One of the most common Disneyland and Disney World trip questions we get revolves around the question of what things to pack. Our Disney packing list will help you decide what to bring to Disneyland including Disneyland essentials, what to wear to Disneyland, and will make sure you are prepared for your Disney vacation!
What Should I Pack for Disneyland?
First things first, you need to decide what to pack for Disneyland in your suitcase so you're prepared for your trip. This is the first step for your Disneyland checklist!
Here are the top 30 items for our Disney pack list that are essential things to bring to Disneyland.
1. Battery Pack
You will use your phone often at Disneyland between snapping pictures, using the Disneyland app for mobile ordering or to check ride times, and to store your park tickets. All this phone use can quickly drain your phone battery so it's crucial to add a phone device battery pack to your Disneyland packing list. One of our favorites is the KMASHI battery pack. You'll be surprised at how often you will need your phone at Disneyland and you don't want to be caught with a dead phone battery when you need to book yourself a Maxpass!
2. Water Bottle
You should plan on bringing a water bottle into the parks each day of your visit for everyone in your group. The California sun can really heat up in the afternoons and you want to ensure that everyone in your group stays hydrated throughout the day. Some guests like Hydroflasks or other similar insulated water bottles that keep your water cold and don't sweat in your backpack.
Sunscreen is one of the most important items for your packing list for Disney! Your on-site hotel convenience store will always have sunscreen on hand in case you forget this important Disney packing list item but you can expect to pay inflated prices. Come prepared and pack enough sunscreen for your entire group.
Most people have great cameras on their cell phone these days so it's not always necessary to bring your own camera with you to the parks if you have a cell phone. But if you have a high end camera you want to bring with, test it out before your take it to the parks so you're familiar with how to use indoors and outdoors. And keep in mind, regardless of what camera you use, there is no flash photography inside attractions or at nighttime spectaculars.
5. Cash and/or credit card
You can find many ATMs at Disneyland and your hotel but you will often be charged credit card/transaction fees. If you want to travel with cash, take care of that before you leave for your trip at your bank. It can be helpful to have cash on hand but most of areas of the Disneyland Resort take debit/credit cards. The main exception is the balloon stands which take cash only. You might want to also consider including your name email on the inside of your wallet in case it's lost someone can return it to you.
6. Travel Documents
Ensure that you have all your necessary travel documents with you like your driver's license/state identification in a safe place so you can easily access them on your travels. We also recommend packing your proof of car insurance (if you plan on renting a car) along with your health insurance cards, Disneyland ticket and hotel confirmations, plane tickets, etc. These days most of these documents can be accessed via your cellphone through apps for your insurance companies so you could also ensure you have access to these documents digitally.
When you stop at the bank for cash if you need it, also consider getting some shiny new pennies and quarters for your Disneyland trip for the penny machines. Disneyland sells penny collector books on site so you can start your collection! Each penny machine costs 50 centers to press a penny. This is often one of the most overlooked items on our Disney packing list!
8. Anti-bacterial Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer is a must for traveling to Disneyland as you will often be touching many high contact surfaces and these germs then transfer to your hands. You will want to make sure you have sanitizer in your bag so you can quickly sanitize your hands on the go and before you eat. Buy travel sanitizer here.
9. Aquaphor Ointment
Aquaphor ointment is great to have to keep your hands moisturzed from using hand sanitizer and washing your hands frequently while in the parks. You can order this on Amazon.
10. Gold Bond Powder
This is another overlooked item on our pack list for Disney! You will walk an average of 5-8 miles a day at Disneyland depending on the pace of your group and how many hours you spend at the park. If you know that you're prone to experiencing chafing between your legs, Gold Bond Powder can be a lifesaver to use! Put it on in the morning before you leave the park and it will keep you comfortable. Order on Amazon here >
11. Chapstick and/or Lip Balm
Your lips can get chapped if you're not drinking enough water which is often a sign you need to start filling up those water bottles! Bring some lip balm along that has sunscreen in it to help protect your lips from being chapped and from sunburn. Buy chapstick here.
12. Travel Kleenex Packs
This is a must especially if you're prone to allergies! It's always helpful to have travel size packs of Kleenex on hand, especially if you have small kids as the toilet paper in the Disney restrooms can be rough on the nose. Buy Kleenex travel packs here.
