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Disney Bag Essentials – Don’t Forget These!

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I would never come to Disney, whether it is for a few hours or the whole day, without a bag of essentials. Florida likes to keep you on your toes when it comes to the weather so depending on the time of year, the bag could be almost empty or quite stuffed. Same can be said for Disneyland Paris too!

With that said, there are a few essentials I always carry with me.

Disney Bag Essentials - Don't Forget These!

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Disney Bag Essentials For Any Time Of Year

One of those things that is a must is a water bottle. Consider two options either

1) Pouch water bottles: These are small, lightweight bottles that are perfect for carrying around the parks. They are collapsible and foldable, so lightweight and easy to use. or

2) Insulated bottles: An alternative to the pouch water bottles.These are great for keeping drinks cold all day long. We filled ours with water and added some Robinsons squeezy juice concentrate.

They stayed cold even in the hot Florida sun. Even had ice still left in after 7 hours! Just fill up quick service restaurants.There are numerous places around every park to refill your water bottles in order to stay hydrated but in case you forget your own there are, of course, disposable water bottles for sale.

Another thing I carry within my backpack is a smaller bag to keep my wallet , hotel room key and my car keys in a safe place; the last thing I need to have happen is to reach into my backpack for a sweatshirt or something else and one of those essentials falls out unknowingly. Or have to look for them after a long day when everyone is tired.

Hand sanitizer is not a must as there are a plethora of places to wash your hands as well as sanitizing stations around the park but it doesn’t take up much space, so throwing one in there doesn’t hurt. And while there are plenty of places to find napkins, I usually keep a pack of wipes with me. They are so multifaceted for use in everything from cleaning hands to wiping down a seat.

Moving on to the next essential, we always carry a few pins to trade. We love to get an inexpensive pack of pins from eBay to use for trading. We take 10 or so pins each time we head to the park and it could be the cause of a major meltdown if we get to a pin trading station and find a pin we want to trade yet have no tradable pins.

Also, if your kids like meeting characters, making sure an autograph book and a pen is readily available is important and keeping your phone in a handy place to capture unexpected moments is key.

Upon entering any one of the parks, each of us wears our magic band so no need to throw those in the bag and we are usually found wearing a pair of Mickey Ears that match the time of year— Halloween ears in October, Christmas ears in December, and 4th if July ears for America’s birthday (however, by the middle of the day some of the kids like to store those in the bag).

Lanyards: These are so useful for tickets if you don’t have a Magic Band for Disney and need to tap in to Lightning Lanes.

Ponchos: We’ve tried the cheap ones and the park ones and in-between. Go for the in-between ones for both quality and price. The really cheap ones won’t keep you dry and are so flimsy.

Following is a detailed list of essentials for Disney based on what time of year it is in Orlando.

Disney Bag Essentials For Spring

Spring time in Orlando (officially from March thru June but really February thru April) is stunning but completely unpredictable. The weather in the morning and the evenings is usually a cool 65 ish degrees (sometimes a little cooler and sometimes a little warmer).

So, a long sleeve shirt or light sweatshirt is good idea to carry with you. My kids all start the day with their sweatshirts on and by 11 o’clock they get wrapped around their waists or thrown in the bag.

This time of year is also one where it could be beautifully clear one minute and then thundering and lightening a few minutes later. Keeping a few ponchos in your bag for the family is a great idea, especially because they take up such little space.

Finally, because of the unpredictability of the rain, having an extra pair socks in your bag is a good idea as well. The last thing you need is wet feet after a middle of the day storm.

Disney Bag Essentials For Summer

Around the beginning of May is when the weather really starts to heat up in Orlando and the heat stays until at least October. So, even though summer officially starts at the end of June and goes thru September, this area of the world follows its own weather rules.

Sunscreen is a must for the summer given the intensity of the sun. The recommendation is to put sunscreen on every 2 hours when active and sweating (and you will sweat) so forget having to run back to the hotel every time you need more sunscreen and just carry it with you.

Mist fans and cooling towels are also essential for the hot months. It is so easy to carry those cooling towels and they have saved us from a lot of whiny afternoons. The kids love to soak them in the water fountains or use the free water and ice from the Quick Service Restaurants and get us all cooled down. Yes, they can drip down your clothes, but because the sun is so hot, your clothes dry pretty quickly.

The one thing to know about the summer in Orlando is that it rains. It rains at least once a day, typically around mid afternoon. Usually the storm lasts for less than 30 minutes but it could be longer.

So, don’t even think about bringing the long sleeve shirts and keep the ponchos readily available in your bag. Wearing water proof shoes (Natives or something like it) is a plus but if those are uncomfortable to walk in all day (and you’ll be walking A LOT), then throw a light pair of shoes e.g flip flops in your bag along with a plastic bag (like a Target or supermarket bag) to wear for the rain and then use the plastic bag to put your dirty shoes in.

A larger drawstring plastic bag can be useful to have to put over your backpack – keeping everything dry if you are caught in a rain shower.

