Most families, when planning a day at Walt Disneyland, focus more on fun, games and excitement, and less on planning what to pack to make the most of their visit. There are several things to take, especially if you travel with a family. Some items will help you save money during your visit, while others simply make sense or increase the excitement of the children in the group.
It is important to keep in mind that Disneyland is the most popular tourist attraction in California. This means that everything inside Disneyland will cost significantly more than buying the same items outside the park. No matter what your budget for your trip to Disneyland, expenses quickly accumulate during the day, even when you only buy small items or snacks. If you live 600-700 miles from Anaheim, it may be cheaper to travel by car than by plane, and driving also allows you to pack more and spend less.
As for clothing, bringing a variety can save you and your family great suffering if the weather changes while you are in the park. For example, while rain is rare, it is not an impossible occurrence and downpours can occur with little warning. Therefore, including additional clothing in case you need to change to something dry can be important. Be sure to include a change of shoes and socks.
In addition, although Anaheim's climate is considered to have a Mediterranean climate, even with warm winters and hot summers, mornings and afternoons can be cool, so be sure to wear lighter clothes for the day and warmer items in case of Let it cool down.
Making sure you have appropriate clothing options to cover different climatic possibilities can avoid the need to buy marked Disney ears for the whole family.
Other extras you can pack for the park to save money while driving include:
- Water bottles
- Juice boxes or other packaged drinks
- Diapers, wipes and changing table
- Toilet seat covers
- Antibacterial products
While Disney obviously prefers to buy snacks and drinks in the park, you can pack small boxes or zippered bags full of snacks and juice boxes or bottled water in diaper bags, buggy bottoms, or in camera or camcorder bags. (However, it is not recommended to pack liquids in camera bags or camcorders, since if they somehow open or spill, expensive equipment can easily be ruined.)
To save even more money, consider packing light lunches like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or other options that won't spoil during the day. Lunch for a family of four bought at any establishment in the park can be quite expensive even for simple meals.
A great savings tip for regular visitors with children is to create a Disney Box. One of the unnecessary expenses of a trip back to Disneyland is having to buy the same souvenirs that you have previously bought. Often, memories without which children cannot live in the park remain precious possessions until something newer catches their attention, such as the new and modern toy or the beginning of the school year.
When your children lose interest in their Disney memories, put them in a box and save them for your next trip. When it's time for the next visit, hide the memories in your luggage and don't tell them you have the items until you go to the park. Considering the increase in Disney items that buy the same things several times, knowing that they will only keep your child's attention for a limited period of time is a waste of money. Maybe I can add a new item for each child. (It's a good idea to give them a price limit so they don't choose one of the park's most expensive memories).
Whether you visit or not, you can also pack Disney items that you buy in dollar stores and wholesalers before you leave, such as pens, small notebooks, jewelry, and sunglasses for children, along with many other types of products. Spread these items during the day when you are in the park can decrease the constant requests for each memory your children see and save you a package.
The ability to pack a larger quantity will help ensure that you have your children's favorite food, additional clothing and toys or stuffed animals brands. This can be particularly important if your children are younger or tend to refuse to eat or wear brands that are unfamiliar. Thinking before any "must haves" for your children can avoid tantrums if your favorites are not available in or near the park.
The more you can bring to the park, the less you will have to buy while you are there. However, keep in mind that, while bringing additional items will save money, you should be careful with the amount of excess weight these items represent, as you will load it throughout the day.
General items to pack for the day
Again, remember that while certain items may seem like a great idea to take with you in the morning before leaving, you may not find them a great idea after taking them for several hours. In addition, while your children may insist on taking their favorite toy, a stuffed animal, or other "essential" items, it is likely that they will soon carry these items as well. Be sure to think about what you plan to carry with you and evaluate each item in terms of what you need to be measured with respect to how practical it will be to carry it with you.
Consider renting a locker to store things that you may not need to carry with you throughout the day, such as changing clothes, shoes and snacks and drinks "just in case". While you want to be able to access potential needs, you don't want to load yourself to the point that these items become a nuisance rather than a practical aspect.
If you are traveling with a baby, make sure you have bottles and any cover you need if you are breastfeeding. Also bring any special food your children may need, such as baby food or items without ingredients to which they are allergic. Disneyland has a Baby Care Center where you can bottle feed or breastfeed, as well as change your baby comfortably.
Other items to pack to make your day as pleasant as possible include:
- Autograph books – Buy each child an autograph book before leaving since those in the park are expensive. These can be used to obtain autographs of characters. You can also buy fat markers for characters with costumes that cover their hands may sign. You can also make custom autograph books with your children.
- Camcorder and / or camera (don't forget your memory card) – To capture all those special moments during your trip.
- Cash – While most Disneyland purchases accept credit cards, some of the kiosks do not.
- Fan with the lord – To use during the heat of the day to cool off
- Hat for each family member – Helps prevent heat exhaustion during hot months, but can also be useful throughout the year
- First aid box – While there are first aid stations, it is a good idea to carry a small first aid kit in case of falls or scratches.
- Sunscreen / Sunglasses – Be sure to bring these items for additional sun protection
- At least a pair of extra socks – Whether due to rain, excessive sweating or water games, at some point your feet will get wet. Dry socks will prevent blisters and chafing that can make walking through Disneyland miserable. (In case you develop blisters, moleskin is a great product to reduce pain and prevent the blister from getting worse.)
- Pennies – Children never get tired of the pressed penny machines scattered around the park, so make sure you have a pocket full of change.
Packing for family members with disabilities or special needs
Sometimes, you will need to pack items that are a requirement rather than a convenience. Make sure you have adequate amounts of any medication that family members need during the day. Keep any medication you carry with you in a waterproof container, secured in a zippered pocket or other area of the compartment that can be buckled so you don't lose any during walks. Medications that you do not need to carry with you at all times, such as something that should be taken only once during the day, can be left in your locker or, if possible, you can bring only one dose. Check to make sure you have emergency remedies, such as diabetes medications, epi-pen / severe allergy remedies or other health conditions.
For visually impaired family members, make sure all items that help them see are packed or worn. For those who wear glasses, be sure to bring something that secures them while wearing them on the rides so they don't fall on some of the wildest rides. Many stores sell straps with loops in which the final pieces of the frame can be slid and wrapped tightly around the back of the head.
For family members with mobility difficulties, if possible, bring a folding wheelchair. Renting strollers and wheelchairs can be expensive and often requires waiting in long lines.
For family members with associated verbal and audio disabilities, be sure to pack any hearing aid or communication facilitator, such as communication boards. Plan how hearing aids can be secured during trips if possible and, if not, determine if it is practical for the individual to go on trips without using them. If the option is not to use them during trips, determine where they will be stored during the trip. Decide if leaving them with the wizard is an acceptable option or, otherwise, how they can be stored safely.
While there are numerous items listed here, ultimately, what you pack should be what makes sense to your family. Your options will vary according to your budget, the number of accompanying children and their ages, how many people can reliably carry a small backpack or other bag throughout the day and any special needs of family members.
Remember that the day is about creating magical memories and, although you want to have what you need based on your family's individual circumstances, you also don't want to have to continually check to make sure you have everything you brought with you.