When to Go
- Getting Started
- Calendar of Events
- First Timer Primer
- Operating Hours &
- Rehabs and Closures
- US Holidays
Where to Stay
- Ticket FAQ
- Annual Passes
- Annual Pass
- Ticket Prices
- Finger Scans/
- WDW Ticket History
- Ground Transportation
- Magical Express
- Parking Information
- Renting a Car
- Transportation Vehicles
- Valet Parking
- Annual Pass Discounts
- Discounts for WDW
- Finding Low Airfares
- Priceline "How To.."
- Tables in Wonderland
- Extra Magic Hour
- First Day Ideas
- Holiday Happenings
- Nighttime Fun
- Packing Ideas
- Rainy Day Ideas
- Summer Sun Survival
- Tips for Enjoying
- Touring Plans
- What to Tote Around
- Activities for
- Birthday Ideas: Kids
- Bringing Your
- ChildCare FAQ
- Expectant Mothers
- 5-11 Year Olds
- Infant and Toddler
- Preschooler Tips
- Stroller FAQ
For Guests without Children
- General Information
- PassPorter's Open Mouse
for Walt Disney World
and Disney Cruise Line
- Companion Restroom
Disorders (ASD) Dietary Needs
- --Parks Counter Service
- --Parks Table Service
- --Strategies for
- --Meet the Authors of Vegetarian WDW
- --A Vegetarian at
Mickey's Table - I
- --A Vegetarian at
Mickey's Table - II
Hearing Medical Needs
Mobility Motion Sensitivity
Size Concerns: Visual Impairments
For International Visitors
What to Tote Around the Parks
Whether you're traveling around the world or touring Walt Disney's "World," you'll need to tote some things with you. Determining how little or how much to carry with you at the Disney parks can be a challenge. To help you find the answers, click on the commonly asked questions below for suggestions, tips, and information.
Yes! Security was tightened at the theme parks after 9/11, and one of the most visible examples is the security personnel who check every bag and parcel brought in. You can still bring essentially everything you brought before, but keep the pocket knives at home. While Disney does not really want to encourage you to bring in food or drink, water bottles (with water, Crystal Light, Kool-Aid, etc.) and light snacks are almost always overlooked.
To make the security checks go faster, unzip and open all compartments of your bag while you are waiting in line to be checked. Take off any waist-packs, too. Also, if you don't carry any packs or bags you won't have to wait in line at all.
Much as the contents of your purse and wallet are personal choices, so are the items you're likely to tote around the parks. Even so, there are many common items that Walt Disney World vacationers should consider bringing with them to make the trip more relaxing and enjoyable. A list of the most popular items, arranged in alphabetical order, is compiled below. Avoid the temptation to carry everything in this list, however, or you'll be known as the Hunchback of Disney World.
Give extra thought to what and how much you'll carry. Although you're not scaling Mount Everest, you'll spend a lot of time out on the trail. It pays to think like a backpacker and carry only the essentials:
- Extra ounces will feel like pounds by the end of a long day.
- Coordinate everyone's items so there's less redundancy.
- Carry one multi-purpose item rather than two special-purpose items, such as a waterproof windbreaker.
- Light acrylic fleece sweaters will feel warm when damp, while cotton gets uncomfortable.
- Mom or Dad may be used to carrying all the baggage on family outings, but take pity on Gunga Dad and Super Mom. Try to distribute the load among the adults (or take turns) and give the kids their own packs if at all possible.
- Note what you use, don't use, or wish you had. Learn from your experience.
- Carry one larger pack rather than drape yourself with several smaller bags. It's easier to keep track of one pack, and much easier to lose one or more of the smaller bags.
- You won't need your fat wallet, and you'll feel more footloose if you carry only the bare essentials.
- If your pack gets too full or heavy during the day, consider transferring the non-essential items to a locker.
Above all, think light, think fun and remember that Walt Disney World isn't a trackless wilderness. To help you decide which items you can tote around, use the size rating after each item to pre-judge the amount of room it should take in your daypack. The rating can also help you determine if your item is larger than it needs to be. The chart below explains each rating, but please note that some sizes are relative only.
Book - If you want character autographs, you'll want to carry about
an autograph book (or your guidebook, if it allows space for them).
