12 Disney Parks Backpack Essentials You Need

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12 Disney Parks Backpack Essentials

You’ve booked your hotel, scheduled your advanced dining reservations, and were able to secure all of the hardest to get Fastpass+ selections.

You have the best possible shoes for your day in the park. (If you’re wondering what shoes to wear, be sure to check out this post!)

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The Disney parks backpack on your back has been tested and tried, ensuring it’s going to be a comfy fit throughout your day.

You’re ready to hit the parks and have some fun!

One questions yet remains though. What EXACTLY are the disney parks backpack essentials you need to be transported to a land of magic, imagination and fun?

There are less Disney parks backpack essentials than you probably originally thought!

You could bring everything, plus the kitchen sink, inside your Disney parks backpack, but, honestly, you don’t need to.

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There are only 12 essential items we recommend to be exact. Plus, a few optional items! 

So, before you hit the parks, gather up these 12 Disney parks backpack essentials and you’re good to go!

12 Disney Park Backpack Essentials

For my 12 recommend Disney park essentials, I’m not going to list items that you will most likely have on your person before you enter the parks.

This includes items such as your wallet, cell phone, park ticket and/or MagicBand.

Those items are essential for getting into and out of the parks.

Instead, let’s look at a few things that I bring with me every single time I enter a Walt Disney World Park.

12 Disney parks backpack essentials, you never want to forget, that are key for successfully making it through your day at Walt Disney World. 

1. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is essential in Florida.

This might be a spoiler for some, but much of the Disney parks are outside.

Meaning full, bright and hot sunshine coming straight at you. Coming from an often gray and gloomy state, this is totally welcomed.

Yet, those gray, gloomy days mean my skin isn’t used to the pure, bright sunshine of Florida.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to make sure to keep the largest organ in your body protected.

Lather up the sunscreen!

Bring along a travel sized container (like these!) in your backpack to save on weight.

If you are going to be in Florida for a while, be sure to stock up on several travel tubes as you might go through the sunscreen quickly! 


2. Water Bottle

Did you know that you can get a free cup of water at any Disney quick service spot or food kiosk? This is a huge money saver if you compare it to buying a bottle of water every time you get thirsty.

It’s definitely something to take advantage of when you pass a place where food is being sold.

What about the times you aren’t by an area that sells food, but you find yourself thirsty? (Bound to happen in the Florida heat!)

You still probably don’t want to buy a ton of bottles of water. What can you do?

Bring along your own water bottle! A water bottle can be one of your 12 Disney parks bag essentials. 

There are a ton of drinking fountains around the various Disney parks. However, the fountains supply Florida water, of which some people are not fans.

I never mind it too much. However, if you’re not a fan, or worried you won’t like it, considering bringing along a water bottle that will filter the water, such as this one.

It’s a Brita water bottle, which provides a filter for the water at the parks.

Whatever water bottle you bring along, make sure it isn’t made of glass. Glass is not allowed in the Disney parks.

3. Hand Sanitizer

While bathrooms are plentiful around Walt Disney World, you know you’re going to find yourself standing in line somewhere and wanting a quick snack.

To help keep you and your family healthy on your trip (yes, germs still happen in Walt Disney World. Sad, but true!), you can whip out your hand sanitizer to keep some of the germs at bay.

Hand hygiene is the first step in self-defense against germs.

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That and stopping your 1 year old from sticking everything in his mouth!

We all know it’s impossible to be able to stay on top of both of these situations, so hand sanitizer for the win!


4. Wet Wipes

Whether or not you plan to travel to Walt Disney World with kids, wet wipes are actually a huge lifesaver.

First, if you are traveling with kids, the wet wipes will keep faces clean(ish), hands less grimmy and strollers semi-clean.

Second, if you are traveling without kiddos, wet wipes will still help keep hands less grimmy, help cleanup after a Mickey bar ‘misfortune’.

Or they can even just help you wipe down a quick service table before you eat. (Cast members usually do a great job at this, but if you are dining during a time of quick turn over it’s nice to be able to get your table nice and clean.)

Wet wipes serve so many different purposes and every time you reach for one you are going to be so thankful you brought them along!


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5. Sunglasses

Along with the sunscreen, sunglasses are a must on our trips to Walt Disney World.

Florida isn’t called the sunshine state for nothing!

Most days it tends to be pretty sunny and sunglasses are a must to help protect one’s eyes.

I’ve even found even on days that are overcast, I still prefer to wear sunglasses to help keep my eyes happy.

My oldest son also says that sunglasses are a must for his vacation. Yes, those words are from my four year old.

6. Snacks

Speaking of my 4 year old, did you know he is a bottomless pit?

No matter how many snacks I bring along, they all seem to disappear by 11 am most days.

That being said, be sure to bring along a decent amount of snacks into the parks!

Walt Disney World has so, so many fun things to eat in the parks, but unless you want to pay the price of one night in a deluxe hotel before lunch time in money towards snacks, I suggest bringing along a few items.

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Our favorite things include individual trail mix packets, Lara bars and Goldfish crackers.

We also like to bring along good ol’ fashion fruit. Bananas, oranges and apples seem to travel the best!

Which snacks you bring along will obviously be related to personal preference, but just make sure you have at least a few items!

Especially if you plan to eat a later lunch. You want to make it to your yummy lunch food without filling up on a dozen Mickey bars first.

Not that that is necessarily a bad thing…

7. Autograph Book

If you don’t plan to do any meet-and-greets with the characters, you won’t really need to bring along an autograph book. However, when you are in Walt Disney World it’s kind of the thing to do.

So, just play it safe and bring along a small autograph book and a Sharpie or pen.

