The New-Normal Park Packing List for Walt Disney World

Until there is a cure and a vaccine for COVID-19 we will all need to take precautions. That will include when visiting Walt Disney World. Here are a few things that will now be essential to have in your bag when heading to a theme park for the day. This is a daily list, not one for your entire vacation.


1. Thermometer

This isn’t really something to throw into your bag, but it is something that you should use before heading out. Since temperature checks are required, you might want to have a thermometer handy. Check your temperature before you leave for the day, as well as the temperatures of everyone in your party. This could save a lot of hassle once you arrive. And please, if you or someone in your family is not feeling well, stay home.

2. Extra Face Coverings

The CDC recommends the use of cloth face coverings that will cover the mouth and the nose. These are to keep other people safe. Wearing a single face mask all day can make it rather, well, gross, especially if you cough or sneeze at some point during the day. Throw a few extras into your park bag (two extras per person, maybe?). After you eat (or after that sneeze), pull out a new mask. This will allow you to stay fresher, and you can also sport a new style. There are plenty of fun designs out there, so this is your excuse to buy several.

3. Cooling Towels

Florida can be hot any time of the year. With the new regulations in place, many people are worried that they will be hotter than ever. Cooling towels are a great way to stay comfortable on a hot day. Add water, ring it out, and then place it around your neck. Cooling towels can instantly make you feel more comfortable. There are versions that are larger and will also work as a face covering. If you are really worried about the heat, those might be worth looking into.

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4. Portable Fans

Portable fans have been used by parents to keep their kids in strollers cool for years. Maybe it’s time to purchase them for the whole family! They come in several shapes and sizes. You can buy a small fan that will fit in your pocket, or maybe you would prefer a double fan that will go around your neck. Your fans do not need to add a lot to your vacation budget. You might be able to find some at your local dollar store! A fan is a great way to create a breeze, and we all know how important the breeze can be under the hot Florida sun.

5. Battery Packs

The My Disney Experience App has always made your Walt Disney World vacation easier, but it is about to become an essential tool for a park day. It will be needed for Virtual Queues, Mobile Ordering, checking menus, and much more. The problem with the My Disney Experience App is that it is a battery-drainer. One thing that you can do to save your battery life is to close the app when you are not using it. You are still going to want to make sure that you don’t run out of power. There are some high quality portable battery packs for sale that do not cost all that much. Some of them are powerful enough to charge several items. Others are small and lightweight. No matter what you decide to buy, you’ll be glad that you have it when your phone’s power starts to drop. Just don’t forget to bring a chord, or else your battery pack will be useless.

6. Small Bottle of Hand Sanitizer

Walt Disney World has added extra hand sanitizing stations everywhere. That said, there are times when you might want hand sanitizer, but you are not near a dispenser. Even though Little Billy knows that he’s not supposed to touch the railings, he does it without thinking because he’s tired of standing straight. Little Suzie sees a flashing light in a queue, and she can’t help but touch it. If you have a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your bag, you will not have to worry about who touched something before you, or try to keep the kids from touching anything else before you can find a dispenser.

Credit: Disney

7. Hand Lotion

Speaking of hand sanitizer, it does a great job of killing germs, and it has proven effective against COVID-19. It can also really dry out your hands. It is not a bad idea to keep a small bottle of hand lotion with you, so that you can try to get some moisture back into your skin. The best time to use it is right after you wash your hands, while they are still slightly wet. The hand lotion will work with the water to make your skin less dry.

8. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is an item that you always need to have in your park bag, no matter what time of year you visit Walt Disney World. That said, you need it now more than ever. Temperature screenings are a part of our new normal. The touchless system takes a quick readout of your skin temperature on your forehead. If you have a sunburn, you risk that your skin temperature will be higher than normal. Disney does have plans in place for those who register above 100.4 degrees, but do you really want the hassle? Use sunscreen so that you will not get burned, and then you won’t have to worry about a high skin temperature reading.

9. Bottled Water

It is important to stay hydrated while at Walt Disney World. That said, this might not be the time to get a refreshing drink out of a public water fountain. If you bring bottles of water with you, you can stay hydrated and safe at the same time. This can also save you some money. The cost of buying bottled water for every member of your family will add up quickly. If you brought your own water you can then spend that money on something else, such as Dole Whip through Mobile Order. You’ll be able to order the iconic treat because your battery didn’t die, thanks to your portable battery pack.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.