Last update December 16th 2017 There are lots of items that people miss frequently when packing for Disneyland. In this Disneyland Packing list and checklist, I really tried to sweat the small stuff to make sure you won’t forget to pack anything for your Disneyland vacation.
I want to fully answer the question: “What should I bring to Disneyland?”
Disneyland Packing List
Let’s dive into our huge Disneyland packing list with…
What to Wear to Disneyland
When making your Disneyland packing list of clothes, think about what you would wear during a city vacation to be comfortable walking for miles. However, remember that you will be taking pictures that you will have forever, so you should pick a look you like.
Check the weather for the dates of your Disneyland vacation. In general it will be hot during the day, but rain and colder nights are not uncommon in the area. (See Disneyland weather here.)
Two pairs of comfortable walking shoes: During my last trip I only brought one pair of walking shoes and by the end of the trip I was really regretting it (we had walked over 9 miles each day). When I am planning well, I bring two pairs of pre-broken-in shoes and switch off every day.
And I do mean broken in. Make sure that you have at least two pairs and that you test out the shoes in the weeks before your trip. If your feet hurt even a tiny bit, pick a new pair to bring to Disneyland.
One more thing on the shoes…
Don’t be like Sofia Vergara’s character on “Modern Family” and wear high heels to the park. The only remedy to high heels is to buy squishy bright yellow Minnie Mouse shoes like she did (the video is pretty funny). She ignored our Disneyland packing list…
Extra Layers: The weather can vary dramatically depending on the time of year that you are visiting. Be sure to check weather forecasts before your trip and plan accordingly. Even when it is forecast to be hot during the day, I always have a long-sleeve pullover to put on when the temperature drops at night.
Dress up clothes: There is no dress code for the more upscale restaurants around the Disneyland Resort. However, the meals feel more like a special occasion when you dress up and change your clothes. The fanciest I ever go is a button down shirt and pants. Sometimes the girls put on a dress for dinner.
You should only really consider dressing up for the top restaurants at the resort. I would strongly consider dressing up if you are eating at Steakhouse 55, Carthay Circle Theater, or Napa Rose. You can see all our Disneyland Restaurant reviews here.
Large hat and sunglasses: Keeping your face protected from the glaring California sun is very important.
One of my favorite sunglass companies is Blenders Eyewear. Created as a durable option for surfers, they are a startup based in La Jolla, California that creates stylish inexpensive sunglasses. Shop for sunglasses here.
Stick a pair of Croakies on the sunglasses so that you don’t have to put the sunglasses away before experiencing every attraction. You can just let the glasses hang around your neck.
Be sure to bring a hat that is large enough to cover your face, but can be scrunched up to fit into a backpack. This is an important addition to your Disneyland packing list.
Bathing suit: For those traveling during summer days, there is nothing better than taking a break and swimming in the hotel pool. Be sure to bring a bathing suit and flip flops so that you can enjoy a dip in your Disneyland hotel pool.
Beyond these Disneyland packing list items, the clothing you choose to wear to Disneyland really depends on personal preference. When you are deciding what to pack for Disneyland, keep these simple packing guidelines in mind.
- While these will seem like common sense, make sure to follow the rules on the Disneyland official dress page. In essence, wear shoes at all times, do not show clothing or tattoos with inappropriate content, and do not wear any clothing that drags on the ground.
- Make sure you are extremely comfortable in whatever you are wearing. You will be walking around Disneyland all day long and don’t want to be wearing anything that doesn’t fit well or isn’t comfortable to wear in extremely hot weather. Avoid clothing that is too tight or itchy. You will likely wear the same Disneyland outfit from 7am to midnight.
- Wear layers to the parks everyday. The evenings and mornings can be chilly, especially if you are following my Disneyland FastPass tips and getting to the parks right when they open and staying late into the night. Bring a sweatshirt that is easy to stuff in a backpack or tie around your waist.
- You will probably be seen by at least 25,000 people and you will be taking your own photographs all day. Don’t confuse being comfortable with looking sloppy. Remember that you will have photographs from your trip for the rest of your life.
- You are going to Disneyland, so don’t forget to wear some Disney stuff. As I outlined in our Disneyland souvenirs and birthdays at Disneyland articles, a special item (ie hat, sweatshirt, Mickey Mouse ears) can serve as a way to make your Disneyland vacation even more magical. Bring a vintage Disneyland item from your own closet or purchase something on the first day of your visit. You will then always associate this item with your trip to the parks.
Disneyland Packing List and Disneyland Preparation
Below I have compiled a list of all the extra items you wouldn’t necessarily think to bring with you to Disneyland. These are the “hack” items that we discovered to improve our trips after years of visiting Disneyland. Mix and match the advice to come up with your own Disney packing list.
I also try to answer what to bring to Disneyland with kids and and what to bring to Disneyland with toddlers.
