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21 Top Disney Packing List Items for 2022 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

21 Top Disney Packing List Items for 2022 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring
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When I was about eight years old, my father, Robby Benson, got cast as the voice of the Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Ever since then, my family has been a part of Disney history!

I know Disney World like the back of my hand and have really great insider tips for all types of visitors. I’ve been there in every season: winter, spring, summer, and fall. Summers in Disney World are hot and rainy and can be brutal if you’re not properly prepared, and winters can be surprisingly cold.

Having the right gear can take your trip from disaster to magic! I’ve also included what to wear at Disney and what NOT to bring.

My husband and kids on our recent Disney World adventure
My husband and kids on our recent Disney World adventure

What to Pack for Disney – 21 Essentials

  • 1. Wearable Neck Wallet

    A neck wallet is an essential item for Disney to ensure your valuables are safe even when you’re going 60 mph on a roller coaster! The idea behind these pouches is to keep your items tucked away discreetly and securely, and they’re very effective! I wear one and tuck it under my shirt or jacket to minimize the risk of pickpocketing, and to make sure that I don’t drop or otherwise lose my valuables (including my phone!) while I’m Disney-ing with my family.

  • 2. Handheld Fan

    Getting overheated on a fun-packed and busy family trip can ruin your entire day, and keep you from taking part in certain activities. I always recommend bringing a personal fan with you to help keep yourself and your kid(s) plenty cool in the theme-park heat. I love this one – it’s compact and hand-held but kicks out a great breeze. It’ll keep you cool when you need it, and can be stored in your daybag when you don’t.

  • 3. Cooling Towel

    One of the lesser-known facts about Disney parks (and really most amusement parks) is that they can be incredibly hot even when the weather isn’t blistering. The combination of reflective surfaces concentrating the sun, pavement and blacktop paths soaking in the heat, and very little shade can really cause some intense temperatures. This chilly pad can be carried around and worn to keep you cooler for longer! It’s easy to use, easy to store when not in use, and works really well. I highly recommend bringing one – just wet it in a sink or drinking fountain, squeeze excess water out, and enjoy the pleasant chill!

  • 4. Waterproof Backpack

    Okay, this is a seriously non-negotiable item for me when going to places like Disney. When you bring items onto rides like Splash Mountain, you’ll have to store them on the (wet) floorboard of the ride car, where they’ll get wet with the water from the ride! Protect them with this water-resistant backpack. It’s actually described as the “perfect backpack for any Disney trip” because of its great waterproof coating and sleek, compact, but high-volume design. Plus it folds up into its own tiny storage pouch when not in use so it won’t take up much space when packing.

  • 5. HERO Packing Cubes

    Staying organized while with your family at Disney is essential for the enjoyment of all. These cubes make it easy to know exactly where everyone’s belongings are because you can keep all t-shirts in one cube and all pants in another etc. They also have an index card holder on the back so you can write what’s in each cube. If you’re going as a family we recommend getting a different color set per family member and you’ll never be confused about where everyone’s things are again. A TOTAL GAME CHANGER!

    Available on with an exclusive 15% discount using the coupon code “HERO”.

  • 6. Brita Filtered Water Bottle

    Carrying a refillable water bottle with you is always a good idea when you’re at Disney or any similar park. They charge out the wazoo for bottled drinks, but if you bring your own water bottle and simply fill it at drinking fountains you’ll be set for the day and have extra cash to spend on more enjoyable things. I personally like to have the filter in my water bottle to be extra sure that the water is clean and clear enough for my family and me.

  • 7. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    A quick-dry towel will come in handy in so many ways. You can sit on it, dry off with it, and use it to keep the sun and sweat off your skin. If you’re traveling with little ones, you’ll surely need a towel to dry them off after they play in the water. These towels are perfect for a day (or days!) at Disney because they dry extremely fast. No more lugging around soggy, stinky towels!

  • 8. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    This portable charger is a favorite in my family. It’s compact – about the size of a tube of lipstick – and still holds several charges before it needs to be plugged in to power back up. It can recharge your phone, camera, and other small electronics while you’re on the go since it uses standard USB cables, and it can do its job while tucked safely inside your daybag!

  • 9. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    It’s funny, but the way that the weather is around Disney World makes it hard to predict when it’s going to rain and it rains A LOT. Storms can pop up out of nowhere and leave you soggy for the rest of the day if you’re unprepared. Carrying around a windproof travel umbrella (or two) is a great way to be prepared no matter when the rains come. This one also comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee.

  • 10. Blister Balm

    I try to bring blister prevention with me whenever I know I’m going to be doing a lot of walking, even if I’m walking in trusted shoes. Excessive walking is hard enough on my feet, I don’t need blisters adding to that and ruining my day! This balm is fantastic – it glides on smoothly, stays on for a long time, and protects my feet from the friction that causes blisters.

