Hey guys! I was just thinking about my last trip to Disney, and I decided to put together a packing list that I think you will enjoy.
First off, this list has come to me by trial and error… There are some things I have dropped off my most recent list because I did not use them or need them. Why haul something throughout the parks when you don’t really need to?
I have also had to buy a couple of new items to add to my bag too!
Let’s start the list off with what you should buy before you leave home to keep the cost down in the parks.
Following this list will save you a ton of money in the long run and believe me your kids will not know the difference if you bought it in the park or not. I’ll tell you how come, and what to do a little further down to make this a magical experience for the kids.
Items to buy ahead of time for your daily park bag:
PONCHOS- At home, you can get a cheap poncho at Walmart for $1.00 in the camping department. At Disney, they are roughly $10.00. HUGE difference in price there!
We usually take a big ziploc bag to put our wet ponchos in when we are done with them, then when you get back to the hotel just hang them up to dry out and repack them for
WATERPROOF CELL PHONE CASE– Just like ponchos protect our clothes, we also need to protect our cell phones and other electronics. You can try putting everything in a ziploc bag, but I have found that they have a tendency to leak. Here are some cell phone cases that are waterproof. I personally have used my phone protector on many occasions outside of Disney, they are worth every penny!
SUNSCREEN- We all know how important sunscreen is, especially for the little ones and anyone who has a bald head!
At home, you will pay anywhere from $3.99-$10.00 depending on the size and brand you choose. At Disney $12.00 or you can purchase a double pack through Amazon for the same cost!
GLOWSTICKS AND LIGHT-UP TOYS- You can get a whole tube of glow sticks from the dollar store before you go. I just stopped into the dollar store today and they are no longer carrying the tubes of 20 glowsticks. They are now charging $1.00 for a pack of 5, which is a total rip-off!
At Disney $12.00-$17.00 for a light stick/toy.
COSTUMES- We all know Disney costumes are outrageous. To save some extra money, try to grab one from Walmart right after Halloween time on clearance.
Or you can go online at Amazon at any time of the year and get a great price! They are cheaply made, not warm, and will probably only be used one time. At Disney $69.99 and up!
AUTOGRAPH BOOKS- You can make your own by purchasing what you need at the dollar store. Not only is this fun arts and crafts time, but your child will get to tell Cinderella about how she made it all by herself!
100 times more special than purchasing one in the park for $12.00. Or you can purchase one from Amazon before you go for half the price as in the park!
AUTOGRAPH PENS- You can usually buy a 3-pack at the dollar store or at several department stores for $5.00. If you have a group of family or friends that are going with you, it’s easy to share a pack!
At Disney, for one pen $3.00-$12.00.
DISNEY PINS- We purchased a pack of 25 pins for $25.00 for the kids to trade or you can pay anywhere from $5.00-$25.00 per pin at Disney, depending on the size and quality.
My advice on this one is if you have older kids, purchase a pack on Amazon before you go. Then when you get to the park, let them pick out a special pin that they do not trade.
SNACKS- A box of granola bars, snack packs of cookies, or goldfish will always be cheaper than purchasing a snack for $6.00 and up per snack. Click here to see how to use grocery delivery services to have your snacks and meals delivered straight to your resort!
ELECTROLYTE PACKETS- Staying hydrated in the hot humid summers is key when serving Disney World during the hotter months. And let’s be honest, no one really likes the taste of water. Adding electrolytes to your water not only tastes better but also helps you hydrate faster.
REUSABLE WET BAGS- Not only are these great if you’re trying to potty train but really for any wet clothes. If clothes do get wet or soiled, just place them in these reusable bags and nothing else in your bag will get wet. It’s also great for storing breast pumps, toiletries, sunblock, swims suits, and even soiled diapers.
PHONE CASE WITH LANYARD– Keep your phone safe and handy around your neck! This is also a great way to show off your Disney pins!
FANNY PACKS– If you aren’t able to wear a backpack or just don’t want to, Fanny Packs are great. I love backpacks but there’s just something about Fanny Packs that are just more convenient. It’s nice to have a place for snacks and your phone without having to dig to the bottom of a big backpack!
