22 Must Haves for Your Disney Vacation

March 17, 2023

Planning a Disney World theme parks trip this summer? If you’ve landed here, you probably want to know what to pack for your Disney trip. Well you’re in luck because in this post, I cover my 22 must haves for your Disney vacation.

Growing up in Florida, going to Disney World has always been my favorite staycation so I’ve learned a thing or two about taking a Disney trip and what to pack. Especially when it comes to the littles.

Melissa and I have been going to Walt Disney World for years and if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that you have to go fully prepared and know what to pack for Disney!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to make a purchase. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. You can read disclaimer here

What are the Disney Essentials to Pack?

When you pack for Disney, you want to be sure you cover all your bases. The trek across Walt Disney World can get exhausting quick if you’re not well-prepared.

Pay close attention to the items you include in your backpack because once you leave your hotel room, that’s it. You don’t want to have to leave the park for a hotel run because you forgot something. Being prepared will save you a ton of time and headache!

The basic essentials include items like refillable water bottles, a change of clothes, hand sanitizer, snacks, bring food if you don’t plan on eating at the park, and the obvious – Park tickets and your wallet.

Here are my top Disney World essentials you won’t want to leave home without!

Backpack or Park Bag

For starters, you’ll need a park bag. Preferably, a lightweight, water-resistant backpack. I never go on a Disney World trip (or any trip) without one, period. I can’t tell you how many times this has been a life saver when visiting Disney.

It’s a must have hands-free option that will make your Disney theme parks vacation more enjoyable.

Get one with a front pocket so you can store your park tickets and park map too.

You can find some really cute Disney bags online at Vera Bradley, the Disney Store, or Amazon.

Image credit: Disney.com

Some Disney park bag packing list essentials include:

  • cell phone
  • portable charger
  • deodorant
  • baby powder
  • disposable masks instead of fabric masks (if you still use them)

backpack cooler is another option for packing up your own snacks including fruit for hydration, plant-based sandwiches, and a refillable water bottle (or water bottles). Be sure to use an eco-friendly reusable storage bag instead of your typical ziploc bags too!

A 5-Star Rated Travel-Sized (But Well-Stocked) First Aid Kit

Something you may not even think to pack for Disney is a first aid kit. Nothing big or elaborate, just a simple travel-sized first aid kit that comes in handy for unexpected falls, cuts, and scrapes while traveling. Add it to your Disney packing list so you don’t forget!

While there are several First Aid stations throughout Disney World, it’s always nice to have your own kit handy for immediate use. However, if you were to require First Aid assistance at any of the Disney parks, they do have them available for your convenience. Some even have nurses ready to help as needed.

Bandages To Protect Blisters After They Happen

In case you happen to get a blister from all the walking you’ll be doing, you’ll definitely want to have access to good bandages to protect your skin. And if you build your own kit, adding a first aid healing salve stick to your Disney World packing list or any travel is a good idea. It’s useful for scrapes and burns.

Rain Jacket

If you’re a Disney World first timer, you’ll quickly learn that a rain jacket or rain poncho is a must pack for Disney. This is one that should be at the top of your Disney packing list for those Florida afternoon showers. There’s never been a time where we’ve gone to Disney and it hasn’t down-poured out of nowhere. It’ll be a quick rain shower, sometimes longer, so go prepared. 

It’s a Florida thing!

For the littles, you can find some cute Disney rain gear at Disney’s online store. Let’s face it, Disney vacations are more fun when the whole family is in Disney themed attire no matter how old you are!

A Long-Lasting & Powerful Portable Phone Charger Pair

Chances are you’ll be using your cell phone throughout the day to capture shots and videos during your trip to Disney while draining your battery in the process.

Your Disney essentials should definitely include a battery charger pair unless you don’t mind waiting in the long cell phone charging lines across from Rapunzel’s bathroom in Fantasyland to use the Disney chargers at the tree stumps.

Keeping a portable charger (and a backup) on you is a great way to keep from running out of charge and ending up with a dead phone while at the Disney parks. You never know when you might have an emergency so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

USB Wall Charger (Multi-outlet)

Depending on where you stay, older hotels may not have good charging outlets. Some are even limited or hard to find, often hiding behind the furniture. Which is why I also recommend packing your own multi-outlet USB wall charger. This way you are not packing separate chargers for all cell phones, tablets, cameras, etc. It’s also a luggage space saver!

This isn’t an “essential” Disney packing list item but it’s good to have if you’re traveling with a big family and have multiple devices to charge.

Keep your portable chargers separately fully charged and ready for Disney. 

