Saving money at Disney can seem impossible, but packing a Disney park bag can make your day easier — and cheaper — so you can just enjoy the magic.
Should You Bring a Bag Into Disney Parks?
Not everyone likes to bring a bag into the parks because you have to go through the bag search line at security. This process does take a little longer than just walking in, but trust me, you’ll be glad you brought a bag after a few hours in the parks.
Tip: When you do go through the security lines at Disney, you can line up on either the left or right side of the bag check table! If people aren’t using both sides and the line is getting long, hop over to get in a little faster.
In this article, I’m going to tell you the type of bag I like to bring to Disney and the 24 items I put inside of it to make my day easier. Scroll down to find our printable checklist for your Disney bag, too!
What Kind of Bag Should I Bring to Disney?
I like carrying a small cross-body backpack because the size keeps me from bringing more than I need. Plus, it’s easy to stash or loop around my leg on the more intense rides.
To stay organized, either find a bag with inside pockets or use Ziploc bags to keep certain items together. Bagging your items may also make your security check a lot quicker.
Another feature to look for if you’re purchasing a park bag is an outer pocket for a water bottle. Then if the bottle sweats, the condensation won’t soak everything in it.
If you have young children and need to bring a diaper bag, try fitting our listed items into a gallon-sized plastic bag and tuck it into your existing bag.
What to Pack in Your Disney Park Bag
At Walt Disney World in Florida, you might use a MagicBand that is connected to your My Disney Experience app.
You must connect your My Disney Experience account and link a credit card in order to take full advantage of this tool.
A trip to Disney typically requires a lot of walking, so staying hydrated is very important. To avoid purchasing water bottles, bring your own instead! Freeze or partially freeze one the night before so that you have cool water all day.
If you can’t freeze a bottle, you can always ask for free ice water at the quick-service counters in the parks. Disney is also adding water bottle refill stations so that you don’t need to go to a counter every time you want cold water.
If you prefer to drink something other than just water (or you want to cover up the taste of Florida tap water), you can save money by bringing drink mix-ins like lemonade, tea or other flavors. You get variety without paying park prices for water alternatives!
Snacks are essential when you’re active all day. Bring some small food items to avoid spending money on expensive treats and to stave off your hunger before you grab a meal.
If you really want to save some cash, you can also bring a soft-sided cooler for your group’s meals. Coolers must follow Disney’s bag restrictions and must not contain dry ice or loose ice cubes. You cannot bring anything in glass containers other than baby food.
Clear Plastic Bags
Putting items in clear plastic bags will prevent them from getting wet if your bag gets soaked by a water ride or a sudden storm. Always bring one or two extra bags so that you can protect your phone from moisture!
This probably goes without saying, but there are a ton of germs at Disney. I recommend small packets of antibacterial wipes, as well as liquid hand sanitizer, to use throughout the day.
Florida and California are both known for sunshine. Make sure to wear sunscreen and reapply often, even on overcast days. Sunburn can creep up on you when you’re outside all day in the parks.
In addition to sunscreen, pack some sunglasses to protect your eyes, too!
I carry this around with me every day and my Disney park bag is no different.
Portable Phone Charger
You’re probably going to use your phone a lot in the parks to check the My Disney Experience app for wait times and FastPass+ reservations, as well as for entertainment while waiting in line. Bring a portable charger to prevent your phone from dying before you can make it back to hotel.
If you forget a portable charger or don’t want to buy one, you can bring a cable and your phone to guest relations and leave it to charge while you enjoy the park.
This lightweight alternative to a raincoat might look a little silly, but it’s very useful. You can wear it during one of the frequent pop-up showers in Florida or on water rides.
Even if you don’t mind getting wet, you can use a poncho to keep your bag dry or cover a stroller during a downpour.
If you don’t opt for a poncho, at least bring a washcloth to wipe off after water rides.
Nothing ruins a day like wet socks, so bring an extra pair to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
Sandals or flip flops are a great addition to your bag because you can switch out your shoes to enjoy water rides. Bring a pair if they are relatively lightweight and fit in your bag.
Tissues or Napkins
I always end up needing them for one reason or another. Bring a travel pack or grab some from a box to store in a plastic bag.
Basic First-Aid Kit
While Disney does have First-Aid Centers and places to buy supplies, you can save time and money by carrying the basics like Band-Aids, headache medicine, Tums, feminine products and any essential prescriptions.
Hair Ties and Hats
Hair ties and hats are a great idea all year round. Get the sun off your face or keep your ears warm by bringing a hat. These items are also helpful to keep your hair out of your face during the wild rides!
Pen (or Sharpie) and Paper
Whether you need to make a note or you want an autograph from your favorite character, keep these on hand you so you’re ready for any situation!
Mini-Wallet or Pouch
You probably don’t need to bring everything you usually keep in your wallet, so try a pouch or small card organizer for a simpler experience. By bringing fewer items from your wallet, you’re also better protected from potential theft.
From chilly restaurants to air-conditioned transportation to cooler evenings, you might need a light jacket or another layer to stay warm, even in the summer.
In order to prevent boredom while you’re waiting in line, play games with your group!
My family likes to play Heads Up! It’s a game like Taboo that you can get for free on the Google Play Store (it costs $0.99 on iTunes). There is even a special Disney deck that you can get for free when you download it at Disney.
Another app to enhance the magic is the Play Disney Parks app. You can try trivia, see music playlists from different parts of Disney and play special games that you can only access when you’re in the parks.
Disney does have Wi-Fi, but I recommend getting games or puzzles you can play without an internet connection too.
Toys and Activity Books
Toys and other activity items for the kids will make the trip more magical — and maybe a little more manageable for you! Save money by purchasing distractions ahead of time and giving them to the kids periodically through the trip. You can learn how to save on toys for the kids in our Disney packing tips article.
Mister, Small Fan or Chilly Towel
You can buy a small spray bottle at a dollar store to mist off periodically. If you prefer more air, Team Clark member Nicole found a great portable fan on Amazon for $9!
Chilly towels are another great way to fight the heat. You can wet it and put it on the back of your neck to cool down. Bring one or all of these to stay cool during those hot summer days.
Small Roll-Up Blanket
I’ve been to outdoor shows during the winter at Disney and it can get so cold! A small roll-able blanket that you can secure to the outside of your backpack is nice to have when the sun goes down.
Don’t wait to buy one when you get cold at the park! Blankets at the gift shops are super expensive, especially during the holidays.
Printable Disney Park Checklist
Worried you won’t remember all of these items? Print out this checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your next Disney trip!
Bringing a bag to a Disney park can keep you from spending unnecessary cash so you can just enjoy the rides and atmosphere.
If you’re trying to stick to a strict budget, only use cash or discounted Disney gift cards for your purchases! Hopefully, you won’t be as tempted to go beyond your spending limit.