Disney Tips: Your Backpack

This post originally ran in 2010, and I’m giving it a facelift in July of 2013. EVERYTHING in this post is still true! I’ve been to Disney many times since I originally wrote this and still take the time to make sure my backpack is stocked appropriately. 

Disney Tips: Your Backpack from HouseofHills.org

We’re heading to see The Mouse this weekend. Actually, we’re going to spend four days with The Mouse on a Disney Cruise and then a couple days in the parks. Are we excited? YES! Are we ready? NO!

Side note: My Sweetie seriously put his back out over the weekend. As in ER on Monday and has been FLAT on his back in the bed ever since. Please pray that he has some relief so we can actually go on this trip. We’ve got major drugs at work, but prayers would be better.

Anyhow, I mentioned on Twitter/Facebook that I had pulled out the “Disney Backpack” in order to get read for our two days in the parks. A couple of friends asked what I put in said backpack so I thought I’d share with all of you too. Let me qualify the list that’s about to come with the fact that I am a serious Type A personality (if you haven’t figured that out from the blog – duh!) and a planner. I plan EVERYTHING! Even if I don’t plan it on paper, it’s planned in my head. So, some (uhum – My Sweetie) would say that I carry too much with me in the parks. Of course, that is until we need something that is in the backpack, and I save the day.

You need to start with a backpack that is comfortable for you:

Below is the backpack we took on our honeymoon to Disney. Yes, we honeymooned at Disney. This backpack served us well for many years, but was retired as the Disney backpack two years ago.
Disney Tips: Your Backpack from HouseofHills.org
Last year, we used a new backpack. It is MUCH lighter, but doesn’t have as many pockets. I felt okay moving away from so many pockets because I no longer had a toddler and could take a minute to find exactly what I wanted. When you have a toddler(s), the quicker you can get to what you need, the better. Therefore, the more pockets, the better.

Disney Tips: Your Backpack from HouseofHills.org

Here’s what I keep in our “Disney Backpack”:

  • Baggie w/spare socks for each member of the family
  • Baggie w/spare panties for Princess and Mommy (who has Crohn’s and always has spare panties)
  • (Until she was five, I brought a spare outfit for the Princess. In a baggie of course. Used it almost every day.)
  • Butt cream – Princess never seems to wipe well when on vacation. Probably that horrible toilet paper.
  • Baggie w/Princess’ lanyard of trading pins
  • Light up thingy for night-time fun. (You can sometimes get these at the Disney Store before you go on your trip. They are usually cheaper there than the $10 your going to pay at the park. Princess buys her own. I refuse to pay for lights.)
  • Pouch w/Benadryl, Tums for Princess & parents, Bug bite cream (sensitive skin child), Tylenol/Motrin for Princess & parents, lipstick for mommy, lipgloss for Princess
  • Small First Aid Kit – alcohol swabs, bandaids, Neosporin
  • Sunscreen
  • Extra baggies – Gallons in case it rains. Sandwich for leftovers from breakfast buffet – those grapes will come in handy later in the day.
  • Autograph book and pen  Note about the autograph book – we get a new one each year. They  sit on her bookshelf in chronological order. She likes to go through them and see who she met each year.
  • Any lists we’ve made for the day
  • Snacks – at least two for Princess, one each for Mommy and Daddy
  • I start the day with at least two water bottles.
  • Camera – actually, that’s usually in my pocket Update: Does anyone carry a camera anymore. Now, it’s just my phone.
  • Wallet – I carry our room key, my ID, our insurance cards, one credit card, some cash – this is also in my pocket
  • Hand sanitizer

In addition to the Disney backpack, I pack a “Rain Bag” that gets taken to the park if there is a chance of rain. It was always with us when we had a stroller as it just got hung on or put in the stroller. Now, we are choosier about when we take it as it goes on someone’s back. It has saved us twice now.

Here’s what I keep in our “Rain Bag”:

  • A few more gallon baggies – just in case.
  • A raincoat/poncho for each person.
  • At least one umbrella.
  • A set of extra socks for everyone.

We learned a lesson about the socks. You can get soaked, but if you have dry socks to change into, all is right with the world and you can keep on going. The rest of you will dry. Your socks – they stay wet. Update: My friend J went to see the mouse and made the choice not to pack extra socks. See how that worked out for her here.

