Surviving a long day at a Walt Disney World theme park can be a daunting task, but you can make it much easier on yourself by taking a few essentials with you before heading out the door for the day. Some of these items may seem obvious to you, but others may not be something you would necessarily think of needing just on a normal day out. Let's talk about what items you need to make your day a little more manageable. In full disclosure, clicking on any of the product links may result in us receiving income as an Amazon affiliate, but just know you are supporting a small business (Ryan Travels) by doing so!
First and foremost, and this should go without saying, you need a bag! While there are several different styles to choose from, we always opt for taking a crossbody bag of some type. It tends to be a little more comfortable on your back, and if one shoulder gets tired from carrying it, you can swap it around and wear it opposite on your other shoulder anytime you need a break! Make sure you get a bag big enough to carry your necessities, but keep in mind a long day in the parks mean comfort is key so don't go too big!
We have always found the Kavu Crossbody bags are the best for accomplishing the tasks of carrying what we need and being comfortable over an extended period of time. There are many styles available, which can come in handy so the dads out there aren't stuck carrying around a not-so-manly print!
You can find this one by clicking here: Kavu Crossbody Bag at Amazon
Another popular option you will see all over the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks are the small backpacks produced by Loungefly. They come in all different styles, so there is sure to be one that fits your style!
One drawback of the Loungefly-style bags are they tend to be on the smaller side, so if you tend to need to carry a lot of items, such as if you have a small child or medical needs, this bag may not be for you.
You can find this classic Disney titles style by clicking here: Loungefly Bag at Amazon
Another option for a park bag is one that comes with a charging capability for your cell phone. Your cell phone has become a necessity during any visit to a Walt Disney World theme park, and having a bag that allows you to charge your phone while still using it can be a lifesaver. It works by keeping a power bank in the bag, oftentimes connected to a port inside, which then connects to your charging cable on the outside of the bag. This can help keep a hand free rather than lugging around a power bank in one hand and your phone in the other.
You can find this style of charging crossbody bag here: Crossbody Charging Bag on Amazon
This bag comes in handy for those of you that have medication needs throughout the day that require the medication to stay cool, such as insulin. It is small enough to fit in your bigger backpack which will help keep it out of direct sunlight and stay cooler longer through those long, hot Central Florida days in the theme parks.
You can find this medication cooling bag here: Medication Cooling Bag at Amazon
Walking around the theme parks at Walt Disney World all day in the Central Florida heat isn't always a friend to your feet. Having some moleskin on hand to treat blisters as they start to form will be a lifesaver to keep you from being miserable on those long days. Trust me, your feet will thank you for including this in your park bag!
You can find Dr. Sholl's moleskin here: Dr. Sholl's Moleskin at Amazon
No one enjoys coming back from their vacation looking like a freshly boiled lobster, so investing in sunscreen can be a lifesaver (literally!). This sunscreen from Banana Boat is great for your kids because not only is it tear free but it is also sting free. You should have no objections to spraying your kids throughout the day with this sunscreen and protecting them from the often brutal Central Florida rays.
You can find this two-pack of sunscreen here: Banana Boat Sunscreen at Amazon
Just as brutal as the Central Florida sun can be the random downpours that pop up out of nowhere. Nothing is worse than being stuck without a poncho and having to either trudge around soaked the rest of the day, or make an unexpected early return to your resort to change. Always keep a few of these cheap, disposable ponchos in your bag as a safety net. Don't rely on the ponchos sold at almost every merchandise location at Disney. They are obviously going to be expensive, and from my experience, since my head is of a larger nature, it never fails that I rip the thing the first time I try to put it on!
Find this pack of ponchos here: Rain Ponchos at Amazon
A water bottle may be the most important item to take with you to the parks for a few reasons. First, you absolutely need to stay hydrated in the Central Florida heat that can oftentimes approach 100 degrees in the middle of the Summer. Secondly, it will save you a ton of money rather than paying Walt Disney World prices each time you need a bottle of water. Take an insulated water bottle and fill it up each time you are near a water fountain. Cast members may not fill it up for you at quick service locations, but cups of water are free at these locations, so simply ask for a cup of water or two and fill it up yourself.
Find this insulated water bottle here: Insulated Water Bottle at Amazon
Battling the heat during your trip to the Walt Disney World Resort may oftentimes feel like a losing proposition, so anything that can help you combat the sweltering heat and humidity should be given consideration. Enter the neck fan. Yes, I know, you don't want to be "that" person, but sometimes you just have to make sacrifices in the interest of your own comfort!
Find this highly-rated neck fan here: Portable Neck Fan at Amazon
As you have probably noticed by now, a good number of the items I recommend for your park bag involve beating that unrelenting Central Florida heat and humidity. That is no exception with the next item on my list. Cooling towels are an engineering marvel. You wet them with cool water, wring the excess moisture out, and the towel keeps you cool for a while. I was skeptical at first, but bought some for my son for his soccer season and they worked great. An added bonus is you won't be getting dirty looks from people with these like you would with those annoying misting fans that people pay way too much for in the parks that end up not helping do anything except annoy those around you.
Find this 4-pack of cooling towels here: Cooling Towels at Amazon
When you think about keeping cool in the parks, don't forget that the little ones will get hot too! Even being in the shade of a stroller oftentimes isn't enough to keep them cool (and thus keeping them from being fussy). A stroller fan will help keep everyone happy during your long, hot days at the parks.
Find this clip-on stroller fan here: Rechargeable Clip-On Stroller Fan at Amazon
I bet this is an item not many of you considered to pack in your park bag. There are a couple reasons why this is listed. First, for those that don't know, in an effort to be more environmentally-friendly, Disney has started using biodegradable straws. While I applaud their efforts to be more environmentally-conscious, it oftentimes leave you drinking from a straw that becomes flimsy quickly. Additionally, for those that don't know, straws are not allowed in Animal Kingdom at all, so unless you have these, you will find yourself drinking from cups that I would hate to even consider how many fingers have touched prior to you putting your lips to it. Do yourself a favor and get some silicone straws (avoid the metal ones unless you just like metallic taste).
Find these food-grade silicone straws here: Reusable Silicone Straws at Amazon
It goes without saying, but you can't go anywhere nowadays without your cell phone. Walt Disney World is no different, and in fact they basically make it impossible to have a successful day at the theme parks without one. For that reason, you absolutely need a power bank to charge your electronic devices throughout the day. My Disney Experience is notorious for not being battery-friendly, so I can almost guarantee you won't make it through the day on a single charge if you end up using My Disney Experience even half as much as Disney would like you to. On our last trip, we used a power bank that had built-in charging cables and it made life SO much easier not having a tangle of cords in your bag to mess with when it was time to charge our phones.
Find this highly-rated Anker portable power bank here: Power Bank at Amazon