As you start planning your day in the parks, there are a lot of factors to consider when deciding what you will need to bring with you for the day. Everyone has their own personal preferences and needs when considering what to pack for a day in the parks. The weather in Florida also plays a key role in determining what to bring along to stay as comfortable as possible as you explore the parks.
Although the nickname “The Sunshine State” implies that every day here is a warm, sunny day in paradise, our weather can go from one extreme to another very quickly.
During the winter, it’s not uncommon for temperatures to drop down close to the freezing point at night, and daytime to be fairly chilly, or even sometimes downright cold. Winter is the dry season in Florida, so rainfall is uncommon. And, although it is extremely rare, it is not impossible for snow to fall in Florida.
In the summer, you can count on a few things: brutal heat, extreme humidity, and ridiculously heavy downpours almost every afternoon that can sometimes pop up out of nowhere.
Just based on the weather alone, you need to be prepared for anything, at any time. Although not all of these things will apply to your trip, depending on when you plan your WDW vacation, here are some things that we recommend packing for your park day.
Ponchos and/or raincoats are a must. You won’t want to get caught in one of Florida’s monsoon-like thunderstorms without some kind of protection from the rain. If you end up getting soaking wet from a storm, you will likely be uncomfortable for the rest of the day. Your Disney vacation should be as enjoyable and as comfortable as possible, so be sure to avoid getting caught in a storm unprepared.
To expand on the topic of comfort and dry clothes, it’s not a bad idea to pack an extra pair of dry socks and a dry shirt in a backpack or purse to bring with you so you can change into something dry, if needed. This applies to both rainy days, and those hot, sweaty, sunny days. Comfortable shoes are also a must, considering the amount of walking that is involved throughout a day in the parks.
Deodorant, cologne, perfume, or a body spray of some sort will also be nice to have with you on those hot days to help you feel a bit fresher.
Water (and a refillable bottle) will be your friend all day long. Disney allows guests to bring outside food and non-alcoholic beverages into the parks. Bringing bottles of water, along with a refillable bottle, will help you to save money and will also make staying hydrated much more convenient. The quick service restaurants in the parks offer free small cups of ice water to help you stay hydrated throughout the day, as well.
As we just mentioned, guests are allowed to bring outside food into the parks, too. Once again, to help save money and also to allow a bit more convenience, instead of waiting to eat in busy restaurants in the parks, we recommend bringing snacks and sandwiches. If you plan ahead, you can bring food for all of your snacks and meals throughout the day. You can pack a small cooler (Just a heads up… Disney no longer allows ice in coolers in the parks), or pack food in a backpack to have at your convenience throughout the day.
There are also lockers available to rent for the day, on a first come first served basis, when you arrive at the parks. If you don’t want to carry a backpack or a small cooler around with you all day long, renting a locker will save you a lot of hassle. Small lockers are $10 per day and large lockers are $12 per day. Magic Kingdom and Epcot also both offer jumbo sized lockers, which are $15 per day.
Sunscreen, sunscreen, and more sunscreen. You definitely don’t want to forget sunscreen. Did we mention sunscreen? Yes, bring sunscreen. The Florida sun is very strong, and you can get a sunburn very quickly, regardless of the time of year. Even on a cool, cloudy day in the winter, you will want to wear sunscreen to avoid a potentially painful rest of your trip.
Lastly, we suggest bringing something you can take to relieve a headache. There is a lot of noise and activity in the parks. There are tens of thousands of people in the parks every day. You will no doubt encounter countless screaming children throughout the day (and sometimes screaming adults). Some people aren’t bothered by these things, but if you are prone to headaches caused by these things, you will want some relief to make sure you are able to fully enjoy your Disney experience.
Everyone will have their own personal specific list of items they want or need for the day in the parks, so be sure to give this some serious thought when planning for your day. Our list of suggestions covers the basics for most people, so this is a good start as you prepare to explore and take in everything the Walt Disney World theme parks have to offer.
Remember that carrying a heavy backpack or purse around all day long can be a lot of work and may start to drag you down a bit eventually, so you will want to pack as lightly as possible. We strongly urge you to look into a locker rental if you plan to pack more heavily.
What are your must-have items for a day in the parks? Is there anything we missed on our list of basics? Let us know in the comments below! We hope this list is helpful as you begin planning for your day in the parks!
XOXO, Halie and Danny