What To Pack for Disney World and Theme Parks

Mulit-colored background of Mickey Mouse in EPCOT gift shop at Walt Disney World

You’ve bought the tickets, booked the plane, and reserved your hotel (or had a travel agent do some of that for you). Now comes the part of a theme park vacation that everyone dreads: deciding what to pack.

As someone who has done a lot of traveling and a lot of packing in their life, it can be a pain, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Hopefully, this guide on what to pack for Disney World and theme park vacations can help make this step a lot less painful for you.

Why You Should Trust Me

Having studied the theme park industry for over 20 years, I’ve been to numerous theme parks throughout my entire life, including resort-style theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. I’ve traveled quite a bit and learned a lot about what makes for a better trip when visiting somewhere.

Keep in mind, some of these specific products I mention are what work best for me based on my experience. It could be that you don’t need a particular item or need something a bit different, and that’s totally fine! This is just a guide to point you in the right direction.

Please note that I’ve used all the products in this guide as well, so I can personally speak to how effective they are and recommend them appropriately.

Best Chargers for a Disney Trip

When you go to a theme park, you’re sure to be taking photos of everything around you, as well as scrolling your phone when waiting in lines. If you’re going to Disney World, you’ll also be making dining reservations and reserving ride spots on Genie+ with your smartphone. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you have some charging options with you.

FuelRods are quite common at theme parks. Kiosks can be found at Disney World and even some Six Flags parks. You purchase one of these, plug them into your phone to charge, and can swap it out for free when the charge runs out at any kiosk! I recommend buying these ahead of time because they’re marked up quite a bit more at the kiosks themselves.

If you’re like me, sometimes you don’t want to have to worry about any cables when charging your phone. Since I have an iPhone, I like this MagSafe Wireless Charger. It attaches to the back of my phone (as long as it has a MagSafe compatible case on it), and when I turn it on, it charges it while sticking to the back of the phone! You can also choose to plug this into your phone if you prefer. This charger holds quite a bit of charge as well, which is super convenient.

If you’re staying at a hotel, you’ll want to charge your electronics up. For that, I enjoy this portable 3-in-1 charger, which allows me to charge my phone, Apple Watch, and Apple AirPods all at the same time. It folds up when not in use, which means it won’t take up too much space in your travel luggage!

Best Noise Cancelling Products for Loud Environments

Sometimes you can be in noisy environments in places like airplanes and, if you unfortunately have loud neighbors, hotel rooms. If I’m wanting to listen to music while blocking out noise around me, I love my Apple AirPods Pro. They’re easy to travel with since they slide into their small charging case (which can also charge wirelessly) and I find they have pretty good noise cancellation for their size.

If you’re looking to block out the noise without music playing, there’s also options for that. I have concert earplugs that allow me to hear music without causing temporary hearing loss from the louder sounds. I haven’t had a chance to sleep with these yet, but I know some people (including members of Tegan and Sara) sleep with concert earplugs similar to these at night.

If you’re really wanting to block out sound while you sleep, try these wax earplugs. They take some work to conform to your ears, but once they do, they do a pretty good job of blocking other sounds out. As a side sleeper, these are easier to wear than other earplugs I’ve tried.

Best Beauty Products to Have for a Theme Park

Sunscreen

Since most theme parks are primarily outside, it’s important to make sure you’re protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. It can be annoying to put on sunscreen, but you know what’s worse than sunscreen? Skin cancer.

I wear this Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer, well, daily. It provides some protection from the sun while also keeping your skin healthy. I also like that this product doesn’t make my skin too oily, unlike other facial moisturizers with SPF that I’ve tried.

For sunscreen on the rest of your body, I’ve had pretty good success with Banana Boat’s products. There’s a few options here: traditional liquid sunscreen (which I don’t use that often at parks), spray sunscreen (my usual go-to), and their “light as air” sunscreen, which I don’t normally bring to parks but use as my sunscreen for pool days back home in Atlanta.

