Do you know what to bring to Disneyland…and what you should leave at home? These are the the “must-haves” for an enjoyable day at Disneyland! You can always buy some of these things in the park if you forget them, but it will be at a premium price. It’s best to remember to pack them on your own. And don’t make a mistake and bring any of these banned items at Disneyland! Keep reading for the best Disney packing ideas and Disneyland tips.
Important 2021 Disneyland Travel Tips
Lots of new changes this year – No tickets for sale at the front gates. Reservations required for each day of your visit. Virtual queues and limited walk-up dining. The Disneyland resort has changed considerably in 2021 and you need to be in-the-know before your vacation. Read up on the most important things to know about going to Disneyland this year.
What To Bring to Disneyland – Must-Know Disney packing Tips
In the blur of vacation planning for a trip to Disneyland, packing is often one of the last things we think about. Anyone else been in a last-minute throw-everything-into-the-suitcase frenzy just before a vacation? Yeah, me too!
Whether this is your first Disneyland trip or you’ve been to Disney before, having a specific Disney packing checklist can help you stay organized. Keep reading for all the tips on what to bring to Disneyland parks including a free printable packing list for your magical planning needs!
What Do They Sell at Disneyland?
Some of the items I mention in this article are available for purchase at Disneyland. This may make you wonder what to actually bring to Disneyland. If you can buy it there, do you really need to pack it from home?
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! 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.
IMPORTANT MUST PACK ITEM- Disneyland Tickets!
Right now all guests must pre-purchase tickets on the internet first. There are no ticket sales at the front gates of Disneyland. I recommend my partner Get Away Today for Disney Park tickets. You’ll save a few dollars and with their Peace of Mind package, tickets are also fully refundable (something Disneyland themselves can’t even offer).
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).
Pack a Jacket or Hoodie
Southern California weather can be unpredictable. We might have pouring rain in January or it could be 85 degrees! SoCal weather is extremely challenging to predict. 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.
Cell Phone with Camera and Video
You’re going to want to capture those priceless Disneyland memories! In this time of social media, we all have our cell phones to take the best photos and videos. Newer cell phone cameras are exceptional at capturing images that are even better than a “real” camera (especially in low light).
My favorite new cell phone gadget is the PopSocket! This interchangeable tool sticks to the back of your phone, and can be popped out to make gripping easier. Makes selfie photos and taking pictures in the parks a lot easier when you have something sturdy to hold on to. There are tons of Disney themed designs that can quickly be swapped out.
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, snapping photos and posting to Facebook all day. Our poor cell batteries were drained and we hadn’t brought anything to recharge.
I immediately bought a cell phone battery charger for the next trip. It’s a good feeling to have a fully charged battery at the end of the night! You will need your own charging cord so don’t forget to pack that in with you.
If you don’t want to carry a heavy 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!
Purse, Waist Pack or Backpack
Choose a bag that you don’t mind carrying around all day. I bring a crossbody Baggallini The bag is waterproof, lightweight and holds everything I’ll need. Plus it’s really comfortable!
Another option is the Waist Pack (aka: “Fanny Pack”). It’s great for smaller items or if you’re traveling light. I prefer using my Mickey Mouse Loungefly Pack when I want to be hands free. Measure first to make sure the pack is large enough to hold your cell phone!
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.
Disney packing – 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. And you can’t bring in a hard sided cooler or anything that rolls on wheels. Also no loose ice, but ice blocks are acceptable.
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.
Yes, you can bring a backpack into Disneyland. Choose an insulated version if you’re packing in food. And it has to be a soft-sided cooler, as hard sided or wheeled versions are not allowed inside the theme parks.
The Engel insulated backpack has been our go-to for all travel! We insert a chill pack inside. Whatever we add in the bag, from water bottles to cheese, stays cold. The compact size holds a considerable amount and still fits in a larger stroller basket.
My husband packed all of the snacks in the photo below on our last trip. He used a chill pack and our Engel insulated backpack to keep the food cool. We were able to snack like royalty on healthy and budget-friendly snacks inside the park! Read more: Tips for saving money on food at Disney.
Can You Bring Water Bottles into Disneyland?
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.
My recommendation is to keep bottled water in a cooler filled with ice inside the hotel room. If your Disneyland hotel has a kitchen with a freezer, this is even better. Bring the icy bottles of water in the park along with snacks. The chilled water will keep snacks cooled as well.
