What to Bring to Disneyland?
If this is your first Disney vacation, you might be wondering what to pack and what’s allowed inside. I’ve included here what you should be packing for the day to bring with you inside the parks. For additional packing tips, like what to wear to Disneyland or what should kids pack for Disneyland, see these additional posts:
- Mom’s Disney Packing List – FREE Printable!
What Do They Sell at Disneyland?
Some of these items are available for purchase at Disneyland which may make you wonder what to bring to Disneyland. While a few items on the list aren’t available for sale inside the parks, most everything else is. However all things come at a price and the cost will be significantly higher inside the parks.
Before packing your Disneyland trip bag, be sure to assess your needs for the day. If you’re planning to return to the hotel midday, you may be able to skip on packing a day’s worth of snacks. You don’t want to be shorthanded once in the parks. However, you also don’t want to be lugging around a heavy bag of stuff that you aren’t going to need either! Consider renting a locker to store essentials for the day until you need them.
1. Bring Your Tickets with You!
Always pre-purchase your tickets on the web first so you can skip the long lines outside the parks and go straight in! I recommend my partner Get Away Today for Disney Park tickets. You’ll save a few dollars and save time standing in line at the gate. They are even offering my readers a vacation discount as well as vacation layaway!
Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN on Get Away Today and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount).
2. Pack a Jacket or Hoodie
Southern California weather can be unpredictable. We might have pouring rain in January or it could be 85 degrees! Check the temps online before your trip to know what to expect. Even if it’s warm in the daytime, the night can get chilly. Bring a lightweight jacket to tie around your waist in case you need it.
3. A Camera and/or Video camera
If your phone camera isn’t the best, capture those priceless Disneyland memories and bring in your “real” camera. This would also include batteries (or a charged up battery) and a second memory card.
If you don’t want to bring in your camera, there are other ways to get photos. Throughout the parks at Disneyland there are Disney photographers ready to take your picture in all the prime locations in the park (like at the entrance or in front of the castle).
At the first stop, they will hand you a PhotoPass card, a scannable card that you will present to each Disney photographer you meet on your trip. Don’t lose the card! You will use this card to view, edit, share and purchase your photos online once you get home. Or you can use the Disneyland app on your phone to manually enter the code or the PhotoPass photograph can scan them in.
Disneyland photographers are always happy to take pictures for you with your own camera too! Check out my post on getting the best family photos at Disney.
4. Purse or Backpack
Choose a bag that you don’t mind carrying around all day. I have a Baggallini I can wear crossed over my chest. I slip my ticket right into the front pocket. The bag is waterproof, lightweight and holds everything I’ll need.
Anything else goes into a backpack that either one of the kids wears or it goes into a rented locker. If you have a little one, consider one of these helpful Skip Hop backpacks with removable harness tether. This backpack is the perfect size for a toddler to carry a few diapers, wipe packet, bib and even a few toys. The strap has a loop to go around your wrist so that kids stay close.
5. Snacks and Foods
Can you bring your own food to Disneyland? Yes! If you stick to the rules (no glass, no alcohol, no fast food), you shouldn’t have any issues taking outside food in at Disneyland. Obviously don’t be bringing in anything that will spoil without refrigeration.
Packing your own simple sandwiches, beef jerky, fruit and pretzels can save you big money. There is a Picnic Area outside the parks at Disneyland if you want to purchase food at the Downtown Disney District and eat it before going into the parks.
My husband packed all of the snacks in the photo below on our last trip. He used a chill pack and an insulated bag to keep the food cool and we were able to snack like royalty on healthy and budget-friendly snacks inside the park!
6. Water Bottles
Disney parks will allow each guest to bring in bottled water for hydrating. They can be new and sealed bottles full of water or bring empty bottles that you can fill with drinking fountain water.
7. A Change of Clothes For Each Person
Nothing like getting totally soaked on a ride and having to schlep around with soggy socks for the rest of the day! Also, those chocolate covered bananas can get pretty messy and tend to drop big chunks of chocolate all over the place (I bought my son a new shirt at the park before for this very reason!)
If your hotel room is very close you could run back there to change if you wish. I’d definitely pack in at least a second shirt. I also usually bring an extra pair of shoes. I tend to start off with tennis shoes and when my feet get achy or swell a little, I’ll move to sandals.
8. A few plastic bags or a Wet/Dry Bag
Perfect to hold wet or dirty clothes. Ziplocks are ideal, as they can be sealed up. Bumkins even has Disney print wet/dry bags.
9. Cell phone battery charger & charging cord
Both my husband & I had dead cell phones by 5 pm on a Disneyland trip a few years ago. We’d been texting each other when we were separated, snapping photos and posting to Facebook all day. Our poor cell batteries were drained and we hadn’t brought anything to recharge. I bought a cell phone battery charger for the next trip and it was fantastic to have a fully charged battery at the end of the night.
If you don’t want to carry a cell charger, consider purchasing a Fuel Rod. They are available for purchase inside the Disneyland parks as well as in airports and on Amazon. There are many Fuel Rod machines at the Disneyland parks. Simply drop in your used Fuel Rod into the machine and a fully charged one rolls out, ready for you to use! You will need your own charging cord so don’t forget to pack that in with you.
Apply frequently. Vacations with sunburns are a big bummer! Bring a lip balm with SPF too.
There are strollers for rent in the Disneyland parks, but I have always liked having my own because that walk back to the car or hotel at the end of a long day can be awful when you’re trying to carry a sleeping child (and you are already tired yourself!).
Choose a stroller that is comfortable, reclines and folds compactly when getting on rides like the Monorail and Disneyland Railroad. Using the basket underneath to store daytime essentials is awesome too!
