Not to brag, but I think I’ve got packing for a day inside Disney World down to a fine science.
Admittedly, I obsess a little over what to pack to prepare for the kids when on trips. I’m pretty sure it’s what half of my travel posts are about. I just don’t like being somewhere, trying to have a good time, and not have what we need.
Well, multiple Disney trips with multiple children have taught us a few things. Our park days are fun and leisurely for the most part. We have everything we need and then some, but we don’t feel loaded down.
I’ll go into details later on how we structure our trips in general to create a (mostly) stress-free experience (because come on, nothing with kids is TOTALLY stress-free). Right now though, let’s dig into specifically what to pack for going into the parks. I’ve obsessed so you don’t have to! ;)
The Beloved Snack Bag
A couple of years ago we went to Disney with our brilliant friend who is crazy organized and plans everything way more than I do. She’s a champ, and a great travel mate who schedules things like fast passes for me since I never remember to do those in a timely manner. (Thanks, Brandi!) Before we left for our trip, she sent me a photo of the snack bags she was prepping to bring. I quickly copied her and have made these for every trip ever since.
A gallon storage bag is made up in advance for every day we’re going to be in the parks. I pick up some individually bagged treats that we don’t normally get at home, and also stock it with some staples. Having one bag premade for each day makes it easy-peasy. It’s just grab and go.
Little kids like to graze in general, but when they’re spending a lot of time waiting in lines or riding around in the stroller, it also helps keep everyone sane and happy. My kids can barely make it through the park gates before they start digging into this thing.
The suckers are always a favorite. I recommend hiding them until you know you’re going to need everyone to sit still for a while.
I pack some things for us grown-ups too. This past time we went, we were able to stay on our ketogenic diet the whole time we were at Disney with ease by packing the following snacks.
In addition to the storage bag, I also bring in a small cooler with some cold items, usually cheeses, deli meat, individually packaged fruit and a few juice boxes. We use a very small one like the little bee pictured above, or a slightly larger, but still lunchbox sized, cooler.
We very easily snack our way through lunch this way and that works well for us. We don’t really like to stop and wrangle four small kids in a restaurant in the middle of day. It’s much more fun to just graze and wander, and overall I think we end up eating a little better too. We all know that gross feeling you get when you eat out too much on vacation. Because we end up eating out for just one meal a day when we stop for dinner, that doesn’t happen to us at Disney.
Bring Water. Lots and lots of water.
For our first couple of trips, we brought in bottled water, but we found that we went through it rather quickly each day and ended up needing to buy a lot more in the parks.
Now we pack these:
Hydroflasks keep drinks cold SUPER well. People have done insane tests with them and you can look into all that if you want to. I will just tell you that we put ice in them before heading to the parks for the day, and when we leave that night, there is still ice in them. Pretty awesome.
We refill from various water fountains using this amazing little squeeze water filtration system by Sawyer. It’s super compact and filters water extremely quickly – no drip filtering here.
Prep for Sun…and Then Rain…and Then More Sun Again.
I think it’s pretty common knowledge that it randomly rains a lot in Florida, so panchos and an umbrella are your friend at times. Kids ponchos can be a little hard to find, but I have seen them occasionally at Walmart. You can also pick up the kids ponchos pictured below (green and pink) on Amazon.
Don’t forget to pack some sort of covering for your stroller too, because Disney doesn’t really have any covered areas for you to park it when it pours. A cheap shower curtain to throw over it works well.
Also, for when the rain stops, make sure to pack your sunscreen and sunglasses. If you’re half as pasty-white as me, you’re going to need them.
Whether they’re getting wet from rain or someone has an accident, an extra change of clothes is always a good thing to have on hand. It’s an awful lot of trouble to go back to the room and change, after all. I bring individually bagged outfits for each kid. It’s easy to grab one person’s clothing this way, and it also gives me a place to store the wet stuff.
Not pictured, but important: First Aid
For scrapes and falls, or walking blisters, a small first aid kit comes in handy. A handful of bandaids and some disinfectant should do the trick.
Whatever you do, don’t lose the children!
We’ve been fortunate to never lose anyone inside Disney yet, but just in case, everyone has our cell number on their wrist. You can buy ID bracelets, or just write your number on your child’s magic band. I couldn’t find the exact ID bracelets pictured here (my super planner friend purchased these), but this is a similar product, as is this bracelet, and both are reusable which is awfully handy.
We tell the kids that if they’re lost, they should find a mommy with a stroller and show her the phone number. We then drill them with this info until they’re close to intentionally losing us just to make it stop. ;)
Baby Things. You know. If you’re bringing a baby.
Diapers and wipes are obvious, but make sure you put your diapers in a plastic bag in case they get caught in one of those mid-day storms, or just come off a total disaster. I also like these alcohol-free sanitizing wipes for when things get dropped.
If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you’re all set. For babies needing a bottle-fed snack during the day though, I throw some formula in a bag, and bring 2 bottles – because it would literally be the end of the world if we lost our one and only bottle in the middle of a park day.
To keep little hands busy on long days, I stock up on small items from the Target dollar bins and Dollar Tree and bring a few things into the park with us every day. Glow sticks, mini-bubbles, stickers, small color packs, etc. are all winners.
Jingle necklaces are also hit, and not totally annoying as you ring through the park. ;)
Don’t forget your camera, but if you have a magic band, you can leave your wallet in the hotel safe. You can use them to purchase anything inside the parks with a scan of your wrist. Dangerous, but good.
In case you were wondering, all of this fits into one cloth grocery bag and we attach it on the back of the stroller using a Mommy Hook. Best thing ever.
You can kind of see it in this extremely random photo of my sweet girl because I didn’t actually think to take a picture of that. ha. Bonus: the big green bag is easy to spot in a sea of strollers!
I hope this has been helpful as you plan your trip to Disney! As Sean said when he visited for the first time as a 33 year old man, “it really is the most magical place on earth!” :)
p.s. All the links above are affiliate links, but we are not sponsored by any of these products. They’re all just really great purchases that we’ve been very happy with, and that’s why we’re sharing them with you. :)