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17 Top Amusement Park Packing List Items for 2022 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

what to pack for an amusement park
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Everyone loves an amusement park. Well, almost everyone. Since you found yourself here it’s safe to assume that you are a fan of rides, cotton candy, and everything else that comes along with visiting an amusement park. It’s important to mention that no two parks are exactly the same.

Some of us visit Disney regularly while others prefer the local Six Flags destination, like Great America in Gurnee, Illinois. No matter what theme park you’ve chosen for a few days of fun, our packing list will help you decide what items are essential to pack and what you should leave behind. Because there is nothing worse than carrying around a bunch of stuff you don’t need. Let’s get started.

What to Pack for an Amusement Park – 17 Essentials

  • 1. Portable Charger

    It’s hard to think of many places better for candid shots than an amusement park. They’re also a wonderful atmosphere for families to get together, which leads to videos and pictures with park characters or in front of iconic structures, like Cinderella’s castle in Disney World. It wouldn’t be fun for your battery to die when you’re taking the perfect pic. Be prepared.

  • 2. Neck Wallet

    Parks are full of people and crowds. As much as we hate to say it, there are thieves among us. Pickpockets love distracted tourists. Plus, it can simply fall out of your back pocket. This neck wallet from Hero is a wonderful way for all genders and ages, to keep their valuables close to their heart.

  • 3. Life Straw Water Bottle

    I like to have water wherever I go, and I like to use a reusable bottle because free water isn’t hard to find. Not to mention that you’re doing your part to help the environment by not purchasing those disposable plastic bottles in great numbers. The Life Straw filters any water so you can fill it from any faucet and have clean drinking water. It doesn’t remove salt though.

  • 4. Quick-Dry Towel

    Water parks are among the most popular of all fun lands, especially when the heat of summer hits. If you’re going to bring a towel with you, it should be a quick dry towel. They’re lightweight and dry fast, just like the name implies. Most parks have water rides and walking around drenching wet can be a problem. If you’ll be on water rides, this is the towel for the trip.

  • 5. Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    Having wet clothes on is one thing, but if your phone gets wet, that’s an entirely different issue. We keep everything on our phones. Our credit cards, entrance tickets, banking info, you name it. Our entire lives are in these little boxes we hold casually. What if it gets wet and dies? Be prepared and get a waterproof case for protection.

  • 6. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Sometimes we purchase tickets to theme parks and then the weather doesn’t agree with our plans. That’s when you bring a nice travel umbrella like this one. It’s small, easy to pack, and windproof so you’re ready for anything that Mother Nature throws at you. It’s also light so you’ll barely notice it’s there.

  • 7. Daypack

    Some parks won’t let you reenter once you leave. So, heading to your car for a minute isn’t possible. This is when you have to plan for the entire day, which is easy to do if you have the right gear. That means the best pack to carry it all around. This backpack is waterproof and can fit a ton of items that you’ll need for your adventure.

  • 8. Packing Cubes

    Some parks do let you leave and come back. If you’re traveling there by car, these packing cubes are perfect for storing items like snacks and a first aid kit. Water parks require extra clothing, and these will help you keep it all organized. They also fit nicely into a wagon, so you can bring stuff with you into the park.

  • 9. Travel Insurance

    Not all theme parks are a short car ride away. Many travelers fly to other places, to visit fun amusement parks. Travel insurance is a fantastic way to protect your reservations and plans when you’ll be far away from home. Travelinsurance.com offers affordable rates and the security travelers need.

  • 10. Cooling Towel

    Amusement parks are typically open during the summer when the heat can be a bit too much. Add long lines and wait times to hit your favorite rides and a person can suffer greatly. This cooling towel by Hero is wonderful for bringing your body temperatures down when you need it.

  • 11. Water Shoes

    Flip-flops are light, but they can be slippery when wet. Water shoes are great for rides like sitting on a log and riding it down a waterfall. You won’t have to worry about stepping on anything sharp or worry about the hassle of constantly changing your shoes. You can wear these the entire day in comfort.

  • 12. Collapsible Wagon

    Wagons are wonderful, especially if you have a lot of kids or friends going with you. You can pack your water bottles, snacks, and cooling towels into one of those packing tubes and cart them all around the park. These are also nice if your kids are little, and they tire of walking quickly.

