What you really need to bring to a WDW park

You can find tons of great suggestions out there on what to bring to the park but if you want to really keep it at a minimum, I have comprised a list of basic essentials. Anything else is just extra weight. Personally, I find that carrying around too much stuff ends up just being more a hassle than a help.

1. BACKPACK/SLING BAG: A good backpack or a sling bag is necessary to carry all your stuff. I usually prefer a sling bag since  it is small and lightweight while my husband carries a backpack because he ends up carrying extra stuff for the kids. The key is to make sure it is lightweight and does not have too many zippers as it takes longer to get through bag check when you enter the park.

2.  HAT: A sun hat or ball cap is always a good idea, especially under the hot florida sun. You don't know how many time I had to buy a hat at the park because I had underestimated how hot the top of my head became even in the winter months. Plus a hat provides extra protection in case of rain.

3. SUNGLASSES: Sunglasses are a must too especially if you are not going to wear a hat. I get headaches easily when it's sunny because of all the squinting. A usually bring a cheap pair incase I lose them or they accidentally fly off my face during a ride.

4. WATER BOTTLE: I highly recommend bringing your own water bottle as there are fountains everywhere around the park. Why pay for water bottles when you can get it for free. I personally recommend one that come with a water filtration system like the "Bobble" or "Brita". I find the water in Florida not to be very good tasting and the water filter solves that.

5. CAMERA: I recommend bringing a small digital camera to take all of your Disney pictures. The "Memory Maker" is fine but it misses out on a lot of "spur of the moment" shots which are sometimes more magical than the staged ones Disney provides.  I also find I get nicer pictures with a camera than with my phone, especially in low light. I usually carry the camera in a waterproof case and bring an extra battery and memory card just in case.

6. RAIN PONCHOS: I always carry a couple of cheap rain ponchos in my bag incase of unexpected showers. I also use them for water rides to not get wet. I usually get them at the dollar store for a $1 ea.

7. CREDIT CARD HOLDER: Even though the Magic Bands make it unnecessary to carry your wallet, I peeper having a backup incase of emergencies. Instead of bringing my whole wallet to the parks, I use a waterproof credit card holder with a hard case to hold a credit card, driver's license and a few dollar bills just incase.

8. SMART PHONE: always have my "iPhone" on me to access "My Disney Experience" and to be able to reach my travel party incase we get separated. It can also double as a camera.

9. EXTERNAL BATTERY: An external battery is a must if you are going to carry a phone. No point in having a phone with no juice left. The external battery is a great backup incase you phone dies on you.

10. GUM: I like to carry a pack of gum since Disney does not sell any gum anywhere in the World.

11. PACK OF TISSUES: I always have a pack of tissues on me no matter where I go. You never know when you'll get the sniffles or you need something to wipe with.

12. DIY FIRST AID KIT: I keep a small pill box with a couple of pills of each "Tylenol", "Advil", "Zantac", and "Gravol"  just in case a malaise pops up. Even though WDW does have First Aid stations in every park,  it is better to have your own stuff in case of minor ailments. I also carry a couple of band-aids for minor scrapes or unexpected blisters.

12. SUN PROTECTION: Most importantly, I always bring sunscreen to the park. The last thing you need on vacation is a sunburn. I prefer the spray on bottle as it makes for quick application but travel size tube will do too. I also recommend a lip balm with UV protection.

13. COLD WEATHER CLOTHING: Depending on the time of year you are visiting you might need to bring extra clothing such as a sweatshirt or windbreaker in case of cooler temperatures in the evening. In the summer I like to bring a small cardigan that I fit in my sling bag for air conditioned rides. During the winter months when it can get downright chilly, we usually carry jackets, gloves and winter hats


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