You can purchase these at Walt Disney World, bring one from home,
or make a custom one on your printer. Bring along a thick-barreled pen
that the characters can easily grasp in their gloved hands and a plastic
bag to keep the book dry in your daypack. Size rating:
Suits - Opportunities for kids to get wet are abundant at Walt
Disney World. If the weather is warm or your little one(s) like
the wet stuff, bring their bathing suits along so they can enjoy it.
They could also wear suits under their clothing to save at least one
trip to the restroom, but bring plastic bags to store those wet suits
after their adventures. (Note that two-piece suits for the girls work best, as they don't have to
take off their entire outfit every time they want to use the restroom.)
Size rating: 4
- Batteries or battery packs - These may be for your camera, video recorder or other electronic devices. Bring what you need from home, as battery prices are expensive
at Walt Disney World. Size rating: 1 NOTE: The Magic Kingdom now has hidden electrical outlets/charging ports in the Rapunzel restroom area in Fantasyland. Also, as of June 2014, Magic Kingdom is testing charging station lockers in several locations that could eliminate your need for extra batteries or battery packs. The service is free and can be found in the Tomorrowland Light and Power Company (the arcade next to Space Mountain) and Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe, both in Tomorrowland. To take advantage of the service, you must first swipe a credit card to unlock the charging chamber. You will not be charged; the credit card simply acts as a "key." Follow the prompts on the touch screen to select the type of device you will be charging (Android, iPhone, Blackberry, etc.). Connect your mobile phone and close the chamber door. When the light is green, the device is near full-charge. To access your device, swipe the same credit card to open the chamber. The test program will run through mid-summer.
- Video recorder
- If you have one and plan to use it, bring it. Be sure your batteries
are charged/fresh or that you have extra batteries/battery packs. Size rating: 4 or 5
- Keep your camera in your daypack rather than lug a separate camera
bag. Alternatively, you could use your camera bag as your sole daypack.
Another option is to use a small camera bag with a loop on the back,
then slip the strap of your waist pack through it and carry it at your
waist. Size rating: 3 or 4
- Cards - You will likely have a collection of cards to keep safe and carry about. If you use your existing wallet to store these in, remove any unnecessary items before you bring it along. Consider a small, nylon wallet or pouch to store them in, and keep it handy in your carry-about bag. Waterproof, plastic cases with attached cords intended for waterparks work well, too. Size rating: 2
Identification - If you are staying at a Disney resort, keep your
identification on you at all times. You may need it to re-enter the
resort, unlock your door, use Disney's internal transportation, gain
access to Extra Magic Hours, gain admittance to the parks (if you
purchased a park pass upon check-in), or charge something to your
room (if you have charging privileges).
Admission - If you have separate admission media, you'll want
to keep it on you all the time so you can enter the parks. We also
recommend you write down the numbers on the back of your passes and
keep this information separate from your passes -- Disney may be able
to use these numbers to replace your passes if they are lost.
Card(s) - Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, and
Diner's Club are all accepted at Walt Disney World. If you
have more than one card, keep on in your daypack and secure the other(s)
in your room safe or with your front desk (in the event the unthinkable
Purchase Card(s) - These include things like Disney Visa Reward
Cards and Disney Gift Cards, which can be used in the parks.
NOTE: With the advent of MagicBands, the need for carrying many of these cards may be eliminated. Park admission, room key, and even credit card information can be associated with your MagicBands, or with a single RFID plastic card. Read HERE for more information.
License - We used to say that if you plan on renting a car, writing
a check, or drinking an alcoholic beverage, you will want to keep your driver's license on you. We now recommend you keep your driver's license or other
official photo identification on you at all times.
- Carry your passport book or passport card with you if you have no
other valid photo identification, or if you've been instructed to
Insurance Card - No one wants to get hurt while on vacation, but
it happens more than you might imagine. Keep your health insurance
card (or information) with you at all times.
- Calling Card - While most people these days carry a mobile phone, you may not want to be bothered with one, especially if you are an international traveler. If this is the case, bring along a calling card for any calls you may need to make. Calling cards are usually a better deal when calling from your hotel room, too.
- Even if you have a charge card or charging privileges on your
MagicBand, a little cash is necessary for purchasing
snacks and the like. If you are uncomfortable with cash, consider Disney
Dollars, which work the same way on Disney property. You
can purchase Disney Dollars in advance at a Disney Store or
when you arrive at Walt Disney World. Keep about $20 in your regular
wallet (more if you have a large family), and keep the rest hidden.
