When our family travels to Disney destinations, I am usually the one left holding “the bag”. Neither of my children are fans of carrying bags and my husband’s “man – bag” is a little less manly than he would like. So, the question becomes – what does one REALLY need to carry around in a purse at the Disney theme parks?
In this article, I'll give the tips on what type of bag has worked best for me over the years (I've used the same bag at Disneyland, Walt Disney World and on Disney Cruises!) I'll also share my TOP FIVE list of items that we have used on every one of our trips!
Step one – choose your bag wisely
Over the years, I have gravitated towards a small cloth back pack (dimensions 9 x 12 x 5). Vera Bradley is my favorite, but there are a ton of different bags out there! I also like a bag with a ton of pockets – this way you can separate your items into easy to find sections. I like cloth because it can get easily folded in your lap when you are on a ride (Space Mountain especially!) --- Pictures of bags I've used, below :)
Step two – prep the bag
I usually remove my calendar (yes – I still use a paper calendar!) and my wallet and leave both at the resort. Instead I bring only one credit card (always my Disney Visa), my Driver’s License and my Disney Rewards card. I place these in a plastic bag in an inside bag pocket in order to prevent their falling out during a ride.
Step three – pack that bag!
In addition to your normal items – sunglasses, tissues, phone, and camera, these are the top five items that every Disney parent needs in their bag!
1) Snacks, snacks and more snacks :)
The types of snacks has always depended on the ages of my children. When Ty and Kenzie were 3 and 4, I stuffed the bag with Nemo and Princess fruit snacks. As they got older, I moved towards cheese and cracker packages and individual trail mix. This helped cut down the costs of snacks when we were in the parks.
2) Autograph book and oversized pen
Be sure to purchase an autograph book and pen. Throughout the Disney theme parks, your favorite characters will be available for you to interact with. A great conversation starter is to ask each one for their autograph! Don’t forget to take a picture with your child and the character; when you get home, you can print the picture and have them create their very own scrapbook of your visit!
3) Park maps
Before you leave your resort, be sure to grab a few park maps and times guides. You can read these on your way to the parks when you hop on a bus, boat or monorail! Be sure to check your current times guide EACH DAY, as Disney sometimes makes changes from the released website hours. Be sure to grab a few -- if your group separates to go on different rides - you can easily pre determine a meet up location using the maps!!!
4) Travel Emergency Kit
Take a minute to prep a Ziploc bag with all the following items: band aids, Children’s Pepto, hand sanitizer, travel headache medicine, stain stick, extra allergy medicine, travel sun screen. You’ll be right there with a little “parent pixie dust” when any mishaps threaten those smiles!
5) Rain ponchos
Before you leave for the day, take each of your family’s rain ponchos and fold them into small squares (BIG thanks to my Mom for this tip!!!). Then, pop them all into a plastic grocery bag. Place the grocery bag inside your purse and VOILA – ready for action rain or shine! When you are done with your ponchos, you can quickly roll them back up in the plastic bag and place them back in your larger bag. Remember to take them out of your bag at night to dry and re-fold the next morning!
If you have more suggestions, I’d love to hear – what’s in your bag!!!