Top 10 things to bring to the parks

If you’ve ever been stuck in line with cranky toddlers or even worse, a hangry adult, you know you’ve wished for Mary Poppins’ magic bag of tricks. While I can’t claim to sell you her bag I can help you be a bit more prepared for some needs you’ll have in the park. I like to pack light, so I chose to make use of water fountains rather than carry my own bottles with me. This is my minimalist list.You can of course carry your whole hotel room with you, but at the end of the day each ounce feels like an additional pound so I pack light. I like to use the drawstring backpacks and separate items inside in large Ziploc bags, but when the boys were little I used a large backpack.

I love the ease and lightness of this bag. Plus it was $3 in the Target $ section!

#1. Snacks-When my twins were under 3 they were happy when riding in a stroller. However, they were not happy to get in it at the start. So a reward of a pack of fruit gummies made things a bit more enticing. We also don’t usually eat those at home so they were an added treat. Nuts, goldfish, and cereal all are easy to eat on the run. I’ll either buy single packs or toss some in Ziploc bags. Beef jerky keeps adults going pretty well too.

#2. Underpants-My first trip with kids was with my well potty trained 4-year-old daughter. What never occurred to me was her terror of Disney’s efficient plumbing. You could throw a 2 x 4 down those toilets and I’m fairly confident it would be flushed easily. They are also automatic*, which strikes fear into the hearts of small children everywhere. The first time she used one it loudly flushed mid use and she flew off it at top speed- peeing everywhere. We had to search quite a few stores to find underwear for her tiny hiney and almost $20/3 pack later she was clean and dry. I’ve learned to pack a pair for each kid, (along with an extra pair of shorts and socks for anyone under 5 or not greatly potty trained), you never know when you’ll wish you had them. *Some people swear by post it notes to cover the sensors so they don’t flush until needed, I find covering it with my hand is just as good. I’m usually stuck in the stall with them anyway and prefer to carry as little a possible.

#3. Stickers– More Dollar Tree treats, a few sheets of stickers are light to carry and can entertain kids who are bored waiting in lines.

#4. Light up bracelets-I usually buy a light up toy at WDW for each kid. They love them and use them at home too. Price wise for souvenirs they aren’t outrageous and they actually play with them. But, I also usually toss a pack of light up bracelets from the Dollar Tree in my bag. They are a great thing to keep little ones happy after dark, especially if you are waiting for a parade. Plus a few bucks can buy you over 30 of them and my kids love to share them with other kids standing around, which their parents usually appreciate too.

#5. Band aids– Blisters and boo boos happen. Sometimes cast members in the store will happily offer you a band-aid or two if there is a scrape up. Others will offer you the pack of 5 band aids for over $3.

#6. Charger-The  app is fantastic and very user-friendly. But it’s also a phone battery drain. Often you need wi-fi, which is available in every park, but also sucks the life out of your phone. Either toss a portable charger in your bag or your plug-in charger.  I love this one. The portable one is much more convenient, but if you anticipate sit down moments there are plugs around the park to charge your phone.

#7. Camera battery-I’m assuming you’ll bring a camera to capture all those amazing moments, so I don’t feel like camera needs to be added to the list. But bring a back up battery so you don’t miss out on a single moment!

#8-Baby wipes– Even if you no longer have babies a small pack of these are super useful for wiping off hands or faces.

#9-Ziploc bags-When you are carrying around the previous mentioned dirty underwear you’re going to wish you had something to put it in so it won’t rub on your chapstick in your bag. Ziploc bags are super helpful for any wet clothes or sticky items.

A good backpack, like a good man, carries everything.

#10-Spray fan/sunscreen-If it’s summer bring the spray bottle/fan combo. You can get them at walmart. The ones Disney sells are wonderful, but they are also $20 a piece. I gave in and bought one for each kid when we went in May. It was worth the price for the change in attitude that came with it, but I wished I had thought to buy one beforehand.

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