When you plan a day (or several days) at your favorite Disney theme park, there are a few simple, bare necessities that you have to take with you. You know, the things you can’t leave your resort room without or the things that make the room more like home. We polled some of our resident Disney Travel Experts to get their recommendations for what to take into the parks.

George: Since I’m a heavy iPhone user in the parks (posting photos on Facebook), I always take two portable battery chargers for my iPhone. They will work for any smartphone so you never run out of juice. I also pack a travel-sized power strip for the hotel so I can recharge my smartphone, batteries and laptop! I never worry about having enough clothes as much as I worry about my electronic devices functioning!

LauraI never leave home without clean unused ziplock bags in various sizes. This way if I have leftover food I can save it on the bag or if I’m bringing home those cool Disney toiletries I use a ziplock bag in case they leak on the way home.

Melissa: I’m a camera girl! Don’t forget it! While I LOVE the Photopass (I buy a CD of our pictures every trip), I still carry my big DSLR around with me. I also bring a point and shoot camera (back up camera in case the unthinkable happens) and my iPhone. It can get a tad heavy, but I wouldn’t consider leaving them at home- you never know when the perfect photo op will happen!

Also, I’m with Laura on the ziplock bags! I use them to organize and “water proof” the contents of my backpack (like my cameras). I bring multiple pairs of comfortable walking shoes, too. Your favorite shoes may not be so perfect if they get wet on a ride and start rubbing a raw spot or a blister on your feet so changing shoes can help! I try to pack 2-3 pairs of shoes for longer trips.

Teresa : I have a few must haves, like an extension cord, moleskins and band aids. I pack stuff for upset tummies, Advil/Tylenol for headaches, etc.  I always have my portable battery charger and the plugs for them (who hasn’t left those at home?) and hand sanitizer ( lots of people touch those handrails hehe).

Amy: Shiny new pennies for the penny presses. Sun block….of course! It costs an arm and leg inside the park. Gum if you need it and ear plugs if you or the kiddos are sensitive to noise. I always try to bring Advil/ Tylenol for the whole family and band aids and moleskin for the occasion blister or boo-boo to might pop up.

Hand sanitizer or wipes are always a good plan! Lip balm with sunscreen in it. Chargers for all your gadgets. Plastic bags are great to stow away all your electronic goodies but there also great for those extra snacks/leftovers you have after a meal. Don’t judge—I know I’m not the only one!! LOL!!

JessicaIf there’s still food on your plate, no sense in letting it go to waste. I did have a waitress provide me with a to-go cup for my strawberry soup at 1900 Park Fare. I was so excited that I forgot it after I filled it. Hahahaha! Kicking myself for that one, too.

Extra memory cards! I carry seven 8G cards and one 16G. I left my extras in the room and had to buy one at Disney’s Hollywood Studios minutes before my son was taking the stage at Jedi Training Academy. Well, our VIP tour guide ran to get it for me. It was pricey. Ouch. I still laugh when I use that card. And kick myself.

Jeff: My portable battery charger was a life saver during my last trip to Disneyland. The cell phone signal and WiFi can drain your batteries quickly. So, that and my phone and my camera. Because I am a photo crazy person. 

Sarah: Blister bandaids and sunblock to protect our family! You have to make sure to apply the sunblock 30 minutes or so before going out or the coverage isn’t as effective. Also, make sure to reapply!

Do you have a must-have item that you always take into the park?

Vacationeering is written by the Travel Experts at Fairy Godmother Travel. They would love to help you plan your next vacation to Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney or Aulani.

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  • daliseurat

    Water bottles! Better yet, the kind with filters to refill at water fountains. I also either have an over the shoulder lanyard that holds it, or a clip for it so I can attach it to the backpack or my belt. I’ve accidentally left many bottles somewhere. For the kids and anyone else prone to getting drenched, an extra t-shirt and socks. Sometimes I’ll wear sandals during the day and a pair of sneakers later when it’s cooler and I am done getting wet. I pack a better quality poncho and small umbrella for those unexpected rainstorms. And a couple power bars. Everyone had great suggestions!