  • 13. Sunscreen

    The sun can really beat down on you at an amusement park. Sometimes there’s shade but, when you’re standing in a long line, there’s no escaping it in certain areas. Sunscreen is an essential item if you’re traveling to a park in the summer. Even in the spring and fall, the sun is strong so be ready.

  • 14. Lip Balm

    While we spray our bodies with sunscreen, our lips are typically exposed. Lip balms with SPF protection are small, easy to pack, and will protect you from those harmful UV rays while you wait to ride The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman in Orlando. Aquaphor will also keep your lips soft.

  • 15. Hand Sanitizer

    The pandemic has taught us all that germs are everywhere. It’s impossible to go to an amusement park and avoid touching areas that have already had hands on them. Door handles, railings, and so many other things have other human’s germs on them. So, pack plenty of sanitizers.

  • 16. Hand Wipes

    Hand wipes are another great way to keep your paws clean. Plus, snack get messy, and napkins don’t have the same power. If you add a few packs of Wet Ones to that collapsible wagon, you’ll have something to clean your children’s hands at any given moment of the day.

  • 17. Cooler

    If you have several able-bodied adults going with you and the park allows people to bring in coolers, we highly recommend doing what you can to bring one with you. Drinks at parks are expensive. You can save money by packing juice boxes and lemonade instead of buying it there.

What to Wear to an Amusement Park


Even though all amusement parks are different and not in the same location on the planet, the general idea is the same. You go in and try out as many things as you can in a day. Some parks are a one-day trip while others can engulf our attention for several days. When it comes to clothing only one thing matters: comfort.

Don’t wear uncomfortable items. It’s that simple. From your head to your toes, you should be able to move easily and not be tied up with cumbersome clothing items. If you’re hitting water rides often, consider wearing a bathing suit so you’re not stuck in wet underwear the entire day.


What Should WOMEN Wear at an Amusement Park? – (Click to expand)

Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

It doesn’t matter what gender you are, when you spend the day walking around a theme park under the hot sun, you want to be comfortable and cool. Shorts and t-shirts work well, and they fit nicely over a swimming suit. For those that are sensitive to the sun, you might want to consider the sun protection shirt.

Depending on when you’re heading to the park, you may want to consider that light jacket if it’s going to get cool. Waterproof bags or daypacks are also essential so you can carry your things in one convenient place.

What Should MEN Wear at an Amusement Park? – (Click to expand)

Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

If you notice, the men’s list isn’t much different than the woman’s. Besides a few more feminine items, we suggest the same for men when it comes to clothing. Comfort is key. Shoes that cause blisters will ruin your day so make sure they’re good walking shoes.

Swim trunks can be worn as shorts if you’re hitting a few water rides, but if the park you’re visiting isn’t a full-on water park, then be sure to bring dry shorts and underwear so you can change when the water portion of your day is over.

Packing for the Seasons at an Amusement Park

Summer


Summer is arguably the busiest season for amusement parks. This is the time of year when kids are off from school and it’s easy to travel around. You won’t need jeans or jackets most likely, but some destinations have questionable weather patterns. Be sure to follow the local forecast and pack accordingly.

Fall

Some parks are in sunny Florida, where it’s warm most of the year. But others are in the Midwest of the United States that tend to have colder climates. If the park is open in the fall, be sure to pay attention to the local weather before packing. Florida can get as low as 50´F, which requires a jacket and layers.

Winter


There are parks that close for the winter months and others open year-round. Packing for the area is the best advice we can give. If the park is in a geographical location that is constantly hot, don’t sweat the jeans and jacket. But, as we’ve mentioned, it can be cool at night in hot places in the winter, so be prepared and do your weather research.

Spring

This is a fun time to visit theme parks because it’s not too crowded and some are just reopening for the season and tons of fun. Spring has its moments and cold spells so don’t forget the windbreaker. But pay attention to the forecast so you’re prepared.

Dressing Appropriately for the Activity – (Click to expand)

Going on Rides

Water rides may require a bathing suit, while roller coasters don’t require special clothing, as long as it’s comfortable. Short skirts on roller coasters are more a hassle than anything. Put comfort over fashion and you’ll have fun.

