Practical Travel Tips

What’s in Your Park Bag for a Winter Day at Disney?

A day at a Disney World park isn’t an ordinary day. It’s a day that takes the planning and preparation of a military maneuver. It also takes gear. A quick Google search or a poke around Pinterest will reveal that there are as many opinions about what to schlep around for the day as there are mommy bloggers. That’s a lot of opinions.

And I’m no different. But I am in a minority. My family chose to go to Disney during the winter.

Why?

  1. Lower crowds. Excluding a few days and weeks here and there, winter at Disney World is generally less busy than summer. But it’s still plenty busy.
  2. Lower heat. The Husband and I loathe hot weather. We live in NC, so we get more than our share of heat and humidity and have zero interest in experiencing Florida’s more intense version of summer. According to VisitOrlando.com, the average high in January is 70.8F, and the average low is 48.6F. For February, the temps are 72.7F and 49.7F respectively. Add in the humidity, and the warmer temps will feel warmer and the cool temps can feel surprisingly cold.

With cooler weather, I needed to modify the plans, tips, and tricks I had seen online for a Disney day pack.

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Start with the bag.

For my family’s first Disney trip, I plotted and planned everything, including what I carried in our backpack. By the way, the actual bag is another big consideration: backpack, crossbody, wristlet, diaper bag, etc. For every bag, there’s at least one mommy blogger claiming that it’s the only way to go.

Here’s the backpack all folded and zipped up. Super compact! (Book for scale.)

I settled on a very lightweight backpack, and after packing and repacking it, I decided what I needed to schlep around for me and my family. (In case you’re wondering, The Husband didn’t carry a bag, but he did get to carry Little A — all 36 lbs. of her — when her little legs got tired and she wasn’t interested in her stroller.)

Here, I’ve categorized the contents of the bag like this: Organization, Health, Comfort, Convenience, and Fun. To speed up the bag check at each park’s entry, I put most of our gear in large zip-top bags.

Organization

  • Clipboard with copies of that day’s reservations for meals and Fast Passes as well as other info

Health

  • My super small first-aid kit — For this trip I added Moleskin to the kit to prevent and protect blisters. I also always include a sunblock stick and lip balm with sunscreen. I like Aquaphor Lip Protectant Plus Sunscreen SPF 30. In fact, I love all Aquaphor products.

    Stuff to keep us healthy!
  • Hand sanitizer — My family uses this stuff only occasionally, except when we travel. Then we use it regularly.
  • Wipes — I like the refillable clutches from Huggies though I have to admit that I refill mine with Costco wipes.
  • Cleaning wipes — Clorox or Lysol. Sometimes you just need to wipe down a table or a toilet before your little one uses it.
  • Paper towels — Little A hates the noise hand dryers make.

 

Comfort

  • An extra outfit for Little A (top, leggings, camisole, undies, and socks) — Spills happen.

    An extra set of clothes for Little A
  • Lightweight rain coats/ponchos — Rain happens, especially in Florida
  • Two changes of socks, one for me and one for The Husband — Sweaty, blistered feet also happen if you’re not careful. (I’ve spared you having to look at a photo of our ratty socks.)
  • Water bottle — The three of us can share. Little A loves her Contigo bottle. I used my Cricut to add her name and a Minnie Mouse decal.

    Water bottle and snacks
  • Sweatshirts, fleeces, etc for each of us — As I mentioned above, high humidity can make cool morning and evening temperatures feel downright cold.
  • A sun hat and/or a warm hat for Little A depending on the weather
  • Sunglasses — Fortunately Little A loves to wear hers.

 

Convenience

  • Snacks, such as Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks, crackers, and granola bars. We had the Disney Dining Plan and, therefore, plenty of snack credits. But it’s always good to have a few small snacks on hand for hungry tummies.
  • Portable charger — You’ll be taking photos and using the My Disney Experience app (MDE). Your phone will drain.

Fun

Clipboard and fun stuff
  • An autograph book and clickable Sharpie — I made mine from an inexpensive blank book, some Disney ephemera, and a few coats of Modge Podge.
  • Some Disney stickers and small books for Little A to enjoy while we were waiting for an attraction — If you have an Ollie’s in your area, go there now! They have a great selection of Disney books, toys, activity books, etc at really affordable prices.
  • Glow stick from the dollar store — So you don’t have to buy a much more expensive Disney version.

With these supplies, I was pretty well set. What about your Disney day pack? What did you include? What do you wish you had included?

 

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