Updated for 2017!
The fanny pack. I’m really not a clothes snob, but those are two words I can’t even say with a straight face. The thought of fanny packs have struck fear into the heart of Disney fashionsitas for years. Can you imagine Cinderella with a sparkly fanny pack to hold her car keys and lipstick?
For anyone hiding out under a Prada rock, a fanny pack is a small fabric pouch secured with a zipper and worn with a strap around the hips or waist. The name “fanny pack” was derived from the fact that these bags were traditionally worn facing the rear above the “fanny.” Our reader Amy stopped by to say, “It’s quite funny because ‘fanny’ means something else (a far more intimate part of the anatomy!) in British English, so the fact you wear them at the front is quite appropriate!“
Yet despite this highly amusing name, most people do not really wear fanny packs on their actual rear because they are easier to pick pocket there and much harder to access from that angle.
When you head off to Disney for your vacation, do you use a traditional bag or backpack, or do you opt for the fanny pack?
Some of our readers told us about their choices.
We have the fanny pack fans:
Kelsey, “My dad has always rocked a fanny pack at amusement parks, but now he is good at hiding them! So good, I didn’t even know he had one on until 3/4 of our day at Six Flags! I did see some “fashionable’ ones I would totally rock. Once my son is older, I don’t think I’ll want to tote all that stuff around!“
Megs, “I LOVE MY FANNY PACKS! Literally. They are THE best. I have a pleather leopard print one that I got from a thrift store for 50 cents, and it comes with me to Disney, to go on walks and runs with my dogs, and on Black Friday! I know it isnt typical for a 21 year old, and I definitely get some odd looks, but it is totally worth it. Work that fanny pack girl. You gosh dang work it!”
Cody,” I wear one as a belt. I have one from Disney Movie Rewards that is black with a silver Mickey on it.”
Cindy,”They may be ugly to look at, but they are very convenient and, personally, I love not have something hanging on my shoulder and having my hands free!“
And our backpack fans:
Eryn, “I have a cross shoulder backpack that is our “theme park bag.” It’s kind of the best of both worlds. Not too big, not too small, a good strap, keeps my hands free, but can also be passed around between the adults (& teen) throughout the day. Don’t forget one fatal flaw of backpacks: You’re going to end up carrying everyone else’s stuff! 😉 Heavy is the bag that holds the water bottles. You can only jam so much stuff in a fanny pack.”
Lauren, “A backpack worked great for us. We didn’t have any instances where we couldn’t bring it on a ride, though we don’t do roller coasters or anything high speed, so that may be why.”
Here are some reasons for both.
Reasons to use a fanny pack
1. They may not be as fashionable, but they are smaller than regular bags.
2. While many a shoulder has been pained by a backpack, fanny packs don’t create the same strain, the main reason being, they are restin’ on your fanny or thereabouts.
3. With your bag around your waist, you have you arms more free to push little Mickey in a stroller, get in and out of rides a bit easier, and hold onto monorail poles a bit tighter, etc.
4. On rides where bulky backpacks are not allowed, you and your fannypack will pass through with no problem. This can definitely help some of you Disney Moms as you grab for your kids with two free hands.
Reasons you should stick to a traditional backpack
1. I will stop short of calling them ugly. I will simply say that you will not see Rianna or Lady Gaga rocking a fanny pack on any red carpet.
I have yet to see a Dooney & Bourke fanny pack featured prominently in any Disney gift shop. I am waiting with curious fascination to see if they appear. The photo below offers an example of current styles, and you can make your own judgement of fashion worthy-ness. These fanny packs are available at tillys.com back in 2012 for $12.99 before shipping.
2. You cannot carry as many items in a fanny pack due to their smaller nature.
3. I mentioned in #1 that I would stop short of calling them ugly, so let’s just say they are not the height of Disney Princess fashion.
Why am I not carrying a fanny pack? Because Dooney & Bourke don’t currently have one available in a Mickey prints, and personally, I am holding out for style over substance.
As small as fanny packs are, this may be the only Disney Dooney I can actually ever afford. Check out prices …
Style over substance? Size and comfort over fashionista superstar status? What do you wear to Disney to haul your stuff in? If you buy enough non-brand bags, you just might be able to afford some of this Disney jewelry…or maybe not!
Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you in the gift shops, some sort of bag thrown over your shoulder or fanny.
I mean, if this guy can pull off this look…
Then why can’t you?!
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Amanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.
Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast.
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