• Brian & Jenny

10 Essential Things to Bring to Disneyland or Disney World

Updated: Feb 23


We love the Disney Parks in California and Florida! They are definitely some of our family's favorite destinations. We want to give you our must-have Disney checklist (free download below) so you won't leave home without these important items. Our Disney Parks list is going to include the 10 essentials that we bring on every family trip as well as our 10 additional items that we recommend for the Disney Parks. Please check out our other packing blog for an explanation of the 10 things we bring every family trip. Throughout this post, there will be links to Amazon. If you shop through these links it will cost you nothing extra but it could give us a small commission to be able to keep bringing you great family travel blogs. Thanks! If you are on a mobile device and the links cover the text please scroll to the end for a recap list. Please also check out our brand new podcast which is co-hosted with a blogger friend who also blogs about Disney vacations. We compare our lists of things to bring to Disney and it will surprise you how different our lists are!


# 1 - Hats and/or Sunglasses for Everyone

You will definitely want sun protection during your days at the Disney Parks even in the winter. Our boys prefer hats to sunglasses and they love to wear Disney hats when we are visiting a Disney Park. My husband and I prefer sunglasses to hats so we bring those. It might be a good idea to bring an extra pair of sunglasses as well because it's pretty easy to lose them or leave them behind on rides or in the bathrooms. In fact, my husband lost a favorite pair of sunglasses on Test Track at Epcot a few years back. #TravelTip: We recommend buying some inexpensive sunglasses for Disneyland or Disney World so you don't lose your favorite pair of shades. Please see my search results for more Disney hats and inexpensive sunglasses to pick what's just right for your family.



#2 - Light Jackets or Hoodies

A light jacket or hoodie is a must at the Disney Parks. Even in the summer it can get a bit cool at night in California. Orlando is probably warm enough in the summer, to not need a light jacket but in all other seasons its a good idea. On occasion, your hoodie or jacket can be worn as a shirt. There have been a few times when we got so wet on the water rides that our kids wore their jackets while their shirts hung up to dry on the stroller. Please check out my search results for Hoodies for Girls, Hoodies for Boys, Hoodies for Women and Hoodies for Men to pick your favorites.



#3 - Park Bag or Backpack

We usually take several bags into the Disney parks. We have one bag for coats, hats & sunglasses, another bag for snacks and more coats, and one cooler bag for cold drinks and cold snacks. The first two bags recommended below are the insulated type so they are perfect for cold drinks and snacks. The other bags linked below are not insulated so they would work well for snacks, hats, sunglasses and other things. If you aren't using a stroller you probably want to take a backpack for each person. We still use a stroller so it's kind of nice to bring as many bags as we can fit in the stroller basket and on the handlebars. Please see my search results for Insulated Cooler Bags, Large Beach Tote Bags, and Backpacks so you can be prepared for your next Disney trip.




#4 - Stroller/Baby Sling

If you have a baby who is under 1 year old and isn't walking you will definitely want to bring a baby sling. On almost every ride you will park your stroller before waiting in the line so that's a lot of time holding your baby if you don't have a sling or front pack. I didn't realize how critical the sling was and I almost didn't bring it on one trip when our 3rd son was 9 months old. He lived in the sling on that trip and I was so glad I had brought it.


Now our youngest son is 4 so we don't bring a sling anymore but we still take a stroller to Disneyland and Disney World. There is a lot of walking at Disney so we would recommend taking a stroller for kids through age 5/6 at least. We have the Baby Trend Sit N Stand stroller recommended below and our older son (age 8) enjoys riding on the bench seat in the back to get a foot break. We prefer the front to back double strollers at Disney because they seem easier to navigate through the crowds than the side by side double strollers (a lot of the super-wide or super-long strollers are no longer allowed at Disney anyway). A jogger stroller is always great at Disney but they are bulkier and take up more trunk space so you have to consider that. Disney is updating their policies and starting on May 1, 2019 they will no longer allow strollers that are larger than 31"wide and 52"long. Be sure that when you buy a stroller it fits those requirements. If you have any questions please refer to the Disneyland Website for Park Rules and FAQ. I highly recommend the Sit n Stand stroller by Baby trend which is about 20" wide by 50" long and fits the Disney requirements (see photo below). I would also recommended the City Mini if you want a side by side stroller (see photo below). This stroller is about 30" wide and 32" long so it also fits the new Disney requirements.