These are a few of my favorites because of their slim size.

Plus, if you order them ahead of time you can pre-decorate them with a variety of Disney stickers.

Better to be prepared than regret not having one!

Pro Tip

Be sure to check and see if your Sharpie marker bleeds through the pages. If it does, just be sure to not to use both the front and back of each page. 

8. Ponchos

Ponchos are a MUST anytime I go to the Disney parks.

Honestly, this is probably my one mandatory items if I had to go through this whole list.

Florida is notorious for having a mid-afternoon rain storm. The showers are usually quick and over before you know it.

However, for the times they last longer than a blink of your eye, you’re going to want to make sure to have a poncho handy. A poncho will allow you to keep ‘playing’ in the parks, not allowing the rain to take away from your fun.

I am a fan of the small plastic ponchos that fold up tightly into my park bag. They are so light and small they take up hardly any room in your bag.

Be sure to bring them along or your other options are getting wet, staying stuck inside or paying $10 (give or take) a poncho in the parks.

The park ponchos are more durable, and do feature Mickey, but honestly, it’s an expense that can be avoided. Instead, buy your ponchos ahead of time and get an extra Mickey bar as a treat!

If you’re looking for really cheap throw away ponchos, the Dollar Store usually sells them in two packs or there is this 5 pack from Amazon. The Amazon ponchos do feature a drawstring hood tie, which is a nice feature. 

9. Ziplock Bag or Plastic Bag

While this is seemingly an odd suggestion, it has often been an essential for a park day.

The ziplock or plastic bag is a necessity when it comes to protecting your phone or camera from the water elements.

Rides like Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids are notorious for leaving guests soaking wet.

That’s not saying you’re going to get soaked every time you ride, but there is a very high possibility.

If you don’t have another guest to hand your phone off to, you might want to bring along a ziplock bag in order to help protect your phone. Alternatively, if you forget your ziplock bag, in a pinch stash your phone at the bottom of your backpack to help protect it.

Just make sure your bag isn’t sitting in a puddle on the ride!

10. Portable Fan or Mister Fan

Depending on the time of year you plan to head to Walt Disney World, you want to make sure you have the tools to help keep yourself comfortable.

Planning to head during the warm summer months and you’re going to want to bring along a portable fan or a misting fan.

Both will create a small, temporary breeze to help cut through the Florida humidity. Plus, if you decide to get the misting fan, you get a little cool down from the spray!

If you’re looking for the world’s most perfect portable fan, be sure to check out this fan right here. 

We have fallen in love with a number of fans over the years, but none as much as this fan right here! It’s simply amazing. It holds a charge for a good length of time and stands up to a little extra ‘love’ from toddlers and preschoolers. 

11. Camera

If you plan to only use your cell phone camera, you won’t have to worry about bringing along a different camera.

However, if you are going to want to have your DSLR with you at all times during your Walt Disney World vacation (seriously, there is so much to photograph!), you’re going to want to make sure it fits nicely in your Disney parks backpack. 

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Depending on the size of your camera, you might not have to worry too much about the space it takes up.

I personally bring along my Canon camera and need to make sure I have room in my bag.

Pro Tip

Be sure to do a trial wearing of your Disney parks backpack with your large camera inside. If you have a heavier camera, odds are you’re going to feel it on your back. You just want to make sure it isn’t going to bother you much. Make sure you are comfortable so your back and shoulders aren’t screaming by mid-morning.

12. Cell phone Charger and/or Portable Battery Pack

At first I made this an optional suggestion.

I thought it would depend on how often you plan to use your phone while in the parks. I figured, if you are only going to be on it a little bit, you most likely won’t need to bring along any charger or charging device.

However, most likely you will plan to use your phone for the MyDisneyExperience app for wait times and Fastpass+ reservations.

Odds are you are going to drain your battery quickly. Plus, if you don’t plan to bring along a ‘regular’ camera, your cell phone is going to be your go to camera of choice!

Pictures and videos can add up to a drained battery rather quickly. 

The above option, the Anker PowerCore 1000 is one of the highest rated options on Amazon. The best feature? It’s super light in terms of chargers!

Be sure, no matter which you decide to take, bring along your cord to plug your phone into your charger.

The charger is not going to do you much good if you leave your cord at the hotel room.

Alternatively, there are locations within the parks to charge your phone using a regular phone charger.

The downside of using a regular charger is you’re stuck in one spot until your phone is fully charged.

Having a portable charger allows you to continue moving around the parks while your phone charges! You don’t miss any play time with a portable cell phone charger!

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Optional Disney Backpack Essentials 

First Aid Kit

A few extra bandaids and some Motrin in your Disney parks backpack have never been a bad plan, plus they don’t take up much space and weigh very little.

Keep in mind there are first aid stations in all the of the Disney Parks, so if something comes up and you aren’t stocked with first aid gear, Disney most likely has you covered. Or, if you want to get something all in one place you can grab a pre-made first aid pack.

Cooling Towel

If you plan to go to Disney during a summer month, you’re probably going to want to bring along a cooling towel. Cooling towels offer portable relief from, what can feel like endless summer heat.

The towels are compact and very lightweight, so you won’t be adding any unnecessary baggage to your Disney backpacks. My favorite brand are the Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad cooling towels

Disney Parks Backpack Essentials Conclusion

There ya go!

My Disney parks backpack essentials every time I head into a Walt Disney World park!

As a family we tend to lean more towards the minimalist side of things. We are fans of having less items to carry around and less weight on our shoulders.

Are there any essentials you bring whenever you head to the Disney parks? Any that were life changing?

Let me know what I am missing out on!

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