    • George Taylor

      Those are fantastic ideas! Thanks for sharing.

  • whamo

    I always take my Annual Pass, my lanyard with Disney pins, trading pins, my Grumpy hat, my Grumpy baseball shirt, my magic cookies, the Disney CD with all the classic tunes on it for the ride to the park, my wife, and most importantly, a song in my heart. I’m taking my wife to the Cathay Theater for Valentine’s Day, and I’m going to fine dine on the sliders. I haven’t been to the park since November, and I’m raring to go. I plan on hitting Carsland, first, then the Bayou Bash after lunch. Zippy-do-dah! I’m at a happy place.

  • We obviously love our Ziplocs and hand sanitizer!! I forgot to add a Sharpie or two if anyone’s an autograph seeker. Easier for the characters to use, and I think it just looks better than a regular pen. We carry a pack of 12 retractable Sharpies, and you’d be surprised how many times we’ve given one away when someone has forgotten something to get autographs with despite carrying everything but the kitchen sink with them. Haha!!

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  • dizneydomenic

    People People…especially with a lot of gadgets…. cell phones, digital cameras, laptops…..bring a power strip…theres never enough outlets without unplugging a tv or lamp.

    • danyoung

      I don’t just bring a power strip – I bring a long zip-cord extension cord. They usually put the extra outlets in the most awkward places, so I come prepared to string power where I want it!

  • DisWedWay

    I’m a Ziploc Freezer Bag Man. You can put a frozen bottle of water in a Ziploc Freezer bag and it will stay cold all day while you take sips from it and re-zip each time. Same with cold drinks or cold food. Use them for bathroom items that may explode on the plane under pressure like shampoo bottles with pop lids. Put your camera in a gallon Ziploc bag to keep Florida or Paris moisture out of it, as it wrecked my light meter on my big Nikon. Also great for paper items like postcards, napkins, maps, handouts, film, medicines, or place mats etc.. I always bring my trusty old Boy Scout compass as well to new parks. An empty plastic bottle with a screw lid like a 20 OZ. Snapple Bottle is good for leftover beverage use. Tupperware squares for those left over sandwiches or treats also placed in bags. Just a few of my items. PD

  • Galapagos Jim

    Can I make a pitch here for the anti-answer? Nothing. Don’t carry anything with you. No bags, no water bottles, and nothing in your pockets but your wallet. Spend a day without the camera, drink water from the fountain (or buy it), and turn off the social networks. Get rid of the stuff and enjoy the experience of the park, not fussing with your gadgets.

    Not saying that’s the way to spend every day, but give it a thought every other trip or so. Even if it’s just bringing one lens instead of three, paring down removes some burden. I bet you’ll enjoy it on occasion.

    (I’ve dragged thousands of dollars of camera equipment into the parks and wrestled duffle-bag sized totes in-between my feet on Space Mountain. Sometimes less is more.)

    • Mountain Man

      Right on!! It’s about the FUN right? Absolutely the best advice I’ve read yet!

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    I always bring my camera (usually my point & shoot because it’s small and lightweight), sunscreen, my sports bottle that has an insulated sleeve so water stays cold, plus is has a built in shoulder strap for easy carrying, a small umbrella (I hate ponchos) because it’s Florida and the weather forecast may say one thing, then it does the complete opposite, and as silly as it sounds… my Duffy bear.

    Regarding my phone, I have a battery case, which is usually enough, but just in case, I bring just my regular phone charger and find a quiet place out of the way to take a break and charge my phone for a little while. Luckily the parks have free wifi now, so it doesn’t drain my battery as fast anymore.

  • gboiler1

    I refuse to carry anything into the parks except my camera or what I can fit in my pockets, such as a small tube of sunblock an extra camera battery or a baggie with ibuprofen. Fortunately my daughter is 14 now so the backpack etc are no longer necessary!

  • Snakeyes

    My car keys and my wallet. Anything more takes away from the fun.