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If you are heading to Disneyland, you might be wondering what to bring for a day in the parks. Do you really need to pack in water? Should you bring snacks? What is absolutely necessary, and what is just “nice to have?”
I have polled my readers, Facebook group, and looked at my 20 years of going to Disneyland as an adult to bring you this list of what to bring to Disneyland in your park bag… or what to leave at home.
Today though, we are going to cover what to pack into Disneyland for a day in the park. What do you really need to bring, and what can you leave behind, plus some nice extras that maybe aren’t a must-have.
What to bring for a day at disneyland
If you are heading to Disneyland, and wondering what you really need to bring, I got you covered. Let me start by saying that if you are only heading to the park for a few hours, this may not pertain to you. This list is geared more towards those that plan to go and spend a full day at Disneyland.
If you prefer to just browse items then read my list, I have created an Amazon Idea List with many (though not all) of the items on this list.
Must-Have Items To Bring To Disneyland
The list of must-haves is relatively short. I mean, there isn’t much you HAVE to take, and I am sure some of these could go in the “nice-to-have” section but I took into account if these are items you will most likely need, but that will be hard to find or really expensive in the parks.
- Disneyland Tickets – Whether you are bringing your PDF e-ticket, or have them loaded in the app, or have printed tickets, you will need your tickets to get into the parks.
- Phone with Disneyland App – Yes it is possible to do Disneyland without a phone or the app, but it is a much smoother park experience if you have these items.
- ID, Credit Cards, Cash – Basically, money and proof of who you are (and your age if you plan on consuming alcohol).
- Sunscreen – You will need sunscreen, and it is only available at select locations in the parks, and it costs a pretty penny. Definitely pack in your own.
- Battery pack and charging cord – Most likely you will be using your phone a lot. From utilizing Genie+, to mobile ordering food, to checking wait times, you can really use up your battery. Bring a backup battery pack to the parks along with a charging cord for your phone.
- If you have a child in diapers, diapers and wipes – While you can purchase these items at the Baby Centers in Disneyland or California Adventure, they will be the most expensive diapers and wipes you have every purchased.
- Sunglasses – If you are accustomed to wearing sunglasses when it is bright out, be sure to bring some with you to the parks.
This will cover you for a very basic park day, but I find that most people need more than this. Especially if going with kids. Here are some other items that are nice to bring for your day at Disneyland.
What to bring to disneyland – nice to have items
While you can definitely get through a day at the parks without these items, you will probably be happier bringing them, then leaving them at home or in the hotel. Here is my list of items that are nice to bring to Disneyland in your park bag.
- Reusable, vacuum sealed water bottle – You know, the ones that can keep your ice frozen for 24 hours (supposedly)… bring them. You can easily refill them at water fountain stations or by asking for free ice waters at quick service restaurants. You do not want to get dehydrated at Disneyland, so be sure to drink plenty of water. I also have a sling for mine with pockets that can hold my battery pack and phone cord. This way I can either leave my packpack with our stroller when we have one, or when traveling without my younger kids, I can rent a locker to put my packback in, and have less to carry around the parks.
- Over the counter medicines – If you are worried about motion sickness, migraines, allergies, etc I suggest packing your own over the counter medicines into Disneyland. While you don’t have to bring these to Disneyland, and can utilize the first aid center for them, it is just quicker to have these on hand and be able to give them to yourself.
- Cooling towels and fans – If you are going to Disneyland and the temperatures are in the 80’s or above, you will be wanting to have ways to keep cool at Disneyland. Bringing cooling towels, fans, and hats into the Disneyland will help you beat the heat.
- Extra clothes for kids – If you are taking little ones, and especially if you are not staying at an on-site or close hotel, I highly suggest bringing an extra outfit for each child. I suggest this clear up to the age of 10-12. Even if it isn’t bathroom accidents, spills and other things can happen. I learned the hard way that even older kids need extra outfits after I had to spend nearly $80 on an outfit for a child. TIP: Put each outfit in a ziploc bag with the child’s name. Then if they need to change, you can put the dirty clothes into that bag.
- Disinfecting wipes – I don’t consider myself too much of a germaphob or anything, but sometimes you may be sitting down to a table to eat, and it is dirty, and there is no cast member around to ask to wipe it down. Having some travel size disinfecting wipes is a big help.
- Other items – Everyone will have other items that may be nice to have on hand. For me it is eye drops (I wear contacts), pre-pasted toothbrushes (Invisalign), Dramamine (though I suppose that goes with the OTC meds), chapstick, and deodorant… just in case.
- Reusable straws – If you don’t like paper straws or drinking straight from the cup, you will want to bring reusable straws with you. Disneyland currently only has paper straws. I hope they soon start having the plant based straws that feel and work like plastic straws. National Parks Service uses them and I love them.
Other Items To Consider Bringing to Disneyland
Here are some other items you might consider bringing with you to Disneyland.
- Snacks – Even if you plan on buying most of your food and snacks in the park, if you have kids, you know that waiting 20 minutes in line for a snack when they are hangry is not always an option. Having a few small snacks on hand is a great idea. Check out my guide on bringing food into Disneyland for more info.
- Gum – If you like to chew gum, bring it with you. Gum is not sold in the parks.
- Drink mix- If you like to mix in a drink mix, liquid IV, etc with your water, bring some drink mixes with you to the parks.
- Camera – If you are someone who prefers to use a DSLR or Mirrorless camera instead of your phone, you will want to bring that with you.
- Jacket – Even if the temperatures look like they will be warm, you may want to bring a sweatshirt or light jacket if you plan on being in the park early in the day or after the sun goes down.
Do not bring these items to disneyland
Here are some items that you will not want to bring to Disneyland. Some of these items are outright banned at Disneyland, but the ones on this list are more things you most likely will not use OR I have had some security cast members mention they will confiscate, even though they are not listed on the “banned items” list that I can find.
- Selfie Sticks or phone tripods that extend in a selfie stick manner – Selfie Sticks are banned in the parks.
- Laser pointers – I had to give up a laser pointer style flashlight on my keychain once.
- Small screwdrivers – this one irks me because I think the Cast Member just had it out for my husband. All the toys and bubble wands need screwdrivers to open the battery compartment. For years we had a tiny screw driver on our key chain and never had it questioned. But last year, my husband misunderstood something a security cast member said, which angered the CM. And then after that, the CM told him he couldn’t take the screw driver in. Anyways, better to just leave this at the hotel.
- Alcohol – You cannot bring in your own alcohol.
Is that really all I should bring to disneyland?
While this list will be good enough for most people, of course each guest will have different needs as to what they should bring to Disneyland. Those with babies may need bottles, baby food, or other items.
My kids utilize noise-canceling headphones on some rides, but I didn’t include it on this list, because that is something specific to my kids.
When deciding what to bring to Disneyland, imagine if you were to go to a zoo for a full day, or to your local water park or the fair. What would you want to have on hand?
I am a notorious over-packer when I go to the parks, but over the years, I have learned that I really don’t need to carry everything, and worst-case scenario, I can find most items in the park, my hotel gift shop, or utilize door dash or other delivery services.
So try not to stress about what to bring to the parks. Instead, make sure you have the basics, and be sure you have purchased your park ticket (you can get them at a discount through my partners at Get Away Today) and made your reservations.