  • 11. Picnic Blanket for Parades

    Some of the most fun parts of any Disney park experience are the parades. They’re colorful, entertaining for all age groups, and a great way to see all of your family’s favorite characters. Because they can last a while and I prefer to find a great viewing spot before parades start, I always bring a comfortable blanket to sit on while we wait. This one is very compact when folded, so you can easily carry it with you or store it in a rented locker until parade time.

  • 12. Waterproof Cell Phone Case

    I am so sold on this phone case. I love that it’s waterproof, dust/dirt proof and shock-resistant. I also love that I can seal my phone inside and still have access to the touchscreen and the camera so I can get pictures on rides and at attractions without the worry. The fact that it’s super-affordable makes it a no-brainer!

  • 13. Glow Sticks

    Glow sticks are a necessity if you’ll be staying after dark for any park festivities. Trust me: if you’re going to bring your kids to a nighttime parade or show, everyone seems to have them. The park sells them at exorbitant prices, but you can always bring in your own and save a TON of money! That way you can be the kids’ hero without breaking the bank.

  • 14. Universal Travel Adapter

    If you’re visiting Disney from outside of North America, then chances are you’ll need a travel adapter to charge and use your electronics. Disney certainly has adapters for sale, but they’ll likely be overpriced and unlikely to be universal. It’s best to come prepared with a travel adapter you know you can use in Disney plus other places you visit abroad. I really like this one because it comes with two USB ports so you can charge multiple devices at once.

  • 15. Travel Insurance

    As much as we hope everything goes smoothly on vacation, accidents and cancelations unfortunately happen. Paying a little money for travel insurance just in case can save you a whole lot in the event that something does happen. We like to use to find the right travel insurance for our trips. You can compare policies from top companies to find the type of coverage you want. The website is super helpful and it’s what we recommend to all our friends.

  • 16. Comfortable Water Shoes

    We found out the hard way that walking around Disney in soggy shoes is horribly uncomfortable. My solution was to wear these fantastic mesh shoes! They’re built like sneakers so they’re very comfortable and supportive for walking around the park all day, but they’re also made of breathable mesh which allows both air and water to flow through them. Water doesn’t get trapped inside, so you don’t have to slosh around in wet shoes after riding Splash Mountain!

  • 17. Affordable Waterproof Camera

    I can’t stress enough the danger that water poses to your non-waterproof electronics. Even with a water-resistant backpack, it’s likely that your camera will be exposed to water at some point, especially if you’re planning on taking any pictures! Bring a waterproof camera to capture those memories without the worry of water damage.

  • 18. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    As you can imagine, there are A LOT, of visitors at Disney every day. That also means there are a lot of strangers connecting to public wifi networks in the park, hotels, and restaurants. You could potentially be putting your digital information at risk by joining one of these unsecured networks. A VPN is the best way to keep private information safe from hackers who may try and steal your passwords or credit card numbers. It’s extremely easy to use. We like NordVPN. All you do is download their app and turn on the VPN whenever you want to use your computer or other devices. That’s all it takes to protect your online information.

  • 19. Natural Deodorant Wipes

    The heat and activity combined can leave you feeling sticky and stinky. Instead of just dealing with it or trying to clean up with paper towels in the public bathroom (hey, we’ve all been there), try these lovely deodorant wipes. They can be carried with you for on-the-go use. They’re also safe and gentle, and will leave you feeling much cleaner and nicer-smelling.

  • 20. Sun Hat

    Especially if you have fair skin, a good sun hat can be a lifesaver on warm sunny days. It’s always good to stick a sun hat on the little ones so that they don’t overheat and so that the sun doesn’t get in their eyes. This one is inexpensive and comes in all sizes.

  • 21. Stroller Clips

    These stroller clips are a must-have for anyone traveling with kids. They’ll keep all of your loose items attached to the stroller or cart that you’re using. This makes life so much easier when little ones are trying their hardest to scatter blankies, sippy cups, toys, etc. to the four winds while you’re navigating Disney! Even your purse, camera, daybag, and other heavier items can be secured with these sturdy clips.

What to Wear at Disney

To fully enjoy your Disney experience, it’s important to stay comfortable and cool in the summertime and warm in the winter. Wear comfortable walking shoes, breathable clothing, and definitely nothing that will chafe. Always bring a sun hat, and be ready for rain with a poncho.

It can get very hot in the park, so pack a lot of lightweight clothing items – shorts and tank tops should do the trick for most travelers. If you’re going in the winter, dress in layers. Long-sleeved shirts and jeans or leggings are perfect!

You may also want to bring or wear a swimsuit and swimsuit cover-up if you’ll be visiting the water park or riding a lot of water rides. Walking around in soggy clothing is miserable, and a swimsuit cover-up will alleviate this problem since it dries quickly and stays comfortable while wet. Along these same lines, mesh water shoes that you can also comfortably walk around in all day may be the best shoe option for those who will go on any water rides at all. Wet shoes are miserable and can cause blisters, so quick-dry water shoes will save you a lot of discomfort.