All the 'normal' places work: folded up in a sock, a smaller pocket,
etc. Better to be safe than sorry! Size rating:
Phone - If you have a cell phone, keep it handy -- cell phones are
instrumental in using the My Disney Experience app, which helps when making FastPass+ or dining reservations. Take a photo of your
rental car license plate, your parking row number and even members of
your family. Cell phone reception at Walt Disney World is very good, and now all parks offer free Wi-Fi service, as well.
Size rating: 2
- Checks are no longer accepted at Walt Disney World, so leave the
checkbook back in the room if you brought it along on vacation.
- If you care about such things, a simple comb or folding travel
brush keeps you looking presentable, even on the hottest, windiest days.
Women (and men) with long hair should include an elastic or two to keep
hair up, a blessing on humid days. Size rating:
Mister - These battery-operated, hand-held fan/misters are very
popular at the parks on hot days -- bring one from home or purchase
one while you're there. Some come with straps, which means you can wear
them rather than put them in your daypack, which is recommended. If
you don't have a strap, make sure you have a plastic bag to protect
your daypack from leaks. Size rating: 4 or 5
- Film - If you haven't made the switch over digital photography, carry as much film as you think you'll need for a day, which may
not be more than the film already in your camera. Weigh the pros and
cons of bringing extra film with you (one more thing to carry) versus
buying extra film at the parks (expensive). Size rating:
Aid Kit - A small bag or box containing bandages, aspirin, acetaminophen,
your favorite non-prescription pain killer, antacid, burn ointment and/or other
necessary medications. There's no reason to go overboard here, however,
as there are first aid stations located in each theme park at Walt
Disney World. Even so, it's handy to have a Band-Aid when you need
it most. Size rating: 1
- If you are an avid gum fan, carry it with you as you won't be
able to purchase gum anywhere in Walt Disney World. Size
or Visor - Stay in the shade with a hat or visor, which will protect
your skin and keep you cool. Consider a flexible one that can be rolled
up and stashed in your bag when no longer needed. Women who prefer wide-brimmed
straw hats should consider punching rivets on each side of the brim
and threading a cord or scarf through -- this allows the hat to be tied
on tight in windy conditions, or hung on the back out of the way when
not in use. Size rating: 3
for Kids - If you have young children who could get lost, consider
giving them some identification that lists their name and resort/hotel
name. They can carry it, or better yet, attach it to their clothing
in some manner. Size rating: 1
In/On the Daypack - If you misplace your bag, there's a better chance
of it finding you when you put some identification inside it. Just slip
a piece of paper with your name(s), resort/hotel, home phone, and emergency
contact information somewhere prominent in the daypack. You could even
put the identification in a luggage tag (or make a luggage tag with
self-laminating plastic) and attach it to the daypack itself. Be cautious
of including your home address or your room number (if you are also
storing your resort room key in the bag). Size rating:
Repellent - Deep Woods OFF! or some other bug repellent is particularly
helpful during the summer and autumn. A tube of repellent can be purchased
at most discount stores in the camping section, and fits nearly perfectly
in a snack-sized, plastic bag. Size rating:
List for Attractions/Meals - Bring along your itinerary or wish
list, either as a computer print-out, or entered into your smartphone. Don't forget to include a list of e-mail
addresses if you want to send a virtual postcard from Spaceship Earth
in Epcot, too. Size rating: 2
- If you're sensitive to changes in temperature, a jacket or sweater
can make air conditioning and chilly evenings much more comfortable.
Consider a light windbreaker that takes very little room in your daypack.