Moleskin is a great way to cover up blisters and provide coverage for all the walking you will do.
14. First Aid Kit
While it's not necessary to travel with a first aid kit in the parks, Disney has their own safety station you can use, it's good to have anytime you're traveling. Consider adding a thermometer to this too!
15. Pain Reliever
This is another thing you might want to have in your bag so you have some on hand in case you get a headache or aches from all the walking. You will pay a higher price for things as simple as Advil in your hotel gift shop so plan ahead and put this item on your packing list.
16. Tums/Pepto Bismol
Whenever you're on vacation you're likely eating out much more often than you do at home which can cause upset stomach. This is another must for your packing list so you don't get caught off guard paying overpriced gift store prices.
17. Comfortable Bag/Purse or Backpack
It's really important to have a comfortable bag for the parks so this always makes our number one priority for our Disney packing list. I recommend testing out your bag somewhere before your visit (think a zoo or festival) to ensure it will be comfortable to wear for hours on end. Some guests also prefer fanny packs so you don't have weight on your back while walking around Disneyland. For purses, I recommend finding a purse that lets you alternate between a crossbody and shoulder strap- this helps switch the pressure on your back when you're walking. And for backpacks, we never recommend over packing your backpack full of all your Disney packing list needs- you won't be comfortable if you're weighed down by a giant backpack. You might want to also consider including your name email on the inside of your bag in case it's lost someone can return it to you.
18. Autograph Book
Plan on buying a book for autographs for your kids (or for you!) to get Walt Disney character autographs. Trust me, once your kids see the characters they will want an autograph. You can also pick up a cheap Disney themed small notebook at the Dollar Store before your trip too or purchase one when you get to Disney. I recommend using a clickable Sharpie which makes it easier for the characters to sign with and your autographs will look nicer. You might want to also consider including your name email on the inside of your book in case it's lost someone can return it to you.
19. Ziplog Bags in Various Sizes
This is a great Disneyland packing list item to have in your bag at the parks. If you bring a variety of different sizes with you on your vacation you can easily use them for leftover food, things you don't want to get wet on water rides, your trading pins, and help organize your park bag. And don't forget to put the autograph book in that Ziploc bag! Your kiddo will be devastated if all those sought after signatures end up bleeding into the pages if they get wet.
We never recommend using an umbrella in the parks if it rains because it's just too difficult to walk around the parks and if the rain stops you're stuck carrying an umbrella. A poncho is a much better alternative and you can also use them on the water rides so you don't get soaked! You can order these on Amazon.
Lanyards are a great item for the parks so you can easily store your park tickets, FastPass reminders, gift cards, etc. and have them easily accessible. Never let your kids carry their own park tickets though, keep those in your lanyard. You can also stick your Walt Disney trading pins on you lanyards.
22. Ear Plugs
Ear plugs are helpful to have on hand if you're traveling in a big group and having a hard time sleeping if someone is watching tv or if the hotel has some issues with noise.
23. Power Strip
Not all hotels have many outlets on hand so it's helpful to have a power strip with you so everyone can have access to charging their devices at once. We recommend using a power strip that includes both plugs and USB ports for your room which makes it easier for all sorts of different devices.
24. Glow Sticks
Before the nighttime spectaculars at Disneyland, such as the fireworks and nighttime events, cast members will begin rolling out all the overpriced glowing toys. Having some glow sticks on hand to hand to your kids when these carts come out can help you save a fortune on Walt Disney plastic toys that might not last your entire trip. You can order these here.
25. Disney Pins for Pin Trading
You can purchase Disney pins before your trip so you arrive to the parks ready to trade with other guests and cast members. Be sure to read through our Disney Pin Trading Guide to learn how this fun process works!
This is a crucial Disneyland packing list item for people with small children. It's much more feasible to bring your own or rent one from a third party to avoid paying Disney's higher prices for strollers. Go online and look through the stroller selection and find one that is easy to travel with. And make sure it is comfortable for your kiddo.
27. Kid Necessities
You know your kids best and they likely have small comforts they will need with them when traveling. Will they use an iPad on the airplane? Do they sleep with a stuffed animal or nightlight? Keeping them in their routine the best you can on your vacation can help keep everyone happy even if it's as simple as plugging in a nightlight and reading them a bedtime story like you do at home.