Good bag or backpack to carry with you in the park: Make sure you don’t carry a drawstring with lots of stuff as the straps really start to dig into your shoulders by the end of the day. Bring a medium sized backpack that fits all of your stuff. Try not to bring too big of a bag, as you want to be able to fit it comfortably between your feet on the more intense attractions. Some people prefer to carry fanny packs.
Water Bottle: The hot southern California days combined with all your walking at Disneyland will have you dehydrated quickly. Be sure to bring a water bottle with you into the parks everyday. I like the Hydro Flask or Swell Bottles because they are double layered will not “sweat” as the ice melts, which avoids getting items in your backpack wet.
Camera: Decide whether you will be using your phone camera or bringing a camera with you to the parks. Be sure to test out the camera before just throwing it in your bag for Disneyland. During a recent trip, we ended up with a camera that would sometimes take 20 random photo bursts rather than just one photo. Learn your camera settings and learn how to turn off the flash. Remember to turn off the flash and focus light if you intend on taking any photos inside an attraction.
Device Battery Packs: When you are out of the room for such a long time, your devices will start to run low on power. We have used a variety of battery packs in the parks with us.
One of the highest recommended battery packs is the KMASHI battery pack. This pack holds 3-4 phone charges. You can charge any device that uses a USB plug. I highly recommend adding a battery pack to your Disneyland packing list as it will allow you to avoid a dead battery.
Also, be sure to bring an extra camera SD card and battery if you intend on snapping pictures all day.
Ziploc bags of all sizes: Bring varying sizes of ziploc bags for leftover food, things you don’t want to get wet on water rides, trading pins, and anything else you want to keep separate from the rest of your bag. These are a critical part of our Disneyland packing list. You never know when you will need a bag.
Your own ponchos: Even when it is not rainy season, we will use the poncho to avoid getting overly soaked on the water rides. You can order these on Amazon.
If rain is forecast, DO NOT bring an umbrella. Follow our Disneyland packing list and stick with a poncho so that you are not stuck carrying an umbrella around Disneyland when you go inside or if the rain stops. See more info in our guide to what to do when it rains at Disneyland.
Lanyards: These work well to hold trading pins or any loose paper items like hotel key cards and Disneyland entrance tickets. Bring a thicker lanyard if you intend on putting pins on it.
Sunscreen: Make sure you are prepared for a sunny California day when you are in the parks. Bring a small tube to carry with you in your park bag.
Aloe Vera: Hopefully you will have worn enough sunscreen in Disneyland, but adding Aloe Vera to your packing list is definitely a good idea. Time can pass quickly and it’s easy to forget to reapply sunscreen.
Aquaphor ointment: Disneyland is filled with germs, thus you should be washing your hands or sanitizing them frequently. This keeps you germ free, however this, along with the drier Los Angeles weather chaps your hand quite quickly. I use Aquaphor on my hands to keep them feeling soft and moisturized. You can order this on Amazon.
Gold Bond Powder: With all the walking you do during the day, you can really start to chafe between your legs. If you know this could be a problem for you, I suggest putting on the dry Gold Bond Powder (better than Baby Powder!) in the morning before leaving for the park. This was a recent recommendation from a friend and it works wonders!
Chapstick or lip balm: Just like your hands, your lips can get chapped if you don’t drink enough water. Bring chapstick or lip balm. Get the ones infused with sunscreen to avoid burns on your lips. Buy chapstick here.
Small pack of Kleenex: The tissues and toilet paper in the restrooms around Disneyland are very scratchy on the nose. Be sure to bring your own small pack of Kleenex if you think you will be using some throughout your trip. Buy Kleenex travel packs here.
Anti-bacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer: My sister swears by using hand sanitizer before we eat and has it on her Disneyland packing list perpetually. I always find a bathroom and wash my hands because I don’t like the smell that stays on my hands after using the anti-bacterial gel. Buy travel hand sanitizer here.
Moleskin or band aids for blisters: With the amount that you are walking in a day at Disneyland, blisters can develop in just one day. Moleskin can provide good coverage to prevent hurting during the rest of your trip.
Pain reliever of your choice: Be sure to bring along a pain reliever such as Advil in case something hurts after a long day of touring. We also throw this on the Disneyland packing list even if no one really needs them. They are great to have with you in Disneyland just in case!
Tums or Pepto Bismol: If any of the food you have a Disneyland disagrees with you stomach, you will be happy you packed these upset stomach relievers.
Ear plugs: In the tight confines of a hotel room, it is difficult for one person to stay up later than any other member of the group. Occasionally one of us will put in earplugs and go to sleep while the rest of the group watches TV.
Power strip: If you are traveling with a large family, bring a power strip to add more plugs in your hotel room. It seems every hotel room I stay in has few outlets and I always seem to have more that I need to plug in. If each person is plugging in a phone and an extra battery pack, the amount of plugs needed adds up quickly.
I really like this power strip that includes both plugs and USB ports for using in your room. Not only is this outlet light weight, but it has built in USB ports so that you don’t have to carry the Apple chord boxes.
Autograph book: Bring a book for your kids to collect autographs when they meet characters. Rather than paying for the overpriced book in the parks, you can pick up a discounted one from the Disney website before you leave. Also, bring a fat pen so that the characters can grip it more easily and their signature can be more legible.
Your own glow sticks: Before all of the nighttime parades and spectaculars, Cast Members circulate selling glow in the dark toys. Popping out a glow stick or necklace to give to your child right when they see the toys can be a good way to avoid this higher end purchase. You can order these here.
Pennies and quarters: If you plan on collecting pressed pennies during your trip at Disneyland. Bring along shiny pennies and quarters to operate the machines in the parks. Each machines costs 50 cents to press a penny.
Pins for trading: As we outline in the souvenir guide, you should purchase pins for trading before arriving at Disneyland. These other pins are a fraction of the price and are just as worthy for trading.
Stroller: If your child needs a stroller during the day, I highly recommend either bringing your own or renting one from a third party. Disney’s prices are higher and you may not bring the stroller back to your hotel. Check out the stroller selection and be sure to purchase one that is easy to travel with.
Anything you need to make your child comfortable: Make sure to access the sleeping situation of your children before leaving home. Do they sleep with a night light? Do they need their favorite stuffed animal? Even the littlest thing to improve the amount or quality of sleep is valuable.
Cash or credit card: There are ATMs throughout the Disneyland Resort where you can withdraw cash, but you shouldn’t need it for any reason if you have a credit or debit card. If you are staying at Disneyland on property hotel, you can make charges to your room anywhere on Disneyland Resort property.
Travel documents: Make sure to pack all of the critical travel documents like your driver’s license or identification, proof car-insurance (if you are renting a car), health insurance card, confirmation of Disneyland tickets, confirmation of your hotel near Disneyland, confirmation of plane tickets, and written emergency contacts.
Extra room in your suitcase: As I shared in our guide to Disneyland souvenirs, you could end up buying quite a bit of stuff during your Disneyland vacation. Make sure you have a suitcase that has extra room in it to carry back your purchases.
Food to Bring to Disneyland
As we discussed in the Disneyland restaurant review section, I highly recommend bringing your own snacks to the parks with you each day.
Snacks: Some of my favorite snacks for the parks are the various assortments of trek mixes, dried fruit, and granola bars from Trader Joe’s. These really sustain me throughout the trip and keep me full between breakfast and lunch. You can order these on Amazon and have them sent directly to your hotel to be waiting for you.
Breakfast: Depending on where you are staying at Disneyland, you may have breakfast provided at your hotel. If you do not have breakfast provided with your hotel room, I suggest buying breakfast food and eating something in your room before leaving for the day. Then, if you are still hungry, stop for a snack after spending a couple of hours in the park. Do not, I repeat, do not go out to breakfast and be late to the rope drop opening of Disneyland. You need the morning to get on attractions and get Disneyland FastPass tickets.
Case of water: If you find you don’t like the taste of LA water, there are Walgreens and CVS locations within walking distance on Harbor Boulevard, just a block from the park entrances. Consider picking up a jug of water or a case of water bottles. I have never had a problem with the taste of the in-park water, but never liked the water that comes out of the faucet in the hotel room.
Chewing gum: Disneyland does not sell gum anywhere in the resort. If you need to chew gum, be sure to bring your own.
Via Powdered Starbucks Coffee: To avoid spending money on coffee at Disneyland, you can bring your own powdered coffee with you. Get hot water from your hotel or ask for a free cup of hot water from any counter service restaurant in Disneyland. You can order this on Amazon.
What to Bring to Disneyland
Below is a complete list of Disneyland items to bring with you into the parks everyday.
- Your park tickets (purchase your discount Disneyland tickets)
- Backpack (see our description of the best Disneyland backpack in the section above)
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, and hat
- Jacket (perhaps a poncho too if it is supposed to rain or if you don’t want to get wet on the water rides)
- Trading pins (click here for our ultimate Disney pin trading guide)
- Snacks: Granola bars, fruit, trail mix. Something to tide you over to your next snack or meal.
- Phone charger and phone battery pack (see phone and charger recommendation in packing list above)
- Water Bottle (see water bottle recommendations in Disney checklist above)
- Hair band or rubber band to pack away any drawing you might create at the Animation Academy or free Disneyland Jungle Cruise map.
- Optional: The worst thing to get wet on a water ride are your socks. They never seem to dry. You could throw an extra pair in your backpack if it’s a colder day and want to enjoy the water rides.
More Disneyland Packing Planning Tips
You can save a lot of money on your Disneyland vacation by subscribing to our Disneyland Mickey Visit discounts newsletter and through the information in other Disneyland planning articles throughout the website.
- How to Save Money on Discount Disneyland Tickets
- Best Hotels Near Disneyland
- Reviews of Best Disneyland Restaurants
- Disneyland Airport: Where to Fly Into and How to Get to the Hotel
- Disneyland FastPass Tips
- How to Celebrate Birthday at Disneyland
You can find all updated information on park hours and rules on the official Disneyland website.