Packing for a Day at Disney World

Do you like to travel light? I do!

But there are positive and negative aspects to packing light versus heading into the theme parks prepared for anything. Some choose to skip bringing in anything at all, while others bring everything but the kitchen sink (because a true fan knows you can get those at a few places on property). 

First, let’s decide how much you really want to bring to the parks with you.

Crowds entering Magic Kingdom

Pros to less stuff

  • No waiting in line
  • Carefree riding without worrying about losing anything
  • Zip through crowds without knocking out kids with your giant bags (sorry Jr.)

Cons to less stuff

  • You might need something that you didn’t bring = $$$$$
  • Carrying souvenirs by hand at the end of the day (send your purchases to the front of the park for pickup when you leave to save your arms)

Pros to more stuff

  • You’ll have everything you need instantly (no waiting in line to make a purchase for something you already have)
  • Save money by not buying things you’ve brought with you

Cons to more stuff

  • Carrying around extra weight in the Florida sun – enough said
  • Waiting in the bag check line to start your day (use a bag with fewer zippers to cut down on time)

So what are some of the most common things you might need while spending a day in one of the four Disney World theme parks? Let’s look at our rundown of the top items you should (or shouldn’t pack), broken down into categories by bag size. 

Sans Baggage!

  • Cell phone
  • Wallet with tickets, ID, and several forms of payment
  • Any prescribed medications you might need throughout the day
  • Magicband or Puck
Don’t forget your park poncho!

Micro Bag (handbag, fanny pack, etc) – all the above, plus:

  • Foldable rain poncho
  • Ziploc bags to keep your stuff dry on Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids
  • Small bottle of sunblock
  • Snacks
  • Hand sanitizer or wet wipes

Biggest Bag You Own (think backpacks and diaper bags) – again, all the above, plus:

  • Phone charger
  • Comb and hair accessories
  • Extra change of clothes for every family member
  • Activities to keep the kids (or yourself) busy in line
  • Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Umbrella
  • Cooling towels

Now remember, with proper planning you can arrange things in an organized manner that will allow you to squeeze all your gear into a smaller bag. To get through the security lines faster and cut down on the potential to lose things, go with a bag that has fewer compartments and convenient zipper placement. Send your souvenirs to the front of the park for pickup at the end of your day, ship them back to your resort, or even have them mailed to your home. Save your strength for the important things, like giving your kids a piggyback ride.

Can you fit everything into one compact bag?

Where do you stand in terms of bag size? A few people even like to leave their cell phones back at the resort. Going as tech-free as possible for a day to focus on family and fun sounds like a great way to immerse yourself in the magic of Disney World. However, the convenience of having everything you might need with you for instant use could save you time and money.

Make sure to tell us which way you pack for the parks in the comments below. And don’t miss our other packing tips!


Packing for a day at Disney World

Sarah has built a career in communications and marketing that started when she was the editor of her high school newspaper. She has written for since 2018, and enjoys sharing Disney news and updates with the AllEars community. She's been a Disney fan ever since her first visit to Walt Disney World when she was 5, and has been known to arrange trips around visiting a Disney park!

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8 Replies to “Packing for a Day at Disney World”

  1. Just did our first WDW trip with our one year old, and found that packing cubes are the greatest thing ever when it comes to putting stuff in the stroller.

    Have a Thule Urban Glide stroller which has a large storage area under it, so digging through that to let security search it was a pain. Put the cubes in there and just pull them out to give to security worked so much better. And you can just bring the cubes into places for changing the kiddo, no need to unpack half a diaper bag just to find what you need, grab the diaper cube and go.

    Even now back home and using a backpack we still put the cubes in it for ease of finding things and a quick to grab what we need setup.


  2. I’ve always been a hands free kind of girl. I use a runners belt or at most a fanny pack….yep, I’m that dork. I never understand the people that carry a huge backpack through the parks??? It’s a theme park, not a 3 day hike! What could you possibly need that badly that you couldn’t walk back to a locker? I can’t imagine constantly taking a backpack off and on for every single ride. I don’t want my phone with me either…I’m on vacation. Watched a girl walk smack into a pole last time we were there and her phone smacked her in the forehead lol.

    1. Dana, your lucky that you didn’t visit Disney in the 80s with the giant 40 pound camcorders. It was like hauling around a block of cement for 12 hours.

  3. I feel like I have it down to a science. I have a cross chest Baggelini I use that also can hold a water/water bottle. I carry:
    chap stick/lip gloss
    Hand lotion
    sun glasses
    couple snacks in baggie(s)
    Pain reliever
    Gum or mints
    Cooling towel in summer

    If we take a break and head back for a few hours at night, I try to go with no bag and just carry my chap stick and phone.

  4. Medium. We take water with us (hated the tap water in Florida, tastes like a swimmingpool), spare glasses, wallet, hat, sunblock and magicband.
    We try to take as little as possible with us, without having to pay a lot of money for things like water.

    Then again, we like to visit a park in the morning, take an afternoon break and either go back, go to another park of eat out in the evening. So we never stay in a park that long.

  5. I’ve done it every which way, from just the clothes on my back to everything in Fibber McGee’s closet. I’ve found that I didn’t use nor need most of what I brought and traveling light just makes you feel free “easy like Sunday morning.”