One thing that many park goers (especially rookie park goers) overlook is how to park light and efficient for their time in the parks. This topic is mainly going to focus on how to pack if you do not have infants or toddlers in your groups. I started to go to Disney once my daughter started school so that area is not my area expertise other than to say that packing with an infant or toddler requires a lot more stuff.
What are some the bag essentials?
In my mind, there are very few bag essentials. They are as follows:
- Water bottles for everyone in the party – this will probably take up the most room unless your bag has water bottle pouches on the sides. Everyone with their own water bottle helps mitigate any stomach bugs that could crop up during a vacation
- Ponchos – Chances are during your Disney vacation it is going to rain. You’ll want something to keep you dry. A poncho does that and they take up way less space than a jacket.
- Autograph book – You are going to run into a character or two or three during your day. You’ll need your autograph book to commemorate that moment.
- Phone chargers and cords – Lipstick-case sized phone chargers are an easy way to charge your devices during your day. Most use a USB-port to charge so you don’t need to go looking for a power outlet. Though bring a plug or two just in case you find an elusive power outlet.
- Band-aids – Blisters, cuts, scratches happen especially blisters from all the walking. Band-aids don’t take up a lot space and can save you a trip to the first aid station.
- Snacks – Easy to pack snacks that won’t melt (granola bars, pretzels, etc.). Packing chocolate or other items that will melt will only lead to them melting inside your bag leaving a gooey mess
- Park maps – A nice plus to have in the bag to re-orient yourself or plot out the rest of your day when sitting at a table for a meal/snack.
- Camera – A small camera that doesn’t take up a lot of space is ideal. Most camera will get better pictures than your camera phone plus using the camera phone, at least in my case, drains the phone’s battery quickly.
Now all of that may sound like a lot but most items on the list do not take up a lot of space and can fit a standard sized backpack. Here is the one that my family uses for our trips.
We use a LL Bean Stowaway backpack. It has two water bottle holders. A large main compartment which we use for the larger items (camera when not in use, snacks, chargers, etc.). It also has a smaller “documents” compartment where we put the park maps and autograph book. Also, put the maps and autograph book in a Ziploc bag when not in use. If something gets spilled on or in the bag, the Ziploc will help keep your paper documents dry. The bag only has two compartments which makes it easy for Disney security to go through.
When packed, the bag is not that heavy and can be carried by either my wife or me. Plus, the bag doubles as my carry-on bag for the flights to and from Walt Disney World or Disneyland.
For more on this really awesome topic,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!