Having Lunch

Whether you’re eating at the park’s vegan restaurant or snacking on crackers from the trunk of your car, lunch is a great time to consider if you need to change clothing for the rest of the day.

Watching Shows

Indoor places tend to be air-conditioned, so don’t go in to watch a show after you get off a water ride. Be in dry clothing and have something with sleeves on you in case you get a chill.

Shopping

This is another activity you don’t want to do in wet clothing. Stores are also air-conditioned so be prepared. I’m not saying bring a jacket to Florida in July for the stores but be aware.

Hanging Out

Sometimes watching others is a fun activity. Especially when you’ve been walking for hours and need a break. There’s no specific set of clothing that you need to hang out on, which is an opportune moment to let your bathing suit dry.

What NOT to Bring to an Amusement Park

  • 1.Expensive Jewelry

    Diamonds and pearls have no place on a ride that drops your twenty stories or a rollercoaster that flips you upside down. Leave them at home where they are safe. If you need bling, grab the costume jewelry.

  • 2.Unnecessary Clothing

    Again, paying attention to the local forecast around the park is the best way to know what you need. If it’s going to be 80° you don’t need the sweater. Leave it at home.

  • 3.Unnecessary Valuables

    iPads and laptops are not necessary at a park. You won’t need them, and they could get damaged. Leave your valuables where they’re safe so they will be there when you do need them.

  • 4.Heavy Books

    Some people like to read in line because it can take hours. If you’re one of those people, get a Kindle app for your phone and use it at the park. You don’t want to lug around heavy books.

  • 5.High-Heeled/Uncomfortable Shoes

    This goes back to my tirade about comfort. High-heeled shoes are gorgeous on most people, but they aren’t practical. Amusement Park fun requires comfort and practicality.

  • 6.Unnecessary Items

    Do you need that tripod? What about that sweatshirt? Packing light for a day at the park is the key to happiness. Unless you most definitely need it, odds are you don’t. If you forget anything, the park will likely have options.

FAQs about Amusement Parks

  • 1. Are the lines long?

    Some lines can take hours. This is something that you need to be prepared for because it gets super boring. So, in short, yes. The lines can be very long. And sometimes you can get lucky and there’s no line at all. A lot of amusement parks offer fast passes. Your purchase these passes in addition to the general admission ticket and they let you skip the majority of the line. They can be pretty pricy but if you don’t want to spend all of your time waiting in line then they are definitely worth it.

    Are the lines long?
  • 2. Should I buy tickets in advance?

    This isn’t a bad idea, especially if you are traveling from another state or country. Parks have caps on how many people are allowed in per day. You don’t want to get there to find that there aren’t tickets available.

  • 3. What time should we arrive at the park?

    As early as possible. Theme parks are huge with tons to see and do. If you jump on it early, you’ll get to see more. But there’s no rule about this though. If you’re more casual, then go later. It’s all a personal preference. If you are spending several days at an amusement park then some days you might prefer to start early and end early. On other days you might want to only go in the evening for the nighttime shows.

    What time should we arrive at the park?
  • 4. Should we stay at a hotel on the park grounds?

    If the park offers lodging it never hurts to check it out. But they tend to be more expensive due to convenience and the experience they offer. Sometimes it makes more sense to stay somewhere else near the park but not right on the grounds.

  • 5. Are two and three-day passes worth it?

    They can be if you plan on spending that many days at the park. We keep going back to Florida, but Orlando has twelve main theme parks. If you’re traveling there, you might want to hit a different park each day. Try to plan accordingly. These parks often offer bundle packages where you can save money by buying passes for several different parks and for multi-day use.

    Are two and three-day passes worth it?
  • 6. How should we plan ahead?

    It never hurts to get a map of the park and make a game plan the day before you go. That way, everyone can voice their opinion about what they want to do so there are no disagreements at the park, which will only waste time.

  • 7. Will there be any unexpected expenses?

    There might be, so it makes sense to be prepared for them. It never hurts to have some cash on you as well, just in case. If there is one thing, we can all depend on is how undependable technology can be at times. But don’t carry all cash in case you lose it. It’s also worth mentioning that some parks might not accept cash so find out before you hit the ATM.

    Will there be any unexpected expenses?