So that’s the Disney backpack. It DEFINITELY works for me. It has for twelve years.

Is there anything you carry into the parks that I didn’t list? Share with us please!
Update: Be sure to check out the comments for some great ideas. Some I added to the above list.

And, for all my friends heading down to see The Mouse this week, my friend OhAmanda did a great post yesterday on getting ready to go to Disney. You should check it out!

Linked to Works for Me Wednesday.

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18 Comment

  1. Courtney says: Reply

    Purell missy!!!!! You forgot a hand sanitizer!! HA! NUMBER 1 on my list 🙂

    Love this list – thanks again so much for sharing it!!!

    1. Kathy says: Reply

      Oh my goodness! You’re right! See, I knew I was missing something. And wipes! I always have some wipes too!

      If I had actually packed the backpack last night, that would have gone in.

      Good catch Courtney!

  2. eatathomecooks says: Reply

    I hope your husband’s back feels better. My husband did the same thing before a Disney trip several years ago. He managed to get better and we had a great trip. Hope the same for you! Great back pack list too!

    1. Kathy says: Reply

      Thanks! We’re praying the back is good. It’s getting better each day!

  3. KB says: Reply

    You’re going to have to come help me pack. I’ve got to figure out how to do all of “that” and get it all on a plane. What was I thinking???? Oh, yeah, I wasn’t thinking. Seriously, may need to pick your brain on the packing thing. Wahoo! Got me a bad case of the Mouse Fever!

    1. Kathy says: Reply

      Can’t wait to hear how your trip goes, and what we missed to go in the backpack!

  4. Jessica says: Reply

    Just started researching for our promised Disney trip next summer, so this is very helpful. One question: what do you do with a baggie when it rains?

    1. Kathy says: Reply

      When it starts raining, I make sure everything I have is in a baggie. So, if I’ve got a jacket in the backpack too, it goes in a baggie. My phone, wallet, and camera come out of my pockets and into a baggie. That cute little top I bought at the gift shop goes into a baggie. I basically end up with a backpack full of baggies. You can get SOAKED by an afternoon Florida rain, but baggies keep it all nice and dry. 🙂

  5. 'Becca says: Reply

    You “start the day with at least two water bottles”…how many do you have at the end??

    I last visited Disney World in 2004, and all the water in the area tasted awful, like sulfur. Is it still like that? If so, I’d bring some of those little flavor packets you can mix with water.

    1. Kathy says: Reply

      Becca –
      We have learned that you can ask for cups of ice water at the quick-serve counters. We sometimes transfer that water back into our water bottles. I agree that the tap water in FL is not exactly yummy, however, it is free. If you are a bottled water drinker only, then I’d load up the backpack with water. You’re allowed to bring it in, and it costs $3 for one in the parks (if I remember correctly). When we had a stroller, we brought lots of water in each day since it wasn’t on our backs.

  6. Kayla says: Reply

    I took a backpack on wheels last time we went. It was so easy to pull through the park, but also easy to get on and off the rides. I ALWAYS take a backpack to Disney. I also put swimsuits into individual baggies so they could play in Ariel’s Grotto when my girls were smaller. That way when they were done, they put their dry clothes back on and the suits go back into the baggies. Have fun!

    1. Kathy says: Reply

      Two AWESOME ideas here Kayla! Thanks for sharing!

      See, there are other baggie lovers out there too people.

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  10. Ron Smith says: Reply

    How about throwing in one garbage bag (heavy duty yard waste kind)? It doesn’t take up much space and I am thinking of a sudden downpour, if you do not have time to compartmentalize everything into separate baggies, you could just throw everything into the one garbage bag and then tie it off (to seal it) until you can “properly” store everything away.
    You could either just throw the whole backpack into the bag quickly, or – if time allows – open the trash bag inside of the backpack and throw everything into the bag. (the second way would allow you to still carry the backpack by the straps).

    1. Ron Smith says: Reply

      Oh – and moleskin for blisters! I always have that in my bag for hikes. Wife and I went to Disney and did not consider how much we would be walking and were riddled with blisters.

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