So you’re headed to Disneyland – the happiest place on earth – and it’s time to start packing. Aside from the compulsory personal belongings such as phone, wallet and your Disneyland ticket, there are a few other important items that will improve your overall experience at the park.
In this post we will go over the most important things to take to Disneyland in your day pack, along with a few things that maybe aren’t necessary, but will add a bit more fun to your trip.
What to Wear to Disneyland
The best thing you can plan to wear to Disneyland is whatever you’re most comfortable in. That doesn’t mean you should wear your lay around the house clothes, but there’s no need to dress up either. With all the walking around and adventures you’ll go on, it pays to be comfortable.
Here are some of the top things to keep in mind when packing:
- Wear layers – It can be very hot during the day and drop in temperature at night, so wear layers that can easily fit in your backpack when taken off.
- Be appropriate – Disney has a very relaxed dress code, but they do require appropriate dress – so don’t wear anything too revealing or that shows offensive tattoos, or that could get caught in a ride and be unsafe.
- Shoes – You must wear shoes at all times in Disneyland. You can wear sandals, flip flops, tennis shoes. I don’t recommend heels. Make sure your shoes don’t cause blisters. If you haven’t worn them for at least 5 hours in a day before, probably don’t start now.
- Flexibility is key – You don’t want to wear a dress that won’t allow you to climb into rides, or something tight that doesn’t allow you to move freely. Anything that’s going to fall down, fall off, rip or tear easily.
- Wear your Disney gear – While adults aren’t permitted to wear costumes in the park, you can still dress up in your Disney gear – t-shirts, hats, backpacks, etc. A lot of families and groups will wear matching t-shirts.
What to Pack in Your Disney Day Bag
I always suggest you take a day bag into Disneyland with you. In this bag, you can store all the things you’ll need to make your day easy and stress free.
You don’t want to carry anything too big, so I suggest a small backpack that can be worn over both shoulders and won’t get in the way. Why not be festive and carry a Disneyland themed bag, like the one below.
In this day bag, you can pack all the things that will make your day easy and stress free. Remember that if you don’t bring it and you end up needing it, it’ll cost quite a bit to purchase the item in the park (like water, food, and a sweatshirt).
Camera / Phone
You can’t go to Disneyland without a camera to catch all the fun moments. I wouldn’t recommend bringing any expensive or large cameras, however. Keep it to small digital cameras or your phone camera, only. It will be difficult to hold on to these larger items, and you don’t want the possibility of them getting stolen or broken.
Your phone will come in handy for looking at maps of the park, keeping your itinerary at hand, and booking MaxPass tickets on the Disneyland app.
You’re going to spend a lot of time on your feet in Disneyland. It is typical to stay from 10 to 14 hours at the park and/or ten miles of walking per day. If you don’t wear comfortable shoes, your feet will scream for mercy at the end of the day.
To avoid blisters, be sure to wear your most comfortable shoes. Make sure they’ve been worn plenty of times and are well broken in. I think it’s a good idea to take an extra pair into the park, in case your feet get sore or blistered, so you can change them out.
Sunscreen and Sunglasses
There is not much shade around Disneyland. If you are planning a trip in the hotter months, be prepared because the sun will get you, and no one wants to get sunburnt while being on vacation.
Remember to protect your eyes and skin even in the cooler months, since you will be spending a lot of time in the sun. Bring sunscreen with at least SPF 30, and sunglasses or a large brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face. Make sure to also bring a chapstick with SPF in it as many people get sunburned and chapped lips.
A good trick is to check the UV radiation throughout the day and apply sunscreen accordingly.
Hand Sanitizer & Wipes
In our post pandemic world, it’s especially important to be aware of hygiene in public spaces. Disneyland is full of people and you can’t be sure they won’t pass something on to you.
There is plenty of hand sanitizer in the park, but you should bring a small bottle of your own so you can use it whenever necessary. Wipes can also come in handy to clean off hand rails or safety bars on rides before you touch them.
Snacks & Meals
Disneyland allows taking your own food into the park, which helps a lot when you are on a budget. Packing some treats and snacks will come in very handy for those pre-lunch and afternoon hours.