Disney Bag Essentials For Fall/Autumn

Even though fall is officially the end of September until the end of December, fall in Orlando is really the time in between October and December. Autumn weather is similar to the spring weather here in Orlando, however the humidity is usually higher so it tends to feel warmer.

Keeping a light long sleeve shirt in your bag is great for early morning rope drops or end of the day fireworks, but it’s really not needed throughout much of the day. By this time of year, the rain is less predictable than in the summer but during these months, it’s usually pretty drier so ponchos are easy to bring but not always necessary. Check the weather report before you head out to see if it is a good idea to pack or not.

Disney Bag Essentials For Winter

Winter is the shortest season here in Orlando. Sometimes it feels more like fall during January and February but it has been known to get into the 40’s at night which lasts through until about 7 or 8 in the morning.

Packing an extra sweatshirt, while usually not necessary during the day, is an essential for the morning and the evening. For those more used to the warmer weather, dressing in layers helps to keep the cold at bay.

Use your judgement based on your family’s needs in visiting our beautiful state and anything you forget can certainly be purchased in the park (or at local Walmarts and Targets just off of the Disney campus).

Additional Disney packing list items to bring for every month of the year

What to pack for Disney World in January

January is usually the coldest month of the year in Disney World, with average temperatures in the low to mid-70s. It can reach the 40s at night, so packing an extra sweatshirt is essential for the morning and evening, and dressing in layers helps to keep the cold at bay. A water ride might get you soaked, so something warm and dry to wrap up will be appreciated!

What to pack for Disney World in February

Packing for Disney in February is much the same as January but bear in mind it will be getting a little warmer. It’s important to remember those extra layers and sweatshirts. The other thing to remember when packing for Disney World in February is that it’s Valentine’s Day! If you intend to treat your loved one to a romantic dinner, make sure you remember to check the dress code for the restaurant you book and take appropriate clothing.

What to pack for Disney World in March

Your packing list for Disney World in March will be based on my recommendations for Spring. Don’t forget your raincoat or poncho. You’ll probably want a jumper or jacket first thing and a bag to pack it in when it warms up late morning.

What to pack for Disney World in April

A packing list for Disney World in April will need to cater for the unpredictable weather. Think glorious sunshine with April showers dotted about. There will be torrential rain but when it stops, everywhere will quickly be warm and dry again.

What to pack for Disney world in May

Your packing list for Disney World in May will be based around keeping cool. Whilst it’s not yet officially summer, it’s starting to get warm! Remember plenty of sun screen, sun hats and ponchos because it still rains around once a day in the warmer months.

What to pack for Disney World in June

Packing for Disney World in June means being prepared for full on Summer heat. When deciding what to pack for Disney World in June, remember to make sure your waterproofs or ponchos are as light as possible. It’s still hot when it rains, plus you’re going to be carrying them around all day. Think about mist fans and cooling towels to help beat the heat.

What to pack for Disney World in July

July is an extremely hot month in Florida. Cooling towels and portable fans will make your days more pleasant. You’ll still be needing to reapply sunscreen ever couple of hours and look out for those rain showers. Waterproof shoes or sandals are great as well as your lightweight ponchos. Think about mist fans and cooling towels to help beat the heat.

What to pack for Disney World in August

If you’ve visited Disney World in August, you’ll know it is going to be extremely hot! Bring light fabrics, ponchos, and water-resistant shoes to stay cool and mobile in August in Orlando. Head inside to the air conditioning for a break from the heat. You’ll only need to pack a sweater if you intend to spend a lot of time in an air conditioned villa. Think about mist fans and cooling towels to help beat the heat.

What to pack for Disney World in September

September is the last of the very hot months at Disney World. Whilst it is officially fall, you’re going to need to stick with the light clothing along with waterproofs that you would pack for summer. Think about mist fans and cooling towels to help beat the heat. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party nights will be in full swing, so think about any Halloween themed items you might want to wear.

What to pack for Disney World in October

Your packing for Disney world in October is back to the sort of things I recommended for spring. Pack a light long sleeve shirt for morning and evening. It tends to be fairly dry in fall so ponchos are not essential but they’re a light thing to pack just in case. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party nights will be in full swing, so think about any Halloween themed items you might want to wear.

What to pack for Disney World in November

Packing for Disney World in November is much the same as October. If you are travelling from a cooler climate, don’t be tricked into thinking it’s going to be cold! You’ll probably want a light sweatshirt if you enter the park early in the morning, but remember a bag to pack it into as it warms up.

Packing list for Disney World in December

It’s edging towards Winter in December in Florida so your Disney bag essentials will include light layers for morning and evenings which can feel a little chilly. Don’t forget to pack something sparkly and fun to wear on Christmas day!

Writing Out Your Disney Packing List

You may have noticed that a few websites offer a Disney packing list printable. One thing to bear in mind is there may be things you’ll want to take that the writer wouldn’t even consider. Likewise, their “packing light” might be your version of taking the kitchen sink.

We have some packing lists in the making right now with plenty of space for you to add your unique items too. Tick each one off as you place it into your case, making sure you don’t forget the essentials like favourite cuddly toys and medication.

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