FREEZABLE BAGS-These lunch boxes are a great way to keep your lunches and snacks cooler throughout the day. They are small, portable, and easy to freeze!
INFLATABLE BED RAILS- Inflatable bed rails make it easy for you to turn any bed into a toddler’s bed. Cut out the cost of trying to rent a crib or the stress of trying to keep your toddler from rolling off the bed. These bed rails are some great options, and they easily deflate for easy travel.
REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES- Water is free at any quick service location. We take a collapsible water bottle in with a couple of different Mio or Kool-aide flavors to choose from. In a ziploc, of course, you do not want those to leak in your bag!
STROLLERS- If you don’t want to haul your large stroller through security, buy a cheap folding stroller at Walmart or Amazon before you leave.
You can leave/donate the stroller there and still be out ahead. At Disney $15.00 a day for a single stroller or $35.00 a day for a double stroller.
COMPACT STROLLERS- Another option is to purchase a compact travel stroller. These strollers fold up really small, some of these are as small or smaller than your carry-on!
STROLLER FANS– These handy little stroller fans are so cool! You can wrap them around the stroller handle pointing at you or on the side of the stroller pointing at your little one. Either way, they are super handy and work really well to help cool down.
STROLLER COVERS– As you know, Florida’s weather can go from hot and humid to rainy in the blink of an eye. Stroller covers can be a lifesaver when trying to escape the rain and keep your little one dry!
STROLLER ORGANIZERS- I don’t know about you but for me organization is key! To avoid those small freak outs when you can’t find a binky or bottle, grab one of these organizers. Everything of importance you can keep right there within reach.
BUBBLES– There is nothing more magical than bubbles! I personally think everyone should get a free bubble wand with their park tickets!
Right now, ShopDisney.com has 2 on their website right now for $15.00. Or you can go to the dollar store or perhaps Walmart for a much better deal. At Disney $22.00+.
SMALL FIRST AID KIT– The dollar store actually has small ones that usually contain some band-aids and a couple of little alcohol pads. I usually buy one of these once for the container and then add my own stuff to it. The band-aids are super cheap that come with it.
Disney does have a great First Aid site; you don’t really need this but it’s nice just in case your child gets hurt in line as mine did! I was able to patch her up with a band-aid and have her limp to the front of the park to have her taken care of by Disney’s wonderful staff.
TOILET SEAT COVERS- Disposable toilet covers are such a great idea! If you are in the potty-training process or just have a little one that is afraid of large toilets, these really help to give the illusion that the toilets are smaller. I’ve also included some that fold up to reuse as well, just make sure to bring a storage bag for the reusable toilet covers.
CHILD SAFETY WRISTBANDS– Nothing makes a parent feel safer than having your contact info on a wristband heaven forbid your child wanders from you. I personally know the pure panic that sets in when you take your eyes off your toddler for 2 seconds and they are gone! These wristbands allow cast members/guests to see your contact information if something is to happen. Peace of mind is well worth the money spent on these wristbands.
CHILD SAFETY LEASH- I know what you’re thinking… A leash for my kid?! Well, yes but these aren’t the standard kid leashes we used to see. These are cute little backpacks or harnesses with a leash attached. If you are worried about what other people will think, just remember this isn’t for them it’s for you and your child. Do what you feel is safe and right for you and your family.
MINNIE MOUSE HEADBANDS– Minnie Mouse Headbands can get quite expensive when bought at the parks. Right now, ShopDisney.com has their Headbands listed at $29.99 and that is also what to expect when buying in the parks.
Amazon has some great knock-off versions of what Disney has to offer at a fraction of the cost!
BODY GLIDE– Because who actually likes chafing?!!
EXTERNAL BATTERY CHARGER– This is a must! There are some areas within Disney that do have charging ports, but not too many compared to the number of people that attend Disney.
You will be on the Disney app, taking photos, and just generally checking your social media or emails all day. With this external battery charger, you will be able to charge your phone whenever you need it and even while standing in line for your favorite ride!