What NOT to Bring to Disney World

  • 1.DON’T BRING Perfume or Body Spray

    A lot of people get headaches from strong perfumes. Since you’ll be in close-quarters in the crowded park, be respectful and stick to neutral smells!

  • 2.DON’T PACK Uncomfortable Shoes

    A day at Disney involves a lot of walking. Ditch the sandals or trendy boots and opt for sneakers, tennis shoes, or Crocs.

  • 3.DON’T BRING Drones

    Drones are also not allowed. Although it might be tempting to capture the awesomeness of Disney World with a bird’s eye view video, drones can be dangerous with the rides and crowds in the park.

  • 4.DON’T TAKE Skateboards

    Skateboards are not allowed in the park. Leave it at the hotel and explore the park on foot.

  • 5.DON’T PACK Shoes with Wheels

    No heelies allowed here! Accidents are bound to happen when you mix kids, roller skates, and big crowds.

  • 6.DON’T BRING Wagons

    Unfortunately you cannot bring wagons into the park. If you have little kids who might not be able to walk for very long, bring a carrier.

  • 7.DON’T TAKE Other Restricted Items

    Here is an official list of restricted items in Disney World

FAQs about Disney Vacations

  • 1. What shoes would be best for children who are not used to walking around all day?

    The best option is to have them wear these enclosed mesh water shoes which are also comfortable for walking and will dry quickly. They are fairly easy to put on and take off, but kids can’t easily kick them off while riding or being carried. Crocs that fit well are also a good option. They’re breathable, comfortable, and easy to slip on and off if you think you’ll need to be able to do so.

  • 2. Can I bring in food and beverages into Disney parks?

    Guests are allowed to bring food items like snacks or foods that do not require heating into Disney theme parks. Non-alcoholic beverages are also welcome, so try to plan ahead and bring some juices and snacks for the kids and some water or other cold drinks for the grown-ups!

  • 3. Will there be lockers available in the park?

    Disney World offers lockers that are available for a (somewhat pricey) fee. You can rent a key-operated locker that you can access all day for a one-time fee. A $5 refundable deposit is also required for each locker key.

  • 4. What are the best Disney movies to watch before trip?

    We have a great resource on the best Disney movies of all time. In this list, you will find timeless Disney classics but also more recent blockbusters. We recommend researching the parks that you’ll be visiting to see what movies inspired each attraction. Truthfully, there is nothing better than watching a few of the greatest Disney films to inspire the whole family for your upcoming trip!

  • 5. Should I stay in a Disney park hotel? Or is it better to stay at an off-park hotel?

    You can benefit from stay at an on-park hotel. Staying at a hotel on the park campus will get you extended park hours, and they’re good at matching competitors’ prices. This option is ideal for those who can’t or don’t want to travel between the park and an offsite hotel. The convenience of staying close to the parks themselves is hard to beat, and often saves money.


    Should I stay in a Disney park hotel? Or is it better to stay at an off-park hotel?
  • 6. Can you leave and re-enter Disney parks in the same day?

    Yes, but your park allowance depends on the pass. If you purchased a Base Pass for one park, you may leave and re-enter that particular park as many times during the same day as you wish. If you chose to go with the Park-Hopper option, you can enter multiple parks on the same day, so you’re less limited.

    Some people choose to seek reprieve from the heat by taking a lunch or hotel pool break during the hottest hours of the day. Those folks often come back in to the parks to enjoy the afternoon and evening festivities, such as the parades and fireworks. If you do this, don’t forget your glow sticks! They’re pricey in the park.

  • 7. Is foreign currency exchange available at Disney?

    Yes! You can exchange your foreign currency to US dollars at any Guest Relations (in the parks), or Lobby Concierge/Front Desk (in the resorts) on Disney property. I don’t recommend carrying around excessive amounts of cash, but a little is fine.

  • 8. Can I use my own wheelchair at Disney parks?

    Of course! Everybody has different needs, so your personal wheelchair is welcome at Disney parks. If you do not have your own wheelchair, the park has some that you can use, but they’re available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • 9. What kinds of non-ride and non-show attractions are there?

    If you’re looking for something to do in between or instead of rides and shows, look no further than Tom Sawyer Island, The Pirates League, and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. There are so many things to do that don’t involve riding rides or seeing shows, but these three are especially fun for all ages.

    Tom Sawyer Island encourages all sorts of exploration and imagination. The Pirates League (for all ages) and the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (ages 2-12) are Disney’s way of including you in the dress-up fun while at the park, so if you’ve got a family member who is a fan of costumes, these are the places to go.

    There’s also the Swiss Family Treehouse if a bit of light staircase-climbing and treehouse exploring are on the agenda! Take a look at more Disney World attractions here.

    What kinds of non-ride and non-show attractions are there?