Last year I shared What’s In My Walt Disney World Park Bag. Several more family Disney trips have come and gone since then and my park bag essentials have been refined. Here is the updated list of items I keep in my Disney park bag that are helpful to have on my back for every trip into the Disney parks.
Vera Bradley Mickey and Minnie Medallion backpack
This bag is everything! It’s so comfortable and easily holds all the essentials while leaving plenty of space for purchases. And it still looks brand new after dragging it around the parks for nearly a half dozen week-long trips.
A smartphone – any phone that supports the Walt Disney World app – is a MUST at the Disney parks. Carrying a device to make all those additional FastPass reservations and avoid waiting in stand-by lines is priceless.
I always carry a “real camera” despite taking the majority of photos with my iPhone 7 Plus these days. This Olympus OMD E-M10 Mark II produces incredible image quality while being small and lightweight, which was the main reason I traded in my old Canon 7D. I broke the 14-42mm stock lens (*facepalm* keep your cameras in protective cases, kids) and replaced it with a 45mm f1.8 fixed lens. I continue to be impressed by the image quality I get from this camera/lens combination and use it for distance and detail shots – it’s amazing for safari pictures at Animal Kingdom! When it’s not hanging from my neck, the camera is protected in the backpack in a pouch from Camera Coats and Straps on Etsy.
We always carry around at least one extra MagicBand and/or hard ticket for each of us because those buggers DO fall off (we know this from experience!) or can be forgotten when leaving the hotel room in the morning (again, experience is the best teacher). Disney cast members have shown us impeccable customer service in replacing lost MagicBands, but it’s still a hassle to waste time completing that process when we could easily just pull another one out of the backpack.
Chances are, if you see me anywhere in my normal daily life, I’ll have a water bottle with me. This is even more important when outside in the Florida heat walking around all day. Our favorite is the Nalgene Tritan 24oz On The Fly bottle which is made from rugged BPA-free plastic and has a flip top that is quick to access and yet fastens securely. My boys also carry these to school every day.
We ventured to the parks outside of winter this year and have been reintroduced to the horror that is Florida Humidity. I keep two of these portable, USB rechargeable handheld fans in the backpack and the boys love carrying their own breeze machines around! Complaints about the heat immediately disappear when these fans are in use. Magic!
Having emergency food on hand to immediately appease a cranky kid (or *cough* myself) is essential! My kids’ go-to portable snack is Zbars and there are always a few in the bottom of the backpack.
Autograph book and Sharpies
A Mickey autograph deserves a golden touch. Carrying around an autograph book with Sharpies is a must and metallic ones are just more fun!
We eat 95% of our Disney meals at quick service dining locations and while Disney does a great job keeping those tables clean between guests, we can often find a little mess left behind when there is a quick turnaround. We always have premoistened wipes to clean up tables, clean mouths from ice cream, and to quickly wash hands before a snack.
Pouch of little things…
Because you never want to get stuck without a bandaid when you need one or some aspirin/ibuprofen when you feel a headache coming on at the Most Magical Place on Earth. And we keep all these little items in a clear pouch. Those security bag checkers at the entrance to each park are thorough! The clear pouches make check-in time quicker with one less zipper to open.
… because it’s Florida.
It’s not called the Sunshine State for nothin’.
The backpack never begins the day full. This gives us space to shed jackets in the winter or hold any small purchases we may make.
So what are your park day essentials?