28. Pocket Size Travel Blanket
This is a great item to have on hand for parades and nighttime shows so you don't have to sit on the concrete. You can find a large variety of pocket sized travel/picnic blankets which are usually just a thin fabric that folds up into a pocket sized square. This can help block off your space at parades too and give your family more space. This is one of my top Disneyland packing list items- I could never visit the parks without this on my list.
29. Travel Size Shampoo/Bodywash
I don't recommend relying on using the hotel shampoo/body wash unless you're staying on property and can expect higher quality. We always include your own travel sized necessities like this on our packing list Disney in case the ones the hotels provide aren't the best quality.
30. Extra Room in Your Suitcase
But the biggest thing to remember is to not over pack things when planning out your list of what to take to Disneyland! You will also buy plenty of souvenirs and you want to ensure you have room in your suitcase to bring home all your things from your Disney trip. There are plenty of stores nearby the resort where you can get any last minute things to bring to Disneyland.
What to Wear at Disneyland
This question can be highly subjective depending on your own Disney packing priorities and your sense of fashion. And it can also be pretty gender specific depending on the type of things you usually wear! But there are some key tips for this part of your Disney packing list to keep in mind.
Some people associate California with always being warm but this might not be the case! If you're visiting in the winter, the weather can vary dramatically from sunny to rainy but you don't want to be caught off guard. Check the weather leading up to your trip and above all pack layers. Even during the summer months the humidity in California (if you're from dryer climates, it will feel humid- if you're from more humid climates, not so much) can make the nights feel chilly. Having an extra layer with you on your vacation will make sure you're prepared.
2. Comfortable Walking Shoes
I recommend bringing more than one pair of walking shoes so you can alternate throughout your trip which helps relieve some of the stress from your feet. This is one of the most important packing list things- you will do a lot of walking at Disney and it's crucial to have comfortable shoes. This goes for the whole family- make sure your kids have comfortable shoes too. If you end up not wearing comfortable shoes, you will be kicking yourself (literally!) and next time you'll be more prepared.
3. Comfortable Clothes
You will do plenty of walking at Disneyland so having comfortable walking clothes on hand is a must. Be aware of what clothes might cause chaffing (jeans, I'm looking at you!) and which shorts might be the most comfortable. But you also want to look nice for your family photos so consider finding fun Disney shirts/tanks to brighten up your outfit with.
4. Dress Up Clothes
The upscale restaurants at Disneyland don't have a dress code but you can make meals feel like a special occasion if you dress up for the experience. Some of the top restaurants guests might dress up for include Steakhouse 55, Carthay Circle, or Napa Rose.
For women, you can also wear a cute romper with a jean jacket which is easy to go from ‘dressy' to jumping on rides with more ease than a dress.
You don't want to be caught without sunglasses at Disneyland! And pack some for your kids too. There are sunglasses to purchase at the park but they won't be as good of quality as the UV blocker ones you can get from popular websites like Blenders.
Having a hat is crucial too to keep the sun off your face and is another packing list necessity for kids.
6. Bathing Suits
Many guests take midday breaks to take advantage of their hotel pool so don't forget to include bathing suits on your Walt Disney packing list. Bring along flip flops and any water toys your kids might enjoy. You don't have to worry about beach towels as your hotel will provide towels for the pool.
7. Disney Gear
You can find plenty of fun Disney shirts in advance of your trip on the Shop Disney website or more affordable options like Target. I'm also a big fan of looking for custom designs on Etsy for our family. You can find the infamous family trip matching shirts on Etsy too! You'll be excited you have the fun Disney gear for your trip once you arrive and see everyone else decked out in it. This is especially fun for social media fans that want to take advantage of all the Instagram walls throughout the day on their Disney vacation.
8. Makeup Necessities
For the ladies, trying to figure out how to make our makeup last all day in the sun at the theme park can be a challenge. I recommend using a face moisturizer with a high SPF in it (I love Lancome for this) so you can avoid putting too much sunscreen on your face. Use your favorite waterproof mascara and eyeliner so you don't have to worry about any running while on the water rides. And top it all off with a setting spray. My favorite setting spray is Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. I spray this to set my makeup in the morning and it keeps it looking fresh all day. Fun story: I rode Splash Mountain in the first row and got absolutely drenched. My makeup was not smudged at all because I was wearing this spray!
