Top 10 Essentials – Packing for a Day at the Parks

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another. We get to the parks and realize we forgot something. In many cases, whatever you happened to forget, can be purchased somewhere in the parks. Many of us would rather not spend the extra money on something we have sitting in the hotel room, so here is my list of things that is essential for a full day at the parks.


Don’t forget your photo I.D.! You never know when you’ll need it. This happened to me once and it will never happen again. I accidentally left it in the hotel and during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival and was carded for a beer!

This is VERY important….bring not one, but two credit cards with you! You never know when one may not work or even be declined for some reason – things happen! I also highly recommend bringing cash with you as well. I know, you’re thinking no one uses cash anymore! Not true – you might need it for tips! And it’s a great back up in case you can’t use your credit card(s) for some reason.


YES, the fanny pack is making a comeback, and in a super huge way! Even Disney Parks are now selling them in all prints and styles. You may not like it or refuse to wear one, but they are great if you don’t plan to carry a lot and want to be hands free. I personally could not be happier they are back in style!

The backpack is another great option – depending on the size backpack you use, you can carry a great deal and will most likely not forget anything because you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything you might possibly need! Backpacks are the way to go if you are vacationing with children.


These are essential to protect your eyes from the blazing, bright Florida sun. If you do forget yours at the hotel (or at home), there are a few Sunglass Huts located at the parks and Disney Springs, as well as an assorted variety sold at souvenir shops.


If you are like me, allergies are a year round issue. I cannot go an hour without needing tissues. Rather than running into every restroom along the way and using the hard toilet paper or hand towels, carry a small pack of tissues with you. Your nose will be thanking you!

Be sure to also pack Advil, Tylenol, Tums, etc. and any necessary prescription medication you will need throughout the day. There is a First-Aid station located within each park that offers free over-the-counter medications if needed, however if prescription medication is required, you don’t want to forget that or leave it behind in the hotel room.


This is absolutely essential! While not foolproof, this will help with the dirt and grime. Your hands will be touching everything throughout the day. I’m not a germaphobe, but I try to sanitize my hands several times throughout the day.


Every now and then we decide to wear the wrong shoes to the parks, and our feet pay the price. It seems like a great idea at 8am and by 1pm your feet are not happy. There are first-aid centers throughout the parks that you can visit and pick up band-aids, but if you have a few with you, your poor blistering feet will be happier.


This is absolutely critical. If you use Disney WiFi throughout the parks, you know that it eats away at your cell phone battery. Next thing you know, you have 25% left and it’s only mid-day! The parks now offer Fuel Rods as an option if you find yourself in this situation. This one-time purchase of $30 allows you to continuously trade them in once depleted for new ones that are fully charged. The only downside is there are only certain locations that have a Fuel Rod station, and you may not be near one when you need it. My personal recommendation, pick a charger up on Amazon. In most cases, they are half the price of the Fuel Rod and have more charging capacity to get you through the day.


Just like your sunglasses to protect your eyes, you’ll need sunscreen to protect your skin from the blistering sun. Especially in the heart of the summer when the UV index is very high. Pick up a few travel size sunscreen tubes, this way you can have it with you and it won’t take up too much space in your bag.


It always rains in Florida. Chances are at some point during your vacation, the sky will open up. Keep your eye on the weather and if there is a chance, bring along your poncho or umbrella. I recommend visiting your local Dollar Store before leaving for vacation and grab a few inexpensive ponchos. You’ll be happy you did!


If you don’t have #9 with you, you may get soaked in a rain storm. A change of clothes or socks is always a good idea and can be stored in a locker for $10 a day. If you do get wet and need to change, throw your wet clothes in a ziploc bag, it will protect everything else from getting wet. Ziploc bags are also great if you go on water rides, throw your camera, phone, bag into the ziploc to protect them from getting wet. See my Main Street Tourist Tip of the Day for the Top 5 uses for ziploc bags in the parks!

Bonus! Annual Passholder Card

If you are an Annual Passholder, don’t forget your membership card!! You will need your card to show proof of your membership to receive special discounts throughout the parks.

Hi there! I'm Marnie, a dynamic and creative writer and blogger with 5+ years experience writing SEO-optimized content for Walt Disney World-related travel websites, with the added bonus of 20+ years corporate experience in communications and training. My ultimate passion is simplifying todayโ€™s Walt Disney World planning complexities and equipping my readers with pro information and knowledge for designing a perfectly magical vacation. Happy travels!

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