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. But it’s best to pack in at least a second shirt. I also usually bring an extra pair of shoes. My routine starts off with tennis shoes and when my feet get achy or swell a little, I’ll move to sandals.
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 reusable Disney print wet/dry bags that are a great size for damp outfits.
Apply frequently. Vacations with sunburns are a big bummer! Bring a lip balm with SPF too.
Stroller for Young Kids
There are strollers for rent in the Disneyland parks, but I have always liked having my own. That walk back to the car or hotel at the end of a long day can be awful. Just try to carry a sleeping child when you are already exhausted yourself!
Choose a stroller that is comfortable and reclines for a nap. It should fold 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. Pack in a pair of sunglasses for each family member.
Souvenirs from Home
Save yourself a load of cash and buy Disney souvenirs before your trip! The mark-up in the parks is high. Plus you can often find similar items in your stores at home. There are some exclusive things like popcorn boxes and apparel that you’ll only find inside the Disneyland Resort.
For items like glowing toys, kid’s clothing and stuffed animals, buy them before you travel. When Disney packing make sure leave plenty of room for purchased souvenirs. Read ALL the tips on what you can purchase beforehand on this post: Disney Souvenirs To Buy BEFORE Your Disney Vacation
Great to use on a regular basis throughout the day (have you seen how many hands have touched the rails in the queues?!) The theme parks currently offers lots of additional hand sanitizer and hand washing stations. However I still like to bring my own to offer kids right before they eat.
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.
You won’t find it for sale anywhere in the Disney parks. So if you have to have it, bring it yourself. I’ve included it on the Disney packing list (keep reading to score your freebie!)
Wet 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! Bring a package of cleansing wipes when you can’t get to the restroom fast enough.
Baby Stuff (If You Have a Baby)
Traveling with babies requires it’s own set of Disney packing rules! Don’t rely on buying diapers & baby food in the park, bring your own with you. Jars of baby food (even glass) are okay to bring into the theme parks. However to keep things more lightweight and convenient, you might want to consider plastic.
Of course you won’t want to forget all of baby’s pacifiers, onesies, diaper cream, bibs and bottles! There are some things you might not have considered packing, like disposable table covers. Print out the free Traveling with a Baby with Free Packing Checklist for all the tips.
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. Read What Can Babies Do at Disneyland? for more information about taking a baby to the Disney Parks.
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!
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!
Facial Masks for Non-Vaccinated Guests
Disneyland reopening guidelines request that all non-vaccinated guests 2+ should wear a facial covering while indoors. Guests do not need to wear a mask while outside. No proof of vaccination is required, and guests may self-attest.
I can personally recommend the Halo Life Mask as a great, breathable mask, especially during hot weather.
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):
- Strollers that are greater than 31” in width and 52” in length will be prohibited. Stroller wagons will also be prohibited.
- 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
- Wheeled mobility devices with less than 3 wheels (ie: 2-wheeled vehicles, including Segway™)
- Scooters (motorized and non-motorized)
- Human Transporters
- Suitcases, backpacks or similar bags with wheels
- Suitcases, backpacks or similar bags larger than 18″ wide x 24″ high x 15″ deep (the size of a large rentable locker)
- 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.
- No loose or dry ice
- 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)
- Remote control toys
- Inline skates
- Shoes with built-in wheels
- Pogo sticks
Additional Items Not to Bring to Disneyland
- Firearms, ammunition, knives and weapons of any kind. This includes any object that appear to be weapons (toy guns, toy blasters, squirt guns, etc.)
- Horns, whistles, megaphones, artificial noise makers
- Fireworks or other flammable/explosive devices, smoke machines and fog machines
- 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, 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 to Bring to Disneyland – Essentials Packing List
If this is your first Disney vacation, you might be wondering what to pack and what’s allowed inside. In the excitement of an impending trip it’s easy to forget something during the bustle of Disney packing!
I’ve included here what you should be packing for the day to bring with you inside the parks. A Disneyland packing list will help you stay organized and mindful of exactly what you’ll need. Enjoy this free printable packing checklist for your next Disneyland trip!
What Else to Bring to Disneyland?
For additional packing tips, check out these additional articles and free printable Disneyland packing lists! These Disney packing printable checklists are specific to traveling with a baby, pregnant women and children who want to pack for themselves. They offer additional items that vary slightly from the essentials checklist.
- Woman’s Disney Packing List – FREE Printable!