A Waterproof Phone Lanyard to Protect Your Phone on Water Rides

Whether you’re going to a Disney World water park or jumping on those fun water splashing Disney rides, having a waterproof phone lanyard is Disney packing list essential. It’ll protect your phone from water and keep it from getting wet.

And if you’ve been on a ride like Splash Mountain (temporarily closed for renovations), you’ll know that you can totally get drenched!

Cooling Towel and Handheld Fan

Depending on what time of year you plan your Disney trip around, you’ll want to pack up cooling towels and a USB rechargeable mini handheld fan you can charge on your portable charger.

The summer humidity in Florida is super high so you’ll definitely want to have these Disney essentials ready to go. Trust me, it gets hot… Especially during summer.

While Walt Disney World has water rides for staying cool like Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom or Splash Mountain at Disney Magic Kingdom, having cooling towels and a portable mini fan is still an absolute must. Lines are long at Disney so you may not always want to wait in line to cool off unless of course you visit Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park and spend the day there.

Stroller Fan

A stroller fan is just as much of an essential as a handheld fan when exploring the different Disney parks. If you’re traveling with a baby or little kids, you will probably be using a stroller so adding a stroller fan to your Disney packing list is a must. In fact, I highly recommend it when traveling to Disney World. This way the whole family can enjoy their Disney vacation.

If you’re traveling during the spring and summer months, it can get extremely hot and humid. Having a stroller fan will help keep your little one cool and less on the cranky side!

Sunglasses & Hats

Image Credit: Disney Parks

A couple of travel essentials to pack for Disney are sunglasses and a hat. Yes, you can buy these at any of the theme parks or amusement parks but it’ll cost you a lot more than it would bringing your own.

It goes without saying, sunglasses and hats will protect and keep the sun out of your eyes and keep your head from sunburn. Speaking of sunburn, don’t forget to add sunblock to your Disney packing list too! You’ll want to keep your skin protected while being out in the sun all day.

What UV protection is best for sunglasses?

Trekking through Disney is an all day affair so having the right sunglasses to protect your eyes from being in the sun all day is key.

Be on the lookout for sunglasses that are labeled 100% UVA/UVB protection or that read 100% UV 400. They both mean the same thing. And don’t underestimate a cloudy day – If it’s overcast, much like how the ultraviolet rays from the sun can give you sunburn, those same rays can still be harmful to your eyes.

A Comfy Cotton Hat To Shield You (& The Kids) From The Sun

If you plan on spending a full day at any of the Disney parks, you’ll want to stash a cool and comfy hat in your park bag to protect your head (and face) from the sun. And if you’re traveling with kids, drawstring type hats will work best to keep from falling off their little heads.

For mom and dad, these ball cap style Disney hats are not only comfy, they’re cute, fun, and easy to pack for Disney.

A Reliable, Attachable Hand Sanitizer

High traffic areas are unavoidable at Disney World so having a hand sanitizer ready to disinfect and tackle germs, is a must. Keep sanitizer spray in your park bag for when you need to grab it or even better go for the attachable kind you can clip to your backpack or the belt loop on your shorts for easy access.

The Magic Kingdom as well as other Disney parks do have complimentary sanitizer stations at select locations throughout Disney World if you don’t want to pack your own.

Hand Wipes

Whether you’re traveling solo or with kids, your Disney World packing list should also include sanitizing wipes which are perfect for –

  • sanitizing rides
  • sanitizing seats and tables at restaurants
  • bathrooms
  • hotel rooms
  • or where-ever you feel necessary

Stall Mates is another option for sanitizing the bathroom toilet area. Hand wipes are great for any trip you take from the moment you get on the plane to the moment you walk into your hotel room.

Travel Tissues For Tears Or Messes

You may also want to add tissues to your Disney World packing list to have ready for an unexpected sneeze attack or runny nose. If you have a history of allergies, you never know when an allergen might trigger sneezing and watery eyes. 

This 10-pack of eco-friendly, biodegradable, soft, bamboo tissues is only $8. They make the perfect travel packs. 

Just stash a pack of tissues in your park bag and you are good to go!

Reusable Water Bottle (Big money saver!)

When you visit Disney World, one thing you will want to have handy is a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated and save money. Unless of course you don’t mind paying $3.75 to $5.75 for a water bottle that you will down pretty quickly. After so many purchases, it can add up fast!

Plus, having your own reusable water bottle is environmentally friendly and will be your best friend under the hot scorching sun. It’s not only a Disney must have for hydration, it helps to keep your water cool. Best of all, you will save money!

Options like the Brita filter water bottle or the UV water bottle make it easy to refill anywhere, keeping your water filtered and clean. Just stop into any restaurant and ask for tap water. The last thing you want is to be drinking water from the park water fountains. It’s nasty! 