Size rating: 4 or 5
- Disney provides complimentary guidemaps and entertainment schedules
for all their parks, large and small. You can often pick these up before
you enter a park. They are also available
in each Disney Hotel lobby. If you hang onto these throughout your
trip (this helps in getting acquainted beforehand and answering questions
afterwards), bring along something to store them in so they aren't rattling
around loose your daypack. Size rating: 2
Kit - A very simple mending kit with a pre-threaded needle and a
couple of safety pins can save the day and takes virtually no space
in your daypack. If you must pack scissors, be sure they are safety
scissors with rounded ends so as not to excite security. Size
Cards/Sticks for your digital camera - They are sold in the park
but are VERY expensive! Size
- You never know when you'll need to jot something down -- a reminder
in a travel guide, a note on a receipt, or your phone number on a scrap
of paper for a new friend. You may also want a small notebook, if your
travel guide doesn't provide space for notes. Make that a thick-barreled
pen if you're hoping to get character autographs. Size
- Useful for reading maps, menus, and books in dim, dark places,
or even finding your keyhole after a long day at the parks. Consider
a penlight on a key-ring and attach it to one of your bag's zippers
for fast access. Alternatively, download a "flashlight" app for your smartphone for a handy light. Size rating: 2
- If you are a pin trader (or hope to become one), be sure to carry
some of your pins with you on a lanyard, vest, and/or in a pin trading
book for when you spot a pin that interests you. Size
- Zipper-top Plastic
Bags - All sizes and shapes come in useful for keeping things organized,
dry, and safe. The snack-size ones are particularly useful in daypacks.
Keep a few clean, empty ones in your carry-around bag -- you never know
when you might need them. Size rating: 1
- Bring a poncho from home if you have it, along with a plastic
bag to store it in when it gets wet. If you don't have a poncho, don't
make an extra trip to get one -- you can pick one up virtually anywhere
within Walt Disney World if it starts to rain. Ponchos are helpful
for keeping strollers dry when they have to be left out in the rain,
too. Size rating: 3
and Change - For the pressed penny/quarter machines. Bring only as much as you think you'll need on a given
day. Size rating: 1 NOTE: All the game arcades now take reloadable plastic "debit" cards for their operation.
- Keep your energy up with snacks you can carry with you and consume
as needed. Bring foods that won't melt easily, such as pretzels, granola
bars, raisins, nuts, or crackers. Size rating: 2
(dry) - If you or your kids anticipate getting wet during the day,
dry socks may feel great. Size rating: 3
to Entertain You While You're Waiting - You'll do a lot of waiting
at Walt Disney World and you may want to use that time to do
something other than talk to your traveling companions or people-watch.
This could be a paperback, an iPod/MP3/DVD player with headphones, a
hand-held game/organizer, or anything small that you and/or your kids
might enjoy. One reader highly recommends a small Magna Doodle toy as it comes
in very handy while waiting -- even the characters had fun playing with
it! Size rating: 1 to 5
- Though you can rent strollers in all the parks, you may prefer to bring your
own to save money or keep your child more comfortable. If you bring
your own, be sure it is lightweight, collapsible, reclines, and has
a canopy. Having your own stroller also means you can use it in the
resorts and while waiting for buses. You may also want to bring a plastic
cup holder for your stroller handle. Size rating:
with Cords - Sunglasses are a must for most of us visiting Florida.
If you attach a cord to them, you can hang them about your neck whenever
you duck inside an attraction and save room in your bag. However, you
will want to stow them when you go on some thrill rides. Size
Block for Lips - Protect your lips from sun, rain, and wind, too.
Apply it on the plane to combat the dry conditions. Size
- Carry some of your favorite sunscreen in a small, travel-size
container -- there's no need for the whole bottle. Size
- (see bathing suits)
Army Knife - We no longer recommend you bring these with you to
the park, as they will be confiscated by security and held until you
leave the park.
- A plastic, flannel-backed tablecloth works great for keeping a
stroller dry in the rain or providing a padded, dry seat during a parade.