So, there’s no need to sit in one spot to wait for your battery to charge anymore.
HAND SANITIZER– Please include hand sanitizer in your day bag! This way, you can have snacks and eat on the go without worrying about the germs you are eating as well!
MAGIC BANDS- Magic bands can be purchased on Amazon.com and Shopdisney.com! I absolutely love the idea of the kids just decorating their own magic bands. You can find all kinds of stickers and wraps for them on Amazon and even Etsy.
DISNEY GUIDES- Even though we cover a ton of topics on our website, it’s nice to just sit in bed and read guides on the Disney parks. Here are a couple of highly rated guides to take a look into.
MOISTURE WICKSOCKS– So before we took our vacation to Mexico, my boyfriend had asked if I needed some new socks for all of our daily activities. I initially said no, he purchased these moisture-wicking socks for me anyway. I’m sure he knew I had no clue as to how fantastic these socks were!
Not only do they have extra padding, but they help with sweating and reduce the chance of getting blisters!
On our last Disney trip with the kids, I let my daughter wear a couple of pairs of my socks because her feet were aching so much. It literally changed our trip; I’m telling you these bad boys are a must!
HATS– Hats are actually priced pretty well through ShopDisney.com. I found some for boys for as little as $12.95 and $14.95 for adults, not too terrible!
I really can’t say how much hats will cost in the park because there are so many to choose from and I’m a headband person! Here is a couple from Amazon for those who are looking to save some money or just want to look fab in a sun hat!
MIST COOLING FAN– I cannot even begin to say how much these have saved me numerous times!
We have listed two separate options for you. One is a mini handheld misting fan, and the other is a water bottle that also shoots out the mist. I personally use the water bottle mister!
This way I can pour my ice-cold free water in it, to have something cool to drink with a nice cold mist as well. The Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are very hot locations, this came in handy and was a serious lifesaver! At Disney $21.00.
CHAPSTICK– Pick out your favorite Chapstick from Walmart and don’t forget it! Your lips will thank you!
JACKET– I always recommend taking a light jacket and a pair of leggings for at night. Florida and California can be hot during the day and cool at night.
COOLING TOWELS– You can buy these through Walmart in the camping section or Amazon. Some of them are bigger than others, so keep an eye on the size of the towel.
These are pretty neat; I personally have used them several times before. All you do is get them wet, wring them out, and then twirl them in the air for a quick cool down. And as long as they are wet, you can twirl them to cool down again and again! So cool!
SUNGLASSES– Sunglasses are surprisingly pretty cheap in the park depending on which ones you get. Mine were super cute black ones with Mickey on the frames for $10.95. So, not too terrible!
If you already have sunglasses you love, don’t forget to pack them. If your son is anything like mine, you will find the dollar store has excellent sunglasses for those who lose everything!
COLORING PACKS/BOOKS– I would head to the dollar store for this one! They have the cutest coloring packs that really help keep the little ones busy while waiting in lines.
You can also pick up some cute little storybooks for them to read. Or if you have older kids, make sure to grab some playing cards for entertainment at the Resort!
GUM– Walt Disney hated gum! You won’t find gum for sale anywhere in the parks!
SMALL BACKPACKS– With these small drawstring backpacks, it’s easy for teens to carry their own stuff! Amazon has so many different styles to choose from! We personally bought these two and they were great quality for the price.
MEDICATION– Make sure to fill and pack any medications you will need. As I said before, Disney does have a fantastic First Aid center with free Tylenol and Band-aids, but they do not have Zantac so keep that in mind! We had to purchase a travel pack with 4 Zantac pills from a gift shop and it was $6.00!!!
FIGURINES– Cheap figurines from the dollar store can make or break your trip! Either you buy a couple from the dollar store and your child likes it so much, they get upset when they lose them. OR they will play with them while in line, and if they lose them then oh well! It’s up to you on this one!
CLOTHING- Apparel from Target or Kohls are good quality and usually costs anywhere between $10.00-$25.00 for Adult T-Shirts. At Disney, you will pay $24.00 and up.
