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We are a theme park loving family. We’ve taken the kids to theme parks all over the world and in the States. Packing a theme park bag the right way, is so important for your day! You don’t want to pack too much where you’re lugging around what feels like a ton of bricks all day. You also want to make sure you’re prepared with things you’ll need throughout the day. So, keep reading to see what I think a mom’s theme park bag essentials entails.
Also, at the end of this post there are more images from our trips to Universal Studios Singapore, Movie World Gold Coast, Dreamworld Gold Coast, Magic Kingdom Orlando, Animal Kingdom Orlando, Hollywood Studios Orlando, Silver Dollar City Branson, Dollywood in Tennessee, Six Flags Over Texas, and Universal’s Islands of Adventure Orlando.
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure to check the theme park’s website for their rules on what items you are allowed/not allowed to bring into the park. There’s nothing worse than parking 5 miles away, waiting in line for an hour, then getting up to security to realize you aren’t allowed to bring something in that you have in your bag.
We don’t typically use lockers at theme parks, but if you plan on using one, make sure your bag is small enough to fit inside the lockers. We typically take my husband’s backpack because he’s usually the one who carries the bag.
OUR THEME PARK BAG ESSENTIALS
You might not need or want all of the items below, but here’s a good starting point on what to pack in your bag. Every family is different, so have a look through to see what you might want to bring along to your day of fun!
- Wash rag that is frozen overnight – My son gets heat exhaustion easily. I have to keep an eye on him in the summer months so he doesn’t pass out! These frozen wash rags are great at cooling him down throughout the day. I literally just grab one of the hotel’s wash rags, soak it with water, and place it in the freezer. The morning of our theme park day, I place the frozen wash rag in a reusable or ziplock bag and let it thaw throughout the day. It stays cold all day!
- Reusable bags – We mainly use these reusable storage bags for snacks, but if your backpack isn’t waterproof, you might want to put your phone and camera in one of these inside your backpack!
- Hats – You’ll want to keep your head protected from the sun, especially if you’re going to a theme park that isn’t well shaded. Just remember, on coasters, to take your hats off and put them in your bag before the ride takes off!
- Baby wipes – These can be used for so much! I love using these in sticky hand situations, wiping down the handrails on our chairs at lunch, or before we eat if there isn’t a bathroom nearby. We use Honest Company’s wipes because they are plant-based and don’t contain any synthetic chemicals.
- Comfortable shoes you don’t mind getting wet – These water shoes I bought my hubby have held up well and work great for theme parks. We don’t technically put them in our bag (he wears them) but it was worth mentioning!
- Snacks – Check with the theme park to see if you are allowed to bring in outside food. Some of our favorite snacks are:
- Sunglasses – Make sure you bring a cheap pair of sunnies that you don’t mind losing. We learned this the hard way on our most recent trip when my husband’s fave pair of Ray Bans flew off on Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure (at Universal’s Islands of Adventure). The hubs forgot that he tucked them into his shirt!
- Sunscreen – We are all about that non-toxic life. Badger brand is usually the sunscreen we use. Their sunscreen stick, which is linked is great for theme park days!
- Deodorant – After a long day in the heat, you’ll be sweating! I always throw deodorant in our bag to touch up in the afternoon. I love Schmidt’s deodorant because even though it’s a natural deodorant, it works great! It doesn’t have aluminum or propylene glycol. Mamas, check your deodorant ingredients (well, check all of your beauty care ingredients) to make sure what you’re putting on your skin is safe for you and not going to cause cancer, birth defects, infertility, allergies, or any other unwanted side effects. What you put on your skin matters!
- Hand sanitizer – I love Honest Company’s hand sanitizer spray. It doesn’t leave your hands feeling sticky, and it dries quickly.
- Chapstick – If you’re like me, your lips might dry out after all the roller coasters. Burt’s Bees chapstick is our family’s fave. Burt’s Bees also makes an SPF chapstick that would be great for theme park, beach, or ski days. I haven’t tried it yet, but love all the other Burt’s Bees products I’ve tried.
- Natural pain relief – Sometimes at theme parks with all the whipping and thrashing your head goes through on the rides, you might get a headache! We are a drug-free family, so essential oils are great in these instances.
- Bandaids for blisters or cuts – You’ll most likely be walking, a lot. We typically clock 15,000 to 25,000 steps a day when visiting theme parks. If you get a blister at any point during the day, you’re going to want a bandaid!
- Spare socks – If you’re going to do the water rides, you will love having a dry pair of socks to put on! These are also great to put on in the car after the day is done when you don’t need to have your wet shoes on.
- A reusable water bottle – Some parks allow you to bring in a refillable water bottle and will fill it for free!
- Mini hair brush – My girls like these mini Wet Brushes.
- Hair rubber bands for your kiddos (or you!) with long locks – Because it’s not fun to have hair going over your face and in your mouth while you’re screaming on the ride.
- Unopened water bottles – Check the park’s website to see if you’re allowed to bring these in.
- Phone battery bank – I absolutely enjoy being present and enjoying the moment, but I usually forget the moment soon after it happens. This is why I LOVE capturing our day through photos and videos. I use the heck out of my phone and usually run it dead halfway through the day. Battery power banks are essential for me!
- Poncho or umbrella – We brought these ponchos on our last trip to Florida so we could use them on the water rides….but I goofed and forgot them at our resort! We got completely soaked on the Jurassic Park River Adventure at Universal’s Islands of Adventure! It made for a hilarious memory, but next time the ponchos will be the first in our theme park bag.
- Wallet with just the essentials – Take all the extra receipts, cards, and other items you won’t need out of your wallet, or just take out the things from your wallet that you’ll need for the day. (ID, credit/debit card, cash)
I hope this list was helpful, and I hope you have so much fun at the next theme park adventure with your family/friends. Let me know in the comments where you’re planning to go!
Here are way too many pictures (as usual) of our fun theme park adventures!
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