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Are you headed to Disney World in 2021?
If so, there’s a lot you need to know! With tons of changes and new health and safety measures, it might be VERY different than your last trip (or totally different than what you’d planned for your first!). You’ll want to be well-prepared for your trip, so today we’re helping you pack! There are some essentials you’re going to need for your 2021 trip but don’t worry, they won’t break the bank. All these items are under $15!
Listen, when we say that it rains a LOT in Florida, we mean it! In the summertime, it will likely rain (at least a little bit) most or every day of your trip, so you won’t want to be caught unprepared and get soaked.
Picking up some ponchos online or at your local store ahead of time can save you money in the parks. Like, we’re talking buying ponchos for your whole family for the price of one Disney poncho kind of money savings!
The ponchos that Disney sells are much more expensive, and a cheap pack from online is going to work just as well! Friends don’t let friends spend at least 10 bucks on a piece of plastic sheeting. 😉
Refillable Water Bottles
Another thing that you won’t want to spend money on in the parks is bottled water! Currently, a bottle of water will cost you $3.50 in Disney World. Save yourself some money and instead bring a refillable water bottle that you can take to the various bottle refill stations or fill with free cups of ice water from quick-service restaurants.
There are several water bottle options online for under $15, but if you want one with a little more “magic,” then check out some of our designs from the DFB Store. We’ve got several prints that a Disney fan will love!
A Power Bank for Your Phone
The My Disney Experience app is a key part of planning your day in the parks now more than ever. With access to wait times, Mobile Order, park maps, and so much more, you’ll want to make sure that your phone stays charged throughout the day. (Plus, you need that extra battery to take lots of pictures!)
While there are places around the park where you can sit down and plug in, like the area near the Tangled restrooms in Magic Kingdom, you’ll just be wasting valuable park time. Batteries called FuelRods ARE for sale at little kiosks throughout the parks, if you want to go that route. Once you buy one for $30 you can exchange it for a fresh one whenever you run out of juice.
We use these often fairly reliably or, better yet, pack our own from home. You can purchase a portable battery pack, charge it up ahead of time, and bring it in your park bag. Then, when your phone dies, you can plug it in and stay on the move! The advantage of NOT getting a FuelRod is most of these batteries will give you multiple charges between having to recharge the battery itself, making it more convenient.
Especially nowadays, you’ll likely want to stay as clean as possible when traveling to Disney World. That can be difficult because we often don’t realize just how many things we touch in the parks! Seriously, think about just riding a ride. You’re holding on to a handrail, getting in and out of the vehicle, and more. You’ll likely want to have a way to keep your hands clean. Besides frequent hand-washing, one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs is by sanitizing your hands.
Sure, there are LOTS hand sanitizer stations spread throughout Disney World, but some people aren’t a fan of the particular type of sanitizer Disney uses. PLUS, we’d say there’s a 50/50 shot that any sanitizer pump you find in the parks is…empty. There are a lot of folks using them and, especially at the exits of attractions and the entrances of the parks, we find them, more often than not, out of sanitizer. They get refilled often but don’t rely fully on Disney for your sanitizer needs. Bring your favorite brand or scent along with you, and you won’t have to worry.
OK, we need to talk about wet wipes. Basically, they’re a lifesaver. A large part of Disney World is covered in sticky surfaces, thanks to other guests, food, and more. Plus, we’re typically up to our wrists in frosting, cheese, or other goopy deliciousness and need a way to clean up. Wipes. Are. Everything.
Pack some wet wipes in your bag and you’ll be able to wipe down those tables, rails, ride seats, or sticky hands when things aren’t as clean as they should be. You can thank us later!
You may wonder “why sandwich bags?” but hear us out! These little baggies are great for keeping your belongings separated and organized inside your park backpacks or strollers.
On top of that, they’re very helpful for securing your valuable belongings and keeping them from getting wet. Keep a sandwich bag ready for your phone when you board a water ride and keep your most precious items zipped up so that they don’t get wet in the rain! Plus, they’re super handy if you can’t quite finish that cookie or treat and want to safely save it for later. 🙂
If you’re traveling to Disney World in 2021, be prepared to adhere to the resort’s mask mandates. All guests 2 and older are required to wear one throughout their time in the parks, so make sure that you get some styles that you like! Keep in mind, even wearing masks whenever you go out and about back home, it’s NOT the same as a full day in the sun, heat, rain, and sweat that comes with a day in Disney World. That favorite mask of yours might not feel so great after eight+ hours. Pack various styles to give yourself options in the moment.
Another reason it’s beneficial to have some backup masks in your park bag is that wearing one that’s damp or stretched out can get uncomfortable quickly. In our experience when it’s warm out, having a backup to switch to when things get sweaty is a lifesaver too. Keep your extras stored in a sandwich bag in your backpack to make sure they stay dry!
You probably don’t need to be told that Florida is HOT. Even in the non-summer months, the sun can be intense. Save yourself from future misery by packing sunscreen!
Whether or not you burn easily, applying some sunblock throughout the day will help make sure that you don’t get uncomfortable crispy in the parks. Besides chafing or sore feet, a sunburn may be one of the things that lead to a ruined park day the fastest.
While it may seem silly, packing an extra pair of socks could actually save you some grief during the day. There’s a chance that your feet could get wet from rain or water attractions, and we all know how miserable soggy socks can be!
Besides that, switching out your socks part of the way through the day may help your feet feel refreshed and less fatigued or help prevent blisters. we’ve been there where our shoes start off the day comfy as can be but after a few hours, we’ve got some rubbing happening we need to relieve. Switching to a different style sock can help. You never know what a fresh pair of socks could do!
We’ve already mentioned how intense the Florida sun can be, and that’s exactly why you need a great pair of sunglasses! But here’s the catch — you’re vacationing at a theme park, so you may not want to bring along your most expensive pair.