Mouse Ear Headbands

What’s Disney without your Disney ears? Dressing the part makes it all the more fun and if you have kids, you’ll want to get them Disney ready!

This classic Minnie ears headband is a must. It’s a perfect size and the sequins make you feel like a shining star! No matter how old you are, you’re never too old for Disney Mickey ears! 

If you are wearing a hat, you can wear your mouse ears over your hat or you can go for a Disney hat with mouse ears and combine them both in one.

Disney Magic Band Bitbelt

The Disney Magic Bands are a great way to bring your Disney World experience to life. Use your Magic Band at the Star Wars encounter and watch it light up and vibrate as it guides you down the path to your virtual bounties.

Enter Disney parks with your band, unlock your Disney World resort hotel room, charge food and purchases to your hotel room credit card on file, and watch it light up, vibrate, and interact at Disney spectaculars.

But be sure to secure it with a bitbelt to keep it from accidentally coming undone. You don’t want to lose your Magic Band at Disney!

Glow Sticks and Light Up Toys

While these aren’t an absolute essential, if you plan on sticking around the park for the night festivities, you may want to add light up wands or a snowflake light up spinner wand to your Disney World packing list. They don’t take up too much space and are fun to have when watching the Disney spectacular events at night.

If you buy them ahead of time, you will save money and time waiting in line if you were to buy them at the park.

An Adorable Collectible Pin Lanyard For The Kids

Pin collection is a fun trending activity, not only for kids but for everyone. Specifically when it comes to Disney. It’s fun collecting Disney pins – from Disney princesses, to Star Wars to your favorite Disney characters and having a lanyard to pin them as you go, makes it even more exciting. The kids will enjoy it even more as they see others wearing theirs too.

With so many different options to choose from, the only challenge is, deciding which pin lanyard you want. You may just need to get more than one!

A Sturdy Metal Mickey Mouse Stroller Hook

If you plan on using a stroller at Disney, I highly recommend adding a stroller hook to your Disney World packing list. It will quickly become your favorite essential on all of your Disney trips!

It’s designed to help you free your hands of clutter, plain and simple. Use it to hang a diaper bag, purse, or other park merchandise bags you collect throughout the day.

Use the My Disney Experience App

Image Credit: Disney.com

Before you head off to the most magical place on earth, download the My Disney Experience app for easy access to everything you need to make your Disney World experience the most memorable.

Get a personalized itinerary based on your interests and Disney faves, get insights on the best times to visit popular attractions and restaurants, and so much more. Once you have the app downloaded, it will be your go-to for all things Disney!

Clothing to Pack for Walt Disney World

When you pack for Disney, you want to pack casual and take a light jacket just in case the temps drop at night. The good thing about a Disney World trip is that the temps are usually warm so you don’t have to worry about packing heavy. This means more room in your carry on bag to add the fun Disney stuff!

Dressing for Disney World Theme Parks

Remember that when you take a trip to Disney World, you will spend most of your time outdoors including a lot of walking. So, dress comfortable. Shorts and tank tops are my go-to. I also like stashing an extra tank top in my bag in case I get soaked on one of the water drenching rides. Something I highly recommend.

Personally, I like to go back to my hotel room to refresh and change before heading back to the park for the night festivities. It gives you a nice break and time to take a quick power nap before you head back out. Maybe even stop for an iced coffee for the long night ahead if coffee is your thing.

Types of Clothing to Pack for Disney

  • shorts
  • tank tops
  • t-shirts
  • tennis shoes
  • flip flops
  • bathing suit

Be sure to include Disney World themed tops to add to the fun!

Disney Family Shirts

If you don’t like tank tops, a Disney themed t-shirt is just as good. Wearing matching Disney t-shirts is always fun. As you walk through the park, you’ll notice a lot of families and couples wearing matching Disney tops.

Have fun customizing them and be ready to enjoy the excitement!

Comfortable, Breathable Walking Shoes With Full Support

If you’ve never been to Disney, be prepared to walk. It’s going to feel like a 3-day cardio workout all crammed up in one!

The average Disney visitor walks about 7-10 miles per day during their Disney vacation. So, investing in a good pair of walking shoes is essential if you want to keep your feet in tact after your trip! The shoes you wear are without a doubt crucial in truly enjoying your time so make sure they are comfortable. 

What Type of Shoes to Wear

Cariuma makes a sustainable, vegan, super comfortable shoe like the IBI canvas shoe (my favorite!) but as with any new shoes, you would need to break them in before wearing them to the park for the first time. You don’t want to be power walking or sprinting through the Disney parks with never worn, brand new shoes. 

