You’re dressed in your favorite Disneybound outfit & matching ears; phone is charged, Fast Passes are booked, camera ready to go! But, wait…do you need anything else?! Here’s a small list of extra items I bring to The Parks to ensure it’s the Best Day Ever. While I am mostly a visitor to Walt Disney World, a majority of these items can be used in Disneyland as well. I’ve grown quite proficient in packing for The Parks, and the following items are must-haves for me.
Magic Band: The Magic Band is essential, as it provides multiple services. It’s a digital version of your ticket/annual pass, a room key if you’re staying on property, a link to your PhotoPass photos (additional paid service) a digital wallet (if you’re staying on property), Fast Pass+ ticket, etc…If you’re going to a park immediately upon arrival, put your Magic Band on your wrist before you leave home. It’s safe to go through the airport in it, if you’re flying. Shop Disney* has a decent selection of permanent & Limited-Edition ones, but you can also find them all over The Parks or in Disney Springs. There are often unique ones for launches of new rides, festivals, and holidays. If you’re staying on property, you’re eligible for 1 free solid colored one (per person, per reservation), or a nice discount ($10 or $15 compared to $25 or $30) on certain themed ones (per person, per reservation). Annual Passholders are also eligible for the same benefit (1 per passholder, per fiscal year of the band). The addition of the discount to select themed bands was added earlier this year, and is different than the 20% AP benefit. Each person can have up to 4 Magic Bands linked to their profile. Click here for more information on Magic Bands. You will also want to bring some sort of ID with you. I don’t walk outside to throw away trash without ID. You’ll also need it as an accompaniment to prove ownership of your Annual Pass, DVC, or whatever other Disney related program you might belong to.
Sunscreen, Sunglasses, and Lip Balm: Self explanatory. I apply SPF before I leave the resort, but I bring some with me to re-apply. I don’t want to get burned and be uncomfortable, or worse. The sun’s rays are drying and damaging. Protect your skin*, please! For sunnies, my go-to pair is from Quay Australia, in the style High Key*. They’ve been to Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Water Bottle: While we had a couple of lazy days this time around, we usually get up early enough for Rope Drop (park opening, for those not familiar) and won’t return to our resort until rather late, so we prefer to stay hydrated during that time. We have 16oz Nalgene bottles at home, so we brought those with us during our last visit. We normally fill and freeze them the night before and grab them out of the freezer as we’re leaving for the day. They will defrost relatively quickly in the heat and/or humidity. There are several spots around each park to refill when your bottle is getting low. Click here* for the bottles we have.
Portable Fan: It can get hot & humid throughout the day. I found these handheld fans on Amazon, they are both appropriately adorable and functional. They come individually or in pairs, with 3 different color schemes to choose from. They can operate at 3 different fan speeds, and have a light that can be turned on or off. Each fan also comes with two attachments you can fasten on that will help it to be propped up on a flat surface or slide on your finger for optimal holding ability. Click here* to check them out.
External Battery (and accompanying cord): I don’t always carry my actual camera around The Parks, so I’m often taking pictures and/or video footage with my phone. If your phone is like mine (I still have the iPhone 6S), your battery life isn’t wonderful. So, to help myself out and to make sure I’m able to capture every bit of magic, I carry an external battery. We got a 2-pack at BJ’s last year by the brand Honeycomb, and I can’t seem to find them anywhere online to link. However, Amazon has this one*. It appears slim, has good reviews, 2 USB slots, and a little light to assist in darker environments. Also, my friend gifted me this charging case* that I put on my phone when I’m traveling. You probably don’t need both, though.
Poncho: Walt Disney World (and Florida in general) is known for random/surprise rain. While I don’t whip it out for a drizzle or light rain, I would want to be prepared in case of a sudden thunderstorm, or something like that. These* are nothing fancy, but they get the job done and keep you pretty dry in a pinch.
Backpack: You can keep these items in whatever bag you like, but Mike & I usually each bring a backpack*. We don’t have this exact pattern, but each have this style of backpack. It’s very comfortable to wear, and features two side pockets for water bottles. However, I only wore my backpack 1 of 8 days during our last trip. I also brought this Haunted Mansion Madame Leota Crossbody* which fit everything comfortably, except for the sunscreen (too tall), which Mike carried in his backpack.
I hope this list was helpful. This is what I bring, but you can add or scale down as you see fit. Let me know any essential items you need to make it a most magical day.