#TravelTip: you want a stroller that folds easily and is lightweight because you have to fold your stroller up and carry it on the trams that run to and from the parking lots. You can also check out my search results for Baby Carrier, Double Stroller and Lightweight Stroller to pick what will work best for your family.







#5 - Rain Gear

We always try to look ahead at the forecast to determine if we need full rain gear with umbrellas and ponchos or not. It's a good idea to always carry the disposable pocket size ponchos like the ones linked below just in case. However, umbrellas are bigger and heavier so we only bring them if we are pretty sure it's going to rain. The mini travel umbrella listed below looks perfect for travel and I'm ordering it for our next trip. #TravelTip: if it does rain at one of the parks we head to the indoor shows or wait in lines that have cover so we don't get soaked. We cover all of our stuff on our stroller with ponchos while we do indoor things so it doesn't get too wet either. Please also look at my search results for Disposable Ponchos and Travel Umbrellas to pick what you like best.


#6 - Sunscreen, Mister and Cooling Towels for Summer Days

You definitely need sunscreen in the summer but on almost every day (even in the winter) at Disney, you should wear sunscreen because you will spend a lot of time outside in the sun. On the hottest days during the summer you will also want a water mister. We try not to visit Disney in the summer because of the heat and crowds but we went once in September and we broke down and bought an expensive Disney mister. I wish we had thought of buying a mister before we left home so that's why I'm including it here. A great way to #SaveMoneyOnTravel is to buy things you know you will need before you are in a tourist spot/area. The prices in some places can be double what you would pay on Amazon for the same thing. Disney fans who visit the parks in the summer have recommended cooling towels and I found a great deal on a 4 pack from Amazon so each family member can have their own color. Be sure to look through my search results for Sunscreen for Kids, Cooling Towels and Misting Fans to pick exactly what your family needs.



#7 - Hats and Gloves for Winter Days

One of our favorite times to visit Disney is during the Christmas season which runs from November through the middle of January. The Christmas decorations are beautiful and the crowds tend to be lower during this time (except the weeks right around Christmas). October and February are also excellent times to visit Disney and avoid the crowds. The cooler months are generally the times we visit Disney and we have experienced many chilly Disney days. We're from Colorado so it's not too bad for us and the trade-off of lower crowds is worth it to us. #TravelTip: We have learned to bring our hats and light gloves to the Disney Parks any time from October through March. On our most recent trip in December 2018, we wore our hats, coats, and gloves several times so we were very glad that we packed them. Please also see my search results for Hats and Gloves for Girls, Hats and Gloves for Boys, Hats and Gloves for Women and Hats and Gloves for Men to pick what will work best for you.



Our first days at WDW in December of 2018 were chilly!


#8 - Small Blanket

We bring a small blanket to Disney for several reasons. Our main use for the blanket is for it to be pinned it to the umbrella part of our stroller (you can see the red blanket pinned like that in the photo above on the left at Hollywood Studios). #TravelTip: A brightly colored blanket pinned to your stroller will help identify it as your stroller when you park it outside of a ride or show. It's often hard to tell which one is your stroller in the sea of strollers so bright bags or blankets on it can help. We often flop our little red blanket forward so it shades the entire front seat of the stroller when our youngest son is taking a nap. Another use for the blanket is for warmth on chilly mornings or evenings in the parks. The blanket can also be rolled up for a pillow when a tired kid needs a nap. I have often used the blanket for a nursing cover-up when I forgot my actual cover-up. I have also seen people use blankets to save seats for parades. A blanket can be used on the changing tables in the bathrooms to keep your kid safe from germs. I'm sure there are even more uses for a small blanket that we haven't thought of yet so we will definitely continue to bring one on all of our Disney outings. If you love one of the blankets below you can click it to purchase but if you want something different you can look at my search results for Small Disney Blankets for more options.