Think of how devastated you’d be if your fancy sunglasses got lost, stolen, or fell off while on a rollercoaster. Instead, we recommend getting a cheap but effective pair that won’t be missed too desperately if something happens. Keep in mind that with wearing masks comes the dreaded fogged-up glasses. Test this before your trip to make sure you find a comfortable pair that don’t sit too close to your mask so they stay nice and clear all day.
This one is for the ladies and gents with longer hair! For those who plan on wearing their hair down during the day, then you’ll want to get a few extra of these to pull your hair back for thrill rides. Also keep in mind that wearing your hair down might seem like a good idea until the heat or rain sets in and you’re begging for a hair tie to get it up off your neck!
Even if you’re wearing your hair up, you may want to have some extras just in case. You never know when your hair tie might break!
Since you’ll have to wear a mask throughout your vacation, you may want to invest in some lip balm. Heat, sweat, and the mask environment can all combine to make uncomfortably dry lips.
Wearing a mask will be a lot more comfortable if your lips aren’t chapped, so make sure to reapply that balm when it’s time for a mask break! Less “goopy” lip balms seem to perform longer under masks. A minty flavor is a plus too, as it keeps things a bit fresher under that fabric. We’re big fans of Burt’s Bees brand. It’s dryish to the touch compared to other brands, and some flavors offer a burst of peppermint.
Speaking of comfort and a “not so fresh feeling” when wearing a mask…have you ever tried to wear a mask when your breath was less-than-perfect? It can be kind of miserable. We’ve chowed down on all sorts of garlicky, smokey, or otherwise…pungent foods before then find ourselves getting a reminder of what we ate for the rest of the day!
Gum isn’t sold anywhere on Disney World property, so you’ll need to bring your own if you want that minty-fresh feeling. Disney doesn’t SELL gum because, well, they don’t want you stepping in it! Or touching it under a table or railing or anywhere else gross people stash spent gum. Another option would be to consider some mints!
Paper straws are pretty much everywhere in Disney World nowadays, and if you’re not a fan, then it’s time to invest in a reusable one. If you’ve tried drinking a frozen drink in Disney World with a paper straw you know a few sips in, it seems to start to turn to mush.
There are tons of types out there, from metal to silicone and everything in-between. We suggest getting some that come with their own cleaning tools, that way you can wash them out and reuse them with ease!
You know that feeling when you’re tired and feel a massive headache coming on and you really just need some relief? Sometimes just being in the sun all day can zap it out of you and before you know it, your head is throbbing. Yeah, you don’t want that feeling in a theme park! Make sure to stock up on your favorite over-the-counter medications BEFORE your trip.
It’s nice to have your own stash handy when you need it. Keep in mind, you CAN swing by First Aid in any park for select free over the counter medicines like Tylenol or a bandaid. If you’re in need of something specific or something not stocked in First Aid, you could be left spending extra money on marked-up medications in the park that may not be your preferred brand or type. Save yourself the time and hassle, and just bring some for your park bag.
A Face Mask Chain
When you’re dining at a restaurant or eating a snack, you won’t want to take off your mask and sit it just anywhere. Enter…the mask chain!
These neat little contraptions work similarly to glasses chains (cause that’s basically all they are!). They hold your mask with clips or hooks and then let it hang around your neck when not in use. They come in all kinds of styles and patterns as well, so you can get them to match your mask or your outfit! These are especially helpful with kids that tend to yank off their mask and toss them on a dirty table!
A Stroller Cover
If you’re a parent, then you know how important it is to keep your stroller dry! One pop-up rainstorm and everything you had stored in stroller parking is now completely soaked. (Been there. Done that. It sucks.)
When traveling with a stroller, make sure to invest in a solid stroller cover ahead of time. Think of it like a poncho for your stroller! Put it on your stroller anytime you leave it outside, and you’ll be good to go no matter the weather! If it DOES start raining, you can leave your kiddo safely inside while you navigate around and they’ll remain nice and dry!
A Mask Bracket
This item is an interesting addition to our list that you may love or you may hate. If you’re bothered by the feeling of your mask getting sucked into your mouth when you breathe and talk, then you may want to get a mask bracket.
This invention is made to safely keep your mask slightly away from your lips and away from your face, while still making sure that it does the job it’s supposed to do. When you’re sweaty and that mask is clinging to your cheeks and lips, this could be a great source of relief for many folks. They could be helpful for those long park days when you’re huffing and puffing!
If you’ve ever been to Disney World in the warmer months you know all too well the feeling of standing in a sweltering line often in the full sun praying for a fan or AC to be nearby. Well, now you can get relief on the go!
Disney sells mister fans that we admit do feel nice in the summer, but with masks, they’re not practical. If your mask gets wet, you’ll need to trade out for a dry one. We recommend you pack your own. Many guests bring handheld fans to the parks, and although they seem really touristy, they really DO help. Just a little battery-operated fan can make a BIG difference!
Another easy way to keep cool is by using a cooling towel. Simply wet these towels, wave them around for a second, and place them around your neck. Voila, you’re on your way to chilling out!
They’re helpful, reusable, and great for use even outside of Disney World.
A Stroller Clip
Have you been shopping? Or have you just packed too many bags for the park and now you’re tired of carrying them? Either way, a stroller clip may be just what you need.
If you’re traveling with a stroller, invest in a heavy-duty clip to attach any stray bags to the handle. Getting those extra bags off your arms and out of the other areas of the stroller will help you save space and keep you from getting weighed down.
There you have it, those are some of the essentials that you may need for your 2021 Disney trip! If you’re traveling this year, make sure to stay tuned to DFB for the latest information and news from the Disney World parks!
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What do you pack in your park bag? Tell us in the comments!