In addition, you can bring lunch and dinner, but these meals must be pre-made and in no need of reheating or refrigeration and must not be stored in glass containers. Think of ready to eat food such as sandwiches, chips, cereal, fruit and others.
There is a complimentary picnic area just outside of the main entrance to Disneyland. It is allowed to exit the park, have lunch, relax for a bit and get back in for more fun.
If you are not comfortable with exiting and reentering the park, there are quick service restaurants that have open seating areas where you can sit down and enjoy your snacks.
Reusable Plastic Water Bottles
Disneyland also allows you to bring your own nonalcoholic beverages. Reusable plastic water bottles are great because you will be able to fill them up around the water fountains in the park.
Not many people know this, but Disneyland offers complementary iced water cups at almost every quick service restaurant. If you ask nicely, there are cast members that will fill your water bottle or give you enough iced cups for you to fill it.
On the other hand, cold bottled water is sold in almost every snack cart in the park. The main difference with the free iced water cups served in counter service restaurants is the price; a single bottle costs around 4 dollars.
Glass bottles are not allowed in the park.
A Change of Clothes
If you are visiting the Splash Mountain and do not like the idea of walking with soggy clothes all day, you should consider taking some spare clothes and flip flops, because you will get soaked. Wear flip flops while you ride and change into your spare clothes and shoes after riding. Remember to pack some plastic bags for those wet clothes.
Be prepared for the climate, walking around the park in the rain can get really uncomfortable. You can bring an umbrella, but you will probably have to bother people to be able to pass through certain spots and it is difficult to store while riding.
For those reasons, many people go for the poncho instead. It will not save you from Splash Mountain though, your shoes will get soaked.
Portable power banks
Try to take your phone fully charged, but if necessary take portable power banks to be able to re charge your phone throughout the day. You will probably use it the most to check the wait times for the rides in the Disneyland app.
Personal Mini Fan
It can get really hot at Disneyland in the summer. You’ll be standing in long lines that move very slowly and have very little air circulation. The best way to stay cool is with a personal mini fan. Don’t worry, you can get a cute Mickey Mouse fan, and you’ll look cute rather than silly. Everyone will be envious of your fan, that’s for sure.
You can charge it with the portable charger you brought, so no need to worry about it running out of power right when you need it.
First Aid Items
I like to keep a small ziplock bag with a few quick first aid items that will come in handy if something happens. Bandages and antiseptic wipes are great for any scrapes or blisters you get on your feet.
What You Cannot Take Into Disneyland
When packing for Disneyland you should also remember there are many items that are prohibited in the theme park and you will not be granted entry should you not follow the rules and bring them anyway.
- Any kind of weapons such as firearms, knives, explosives, smoke machines and toys that look like weapons
- Any type of drugs or drug enriched products
- Folding chairs
- Coolers or backpacks larger than 24″ long x 15″ wide x 18″ high
- Loose or dry ice
- Strollers that are greater than 31″ in width and 52″ in length and stroller wagons
- Artificial noisemakers, such as horns or whistles
- Remote-control toys
- Inline skates
- Bicycles or shoes with built-in wheels
- Selfie sticks
- Big tripods or monopod stands
- Flags and banners
An important fact is that only kids up to age 14 are allowed to wear a costume to Disneyland. This means that adults cannot wear costumes inside the park. If you still want to pay homage to your favorite characters, many adults choose to dress in the colors of their characters. This practice is called Disneybounding and often leads to super cute outfits!
Certain type of wheeled mobility devices are not permitted, they should be able to maintain balance when stopped, be single raider, be manually or electrically operated at a walking pace and not exceed 36″ in width and 52″ in length to be permitted at the park. These wheeled devices shall not pull any trailer-like object.
The items of this list are constantly changing and any other item that Disneyland considers harmful or bothering to other guests experience will be prohibited at the park entrance to ensure a safe environment and experience for all guests.
Overall, try not to over pack; remember you will be carrying your belongings all day long as you walk and ride. Pack light, only necessary things, you will need some space for those magical souvenirs, and remember to follow the rules.
Quick. Check these necessities off your prep list!
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Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.