#9 - Good Walking Shoes

We have heard that most people walk about 7-10 miles during a full day at a Disney Park. This is definitely true for us so having the right type of footwear is important! We would recommend that no one in your party wear flip flops. Some of the comfortable, sturdy sandals are probably okay but we almost always prefer to wear good tennis shoes. We have been known to buy very little in preparation for a Disney trip except for a good pair of shoes. #TravelTip: If you buy new shoes you will want to be sure to break them in and wear them several times before your first park day. Look through my shoe choices below but also be sure to look at my search results for Athletic Shoes for Boys, Athletic Shoes for Girls, Athletic Shoes for Men, and Athletic Shoes for Women to find more options.


#10 - Tickets/Money/ID and Cell Phones

This category of things to remember is probably the most important because all of the other things on my list you can probably purchase in the parks if you forget them. You could repurchase tickets but you definitely don't want to do that so bring your tickets/passes or confirmation info. You will also need extra money at the Disney parks for food and souvenirs. I only bring a small amount of cash and one credit card but the form and amount of money you bring it's really up to you. It's probably best not to bring too many valuables into the parks but then again I've never had anything stolen at a Disney park so maybe it's fine to bring valuables. You will also need a form of ID just in case. I bring my driver's license but you could probably bring other forms of ID if you prefer something different. You will also definitely want to bring fully charged cell phones. It might be a good idea to bring a Power Bank and charging cords for charging your cell phones in case you run low on battery. You will want to download the Disney Parks apps on your phones before you go. The park apps will be valuable for checking wait times and also for booking fastpasses at Disney World. For more tips on fastpasses see our blog about 7 Secrets to Making the Most of a Disney Vacation.



Recap List:

# 1 - Hats and/or Sunglasses for Everyone

#2 - Light Jackets or Hoodies

#3 - Park Bag or Backpack

#4 - Stroller/Baby Sling

#5 - Rain Gear

#6 - Sunscreen and Mister for Summer Days

#7 - Hats and Gloves for Winter Days

#8 - Small Blanket

#9 - Good Walking Shoes

#10 - Tickets/Money/ID and Cell Phones


Free Packing Checklist

That wraps up our top 10 essential items to bring to Disneyland or Disney World. I have created a free download with our Disney parks travel checklist (see below). This list includes all of our 10 essential items for every family trip on the left and our 10 essential items for Disney Parks on the right. Please see our family road trip packing blog for explanations of the 10 things we bring on every family trip because some of them will only be necessary in the car or at your hotel such as movies and pool stuff but you won't need them at the parks. Some of the items on the essentials list like snacks, a great camera, and first aid supplies should be on your list of things to bring into the parks each day. All 20 items are great to bring along for most any family trip but we tried to cover the most essential items for Disney Parks in this blog.


Let's Keep In touch

Thanks for reading this and please follow us for more travel tips on Our FB Page, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube! If you have any questions you can leave a comment here or on our FB or Instagram pages. You can also leave a comment in our discussion section or send us an email. You can sign up for our email list below and you'll be notified when we post a new blog. We won't send you junk because we're new bloggers and we don't even know how to send anything but a blog notification, LOL! We look forward to hearing from you!



If You Want to Save This, Pin It for Later

Hover over the image below and click the red save to Pinterest button in the upper left corner.



2,070 views
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black Pinterest Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon

© 2019 Destination Families

  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Instagram - Grey Circle
  • YouTube - Grey Circle
  • Pinterest - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle