Packing For Theme Parks
I'm often asked about my must haves for theme parks so I thought I'd make a handy list! This list includes Amazon Affiliate links, which help support this site. A lot of my clients are adults traveling without kids, so I'll start with grownups and add some family recommendations to the end. 1. COMFORTABLE SHOES! I like Clarks Cloud Steppers, but mine were too worn out on this last trip and I ended up with blisters. I finally joined Team Crocs and I may never go back. People have been telling me for years that these are the most comfortable shoes for theme parks and I can finally put my stamp of approval on that. I think the Crocs difference is that the material never sticks to your feet, no matter how hot it is. 2. You may end up with blisters anyway, so let me give you some advice: the gift shops sell sheets of MOLESKIN, but you don't want to be snipping those sheets to toe-size when you could only bring nail clippers in your carry on. I can't tell you how many times I have had to do that. Bring the pre-cut kind.
3. RAIN GEAR - I'm fortunate in that I often travel in the off season, so the summer rain doesn't cramp my style. But if you're going to Florida between May-October, it's almost definitely going to rain. Most people prefer ponchos, which you can buy in the park gift shops if you want to gamble, or buy them before your trip and come prepared! 4. PORTABLE CHARGING - All the parks have apps now, so you'll be using that and your camera a lot. I am a huge fan of Fuel Rod, which has free swapping at WDW, but a lot of people prefer to bring their own longer-lasting charger. I love the idea of solar chargers, which can hang from your backpack on the included hook. 5. You need a BAG of some type. I have no recommendation here because this is so personal. Some people love Loungefly, some like a string backpack, some like a crossbody or a fanny pack.
6. WATER BOTTLE - You can always get free ice water at quick service locations at WDW, but I still like to have a Brita filter bottle when I travel. (Mark this on your calendar: Water Bottle Wednesday - that's cleaning day! And make sure you replace the filters regularly.)
7. This is a tip from my travel group member Keesha: Keep those condensation drips off your 'fit with JavaSok for your iced coffee or other cold drinks. 8. WIPES - even pre-COVID, wipes are essential. We like WetOnes travel packs.
9. For those who like leggings, this recommendation comes from Erin: Leggings with pockets! I came around on this one recently too. I thought leggings would be way too hot, but a good pair of athletic leggings is perfectly comfortable and protects you from the sun!
For those who don't like leggings: Francis is an unapologetic fan of Union Bay cargo shorts, and I'm a fan of people wearing what they like. For the ultimate in Veteran Dad Fashion he would also like to present convertible cargo pants shorts. 10. FAN - Florida is so hot and it gets hotter earlier every year. I saw these personal neck fans EVERYWHERE on our last trip! For the babes, get a rechargeable stroller fan.
NEW! 11. TOWEL - Take a page from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and always carry a towel. I just discovered Sandcloud's Disney Collection and received my Mickey Yantra Mandala. These Turkish cotton towels are beautiful prints and SO SOFT, softer than other brands I've tried. I love that these prints are cute enough to wear as a shawl in a chilly restaurant, while also being practical for drying off after Splash Mountain or an afternoon downpour.
FOR FAMILIES: 12. Theme parks are a lot, and I mean A LOT of walking. You will not regret having a stroller up until and maybe through age 7. If you don't use a stroller at home anymore, or don't want to fly with one, I have companies I recommend for renting in Orlando. Thanks to those rental companies, I have tried a few different brands, and I can tell you my all time favorite is the Summit X3 Baby Jogger. It has a weight limit of 75lbs so it can fit bigger kids, and it's way easier to fold than the Bob. The most popular stroller in the parks and from rental companies is the Baby Jogger City Mini but the weight limit on those is 50lbs. My favorite BUDGET stroller for travel, especially if you're flying, is the Summer Infant 3D Lite. That stroller was a champ for us for many, many trips. I don't think you can find a better, more affordable stroller that reclines and is comfortable for tall parents. 13. STROLLER ACCESSORIES - Much like a map, you'll never get a stroller rain cover folded again, so you might as well get the cheap one. Also, if you rent from Scooterbug (the main on-site rental for WDW), they are ALWAYS out of cup holders. Get a universal cup holder. I wish I had known about these when we were constantly losing cup holders for our Summer Infant stroller. 14. TRAVEL BOOSTER: We love the Mifold Travel Booster for kids 4+, 40-100lbs, and 40-59" tall. This booster seat fits in a handbag or backpack and is so much faster and easier to use right off an airplane than the inflatable type.
FOR SPECIAL NEEDS: Theme parks can be sensory overload! I wanted to cry when my Loop ear plugs lost a cover on this last trip, when my youngling was also struggling with noise. For kids, we love ZOHAN ear muffs, which come in lots of cool designs.