ShopDisney.com has their T-shirts on sale right now 2 for $12.00 each or 2 for $18.00 each. You won’t find them this cheap in the park!
POOL TOYS– Pool toys are available at the dollar store, Walmart, or even Amazon! I would have these just delivered to my room through Amazon prime, keep it cheap, and then leave them at the resort so you don’t have to haul them home in your carry-on.
PHONE CHARGER– Don’t forget your phone charger, I don’t know anywhere that actually sells phone chargers at Disney Resorts or in the parks. You may be able to find one at Disney Springs or take an Uber to the store.
ZIP LOCKS- Bring a Ziplock to keep liquids, sandwiches, snacks, and even your phone!
FOOT CARE– You will be walking all day long! Make sure your socks are padded, you have foot powder, and perhaps some Mole Skin.
I usually take at least 2 pairs of shoes and alternate between them. Be sure to give your feet a break, see a show or take a day to just rest at the pool.
SWIMSUITS– Don’t forget your suits! You are traveling to some of the hottest areas within the US. You are going to want to take a nice cool dip in the pool or relax in the hot tub after a long day at Disney.
SUNDRESS– Make sure to pack a couple of Dresses with you for the nicer dinners or to just feel pretty!
LAUNDRY SUPPLIES – Disney does have laundry mats for you to use. If you are planning to wash your clothes mid-trip, don’t forget detergent, hamper, and wrinkle release. You can get some of those in travel sizes at the dollar store and spray wrinkle release at Walmart.
PAPERWORK– You will need the following items, print these out to have them on hand as a backup. I tell you to print these out because I love technology, but let’s face it your phone can die or break at any moment!
Rental car confirmation
Proof of auto insurance
Membership cards (AAA, DVC)
Theme park tickets
Dollar bills for tips &
BABY STUFF– I’ve included just a simple list of some baby items that I consistently have forgotten in the past!
Bottles and Formula
Portable high chair
Diapers and swim diapers
Pack N Play
To sum it all up:
The items that I will never go on a Disney trip without are: Ponchos, sunscreen, Pins, Snacks, Misting Water Bottle, Cooling Towels, Minnie Mouse Headbands, External Battery Charger, Wicking Socks, Hand Sanitizer, Chapstick, Jacket, Sunglasses, Glow Sticks, Meds, and First-aid Kit and Ziplocs.
How to still make your Disney trip magical:
So, how can you make this a magical trip without purchasing items in the park? This is so easy and such an amazingly fun idea. Purchase everything you need beforehand, and you can do a couple of things to surprise your kids to make this a trip they won’t forget!
1. You can do a scavenger hunt before you go to surprise your kids that they are going on a Disney trip. I have done this in the past and it was so much fun! We did this for my kid’s birthday, and it was so exciting and fun, that it upset my niece and nephew who attended the party but couldn’t go with us to Disney. Unless everyone is going, I would not have other kids at your home when you do the scavenger hunt!
2. Surprise your kids when you get to the hotel with a Disney gift bag with these items in it. They will be so excited that Mickey left them a gift in their room just for them!!!
Want to save money on Disney World tickets? Undercovertourist.com has discount tickets for Disney World! You can take advantage of a layaway program where you can make payments on your vacation with Getawaytoday.com! Use our promo code DTAT10 to save $10.00 on your next Disney trip.
Let us help you plan your next magical trip to Disney! Going to Disney can be very expensive, to save money on meals and snacks check out our Easiest Snacks and Meals to Bring into Disney Theme Parks article. We go over our favorite easy snacks and meals to take to the parks. You will save massive money taking in your own meals and snacks. What to pack for toddlers and babies post will go over what to buy and pack to save you time and of course more money. If you are confused about how to use the Genie+ Lightening lanes, we can help with that too! Check out our How to Use Genie+ guide to get all the info needed to skip those long wait times. Taking a trip to Disney can be very overwhelming and expensive, follow us on any of our social media platforms for more tips and Disney fun!