I Go to Disneyland All the Time and These Are My 13 Must-haves, Starting at Just $5

Whether you’re going with kids or without, a parenting editor shares their essential items to have the best day ever.

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I Go to Disneyland All the Time These Are My TK must-haves Tout

Travel + Leisure / Daisy Rodriguez

As a longtime parenting editor, mom of three, and Southern California native, I go to Disneyland a lot more than the average person. I’ve been there solo, with friends, with babies, toddlers, and every configuration in between. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m getting ready to go again in just a few days. 

All this to say that by now, I have my Disneyland packing list for a full day at the Happiest Place on Earth down pat. 

A long day at either Disneyland or California Adventure requires more than just some impromptu planning. Imagine miles (and miles) of walking, lots of time spent waiting in line, and impatient children. It’s still going to be the best day ever, but a few carefully packed items will really help to make the day so much more comfortable for every member of the family. 

From comfy yet stylish shoes that I can rely on to carry me across the park to a genius portable fan, these are the things I recommend packing to all my friends and family that are embarking on a full Disneyland day, starting at just $5. 

Small Backpack

Herschel Nova Backpack


 There will inevitably be hours of waiting in line, and being able to have essentials like your wallet, sunscreen, water bottles, and most importantly, snacks on hand while not killing your back with an enormous bag is essential. I love this mini Herschel Nova Backpack for just that reason. It’s lightweight, comfy, stylish, and carries all the things I need for a family of five. 

To buy: amazon.com, $58

Comfy Shoes

adidas Originals Women's Stan Smith


In case you missed the memo, you’ll be logging thousands of steps at Disneyland, so comfy walking shoes are a must. I can walk for 13 hours in my Adidas Stan Smiths blister-free. The best part? They go with any outfit from shorts to pants to dresses.

To buy: zappos.com, $100

Snack Cup

Munchkin® Snack Catcher®, 2 Pack, Blue/Green


If you’re heading to the Happiest Place on Earth with little kids, these Munchkin Snack Catchers are a godsend. Stuff them with Cheerios, Goldfish crackers, dried fruit, or basically anything you want to ensure they always have a spill-proof snack they can feed themselves. And at just $6 for two, it’s also a steal of a deal. 

To buy: amazon.com, $6 for two-pack

Kids Sunscreen

Mineral Sunstick SPF 30

Tubby Todd Bath Co.

Sunscreen is a must for any Disney day, and I love this Tubby Todd Mineral Sunstick that’s small enough to fit in my pocket for easy waiting-in-line reapplication and easy enough for the kids to apply on their own. Plus, the SPF 30 protection lasts 80 minutes and is water-resistant, perfect for water rides. 

To buy: tubbytodd.com, $18

Tinted Sunscreen

Tower 28 Beauty SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Foundation


Here’s one for the adults: I’m a huge fan of practical items that also pull double duty, and this tinted sunscreen is no exception. A full day at Disneyland means multiple sunscreen reapplications, which is why I reach for this Tower 28 SunnyDay Tinted Sunscreen Foundation that goes on super smooth and also offers some coverage to make sure I’m still looking good in pictures many hours later. It comes in 17 different shades so everyone can find the perfect match for their skin tone.

To buy: sephora.com, $32


Organic Cotton Broken-In Baseball Cap


Even if it’s a cloudy day at Disneyland, you’ll still want a hat for yourself and the kids. I personally prefer a baseball cap style so it’s easy to stow away when the sun goes down but still keeps my face nice and shaded. I’ve worn this versatile Madewell Organic Cotton Broken-In Cap on many Disneyland trips and it’s still looking as good as new.

To buy: madewell.com, $30

Kid’s Hat

Toddler Mickey Mouse Reversible Bucket Hat


For the little ones, a cute Mickey-themed bucket hat would do the trick. I love that this one is reversible and practically takes up no space to stash under a stroller or in a backpack for when they want it off. 

To buy: target.com, $10

Reusable Water Bottle

Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Bottle with Flex Cap


Don’t waste money (or plastic) on expensive bottled water at the theme parks. There are water filling stations all over both Disneyland and California Adventure. I pack a bottle for each member of the family and fill them with ice before we leave. This 24-ounce Hydro Flask keeps things cold for hours, which is such a relief on a hot day. 

To buy: amazon.com, $26 (originally $40)

Baby Wipes

The Honest Company Clean Conscious Wipes


Even if you’re not going with a baby in tow, baby wipes are essential for a day at the Disney parks. They’re great for sticky hands and faces, wiping down tabletops, and so much more. These dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic wipes from The Honest Company are made of a gentle cleansing solution that’s 99 percent water with no fragrance, parabens, or other harmful ingredients, are super sturdy (no torn wipes here), and great for sensitive skin. I especially adore the flip top ensuring the wipes never dry out.

To buy: amazon.com, $5

Stroller Organizer

Momcozy Universal Stroller Organizer with Insulated Cup Holder Detachable Phone Bag & Shoulder Strap


If you’re bringing a stroller, make sure you have someplace to easily drop in your drinks, snacks, souvenirs and other things without having to dig in the basket below. I love this Momcozy Universal Stroller  Organizer that easily attaches to most strollers and even has a clear pocket for your phone. Being able to have some place I can easily reach for my coffee in the parks so I can stroll around hands-free is a must. 

To buy: amazon.com, $27

Portable Charger

Post Amazon Prime Day Deals
Courtesy of Amazon

Taking millions of pictures of the magical memories you’re making and using the Disneyland app for wait times and mobile ordering takes a big toll on your phone’s battery life. I always make sure to take an extra portable charger with me, and I have been loving this iWalk Portable Charger that simply attaches to my iPhone’s charger port (no cords!) so I can still hold it in my hand while it’s charging.

To buy: amazon.com, $26 with on-site coupon (originally $35)

Bladeless Fan

jisulife portable neck fan


I’ve been to Disneyland so many times when it’s just been an oppressive dry heat, not a breeze in sight. These neck fans are a godsend in hot weather, and being bladeless means you don’t have to worry about anyone’s hair getting accidentally tangled in the fan.

To buy: amazon.com, $23 with on-site coupon (originally $40)

Lightweight Sweater 

Retro Mickey And Friends Disneyland Est 1955 Sweatshirt


Southern California may be known for its perennially good weather, but the early morning and evenings can often get chilly at Disneyland. I always make sure to bring a lightweight sweater for some extra coverage, and if you’re going, why not just go all out and stay on theme?

To buy: amazon.com, $26 (originally $27)

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