Updated for 2016!
I have read many, many “Perfect Disney World Packing” lists, so I am well versed in how to pack THE perfect Disney back pack and suit case. O.k., almost perfect, because I inevitably will forget something important. But I had never given a lot of thought on what NOT to pack for a WDW vacation. I’m too busy hoping I remembered to grab sunscreen, and do I have our MagicBands in my bag? Why would I worry about what not to pack, when I am usually searching FOR my bag. You will go through a security check point right outside the entryway to all Disney theme parks, and Security Cast Members will look through your entire bag, section by section. This is a bit of a shock for first time visitors, and we have some tips to make that process go more smoothly.
Ultimately, packing the right items in your Disney park bag can save you time and money.
What sort of goodies are you not allowed to bring into Disney theme parks? I had to do a bit of research on DisneyWorld.com.
Yes on These Items, but Check the Size
- Strollers larger than 36″ x 52″ (92 x 132 cm)
- Suitcases, coolers or backpacks with or without wheels larger than 24″ (61 cm) long x 15″ (38 cm) wide x 18″ (46 cm) high. Coolers required for medication may be stored in a locker or at Guest Relations.
No Way on These Wheels
You may not bring the following types of wheeled-items into the theme parks:
- Inline skates
- Shoes with built-in wheels
- Any trailer-like object that is pushed or towed by an ECV (Electronic Conveyance Vehicle), wheelchair or stroller
- Wheeled mobility devices with less than three wheels and devices that cannot maintain stability and balance when stopped, unpowered or unoccupied. Training wheels or similar modifications are not permitted. Devices must be manually or electrically powered and operated at a walking pace. These devices should be single rider and not exceed 36″ (92 cm) in width and 52″ (132 cm) in length.
No Way, No How, Not Gonna Happen
- Selfie sticks (hand held extension poles for cameras or mobile devices)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Illegal substances
- Weapons of any kind
- Objects that look like weapons, like toy blasters and squirt guns
- Folding chairs
- Glass containers like baby food jars
- Pets (unless they are service animals) or other animals
- In Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park for the safety of the animals, balloons, straws and drink lids are not permitted
- Large tripods
- Recreational devices like drones and remote control toys
Back in 2015, glass perfume bottles were listed as acceptable, but they are no longer mentioned on the official website as acceptable glass containers. Leave your big 24 oz. bottle of Jennifer Lopez perfume back at your resort.
Approved service animals, like dogs and miniature horses (yes, mini horses were actually mentioned on the official Disney website in a new addition for 2016) must remain on a leash or harness and under the strict control of the owner. Remember that due to the nature of some attractions, service animals may not be able permitted on certain attractions.
Selfie sticks were banned, but I read many comments about people still sneaking them into the parks, or using them in plain sight without being asked to throw them away. My general thought is that if they are banned items, and you know they are against the rules, just because one rule breaker doesn’t get busted does not give you the right to break the same rule. On May 3rd of 2016, California Screamin’ at Disney California Adventure was shut down, and guests had to wait to be removed from the coaster after a rider pulled out a selfie stick mid-ride.
Remember, they make these rules for the general safety of everyone, not just to irritate you.
Use Your Best Judgement…
Disney reserves the right to not allow other items into the parks. Their website states, “Additional items may also not be permitted inside the theme parks. Please use your best judgment and do not bring anything that may be potentially harmful or disruptive.”
There are cameras, and then there are Professional Cameras
Professional photographers with professional cameras or recording equipment, who are visiting Walt Disney World Resort with the intent to take photographs or recordings of people, Walt Disney World Resort properties or icons for professional purposes, must make prior arrangements with Walt Disney World Resort Media Relations.
Like to look at the rules for yourself? Use this link.
How will packing the right items save you time and money on a Disney vacation?
Ever thrown away a skate board because it was a 30 minute trip back to your car?
Ever dropped a six-pack of glass bottles into the garbage can because you don’t want to go back to your resort fridge?
Ever had to go back “home” to your hotel because your brought your small family dog to a theme park?
Well, surely none of you have, but probably at some point, someone somewhere has…
Packing the right items will ensure you don’t have to throw anything away to get in, and packing the wrong items can ensure you take a trip somewhere to store it for the day, which will most likely be your car or resort room. This could set you back upwards of an hour, depending on where you need to go.
What can you wear to Disney World?
Bonus Cheapskate Princess Tip: Open Up Your Bag Just Before the Security Check Point
First time visitors don’t always know you are headed through security, and you will spot then with their bag entirely zipped up securely. To save yourself time, and save people behind you some time as well, open up every pocket on your bag. This makes the brief search even quicker. Make sure you zip everything right back up on your way through the gates. Items falling out of an unzipped bag can cost you money as well if things get lost or stepped on.
I like to greet the Security Cast Member with a big smile too. Do you know how many crazy bags they look through each day? I had one C.M. wag his finger at my Universal Studios patch on my backpack, but he still let me in, with a comical smirk.
Two bags you’ll look simply fabulous toting through the security check point?
Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you packing that perfect backpack, leaving your brand new selfie stick at home.
To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.
Disney’s Cheapskate Princess
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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.
We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Princess Travel Experts with Destinations in Florida travel, Erin, Julie, and Elizabeth. You can also e-mail them at email@example.com.