If you’re going to Walt Disney World, I highly recommend my travel partner, Kingdom Strollers. They will deliver and pick up directly to your resort hotel! It was great to have the stroller at the parks and resort but not have to deal with it at the airport.
The bright sun can make everyone a bit cranky…and squinty.
13. Souvenirs from Home
Save yourself a load of cash and buy Disney souvenirs before your trip! The mark-up in the parks is high and you can often find similar items in your stores at home. Yes, there are some exclusive things like mugs and shirts that you’ll only find inside the Disneyland Resort. But for items like glowing toys, kid’s clothing and stuffed animals, buy them before you travel.
Read ALL the tips on what you can purchase beforehand on this post: Disney Souvenirs To Buy BEFORE Your Disney Vacation
14. Hand Sanitizer
Great to use on a regular basis throughout the day (have you seen how many hands have touched the rails in the queues?!)
15. A Hat (Ears are optional!)
Choose a hat with a nice brim to protect your face from sun. However if you forget a hat, this makes a good souvenir to buy in the parks.
16. Handi wipes (or Baby Wipes)
Always nice to clean up before you eat that bucket of popcorn and then wipe your face down after gnawing on that giant turkey leg!
You won’t find it for sale anywhere in the park so if you have to have it, bring it yourself.
18. Baby Stuff (If You Have a Baby)
Don’t rely on buying diapers & baby food in the park, bring your own with you. At Disneyland and Disney California Adventure park, make sure you stop in the Baby Center. There are high-chairs, rocking chairs, quiet nursing areas and even teeny-tiny toilet stalls for toddlers that are potty training.
I’ve visited Disneyland First Aid for Ibuprofen when I’ve felt pain coming on and I’ve forgotten my medication at home. Of course I get a headache just looking at the Mad Tea Party ride so I usually try to bring my own pain reliever! First Aid can even give you an ice pack or bandage up a wound. I can’t tell you how handy it is to have a few antacids stored in your bag when indigestion flares up after eating a diet of corn dogs and Mickey ice cream bars all day.
Also, if anyone in your group suffers from motion sickness, consider getting a prescription for the medicated patch. I suffer from motion sickness myself and the patch is perfect for me (it’s a small medicated sticker that goes behind your ear for three days of coverage). Use caution in choosing motion sickness tablets as many of them will cause extreme sleepiness!
20. Umbrella or a Poncho
If there is a chance of rain, bring an umbrella that folds up very small when not in use or purchase a rain poncho (I’ve heard you can get decent ones at the 99 cent store). Southern Californians are more of the umbrella-type than poncho wearing-type. However the poncho does come in handy when going on water rides!
21. Expected Change Coming to Disneyland – Facial Masks
This change has already happened at Disney World in Florida and is expected to be announced in California, once Disneyland reopens to guests. Disneyland and Disney World reopening guidelines indicate that guests 2+ must wear a facial covering at all times within the parks, except when sitting and eating or in a “relaxation station”.
At the time of publication, facial coverings are a theme park essential. Important to note that Disney is very specific about what masks are (and aren’t) permitted on their property. Masks must be cloth or fabric (no plastic face shields) and secure with ties or loops (gaiter-style facial coverings are not acceptable).
What NOT to Bring to Disneyland (from the Disneyland website):
- AS OF MAY 1st, 2019 – Strollers that are greater than 31” in width and 52” in length will be prohibited. Stroller wagons will also be prohibited.
- AS OF MAY 1st, 2019 – Smoking will not be permitted inside either theme park, in the esplanade, and in Downtown Disney District.
- Pets—which may be kept at the on-site kennel. (Separate fees apply and space is limited.) Service Animals are permitted
- Scooters (motorized and non-motorized)
- Remote control toys
- Inline skates
- Shoes with built-in wheels
- Pogo sticks
- 2-wheeled vehicles, including Segway™
- Human Transporters
- Suitcases, backpacks or similar bags with wheels
- Suitcases, backpacks or similar bags larger than 18″ wide x 25″ high x 37″ deep (the size of our large rentable lockers)
- Any trailer-like object that is pushed or towed by an ECV, wheelchair or stroller – Note: Guests are not permitted to pull items behind them. Any item that requires a Guest to pull it behind him or her, including a stroller, is not permitted into the theme parks.
More Things to Leave at Home
- Coolers larger than 6-pack sized are not permitted into the theme parks. – Note: Guest can store coolers up to 18″ wide x 25″ high x 37″ deep in rentable large lockers located outside the Disneyland Park Main Entrance. Lockers are not refrigerated and availability is limited. Guests who need to refrigerate medication may do so at First Aid. Exceptions may be made for special dietary or religious needs.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Any illegal substances, including marijuana
- Folding chairs, with the exception of cane-chair and seat-walker mobility aids
- Glass containers, with the exception of baby food containers, medicine or small perfume bottles (under 4 oz)
- Sporting goods or equipment (e.g., baseball bats, helmets, hockey sticks, golf clubs, bows and arrows, camping equipment, chairs, stools, tables and Frisbees)
- Weapons of any kind or object that appear to be weapons (toy guns, toy blasters, squirt guns, etc.)
- Self-defense equipment (e.g., pepper spray, mace, stun guns)
- Restraining devices (e.g., handcuffs, zip ties) or any suspicious items (e.g., box cutters, razor blades, duct tape, wire)Items that may be disruptive (e.g. laser pointers, slingshots, stink bombs, air horns)
- Cremated remains (e.g., urns, vases, boxes)
- Miscellaneous other items (tools, fire extinguishers, musical instruments, megaphones, pots and pans)
- Wrapped gifts (all gifts must be able to be unwrapped for inspection)
- Items with spikes (e.g. purses, bracelets, etc.)
- Selfie sticks (hand-held extension poles for cameras and mobile devices)
What are your amusement park must-haves? Anything you’d like added the list?