Stains, Cleanliness, and Overall Beauty

Stains are almost bound to happen at theme parks, whether its from a delicious meal you’ve eaten, something you’ve sat in, or any other accident. I’ve found that in a pinch, Tide To Go Pens can be helpful, but the big stains will need to be dealt with once you get home.

It’s important to keep your hands clean, as you’ll be touching a lot of things at theme parks that a lot of other people have touched. I like using hand sanitizer with aloe to make sure when I’m using it, it’s not drying out my skin too much.

A lot of hotels provide shampoo, conditioner, and soap, but if you’ve got some of those that you want to bring yourself, these travel-sized bottles have served me pretty well. They’re easy to fill and easy to use!

Best Clothes, Shoes, and Backpacks for Disney World and Theme Parks

Backpacks and Packing

Sometimes you need to bring more clothes than your bag allows, or you’re trying to travel with as few bags as possible to avoid extra fees with airlines. My sister introduced me to these compression sacks that allow you to compress everything down into a much tinier space. I once was able to travel for almost two weeks back home using one of these, and that was in winter time with sweaters!

Of course, if you’re taking things into the park or even onto a plane, you may want a backpack. This has been my go-to travel backpack for a few years now. I like that it has lots of places to store things, but doesn’t feel too bulky. I usually don’t have a problem making it fit within Spirit or Frontier Airlines’ personal item requirements either, unless I’m really cramming a bunch of stuff in there. Summer and warmer day trips are much easier, though.

Clothing and Sunglasses

Disney parks in Florida and California in particular tend to have very sunny days. I really enjoy these sunglasses since they aren’t super expensive but look pretty great. They also come in so many different colors!

While Disney World usually has somewhere for you to store loose articles on rides, you may want to keep them on you or may be visiting a park that doesn’t have free storage as an option. These shorts with zipper pockets are lightweight and have three pockets that zipper – two in the front and one in the back for something wallet-sized.

Shoes for Disney World

When I go to theme parks, I spend a lot of time there on my feet. After a trip to Disneyland where I was barely able to walk after being on my feet for about 16 hours, I knew I needed to up my shoe game.

Enter Brooks, who has made my theme park vacations way less painful. I’ve tried many of their different shoes on and have found that the Glycerin GTS mens shoes provide the most support while also giving me the cushioning my feet need.

I of course have never worn the Glycerin GTS womens shoes, but I’m sure they’re pretty close to the same.

Best Medicine to Bring for Theme Park Vacations

There’s no denying it – I can’t treat my body the same way I could when I was a teenager anymore. There’s some medicines I find help me be as comfortable as possible when thinking about what to pack for Disney World and other theme parks.

I tend to get motion sick in cars, buses, and sometimes planes. Regular Dramamine knocks me out, so I tend to take a non-drowsy Dramamine pill when I know I’m going to be doing a lot of traveling that day, just to be safe.

Sometimes, if I don’t have long to travel or I’m out of Dramamine, I’ll wear these SeaBand anti-nausea wristbands. You wear them around your wrist and they press on a pressure point that helps with seasickness and motion sickness. It sounds like it wouldn’t work, but trust me, it does. I just don’t like wearing them on long trips since the bead in them is pressing on your skin the whole time.

If heartburn is one of your enemies, as it has become mine, I tend to take one of these pills to prevent heartburn from happening. That way, I can still eat french fries and hamburgers without feeling super sick afterwards – unless I overdo it, which has been known to happen. When I do, it’s time to break out the infamous TUMS to help with heartburn.

Your Must-Haves for What to Pack for Disney World

These are just some of the items I like to pack for my overnight trips to Disney World, Universal, or other theme park and travel destinations. I don’t bring all of them into parks with me, but they each serve their own purpose in their own time.

What are some of your must haves? Have you learned any tips or tricks that I may have missed?

Christian McIlwain

Christian has been a fan of theme parks since he was a child. He has over twenty years of experience both researching and working in the industry. He grew up visiting Kennywood Park throughout his childhood. Currently, he lives in Atlanta, GA where he frequently visits Six Flags Over Georgia and Orlando area theme parks.

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