- Keep these on hand for yourself and others to blow noses, clean
sunglass lenses, or wipe away tears (hopefully tears of joy). Size
Guides - If you have a favorite guidebook, you may find it helpful
to carry it with you for information, tips, and hints on making the
most of your trip. If space is at a premium in your daypack, you may
be able to remove the sections of the tour guide you need for a given
day and bring just those. You may also want to print out information
you found online and carry that along as well. Plastic bags work well
for keeping these items safe and dry in your daypack. Size
and toothpaste - If you like to keep your teeth clean, pack a travel-size
brush and tube of paste. Suggested by D.L. Size rating: 1
- An umbrella is often more convenient than putting on and taking
off a wet poncho. Ultra-compact umbrellas are available in many department
stores. Size rating: 3
- Don't forget a timepiece. You'll need to know the time to make
your priority seatings and shows in time. Don't count on there being
many clocks around the parks, either. Size rating:
- Stay cool in hot months by wetting a washcloth and using it to
refresh your face, neck, and hands. Use water fountains to get it damp
and store it in the plastic bag to keep your bag dry. Size
Bottle - A water bottle with a sport "pop-top" can be refilled at
water fountains to help replenish lost fluids. Consider freezing or
refrigerating it the night before. If you are concerned about condensation
on the bottle in your daypack, carry a bag with a separate water bottle
compartment or use a bottle strap. Consider wrapping
the bottle in a clean hand towel to soak up the condensation, and the
towel can then be used to cool hot foreheads, clean off a dirty seat,
or apply pressure to a skinned knee. You could also bring the refillable mug(s) you
may be able to purchase at your resort so you can refill it on your
way out and on your way back in, and then refill it with water or purchased
soda at the parks. If you don't like the taste of Disney's tap water,
get a water bottle that filters
the water as you drink it. There are also hands-free water-carrying systems, which are large pouches
that you can carry on your back and drink from through a long tube. Size
Wipes - Use these to wash hands when no sink is available or to
clean ice cream off faces. Those of you frequently apply sunscreen will
find these a blessing for sticky hands. Size rating:
A good daypack is one of the most important choices you can make. You may have the perfect daypack already or you may need to purchase one. Only you will know what works best for yourself and the items you intend to carry with you. Below is a chart listing the popular types of daypacks and the pros and cons of touring with them at Walt Disney World. Sizes vary drastically, but keep in mind that you can find a very small and a very large version of almost every sort of pack.
(a.k.a. belt pouch or fanny bag)
|one waist strap, carried in front or back||Hands-free touring; easy access; no shoulder or back pain at the end of the day; encourages you to pack light; hard to lose||Cannot hold as many items as a backpack or shoulder bag|
|Backpack||two shoulder straps, carried on back||Weight can be distributed evenly across your back; many items can be carried within it.||Sore shoulders at the end of the day; large and bulky; difficult to access when carrying; hard to find things in; tendency to carry more than necessary|
|Shoulder bag (a.k.a. tote bag)||one shoulder strap, carried between arm and torso||Familiarity if you're used to carrying shoulder bags or purses; easy access||Sore shoulder at end of the day; bulky; tendency to carry more than necessary|
|Purse (a.k.a. handbag)||one shoulder strap, carried between arm and torso or across torso||Familiarity if you're used to carrying purses or shoulder bags||Tendency to carry more than necessary (unless you empty and repack the purse); cannot hold many items; sore shoulder if your purse is large and/or heavy.|
|Pocket Vest (a.k.a. photographer's vest)||vest with many storage pockets; worn on torso||Hands-free touring; easy access||An extra layer you won't want in hot weather; awkward to remove and carry; won't accommodate large items|
|Pouch (worn around neck)||small pouch with compartments||Hands-free touring; easy access; very light; makes for quick security checks||Doesn't hold much.|
carry-about options include: a jacket with plenty of pockets
(in cool weather), a camera bag (with an extra pocket or two
for other items), a diaper bag (also with a bit of extra room).
What do I look for in a daypack?
- One relatively large compartment
- One or more smaller compartments on the outside of the bag
- Padded, adjustable straps that can be removed
- Compression straps to tighten when your pack isn't as full (makes a big difference!)
- Lashing loops for attaching accessories
- Sturdy, rain-repellent material
- Large, strong zippers that work well, drawstrings that close tightly and stay closed until you open them
useful features include: water bottle pouch/compartment, mesh pocket for
damp items, key chain ring, extra straps (such as a shoulder strap for waist
packs), compression straps (to reduce bulk when there is empty space), and
organizer pockets for cards, cash, and change.
your bag before you go. Make sure the items you need to carry easily
fit within the bag and find a place for each item. Distribute items
as evenly as possible. If you're worried you've packed too much in your
bag, carry it about for a day before you leave.
bags, pouches, and other containers to keep items neat and orderly within
your bag. Plastic, sealable bags work great and can be reused throughout
the day or later in your trip. Consider other containers, too, in a
variety of shapes and sizes so you can distinguish the contents of your
bag without seeing them (very helpful on a dark bus). Possibilities
include nylon pouches, old (clean) cannisters, envelopes, etc.
you anticipate the contents of your bag changing considerably from day-to-day,
or certain contents needing to be replenished as you go along, organize
these items before you depart. Plastic bags work well for keeping
these items together, and can be dropped in your bag as is before you
leave in the morning. You'll be much less likely to forget something
crucial this way.
you have a number of small items, you can store them in the same plastic
bag by creating custom-sized compartments on a sewing machine. Just
sew a straight line from the bottom of the plastic bag up to just below
- If you
have a refrigerator/freezer in your hotel room, freeze a bottle of
water or a juice pack and place it in your bag to keep snacks cool.
