How to Pack the BEST Disney World Theme Park Bag Ever!


Updated for 2015!

If you thought packing your Disney vacation suitcase was nerve-wracking, just wait until you start to pack your theme park bag. Most people take some sort of bag or backpack into the parks, especially if they will be staying for hours or the entire day. If the parks are open for 10-14 hours, that’s a long time to make it on only what you brought with you in your pockets without purchasing extra supplies.

Nearly every Disney blog out there has suggestions for what to keep in your bag. So we asked our  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans what items they just HAD to have in their Disney parks bags, keeping in mind most of us are on tight budgets and don’t like spending money when we don’t have to.

Grab your pencil, because the results are in!

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What to pack in a Disney park bag

1. Ziplocks – You never know when you may need to keep electronic items dry or package some food  for later consumption.

2. Hand Sanitizer – Do you realize how many microscopic germs are covering the parks and resorts waiting to wreck your trip?

3. Ponchos – Rain showers pop up with no warning throughout the year in Orlando. Better to be prepared than soaked.

4. Sunscreen – The top reason people need first aid at WDW is for sun burn. Apply 30 minutes before you need it and reapply often.

5. Chapstick – Little things like chapped lips can distract you from enjoying all the Disney sights.

6. Snacks – Unless you want to pay $3 for drinks and $4 and up for snacks then bring your own. A water bottle you can refill is also a great idea, which you can enhance with single serve flavor packets and Mio.

7. First Aid Ziplock – Good items to keep here are bandaids, blister patches like Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin, and Tylenol.

8. Camera – Have you ever walked out of your resort without a camera and then needed it? Plus bring a Ziplock with extra batteries and a memory stick.

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Pack a great Disney park bag

Pack a kid's backpack for Disney World

If you are traveling with small children, you may need a few extras just for the wee ones.

1. Wet wipes – You never know when faces, hands, or clothes could use a quick cleaning.

2. Autograph books and a sharpie – You can’t forget this if the kids plan to get autographs, because they are costly to replace.

3. Trading pins with a lanyard– Murphy’s law states you will spot the greatest pin just when you run out of pins you brought to trade.

4. Stuffed animals – Sarah, “We bring a teddy bear or kid’s stuffed BFF. There has been plenty off boo boos that only they sooth. And if we don’t have them, the kids never fully recover.”

5. ChangeMelissa,  “We bring quarters and pennies for the pressed penny machines.”

6. Glow toysCandi,  “We bring glow bracelets from the dollar bin at Target, Micheals, or Dollar Tree.

Of course lots of adults use these items as well, but they may be most beneficial for keeping the young travelers happy.

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Pack the greatest Disney parks bag

Disney World backpack

1. Hairbrush– sometimes we all need a little freshening up

2. Garbage bags – Garbage bags cover your backpack if it rains or on wet rides like Splash Mountain. You can turn these into instant ponchos too.

3. Wash cloth –  You can use this to wipe down on hot days or wipe off on wet days.

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what do you pack in a Disney parks bag?

Some of our  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans were not fans of carrying bags, which is always an option if you want to skip the bag check line at the park entrance.

Sabrina, “As my kids are getting bigger, I’m finding no need for a bag. That and Magic Bands. Add the Memory Maker, and you don’t even need a camera. Phone in pocket and the Magic Band. But I’m cheap so I think I’ll bring a water bottle too!”

Brad, “Park bag? Whats that??”

Chrissy, “No bag! Bags get in the way, and you never use the stuff that’s in them anyway! I *do* like to have a few Bandaids in my pocket, though. Someone always needs a Bandaid. Also, we each carry a dollar store poncho if the forecast is calling for rain.”

I wish life was simple enough for me that I didn’t need a bag. I always seem to need something, and for what I paid in tickets, I don’t want to re-buy what I have in my room.

We hope these ideas help with packing your next Disney parks bag.

Did our fans miss anything you can’t live without? Leave us a comment and we just might add it to our list!


Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you grabbing your amazingly packed bag off the monorail bench, racing off to your next destination.



Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess


Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


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Amanda Major, owner of Cheapskate PrincessAmanda Major is the creator of 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-costal 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 some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Princess Travel Experts with Destinations in Florida travel, Elizabeth, Erin, and Julie. You can also e-mail them at


  1. Bev F says:

    I put the change for the pressed penny machines in mini M&M containers. 2 quarters, 1 penny, repeat until the container is full. You can pour out what you need without having to dig.

  2. Rose Fieldhouse says:

    Portable cell phone charger!
    with the new FastPass+ , if you plan on using the App on your phone to keep checking times and changing choices your battery gets drained faster

  3. Tab says:

    A park bag is an absolute necessity to our family! We used one of our girls backpacks (Monsters University, so my husband didn’t have to pack a pink princess Last year we took: bandaids, moleskin, blister block, autograph books and pens, a couple small waters, granola bars, gummy bears, sunscreen, Ziploc baggies for phones and to put the sunscreen in, park maps, and dinner/breakfast confirmation #’s, camera, and cell phones.. We have 2 kids ages 6 & 8 so it was needed and very much used!! I would say absolutely take one if you plan on spending a while in the parks!!!

  4. charissa says:

    I do bring a bag to the parks, but over the years, it’s gotten considerably smaller. That way, I don’t have to carry everyone else’s items. I’ve seen people in the bag check line with so much stuff, you’d think they were planning on camping out in the park somewhere. That 5lb bag will feel like 50 by the end of a long day.

  5. Donna J says:

    We always carry a bag ~ and my youngest kids are now 18 & 20. We pack water bottles, snacks, hand wipes/sanitizer, mini first aid kit, Tylenol, sunscreen, camera, & $$. We use everything we carry and take out stuff not being used to lighten the load! But a bag is a necessity for our family.

  6. Shannon says:

    I used the cheap glow items to help keep track of my kids after dark in the crowds. I attached the glow to Mickey ears and backpacks. They’re older so no strollers or (heaven forbid) hand-holding. The glow was very useful!!

  7. Robin says:

    We are planning our first trip as a family in April. My thought was for each of us to carry a small bag to spread out the weight-definitley need snacks, sunscreen, baindaids, etc while in the park with a 7 & 9 year old. I was wondering what you did with the bags while on the rides?

    • Holly says:

      There are cubby spots at the front, right before you get on, and then you can pick them up after the ride. Or if you have someone in your group who’s a chicken (that’s always me in my family) that stays outside the ride with all the stuff. And most rides now have pockets in the seat backs for you to put stuff in too.

  8. Rachael says:

    My husband and I go to Disney World every year childless. We always take a backpack with us to the parks. And with our first baby on the way, I imagine our trip to Disney next year we will continue taking a backpack. Some of the things we put in our park backpack include two bottles of water and two small bottles of gatorade, some dry snacks, a small first aid kit, extra socks (for when our socks get icky and wet), sealable bags to put wet socks or clothes in, a handheld battery operated fan, extra ziplock baggies for our phones, various medications (i.e. Tylenol, ibuprofen, Tums), hand sanitizer, an extra pair of shorts and a shirt (depending on what time of year we go.. if its a cooler month we like to change out of wet clothes), sunglasses, chapstick and sunscreen, my glasses (I wear contacts and cannot function if they were to fall out at the park) and obviously our wallets. I may also bring a lightweight sweater if we’re going to be at the parks at night. We probably overpack for the park, but I’m an RN and have to be prepared for every possible situation! As far as what we do with our bag on the rides, most rides have a place to put the bags at your feet or behind the seat in front of you. This last trip I was pregnant and was the official bag holder while my husband rode rides I couldn’t ride.

  9. S.Moses says:

    Just got back from Disney two weeks ago. I was determined not to waste energy carrying a bag. I thought I could fit everything I need in a tiny over the shoulder bag. Oh how wrong was I!?! Since we are already planning our return trip for next year, this park bag is on my list of must haves for a seemless trip. We did bring small snacks for in-between meals and that helped save a lot of money. We took things like cheese and crackers, Cheez-it’s, and fruit. That was really helpful.

