Top 10 Items To Have With You In A Walt Disney World Park

Having the right things with you will make a day in a Walt Disney World theme park go a lot more smoothly. You also do not want to be stuck carrying extra stuff. The question is, how do you decide what you need, and what can stay back at the hotel? That is what this list is for. Of course each family is different, for you there might be some “must bring” items that have not been included. I came up with the list from my own personal experiences, these are the things that I always want to have. I spend a lot of time in the parks and I know which things I need each time that I am there.

I did not include items for small children here, you know what your kids are going to need for a day of fun. I have also kept out a couple of obvious items. Of course you are going to need your tickets, so they did not make the list. Most likely you will also want to have money or a credit card with you, so bring your wallet. Don’t forget your keys! None of these made the list because you already know that you will need them. Another thing that you might be surprised didn’t make the list is a camera. If you don’t bring one, use your phone to take pictures, or take advantage of PhotoPass.

Many of the items here are available in stores, so if you don’t have them with you all is not lost. Remember, though, that the price in a Walt Disney World store will be quite a bit higher than what you will pay elsewhere, so if these things are handy bring them instead of buying them. Nothing on this list will take up too much space, so these items won’t weigh you down.

Honorable Mention: Map and Times Guide

When you enter a park, pick up a map and the Times Guide. Even if you know the park well, having a map with you is never a bad idea. The show times often differ from one week to another, you don’t want to miss something because you had the time wrong. If you didn’t get them at the park entrance, just look for them in a store. Having a map will help you to better navigate the park, and it’s also a free souvenir.

10. Dry Socks

It might sound silly to bring socks into a theme park, but if it rains you will be glad that you have them! Don’t forget that there are also rides where you and your feet will get soaked. Wrap up a pair of extra socks in a plastic bag and take them with you. Once your socks get wet, place the old ones in the plastic bag so that none of your other things will get soggy. If you don’t end up needing them they did not take up a lot of room. If you get caught in a quick storm (they happen almost daily during the summer), your feet will thank you.

9. Aspirin or Other Pain Reliever

The heat, humidity, and the Florida sun can easily lead to a terrible headache. Remember as well that a full day at a theme park can take a lot out of anyone. There’s miles of walking, which can cause sore muscles. While you can stop by First Aid or buy small packages of pain relievers in some stores, you might want to just be prepared ahead of time.

8. Hand Sanitizer

Walt Disney World is filled with germs! Kids will wipe their noses and then touch the finger scanners at the front gate. People with colds will hold on for dear life on a ride right before you get on. Guests come from all over the world, bringing with them germs that you might not have previously been exposed to. A small container of hand sanitizer can get rid of some of those germs for you. People do not cancel a Disney vacation because of a cold, they come anyway. You do not want to bring home a stuffy nose as an unwanted souvenir from your trip. Wash your hands often, and use hand sanitizer as well.

7. Water Bottle

While in Central Florida you need to stay hydrated. On some days you might sweat more than you ever thought possible. While you can buy drinks in the parks, the cost quickly adds up. Bring a small water bottle with you and fill it up at the drinking fountains. You will be surprised by how often you decide that a quick swig is in order. Make sure that any little ones in your party drink plenty of water as well.

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6. Snacks

One thing that is nice about Disney is that they let you bring snacks into the parks. You can save time and money by bringing something to munch on in with you. You might want to keep it small and simple, after all you will need to carry the snack until you eat it. Having a snack can help keep everyone’s hunger at bay while waiting for a dinner reservation. Snacks are also great if you plan to eat at off hours to avoid the biggest crowds. You might even want to make peanut butter sandwiches and bring them with you so that you’ll have one less meal to pay for.

5. Sunscreen

It does not matter if you are visiting shady Animal Kingdom on a cloudy day in December, you will still want to use sunscreen. Every single day of the year there are people who say that they do not burn who end up red and miserable. Sunscreen does not take long to apply, and you can purchase a small tube so that you won’t be carrying a bulky container around with you. The Florida sun can and will damage your skin if you don’t protect yourself. Don’t risk your health or your vacation, apply sunscreen according to the package directions

4. Hat and Sunglasses

Speaking of the Florida sun, you will want to protect your eyes as well. A good hat with a brim and a pair of sunglasses will help to do just that. You will be glad that you can get the sun out of your eyes. A hat will also protect your face from getting burned (you should still use sunscreen) and it will also protect the top of your head from a painful sunburn in the part of your hair. Sunglasses will cut down on the glare and can even help to prevent headaches. If you need to take them off before a ride make sure that you have them once the ride is over. Too often hats and sunglasses are left behind.

3. Poncho

Forget the weather forecast and assume that it is going to rain. Showers and thunderstorms in Central Florida often arrive with little warning, especially during the summer months. One moment the sky will be blue and the next the rain is falling in sheets. Such storms usually pass quickly but you will want to be prepared for them. You can purchase inexpensive ponchos with Mickey on them in stores that are near the parks, or if you’re caught in a sudden storm you can pick ponchos up in most gift shops. An umbrella is not as much of a necessity, the quick storms often are accompanied by strong winds. An umbrella does not protect well against blowing rain, a poncho will keep you drier.

2. Smartphone

While this might seem like an obvious item, it still belongs on this list. With a smartphone you can make or cancel dinner reservations. You can check the wait times, see which rides you are closest to, discover when the next show is, and check your Fastpass+s. A  smartphone will help you to keep up with the rest of your family if you go off in more than one direction. You can use the phone’s camera to take pictures and then immediately add them to your favorite social media site. You can read restaurant reviews, check the weather forecast, even read the newspaper back home while you are waiting in line. Use the phone’s notepad to write down your parking spot so you will be able to find your car at the end of the night. A smartphone will help you to be able to do more while waiting less. It is something that you will be glad that you have with you.

1. Some Type of Bag

While this may also seem obvious, the type of bag that you bring into the park with you will make a difference. Remember that the larger the bag, the more things that you will end up carrying throughout the day. Find a bag that is going to be comfortable to carry for long hours, you do not want something that is going to dig into your shoulders. A fanny pack will leave your hands, shoulders, and back free, and it can be kept on during the rides. Consider buying one for each member of your family, that way the kids can carry their things so that one parent isn’t stuck carrying everything. Bulky backpacks can hurt your back after several hours, so if you bring one make sure that the straps are properly adjusted and use both of them. An over-the-shoulder carrier style bag works well for some people. If your bag isn’t waterproof, throw in a few plastic zipper bags to protect the contents in case it rains. Disney does not provide lockers, you will need to take the bag with you on the rides, or you can leave it with a non-rider. If the bag can’t be placed in your lap or on the floor there will usually be a pocket or compartment to put the bag in. Remember to take it with you once the ride is over.

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.