9. Hair Necessities
Another one for the ladies, what in the world should you do with your hair when planning for a full day at Disneyland? One thing to keep in mind, if you're from a dryer climate, is that the humidity might cause some havoc on your hair if it's not used to it making it go frizzy or flat. For those of us that have an issue with hair going flat in more humid climates, try using a curling wand which will give you better and longer results than a curling iron.
My favorite hairspray for vacation is Bumble's Be Strong Finish hairspray. I have thick hair that already fights me with holding a curl or wave but I spray this in my hair and it keeps any curls set in my hair for most of the day. I know California isn't known for humidity but coming from dryer states (like my home state of Colorado!) it can be a change for the hair.
And don't forget plenty of hair ties and a hair clip to put in your park bag!
10. Disneyland Dress Code Rules
Most of the rules on the Disneyland official dress page are common sense but still helpful to include here when planning out your packing list. And it's also crucial to be aware that costumes aren't allowed for anyone 14 years of age and older. You don't want to spend the time finding a cool costume and find out at the last minute you can't wear it!
What Food Can I Bring into Disneyland?
Many people are often surprised to find out you can bring food into Disneyland including your own soft side cooler packed with a lunch for your family! Disneyland offers lockers a picnic area for families to enjoy their own packed meals which is great for groups that don't want to buy food in the parks. Even if you don't plan on packing your own meals, we still recommend adding snacks to your Disneyland packing list!
Here are some food tips you will want to consider for your Disney vacation!
Consider making a run to a nearby grocery store to get an assortment of snacks for in the hotel room and to bring with you each day to the parks. Trader Joe's has a great variety of assortments of trail mixes you can order on Amazon and have them sent directly to your hotel.
Some hotels provide free breakfast and if you're staying at one that does, take advantage and eat a big breakfast before you arrive so you can spend the morning focusing on attractions and save the eating for later in the day. If not, consider purchasing quick and easy breakfast items to keep in your hotel room to eat before you head out the door.
3. Case of Water
Another good grocery stop item to pick up is a case of water so you don't have to drink the tap water in your hotel room. For those soda drinks among us, I recommend picking up a case of bottled soda too so you don't have to pay the overpriced bottles of soda in the parks.
4. Chewing gum
Disneyland doesn't sell chewing gum anywhere inside the resort to discourage gum being left on the pavement and the park benches. If you need gum, you will have to get some at a grocery store or before you arrive.
For those of us that aren't always a fan of the provided coffee in the hotel room, consider bringing your own. I always research what type of coffee maker my hotel room will have so I can plan ahead. Sometimes the best bet is bringing some of the Powdered Starbucks Coffee packets to use in hot water. You can order this on Amazon.
Can you bring a reusable water bottle to Disneyland?
Yes, you can absolutely bring a reusable water bottle to Disneyland! I highly recommend doing this for everyone in your group so you can encourage everyone to drink water and save money on sugary drinks that don't hydrate you.
What Should I Bring Inside Disneyland?
One of the best lessons I learned on my first Disneyland trip with my son is that I packed way too much in my park bag and ended up feeling like a pack mule the entire day. I learned quickly that next time I didn't need to bring every little item inside the park with me and this helped me narrow down to the essentials next time.
These are the necessities you should plan to bring inside the park each day:
- Your Disneyland park tickets
- Your comfortable park bag/purse
- Sunscreen,sunglasses, and hat
- Light sweatshirt for the evening/disposable poncho for water rides
- Pocket size picnic blanket if you plan on seeing parades/nighttime entertainment
- Trading pins
- Easy to carry snacks (don't carry anything that requires an icepack)
- Phone charger, battery pack, and cell phone
- Hair ties
- Ziplocs to store things in for water rides/store leftover snacks
- Autograph books/Sharpie
- Pennies/quarters for the penny machines
- Any required medicine you may need
- A (small) case of pain reliever/Tums
You may be tempted to pack the entire family first aid kit but Disney has a devoted first aid station in both parks so other than throwing a band aid in the park bag- you really don't need to carry this around the park with you! If you want to carry extra sweatshirts/snacks/other heavy items and you plan on buying in the park the entire day, you can rent a small storage locker so you don't have to carry these items around all day.
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