by Brittany DiCologero & Chaz Saldi
First things first, what kind of bag are we talking about here?
Brittany: I probably change out the bags I bring to the parks more than anyone I know. It really depends on the weather, outfit, how long I’m going to be in the park, etc… In general, I either go with a cross body bag (a Disney Dooney and Bourke bag, or an off brand one from Target that is slightly larger) or a backpack. The backpack is a kind of new to me, as I never wanted to bring one to the park before because I figured it would be annoying. Since the cameras I use in the parks have gotten progressively bigger, I find the backpack to be helpful, and more comfortable than an ordinary camera bag for getting it around throughout the day. Without the camera, I would probably get away with a cross body bag and never consider a backpack. Sometimes I also go with no bags, but now that I’m not local to the parks this has become more rare for me.
Chaz: Backpack or no bag. If I bring a backpack it’s because I’m changing clothes and will probably not go back to the resort first, or I’m bringing some extra rain gear… or carrying Brittany’s backpack.
We’re not going to suggest specific bags we think you should buy, because from our own experience there is so much personal preference involved that it isn’t even worth us suggesting you our favorites. We do have some advice however:
For purses, we strongly recommend a cross body bag. Regardless of the size you’re looking for, they’re easier to carry around the parks, and they tend to go with most outfits. If you get one that’s spacious enough you can throw some extra stuff in it, like small souvenirs that you don’t feel like having shipped to the resort.
For backpacks, our main suggestion is to get something comfortable. Ours has a lot of compartments and cushion inside of it, because we keep the camera in there, but if this isn’t a concern focus on the straps being comfortable. And carefully decide on the size you want to get– any backpack that is too large can easily become annoying to carry around the parks.
We do not recommend wristlets and drawstring backpacks. Wristlets are (in our opinion) too small to the point where they are almost annoying. They might be good for going to the bar in your local town, but for walking around Walt Disney World we would suggest something a little bit more substantial. We’ve had terrible luck with drawstring backpacks in the past, which may be our own personal problem however as a result we would not recommend them. In our experience, the strings either tangle easily and taking it on and off becomes really annoying, or they get too full throughout the day resulting in the bag not making it throughout the whole trip.
So what’s in our bag?
We’ll say “bag” singular, even though there are two of us, because we are usually in the parks together and use whatever we bring interchangeably.
- cell phones
- portable charger (As in the ones you charge beforehand and can keep in your purse. We’ve accepted that using your cell phone for the My Disney Experience app can be super helpful for your vacation, and in my case I [Brittany] enjoy the access to Gmail, Instagram, and WordPress so a charger is a must. But we would NEVER bring a charger that requires an outlet. We don’t want to spend our vacations sitting near an outlet waiting for our phones to charge).
- extra camera battery
- extra memory cards
- notebook (You may not find this necessary– we take one for note-taking purposes to make our reviews and trip reports easier to write).
- pens/pencils (Obviously we use these for writing in the notebook, but they’re never a bad thing to have).
- hand sanitizer
- Body Glide (Click here if you’ve never heard of Body Glide- it’s super helpful if you have any problems with blisters and chafing while walking through the parks, or if you’ll be doing any runDisney events).
- sunscreen (Usually whatever the smallest travel size we can find is. We think it’s easier to buy a couple of small bottles than carry a large one).
- gum/mints (If you like chewing gum bring it with you, because they don’t sell any at Disney. Just don’t be a jerk and litter, throw it away when you’re done).
- snacks (We don’t always bring snacks, but they can definitely be a good thing to have, especially if you have small kids).
- makeup/hairspray (I [Brittany] only bring this when I know I’m going from a long day at the parks to a signature restaurant for dinner without stopping at the hotel).
- hair elastics
- prescription eyeglasses
- extra contacts
- contact solution/rewetting drops
- pin lanyard
- trading pins
- credit cards
- drivers license/ID
- Disney gift cards
I think that’s just about everything we bring. Do you have anything to add to our list? Let us know in the comment section!