  10. Laurie says:

    Gum, mints. something like that. It can kill a craving! If you happen to have a spare battery for your cellphone that can be a life saver too! Maybe an extra tshirt in case you are the one soaked on the Kali River Rapids! A spare pen or marker may come in handy as well. I tend to take some flushable wipes and baby powder. Just in case someone in the group wants/needs to freshen up.

  11. Terri says:

    Now that the kids are older, I can skip the backpack and we each wear a fanny pack. I don’t have to take it off during rides and I am less likely to lose it. The kids each carry small snacks, disposable poncho,cell phone, and water bottle. I carry sunscreen, water bottle, band aids, hand sanitizer, ziplock, and ibuprophen. Camera is on a strap around my neck.

  12. Amy Jenkins says:

    I am planning our first trip to Disney which is in May and I need some pointers on packing things for a special needs child. Any suggestions?

  13. Steph says:

    Can you take the back packs on the rides with you? If not what do you do with them?

    • Amy says:

      I’ve to WDW 1 time and going again in May. I have to say, if you don’t take a pack you will wish over and over again you had. You can also take food and drinks too. That’s one thing I wish I had taken the last time. Only thing is that now they check your bags. Before they didn’t. Hope this helps.

    • Amy says:

      You can but some have lockers you can use.

      • tabby says:

        You can take them on rides. On most rides theres a mesh net infront of your seat to put them in or theres enough room to sit with it. i highly recommend taking a bag!! Hope this helps Steph!

    • Kim says:

      They have open lockers you can store the backpacks in while you ride.

  14. Amanda says:

    We brought a backpack filled with all of this stuff last year at Disney…and the bag was heavy and unbearable by the end of the day and we didn’t use half of it. This year, we are going to bring a fanny pack each and have our phone, a camera, $, and maybe a granola bar or small snack. Not worth the frustration!

  15. Robert says:

    Mine got screwed up when I broke my elbow on Tom Sawyers Island 45 metunis into our first day of seven at WDW. My 6 year old tripped me while walking across a foot bridge and I landed on my elbow breaking in 4 places requiring 3 screws to repair it after we got home. Disney was great though. They gave my sons each a stuffed character because they had a tramatic day. We got lots of free fast passes for each park so we didn’t have to wait in lines and all the places we stopped to eat or get a drink would give me ice for my ice pack. It taught me to plan for the unexpected and don’t let it ruin the entire trip. We did the rides I was able to and will have new ones now to ride the next time we go. Disney did all the could to make a scary time into one as fun as it could be! It really is the most magical place on earth!

  16. sl says:

    DO NOT BRING OR BUY WATER BOTTLES AT DISNEY!!!!!!!!! The quick service places give you free water is you say, “may I have a CUP of water” they will gladly hand you a large cup of water. It will save you from having to carry it around.

  17. Aly Loyd says:

    Disney world will give you free water if you ask for it in a cup. Also, while you’re “not supposed to bring your own snacks into the parks”, they won’t stop you from bringing it in, as it is Disney world.

  18. Ramona says:

    I throw a cheap pair of flip flops in my bag. When we are waiting in line for a water ride, I change my shoes to the flip flops. Even when you use a poncho, your feet still seem to get wet on the ride. When the ride is over, I put my socks and tennis shoes back on. Nothing is worse than walking around in wet shoes and socks all day, plus they end up stinking really bad!

  19. michele clauser says:

    I tend to go middle of the road with a back pack of emergency items in a locker at the park. But I tend to carry very little around with me keeping my hands free for fun times, waves and handshakes.

  20. Ava says:

    Thanks! For the helpful tips I’m 9 years old and I’ve never been to Disney but I’m going in February so so excited!

  21. Teresa Tomlinson says:

    Immodium and Sudafed always make it into our bag–I’ve been a super hero when I’ve pulled them out before!

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