The cold drink is refreshing later on, too.
sure to leave room in your bag for items you will collect throughout
the day, such as brochures, maps, and small souvenirs. Take advantage
of Disney's package delivery service to avoid lugging large items around
to carry only one shoulder bag or backpack, especially if you're
carrying a separate camera bag. It's tough to get on and off rides when
you're draped with all that paraphernalia, and it's easier to lose one
of many items than it is to keep track of just one.
- If you
have the time and inclination, personalize your carry-around bag
with patches or even fabric paint. Disney patches are available
at the parks and resorts and are fun to collect. Oh, and it is suggested
you remove the manufacturer's label from the exterior of your carry-around
bag, so as not to advertise it or the contents (such as the fact that
it is a camera bag and probably contains an expensive camera).
- Label everything you're carrying with your name, phone number, and resort name (if staying on Disney property). If any item is lost, you have a greater chance of getting it back with your identification on it. Print your information onto self-adhesive return address labels for quick and easy labeling.
For those that need more direction, here are five popular daypack packing lists: a bag for someone who really wants to travel light (the "Minnie-malist" bag), a bag for someone who wants to have everything at hand (the "Mary Poppins' Carpetbag"), a bag for the little ones (the "Mini-Mickey" bag), a bag for those bound for water parks or water fountains (the "Flounder" bag), and a bag for someone who is in a hurry and doesn't have time to pack a careful daypack (the "White Rabbit" bag).
Minnie-malist Bag - Include cards, cash, identification, cell phone, and sunglasses in either a pocket or a very small waistpack.
Mary Poppins' Carpetbag: Include everything with a size rating of 1 and 2 (cards, cash, cell phone, comb/brush/elastics, film, gum, identification for bag, maps, mending kit, pager (if you have one), pen, penlight, plastic bags, quarters and change, snacks, sunglasses, sunblock for lips, sunscreen, watch, tissues, toothbrush, washcloth, wet wipes). Organize these items in your carry-about bag, then put in a large, heavy object, such as a dictionary (of whatever dimension is appropriate for your carry-about bag). Now include the other items you wish to have with you, in the order of importance, until your bag is full. When you reach capacity, remove the dictionary (or whatever you used) and try out your carry-about bag for a few hours or a day. If it is too heavy, remove something. If not, keep it as is -- the extra room created by removing the dictionary will give you space for things you'll pick up along the way.
Mini-Mouse Bag: Includes an autograph book, hat/visor, identification, pen, cell phone, snack, sunglasses, and sunscreen. These items fit nicely in a small waistpack or mini-backpack.
Flounder Bag: Includes bathing suits, cards (in waterproof carrying case), comb/brush, hat/visor, plastic bags, socks, sunglasses, sunblock for lips, sunscreen, watch, washcloth (for wiping off sand/drying small things), water bottle/mug. These items fit nicely in your regular carry-around bag or a small backpack/shoulder bag with plenty of room for towels and a picnic lunch.
White Rabbit Bag: Include any of these items, which you probably have around the house (or your resort room): comb/brush/elastics, first aid kit (or just a band aid and some aspirin), gum, mending kit (or just a safety pin or two), pen, plastic bags (even if you have to steal a trash bag), watch, tissues, washcloth. Now add your cash, cards, and an itinerary if you have it. Include anything else you can find. Don't worry about items you can buy at the parks if necessary, such as an autograph book, bathing suits, video recorder (you can rent one), camera, fan/water mister, film, hat, cell phone, poncho, snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, or water (in a bottle).
Thanks to the original authored of this FAQ, Jennifer Marx, copyright 1999-2008.
Updated by Deb Koma, allears.net.