Disney Day Bag 101

by Audra Owens


One of the most important components of a successful day at a Disney theme park is a well-packed day bag. Necessities can vary from one family to the next, but the list below is a very good starting point.

(Look for the FREE PRINTABLE packing list at the bottom of this post!)

  1. Lightweight backpack – This packable backpack from Eddie Bauer is lightweight, packs small, and is easy to take turns wearing throughout the day.
  1. First aid kit – My must-haves are bandages (for unforeseen scrapes and the inevitable blister), Neosporin spray, pain killer, and motion sickness medicine.
  1. Cell phone and accessories – I know you won’t forget your cell phone, but it’s also helpful to carry a portable power source, charging cord, and something waterproof to stash it in when it’s time to ride Splash Mountain!
  1. Ponchos – I don’t ride water rides without a poncho. I bring one for each member of my family, in case they want to avoid squishing around the park for hours, too. 😉 Ponchos are also helpful if you get caught in a quick rain shower, and bringing your own means you an avoid paying premium theme park prices for them.
  1. Camera – If all you need to be happy are cell phone pics (or if you’ve purchased a Disney photo package), you may not need an additional camera. I like to bring my GoPro along and take fun videos while we’re in the parks. When selfie sticks were banned from the parks, I began getting called out by Cast Members for my monopod as well. I switched to a wristband and haven’t had any trouble since. I’m not wearing it on my head or strapped to my chest – sorry!
  1. Magic Band – If you have booked a Walt Disney World resort package with one of A Time to Treasure Travel’s experienced agents, you’ll be wearing long before you reach the park. The Magic Band is your park ticket, holds your meal credits, photo pass, FastPass+, and can be used to charge incidentals to your credit card as you tour Walt Disney World’s four theme parks. Note: If you’re traveling to Disneyland, you will not have a Magic Band.
  1. Cash/credit card – I always bring a back-up payment source as well. I’d rather be safe than sorry if I happen to misplace my Magic Band.
  1. Water – I’m the stickler for hydration in my family. I always carry multiple bottles of water into the park. If you’d rather not carry water on your back all day long, you can also stop at any counter service restaurant and ask for a cup of water at no charge.
  1. Sunscreen & Lip Balm– Protect yourself, and your little ones, from the sun. Nothing ruins a vacation faster than a terrible sunburn. Choose a lip balm with sun protection, too.
  1. Tissue & Wipes – You’re most likely traveling with children. There will be messes.
  1. Hat – I double up on my sun protection and wear a hat as well.
  1. Penny passport and quarters/pennies for pressed pennies – My kids love to collect souvenir pennies from the parks. I shared our pressed penny prep in an earlier post. I keep our coin tubes in a zip-top bag (not pictured), so the coins aren’t loose in the bag if a top pops open.
  1. Snacks – You are allowed to bring food into Disney’s theme parks. Pack up your Goldfish, your applesauce pouches, your granola bars – whatever you require to appease hungry munchkins in between mealtimes. Save the snack credits from your Disney dining plan for something more fun, like a Mickey ice cream bar!
  1. Park maps – Many Disney theme park guests are relying solely on the My Disney Experience app for park maps and daily show times. I still prefer the old-school paper park maps. My kids love them, too. You can pick these up in the lobby of your Walt Disney World resort hotel, or you can wait and get one just inside the park entrance.
  1. Autograph book – No visit to a Disney theme park is complete without meeting a few favorite characters. Collecting autographs is another inexpensive way to collect unique souvenirs.
  1. Umbrella – An umbrella is great to keep you dry if a shower strikes, or to create shade in a pinch.

Other items not pictured that are an excellent idea:

  • Battery-powered fan (with or without spray bottle)
  • Ponytail holders
  • Dry clothes for young children who may want to enjoy water play areas. Pack them in a gallon size zip-top bag that the wet clothes can go into afterward.
  • Glow sticks/bracelets (When they were younger, I could give these to my children to keep them happy instead of buying a $25 light-up balloon as we waited for fireworks to begin.)

Want to print this list for easy reference? We got you covered!


Q4U: What are your theme park touring must-haves? Leave a comment telling us what you would add to your packing list.

Disney Day Bag 101

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