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, so it’s best to remember to pack them on your own. And don’t make a mistake and bring any of these banned items!
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What to Bring to Disneyland?
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 Park Savers for Disney Park tickets. You’ll save a few dollars and save time standing in line at the gate.
A Jacket or Hoodie
Even if it’s warm in the daytime, the night can get chilly. Check the temps online before your trip to know what to expect.
Camera and/or Video camera
Capture those memories and bring in a camera (something besides your cell phone). This would also include batteries (or a charged up battery) and a second memory card.
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.
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.
Purse or Backpack
Make sure it’s 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 and it’s 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.
I have never had any issues taking outside food in at Disneyland. Obviously don’t be bringing in anything that will spoil without refrigeration but bringing 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.
They can be new and sealed bottles full of water or empty bottles that you can fill with drinking fountain water.
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 and you can run back there to change if you wish, you can probably opt out of bringing in a full outfit but I’d definitely bring 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.
A few plastic bags
Perfect to hold wet or dirty clothes. Ziplocks are ideal, as they can be sealed up.
Cell phone battery charger
On our last Disneyland day, both my husband & I had dead cell phones. We’d been texting each other when we were separated, snapping photos and posting to Facebook all day and our cell batteries were drained. I bought a cell phone battery charger recently and it was fantastic to have a fully charged battery at the end of the night, why did I ever wait so long?
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!).
If you’re going to Walt Disney World, I can highly recommend Amusement Park Rentals. We used them on our last visit and 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.
Cash (In Addition to Your Credit/Debit cards)
The little kiosks scattered around the parks don’t usually take debit or credit cards so if you want a Mickey shaped balloon, a rainbow glow stick or a bucket of popcorn be sure to have cash on hand. If you only have your credit or debit cards, you can still withdrawal cash at the ATMs around the park.
Great to use on a regular basis throughout the day (have you seen how many hands have touched the rails in the queues?!)
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.
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.
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 make sure you stop in the Baby Center as there are high-chairs, rocking chairs, quiet nursing areas and even teeny-tiny toilet stalls for toddlers that are potty training. Read my article “What Can Babies Do at Disneyland?” for more information about taking a baby to the Parks and What’s In my Disney parks Diaper Bag?
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 Tums stored in your bag when indigestion flares up after eating a diet of corn dogs and ice cream sandwiches 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.
What NOT to bring (from the Disneyland website):
- 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
- Strollers larger than 36″ x 52″
- 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.
- 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
- 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? Include it in the comments below!