A few weeks ago, we chatted about the perfect park bag, and while some of you don’t take a thing into the parks that won’t fit into your pockets, I thought we ought to discuss what the rest of you are carrying around in those sacks.  Obviously we’re all toting an ID, ticket media and some form of payment (cash or plastic), but here are seven more must-haves in our day bag.

1. Sunscreen

While you definitely want to slather on the sunscreen in the morning before you venture out into the sun, I suggest you throw the bottle into your bag for touch-ups throughout the day.  Sunscreen will fade as the day goes by because of sweat, water rides, pool play or just the passage of time.  Protect yourself from the brutal afternoon sun by taking a few minutes to reapply mid-day.

A little spray can beat the heat, but it can also beat your sunscreen. Be sure to reapply!

2. Wipes

Even without little ones in tow, a pack of baby wipes or anti-bacterial wipes can prove invaluable.  I may or may not have had someone’s soda explode on me during a parade, and a quick swipe with a couple of cloths can keep one from having a sticky afternoon.  They’re also super handy for giving a table a quick wipe-down if its former occupants were messy, or if your little one tries to eat his Mickey bar with his eyebrows (which also may or may not have happened in our crew).


3. Gum

If you’re a gum chewer, you’ve got to bring it with you.  It isn’t sold in any of the Disney shops, so if you don’t bring it, you won’t get it.

Get Park Wise:  There’s a reason gum isn’t sold, so if you bring it in, please dispose of it correctly (i.e., in the waste bin!!).  Your fellow park-goers and the soles of their shoes thank you.

4. First Aid Kit

Ok, this one’s kinda cheating because it actually contains multiple items, but I definitely recommend stashing a few medical supplies with the rest of your park gear.  We carry a small cosmetic bag with bandages, ointment, pain reliever, antacids, tweezers, moleskin and a small pair of scissors.  Pretty much covers any minor incidents we may have along the way.  If anything more serious occurs, there is a first aid station in each of the parks.

5. Paper/Pen

This is something I keep with me at all times no matter where I am, but it can come in handy at the parks.  When the mouseketeers were younger, I could quickly hand over my pocket notepad and a pen, and they’d be perfectly content in a slow-moving line (like that sneaky Jungle Cruise queue) or while waiting for our entree.  It’s also nice to jot down the name of a cast member who went above and beyond so you’re sure to remember his name once you get to guest relations or fire off that email.  For you scrapbookers, writers or bloggers, it’s also nice to sit and do a little journaling while something is fresh on your mind.  I know I’ve tried to recap my day later that night or even weeks later, and it’s just never as good as when I have something I wrote in the moment.

Crayons and a table “cloth” work, too, for keeping the kids occupied.
Crayons and a table “cloth” work, too, for keeping the kids occupied.

6. Phone Charger

With all of the apps geared toward aiding you in your park touring, texting your group while trying to find each other, checking in on Facebook so all your friends at home know exactly what you’re doing at that very second, smart phone batteries can drain by mid-day.  Invest in a portable charger (I got a great one on a local deal site for under $30), or even bring your wall charger along.  While Disney queues and common places always seem to have an outlet somewhere, dedicated charging stations are available, too!  At the moment, the only permanent station is found at Magic Kingdom near the Tangled restrooms, but my guess is that more are on the way.

Charging stations are also located in the Chase lounge at Epcot during the Food and Wine Fest.
Charging stations are also located in the Chase lounge at Epcot during the Food and Wine Fest.

7. Snack

Whether you have a stash of snack crackers in your resort room or you stop in one of the shops, throw a little something in your bag for later.  When you start getting cranky, your stomach starts growling louder than the Beast during the show or that 20-minute posted wait ends up being closer to 40, a quick nosh can save the day.

Grab some on-the-go goodies at the resort in the morning before you head out for the day.
Grab some on-the-go goodies at the resort in the morning before you head out for the day.

What about you?  What do you put in your Disney Parks bag?

  • JFS in IL

    small water bottle, lip balm, and the hat Junior refuses to wear in the morning but will want in the afternoon.

  • BradyNBradleysMom

    Uh, excuse me, but there are EIGHT things to always put in a bag when going to Disney, not just seven. #8 = printouts of Jessica Ma’ilo’s columns to that you don’t forget any of her fantastic tips when in the parks!

    • DobbysCloset

      BradyNBradley have the best mom. I would put a trial size of her in my bag as well as a link to MiceChat if there were extra room.

    • Don’t forget you can always pull up Park Wise on a smart phone. 😉

  • FerretAfros

    Definitely a water bottle, either a ‘real’ or reused plastic one! It saves money compared to buying it in the park (assuming you can tolerate the taste), and can come in very handy on any day that’s warmer than what you’re used to back home

    • Don’t forget that counter service locations offer up free ice water, too!

  • OrangeFlash

    I like to bring an insulated lunch bag, for hot or cold snacks we buy to eat later, such as skewers of meat & veggies, turkey leg, hot pretzel, fruit, carrot sticks, etc.

    • We used to tote one around back in the stroller days, and I kinda miss it!

  • daveyjones

    you forgot the flask and cigarettes!

    • DobbysCloset

      Pirates — always a nuisance!

    • CCS

      I would second that pre-DCA days. We’re enjoying the excellent and well-priced adult beverages at the Cove Bar, in particular.

  • DobbysCloset

    The biggest thing in my bag would be the ziplock with my Chucks in them; Chucks to be replaced by flip flops as appropriate. Sunscreen. A heavily-tattooed person never leaves home without it. The Good-Hearted Samaritan in me would offer sunscreen to fellow guests I can see are burning but I’m afraid it would be unhygienic. I wish I could bring little pillows of if it to share. Extra socks and extra ziploc bags. I can’t drink the water in Southern California after a decade of pure clean tap water, so I stick to bottled water or beer at Downtown Disney. A hard case for the sunglasses.

    Really the only reason I have to have a bag rather than ginormous pockets on my cargo pants is the shoe trade-off. Perhaps with Jessica keeping me on track I will design a special pair of Park Pants that Hold All!

    • Kurtoon

      Cargo shorts make me a walking closet.

    • The hard case for my sunglasses is ridiculously huge (anyone with Coach shades can attest), but that’s a good idea. I always cringe when I put them in my bag for the coasters and Tower of Terror.

  • Kurtoon

    I think we all agree that Jessica is awesome!
    Disneyland did not sell Dr.Pepper inside the park so I packed my own to bring in.
    My family enjoys the Algebraic formula of “Popcorn x Dr.Pepper = Pizza”

    • Oh, that’s funny! The DP drinkers in my family turn to Pibb while at Disney.

  • redrhino54

    I carry extra socks, in case I sweat into my shoes, or they get wet, then I can change them out, into a ziplock baggy. Loved the pic in the # 2 !!! Too cute !!!

  • Freddie Freelance

    A ziplock bag full of ziplock bags, a couple quarts and a gallon. Put your wallets & cellphones in them for wet rides, put wet items into them after wet rides.

    • Yes! I waxed poetic about zip top bags in a past article. So many uses!!

  • TheWhiteWhale

    Baby Powder. Yes, baby powder. I prefer Gold Bond but any kind works. Especially in the summer months in Orlando or SoCal. Why? Prevents and alleviates chaffing symptoms and rashes. A little crude, yes, but it is a VERY common reality for many people. The last thing anyone wants is to have their wonderful visit to a Disney Park ruined by constant and ever-increasing irritation and pain.

    And how could you forget Sunglasses. Extra Pairs always help as well!

    • Because I don’t put sunglasses in my bag. 😉 They’re on my eyes or my head (headband-style).