Top 5 Essentials We Pack for Disneyland!

Good Morning!

Packing for vacations can be hard. Especially if you are like me and you feel like you have to pack the kitchen sink *JUST IN CASE*! Trying to pin down some of those essential items for the parks before you over-do the weight limit on your bags? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Here are 5 essential items that we always take with us to Disney! (Lots of links provided so you can see some of our favorite products!)

1. SMALL Backpack or Cross-Body Bag
The trick with finding the right bag is going as small as you can and still comfortably get what you need into the park! We pack pretty light when walking around Disneyland. My purse usually contains a wallet, my phone, snacks, a couple of park maps and times guides, my waterproof digital camera, and my phone charger. I carry around either a small cross-body bag that I don't mind getting a little beat up (especially when shoving it into and pulling it out of the little mesh bags on rides), or I take one of my Loungefly mini backpacks. (I really like the size of the mini backpacks because they fit so well in the little mesh bags on most rides!) I suggest those kinds of bags because they are the most convenient and comfortable to carry around the parks all day. If you are taking little kids and will have a stroller, you can usually get away with more stuff because the stroller will carry a little more, but always take into consideration how much you are willing to carry around all day! 

These are my super cute Disney Loungefly mini backpacks! They are the perfect size for carrying around the parks.  

2. Snacks and Water
I have mentioned bringing in your own snacks before as a good way to save some money in Disneyland, and this is seriously one of the best "essentials" to bring along! I will sometimes take pre-packaged snacks and stick them in my carry-on bags, but usually we make a pit-stop at the Target down the street from Disneyland and load up! We also like to grab a gallon or so of drinking water for the hotel and a bunch of water bottles because my mom and my husband don't like the taste of the water at the hotel or at Disneyland! My mom actually just got a really neat collapsible water bottle that she is able to take to the park with her and when she finishes it off she can either re-fill it or roll it up and stick it right in her bag and not worry about it for the rest of the day! (You can find several varieties on Amazon, my mom has a really nice one with a filter in it that is a little more expensive. I found these ones for only $10 a piece!) We like to pack enough snacks for everyone in our backpacks or bags to munch on throughout the day. Not only does this keep everyone from getting "hangry" during long lines, but it also helps to save a ton on food in the parks. We don't buy snacks as often, and when we eat meals, we typically don't need as big of meals! Definitely worth it to bring in your own snacks and water! 

This is my mom's collapsible water bottle (and her super cute small backpack that she takes to Disneyland!) This water bottle folds up nice and small and is super easy to roll up and stick in your bag as you go!

3. Comfortable Walking Shoes (That can get wet!)
It's no secret - you do a LOT of walking in Disneyland! Trust me, I know from experience, if you have shoes that are not comfortable on your feet, you will be absolutely miserable. My dad and I have terrible arches so the shoe that we finally found that doesn't kill our feet is Sketcher's Go-Walks. My mom and Jack can get away with flip-flops and sandals, and Scott and Brycen's go-to's are sneakers! Find shoes that work for you and make sure they are well broken in. Unless you have no plans to ride any thing that involves any kind of water, you will also want to make sure that the shoes are not only still comfortable to walk around in wet (something quick-drying is best, but you can really get away with anything) but also a shoe that is not going to get ruined if they get wet. Remember - my shoes get wet even on rides like Matterhorn and Pirates of the Caribbean, so you REALLY have to watch it if your shoes will get ruined when wet.

4. short sleeves and a light jacket
For the most part, Disneyland is cool in the morning, gets pretty hot throughout the day, and then cools off again quite a bit once the sun goes down. We always pack shorts or capris and short sleeved shirts for the daytime, and I typically carry around a light jacket for the evening because I get cold easily. I like really the light jackets because they aren't bulky and are just warm enough to keep the edge off! If you plan to ride any water rides at night (the best time to ride Splash Mountain if you want to avoid long lines), then you will definitely want to bring along a lighter jacket, because the cool night air hitting you when you are wet is NO FUN! (TIP: Right before you get on Splash Mountain, go into one of the stores and ask for a couple of large plastic shopping bag. Stick all of your electronics, bags, jackets, etc. in these bags and tie off the top before you get on the ride. This will keep your belongings dry - especially those jackets! Trust me, it is 1000x better to put on a warm, dry jacket than it is to wear the jacket on the ride and have it be wet too.)

Jack sporting his little jacket on a cool California morning!

5. Body Glide
Alright, let's be honest here - you are walking around a TON, it is humid, and you are potentially riding water rides. All of those factors can make you chafe in really uncomfortable places, and make walking around miserable. We found this Body Glide several years ago, and it has made SUCH a difference! This product helps soothe chafing, but I suggest putting it on every morning - even before you start chafing - because it actually helps prevent it from happening in the first place. You'll never want to go to Disneyland without a bottle of this again! 

BONUS: Travel Pillows! 
Whether you are driving or flying to California, travel pillows make the experience so much better for your neck. I fall asleep in the car or on the plane every single time, and my neck always ends up in an awkward position and then I end up with a cramp and it's miserable. So I decided it was time to get some travel pillows. The story goes: I had some really cute Mickey Mouse material that was really soft, and a TON of denim jeans. So, I decided instead of buying a couple of travel pillows for my husband and I, I would just make some of my own - a Mickey Mouse one for me and a Denim one for him. We LOVED them. I posted them on Facebook when I was done because I was so proud of them, and so many people liked them that I decided to start making and selling them. (And, yes, I am totally putting a shameless plug here - I posted these custom travel pillows on Etsy! I've made a few Disney ones too, so for you Disney lovers out there, these may be for you!)

Find these cute travel pillows on my Etsy Shop!

What are your travel essentials? Let us know in a comment below!

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-Lindsay Prout

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If you are interested in buying a copy of my Disneyland Guide, feel free to contact me at any time at I sell my guide for a one time fee of $10*, or you can request a personalized one for $15 that I will customize entirely to your family’s needs!

*Any updated guides will be sent to you absolutely free of charge after your first purchase.


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