Disney World, you have the option of renting a stroller for an extra fee from any Guest Services location.
Usually, stroller rentals are found immediately inside the park entrances.
One last thing about strollers: if you’re conflicted about whether or not to bring a stroller for your child, I recommend getting one anyways.
Disney World is a BIG place; you will walk your feet off. Having a stroller will give your little one a chance to rest and lets you get from ride to ride quicker than your child can walk.
Plus, when your child isn’t using their stroller, you can offload your day pack into the stroller seat giving your back a much-welcomed break.
It’s worth mentioning that mobility devices do not have the same size restrictions as strollers. Disney World is renowned for its work to accommodate every guest regardless of mobility challenges.
9. An Autograph Book
Did you know that almost every character you meet at Disney World can sign an autograph book?
Not every character can sign their name, though. Some have a unique stamp or give out signature cards instead.
Regardless, an autograph book is a time-honored Disney keepsake.
Disney autograph books are also an excellent activity for kids. Challenge your kids to a game!
See who can get as many autographs as possible, seek out only princesses, or see if you can spot the rarest characters like Prince Eric or Jack Skellington!
Games like these help pass the time as you move from ride to ride. It’s like Disney’s version of “I Spy With My Little Eye,” but way more fun.
If you’re looking for an affordable souvenir, autograph books fit the bill.
Many of these books start at under $10 and go up. Standard size, blank books tend to be the most economical option, while larger books with room for pictures and personal commentary are more expensive.
While you can put a cost on the book, the signatures inside are priceless. Many Disney guests that first visited the parks as children still have their autograph books well into adulthood!
One piece of advice: pens are not always the best writing tool for a Disney autograph book. I recommend you purchase a package of colorful Sharpies to stash in your backpack.
Sharpies are easier for some characters to write with, but they will also give your autograph book a more unique and custom feel.
Lastly, there are some instances where characters will not be able to sign your autograph book. When in doubt, ask the character attendant if signings are allowed.
If you have your heart set on a specific autograph from your favorite character, head to a character meet and greet where signings are always allowed.
So there you have it: nine vital Disney World packing list items you don’t want to forget.
With the right tools, packing for a Disney trip can (almost!) be as fun as the parks.
Using this list as your guide, lay out all your items in a spacious location, choose your day pack, and let the game of packing Tetris begin!
If you have trouble finding space for these nine essential items, don’t be afraid to offload some of the weight to your partner or friends.
Disney World is a shared experience, including the items you bring into the parks. 😉
Be sure to save this list to your Disney board on Pinterest!