Even the smallest bag feels like 25lbs at the end of a 16 hour day at Disneyland. Walking for miles on end, standing in line, in and out of ride vechiles, stuffing your bag at your feet during a show, standing in a crowd waiting for the fireworks to begin all with your trusty bag. And when the day is finally over and you’re ready to dump your pack, you still have to walk back to your hotel/car. All of that lugging will make you seriously question what do you REALLY need to bring with you for a day at Disneyland.
Why specific list for Disneyland? I’ve found that even though some of the basic staples are the same, I pack different for Disneyland then I do Walt Disney World, or a Disney Cruise. In this What to Pack series, I will address each park in a separate article. Everyone has different needs,wants, and must-haves. These lists are in no way meant to over-ride your packing list, but they are there as suggestions from someone who has lugged around many a bag, and to help guide you in deciding what you should pack.What kind of bag should I use as my day bag?
What should I pack in a day-bag for Disneyland if I’m an adult?
-Note cards with daily plans on oneside, food/snack “bucket” lists on the other.
-Small collapsable re-fillable water bottle
-Hotel room key
-Pocket camera(I still prefer this to a cell phone)
-Small snack- Yes there is food almost everywhere at Disneyland, but sometimes I get stuck somewhere (like a long attraction line) that doesn’t have food, or there isn’t anything I want nearby, and I know I need to eat a quick snack before turning into a Snickers commercial. I almost never use this item, good planning of meal/snack breaks help, but it’s there just in case. Nothing seems to turn a good day into a bad day faster than a hunger meltdown.
-Hand sanitizer attached to the outside of the bag. Use it often.
-Wet wipes. Small, light and come in handy. Two individually packaged wipes can be helpful for sticky hands after a chocolate covered Mickey cookie. No need to hunt down a bathroom just to get the smuggled chocolate off your fingers.
-I use a lanyard and attach it to the strap of the bag for easy access. Inside the plastic holder I put my Passport(ticket), Fastpasses, and any Photopass+ cards I receive from Photopass photographers.
Yes that is really it. If the weather looks really iffy, I’ll put a $1.00 poncho in the bottle of the bag. I’ve yet to use one. It almost never rains at Disneyland.
Some items get tossed in due to situations. If I wake up with a headache, I’ll toss a small container of headache medicine in the bag. Breath mints if I think I’ll need them. etc. I don’t go overboard with the first-aid kits. The park sells basic stuff in the large stores, and you can always head to first aid if you need to.
I do sometimes carry a light windbreaker. It folds up small enough to tuck into the strap of the bag. Most of the time I bring it just in case, and never use it.
How will I fit my DSLR camera in a bag that small?
You won’t. I don’t bother to carry a huge nice camera into the park. Why? Well my main reason, I want to experience my trip, and spend less time taking pictures. A cell phone and a point and shoot camera do it all for me. I know some people really enjoy taking pictures (I’m looking at you Tom Bricker) when they are at the theme parks. I want pictures to capture memories of the trip, but over the years, I’ve found I spend way more time remembering the trip, then I ever do looking at pictures of the trip. I want mental pictures, so I take less digital ones. The normal reasons not to carry a large camera, theft, damage, losing it also apply. If you have a nice camera and you plan to bring it into the parks, you will need a slightly larger bag probably with some padded protection. Try a day with your trusty smart phone, and see if you really do miss that camera. If you don’t then just leave it at home next time.
“But what about in case ________ happens?”
What should I pack in a day-bag with a baby?
What should I pack in a day bag for a toddler?
What should I pack in a day bag for a child?
What should I pack in a day bag for a senior citizen?
All the normal adult items apply here. Don’t forget the need for extra hygiene items. Lotion for dry hands, eye drops etc. Any medications should be packed. Extra layers of cloths if you tend to get cold easy.
My first Disneyland bag was stocked with anything I could think of needing at an “amusement park” for the day. Huge water bottle, games to keep me entertained in line, snacks, sun screen, hand wipes, sunglasses, camera, cell-phone,wallet, keys, hotel room key, and probably 5 other items I don’t even remember. I hated that bag by the end of the day, and I didn’t use half of it. Now my bag’s worth of items could fit into my pockets if I had to, but I find it easier to carry a small bag so I’m not worried about dropping/loosing anything.
Have any other great day-bag suggestions? Leave them in the comment section below.