Whether you’re a Magic Kingdom newbie or have been checking off visits to parks around the globe, packing for a trip to a Disney park doesn’t need to be complicated; you just need to be prepared.
We got the full scoop from magical vacation planner Alicia Stryker and Disney travel expert and podcaster Matthew Krul on everything you’ll need to make your visit to the most magical place on earth the most fun trip you’ll ever take.
“While you can plan a spontaneous trip to Disney and still have a wonderful time, the best advice I can offer is to plan your trip months in advance and know how far ahead you can reserve dining and additional experiences,” Krul says. “The earlier you plan and book your vacation, the more options will be available to you.”
If you’re ready to start planning, here’s an expert-recommended starter list of what you should pack for your trip.
“Seasoned guests visiting Walt Disney World should pack a MagicBand,” Krul reveals to us, “which can be used as your Disney Resort room key and park ticket. MagicBands can also be linked to a credit card on file for secondary purchases like Disney dining and merchandise.”
Disney Parks MagicBand 2 in White ($19.99; shopdisney.com)
A basic MagicBand in white is the perfect pick for a parks newbie.
Minnie Mouse Polka Dot MagicBand 2 ($29.99; shopdisney.com)
For the traditionalist, try this super-cute Minnie Mouse-themed band.
The Child MagicBand 2 — ‘Star Wars: The Mandalorian’ ($29.99; shopdisney.com)
And of course, for the “Star Wars” enthusiast, a The Child-themed band.
“Comfortable shoes are essential,” says Krul. “I often pack walking shoes because I know I’ll be doing a lot of walking.”
Seychelles Walking On Air Strappy Slide Sandal (starting at $35.99; nordstrom.com)
Comfy sandals aren’t always the cutest, but we love these from Seychelles for strolling the park looking good.
Allbirds Men’s Tree Runners ($95; allbirds.com)
Columbia Kids Vent ($55; zappos.com)
Keep the kids cool and fresh-footed in these sneakers designed with a breathable mesh to ensure all-day comfort.
Sunscreen and backpacks
“Be sure to pack sunscreen, especially for a trip to Walt Disney World in the summer,” explains Krul. “I also recommend bringing a small bag or backpack with all the essentials your child needs.”
Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Sunscreen Spray ($8.92, originally $9.62; amazon.com)
Our pick for the best sunscreen out there right now, this sunscreen goes on easy with a spray function that will allow for easy reapplication all day.
Alba Botanica Sport Sunscreen ($7.92; amazon.com)
If you don’t like sprays, this unscented cream was our second favorite sunscreen on the market for its ease of application and light texture. Find more sunscreen recommendations here.
OutdoorMaster Sling Bag (starting at $19.99; amazon.com)
Keep size regulations from Disney in mind when selecting a bag to bring to the parks. A simple crossbody, one-shoulder bag will keep your hands free but give you easy access — we love this one for the anti-theft pocket and teardrop shape that spreads weight out.
Loungefly Disney Mickey Mouse Shoulder Bag ($99.99; amazon.com)
Of course, if you’re at Disney, you may want to carry your water and sunscreen in a bag covered with a classic character. This Mickey backpack is the right size to fit everything you’ll need for a day at the park, including all the souvenirs you’re going to pick up!
You’re probably going to need these. “I’d recommend bringing compact external battery chargers for your phones,” Stryker says. “The Disney app is so important during your trip. You will want to have a backup charger.”
Anker PowerCore 13000 ($46.99; amazon.com)
Our pick for the best portable charger of 2021 has enough power to charge an iPhone 11 a whopping two and a half times. Plus, it comes with two fast-charging ports so you can charge two devices simultaneously.
Ekrist Portable Charger ($26.99, originally $29.99; amazon.com)
Compact and slim, this highly rated charger works with most smartphones and tablets and will fit neatly in your luggage and backpack at the parks.
Ponchos and umbrellas
If you’re headed to Walt Disney World, or a park in a tropical climate, “consider bringing a raincoat or poncho because Central Florida sees a rainstorm just about every day during the summer,” says Krul.
Enchanted Tiki Room Rain Jacket for Women ($54.99; shopdisney.com)
This adorable tiki-themed rain jacket will keep you dry and chic while ducking out of the rain at the park.
Disney Kids Umbrella and Slicker (starting at $19.99; amazon.com)
Get the kids covered in fun rain gear in different Disney themes. Your little one will love the matching Moana set!
Stryker offered a savings-friendly idea, saying, “I recommend buying throwaway cheap ones, and buy before your trip since they will cost A LOT more in the parks!”
Disney Family Rain Ponchos, 2-Pack (starting at $20; amazon.com)
Just because you’re buying disposable doesn’t mean you can’t stick with the Disney theme. Just try these cute ponchos with hoods to keep you dry all day.
You’re going to want to have a “portable or stroller fan to keep cool” in the hot sun all day, says Stryker.
FrSara Bladeless Neck Fan ($21.99, originally $29.99; amazon.com)
If you tend to run hot, portable neck fans are here to keep you cool (even if you don’t look that cool) like this well-priced, highly rated number — available in eight colorways — you can charge overnight and stash in your backpack.
O2Cool Battery-Powered Portable Clip Fan, 2-Pack ($25.99; target.com)
Little ones get overheated so easily, but with this two-pack of cheery little stroller fans, you’ll have them covered and cool.
“When our kids were in strollers, I also would put something distinctive on mine so it would be easily recognizable among the sea of strollers,” adds Stryker.
Pomchies Pom-ID ($7.35; amazon.com)
Use these identifying poms on your luggage on the flight to the park, then switch it over to your stroller so you can pick it out after a long day of family fun.
Shacke Luggage Tag Initial ($8.99; amazon.com)
Or try the same trick with this custom tag you can personalize with your first or last initial.
“If you’re planning to use Disney’s official transportation systems, you’ll also want to bring an approved face mask,” says Krul, “as Disney is currently requiring all guests to wear a mask when traveling with Disney Transportation, regardless of vaccination status.”
“Bring lots of them since they get dirty and sweaty!” says Stryker.
Vera Bradley Double-Layer Cotton Face Mask, 3-Pack ($22.18; amazon.com)
“I particularly like the Vera Bradley ones for women and Old Navy masks with adjustable straps for kids,” says Stryker. “While the mask policy is much more lenient now, there are locations you will need to wear one (including your flight and at the airport).”
Check out more ultra-breathable face masks here.
Old Navy Triple-Layer Cloth Pleated Face Masks for Kids, 5-Pack ($12.50; oldnavy.com)
Affordably priced and available in a slew of patterns kids will be excited to wear, you can’t go wrong with these adjustable Old Navy picks. Check out more masks for kids here.