Today I have a list of items that you absolutely must have packed for your Disneyland visit. Some may seem obvious and there might be a few you have not considered. But, you should not visit the park without these 9 items:
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Don’t wait to buy tickets onsite. Buy online at Disneyland or through another reputable seller or at your hotel (if they provide such services) prior to arriving to save time and stress. You don’t want to stand in that ticket line (pictured to the right).
Even if you arrive early enough to try to accomplish buying tickets before open, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to do it. Be prepared. Buy ahead of time.
***Buying from anyone other than the three options I listed above makes me nervous and I discourage you from trying to find ‘deals’ throughout third party sites. There simply aren’t a lot of safe options.
2. Lanyard for Tickets or a Suitable Bag
Lanyards are ideal for holding your tickets, money, credit card, etc and they come in all sorts of varieties. (They’re available for purchase at the park, too.) You’ll want to have your tickets in easy reach to grab FASTPASSES throughout the day. Don’t count on kids to carry their own (please God, no, just don’t.) And, you won’t want to fish them out of your backpack or satchel throughout the day.
So, a lanyard is ideal. If the lanyard is not your thing (like me), consider a small cross-over purse or messenger bag. I almost always carry a super cute Rais Case design. RaisCase bags are well made and beautifully styled.
And, if none of these ticket-holding options appeal to you, make sure that someone in your group has a secure pocket to keep tickets in one place. This should be a smooth part of your park experience. Don’t fumble for tickets throughout the day.
Regardless of your budget…..and even if you have an unlimited one……you’re going to want snacks to enjoy while waiting in line or while you’re walking en route to an attraction. Lines can stack up even for food. Don’t rely entirely on the park to feed you and your group throughout the day.
If nothing else, pack one ziploc bag filled with granola bars, fruit, energy bars and/or fruit snacks. You’ll be glad you did when hunger strikes and you’re on a mission.
4. Bottled Water
Bring water in. Yes, Disneyland offers free iced water at restaurants and they’re surprisingly kind about the request, but again…..you don’t want to rely on standing in line for rehydration. Bring in your own water bottles. I recommend one per person and then refill them at water fountains throughout the park as needed.
Public Service Announcement: I’m not a big fan of buying a bottle of water and tossing or recycling it. My family re-uses even the disposable ones when we have them and I encourage you to do the same just for earth conservation alone.
5. Blanket or Sheet
If you have intentions of seeing any show or parade (Fantasmic, Soundsational Parade, holiday parades, etc, etc), bring a sheet or a blanket to mark your territory.
A sheet is less comfy, but takes up less room in your backpack. You’re really just trying to secure a section for you and your crew to see the shows. People often lose their manners during these events. Take a look at a few of my personal experiences:
*A blanket marking our territory would have prevented the stroller from being placed right in front of us.
*Blankets or sheets save the day.
This Matador blanket folds up to almost nothing and is perfect for Disneyland:
6. Sunscreen, Sanitizer and Wipes
This goes without saying for summer and spring time, but fall and winter visits will need the protection, too. SoCal is known for near-perfect temperatures around 70 degrees year round. But, even on cloudy days, powerful rays will seep through.
Be sure to have everyone covered in sunscreen and I actually recommend making sure this (and a few other things) is done prior to even arriving to the park in my Magical Ways to Start Your Disneyland Days post.
Sanitizer is helpful for obvious reasons, but especially for little ones as they snack throughout the day and not always directly after a restroom stop for washing hands. I always have sanitizer on hand and use it often.
Baby wipes or Wet Ones will keep little ones less messy and actually work well, too, to cool you off on hot days. Consider packing them for both of those reasons.
7. Camera/Wireless Chargers
Depending on what kind of camera you’re using, consider an additional back up battery or a charger for yours if it works with one. Same goes with phones…..especially if you’re planning on using your phone for photos.
Include a fully charged wireless charger to use throughout the day when your phone’s battery is low. There are plug in stations throughout the park, but you won’t want to rely on this as you walk through your day.
8. Autograph Book & Pen
You can buy these on-site, but they’ll cost a pretty penny. Any little book will do. You can even find them at the Dollar Store.
Be sure to bring a pen. I made the mistake of not bringing in a pen one day and one of the princesses remarked that she’d have nowhere to keep such in her dress! (Duh.)
9. Jacket/Rain Ponchos
Don’t let the sunny SoCal climate confuse you. It will get chilly after dark, nearly every day of the year. I recommend a light sweater or jacket for every visit. I’ve recommended other clothing combos, too, in my style post and a pashmina scarf is at the top of my list. It can work as a wrap, a scarf, or even as a blanket for a small child.
Consider bringing a scarf, too, for the colder months (October-May). However, a jacket is needed year round.
Bonus item: I always have ponchos in my bag, however, SoCal has been in a drought for 3 years, so the chance of rain is rare. Check the weather prior and if there is the slightest chance, run to the dollar store and grab some to add to your bag.
So, there you have it! My 9 essentials. I can’t see any reason to enter the park without these items in your bag. Add your own personal items, too, for stress relief or first aid or other preferences. But, don’t forget these 9.
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