Packing the Perfect Backpack for a Day at Disney

I’ve been busy packing this week for our upcoming trip to Disneyland.  Normally I don’t pack till the night before we leave, but for a trip to Disney I like to make sure I have everything ahead of time. A well packed backpack and a small cross body purse have become essentials for me on every Disney trip.

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We love a good family trip to Disney, and are becoming experts on how to travel well to the parks with kids so that everyone has a magical visit.

Anytime we head to the Disney Parks, I always pack a backpack full of essentials for the day to hang on our stroller and a small cross-body  purse to keep our valuables close with me. With our backpack stocked and ready to go we have everything we need for a fantastic day in the park with our little boy.

I have given my list of items I pack to friends who think it’s excessive at first glance. However, after the trip, they always compliment me because they end up using everything that I suggested at least once! I’m not one to pack lightly, I like to have everything I might need with me for convenience so we can make the most of our time in the parks.


Here’s my packing list for a perfectly packed Backpack for a family day in the Disney Parks. I hope it helps you to prepare for you next Disney family trip! The key is not to go overboard and pack too much because you will be stuck lugging it all around with you all day.

Rest assured if you forget something, they will likely sell it in the Disney park shops- trust me I’ve had to make many emergency purchases along the way. I’ve even had to purchase extra underwear and sweats for my little guy when he got soaked on Splash Mountain late night!

1. Backpack: I use an adult sized backpack that my husband or I can comfortably wear with plenty of room to stuff necessities.  I like one with an outside pocket as well as inside pockets for easy grab and go organization.

2. Extra set of clothes: Pack at least one (maybe 2-3) extra sets of clothes for your little one. Kids get wet, sweaty, and dirty during the day and you will likely need to change their clothes at least once if you spend a full day in the parks

3. Lots of extra underwear or diapers: Even if your kid has been potty trained for a long time, the excitement of meeting their favorite character might make them have a little accident or perhaps the might just get sweaty or wet on a ride and require a fresh pair.  I recommend at least 3 extra pairs of underware just in case!

4. Wet Wipes: Everyone knows the parks are full of germs and you will find yourself looking for a wet wipe for your hands and your little ones often, especially before and after a delicious Mickey Mouse ice cream treat!

5. Boogie Wipes: Perfect for wiping off dirty faces.

6. Small Collapsable Bag: I always pack one of these because they are great for wet clothes or tote home extra souvenirs or open snacks.

7. Small Towel: My little guy loves a good splash pad, water ride, or even a fountain to cool off in. After having to buy expensive Disney beach towels twice on trips when he was little I now pack a small kid’s towel in my bag so I can quickly dry him off after he cools off in the water!

8. Flip Flops: We always wear gym shoes into the park and pack a pair of flip fops so we can make a quick change into them for water rides and wet activities to make sure our gym shoes don’t get wet for the day.

9. Sunscreen: We apply in the morning and usually will reapply a few times throughout the hot sunny day.

10. Sunglasses and a Hat: Most days my little guy doesn’t like to wear either one of these, but on a hot sunny day he’s happy to have them!

11. Small First Aid Kit: I’m of the school of thought that if I pack it I won’t need it, but if I forget it I definitely will. Better safe than sorry. Sometimes I just bring band aids and some triple antibiotic spray in a zip lock instead of a full kit.

12. Children’s Allergy Medicine: Again, if I pack the Benedryl we won’t need it, but if I forget it…

13. Snacks: We love to enjoy the Disney Parks snacks, but its always good to have some easy snacks on hand for our little guy for waiting in lines etc. I like to pack fruit, veggies, and some of his favorites for easy healthy snacking and then purchase an occasional Disney frozen treat throughout the day! You can also pack water bottles, but we prefer to take advantage of the free ice water offered at any Disney dining restaurant or walk up stand that has fountain drinks.

14. Glow Sticks: I bring along a big pack of glow sticks so that we can decorate ourselves and especially our stroller at night so we can easily find it in the stroller parking areas.

Did I forget anything essential? Comment below with your favorite stuff to pack for Disney!

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Sarah Hirsch
Sarah Hirsch

Sarah is a Chicago-based luxury travel influencer, Virtuoso luxury travel advisor, luxury family travel writer, an Oprah Daily Ambassador, and the founder of Sarah’s best travel companion is her sweet 12-year-old son, Harry. Her favorite getaways include a luxe hotel stay, quality family playtime, champagne & chocolate-covered strawberries.

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  1. June 1, 2015 / 11:41 am

    Great tips! I’m going to pack a pair of flip flops in my bag for now on. I love water rides but hate the wet shoes that come with it.