Toms slip-on shoes are also another option. (these are Melissa’s favorite shoes to wear)

Personally, I’m a flip flop type of girl. I don’t like to have my feet enclosed under the hot sun. If it was up to me, I’d be walking barefoot!

I’ve tried different kinds of flip flops. The last time I wore a Nike memory foam padded type flip flop but they don’t sell them anymore. Under Armour makes a similar pair. 

I’ve also gone in my Teva Mush flip flops and they’ve worked out fine. Just make sure they are comfy and you try them out before taking them to the park for an all day (and night) event. 

Whatever you choose to wear or walk in, just make sure to take frequent rest stops to hydrate and recharge. Visiting Walt Disney World and walking the Disney parks can be draining on the body and can cause serious dehydration if you don’t. 

What bags could I bring into Disney World?

Bags, coolers, or backpacks that are no larger than 24″ long x 15″ wide x 18″ high (61 cm x 38 cm x 46 cm) are allowed at Disney World theme parks including Disney water parks. However, Disney does not allow loose or dry ice in your cooler bag.

If you want to use ice, I recommend using reusable ice packs.

Disney World Packing Tips

Image Credit: Viator

Don’t Be Afraid To Over-Pack (Just a tad)

There is nothing wrong with over-packing just a little. Some may call it “high maintenance,” I call it being prepared.

Yes, it can lead to an overstuffed suitcase or carry on bag, with items you may or may not use; but having that extra change of clothes for each day (per person if it’s the entire family), is essential.

The weather in Florida can be unpredictable but for the most part, a trip to Disney World is almost always going to be hot and humid. It’s also always good to be prepared for unexpected circumstances – an accidental spill of drink or sauce, food stains on your “going out” clothes, etc.

Over-packing just a little with an extra, shirt, shorts, pants, underwear or sweater will make life so much easier when you realize you needed it!

Plan Outfits In Coordinating Colors

When you pack for Disney, pack your clothes in coordinating colors. This makes it easy to combine outfits on vacation. It also lets you visibly see what you’ve got to work with when planning your outfit for the day or night.

Take it a step further and pack your outfits already coordinated ahead of time to make getting ready faster, hassle-free, and one thing less to think about!

Start Packing A Few Days Before You Leave

I typically pack for Disney World (or any trip) a few days early so that from the moment I start packing to when I zip up my luggage and I’m ready to go, I have room to add in things I think about and may have otherwise forgotten.

This will save you time, stress, and ensure you leave with everything you need.

I’ve learned that when you rush and pack your travel bags last minute, you’re scrambling and often tend to forget some of the most important things.

Pack for Disney early and take your time. You’ll be glad you did!

Use Packing Cubes

I used to think, “Why packing cubes?” and never saw the point in them when you can easily just pack your suitcase and be done with it. Nope, not so much!

Packing cubes make it so much easier to pack and unpack what you need. It’s also great for organization and easily finding specific outfits. For example, pack up your day “shorts” outfits in one cube and “pant” outfits in another. Same with your night outfits.

The best are these Mono’s compression cubes. They’re a bit on the pricier side but are high quality, longer lasting, and totally worth it. Plus, they come with a warranty.

For a least expensive version, you can find these on Amazon.

Compression cubes are great for saving space in your luggage so that you have a bit more wiggle room and it’s not overstuffed.

For swim suits, wet shoes, and damp clothes, I recommend using a reusable, washable, waterproof wet bag like this one to keep clothes from getting stinky and seeping onto other clothes on the way home.

Travel Insurance

TravelInsurance.com is a travel insurance marketplace that makes it easy to compare plans, buy travel insurance from top rated insurers at the lowest prices guaranteed, and get instant confirmation of coverage so you can travel hassle and worry-free.

Let’s face it, there is no telling where life can take you which is why many Disney travelers often purchase travel coverage for their Disney World vacation.

Whether you’re traveling out of town, out of the country, or even Disney World for a fun-filled central Florida escape, getting yourself and your kids covered can give you peace of mind.

Depending on what policy you choose, travel insurance coverage may include help with medical expenses, baggage delays, possible trip interruptions, and other unforeseen circumstances you may encounter.

It’s better to enjoy the best of Disney or any travel for that matter, without unnecessary worry.

A great place to get quote comparisons quickly is TravelInsurance.com.

Sandra Campillo

Sandra Campillo

Sandra Campillo is an eco, vegan lifestyle and travel blogger and entrepreneur. Join Sandra and her community of readers on SandraCampillo.com to learn how to live a healthier, more sustainable, and compassionate way of life while creating a passive income lifestyle.

Sandra's Story
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Sandra Campillo
Logo
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Compare
0
Index
Shopping cart