By: Inspire Diva
We are going on our next trip to Disneyland in March 2014 and we are going with my parents who have not been since 2006. So in December when I was trying to decide what to give them for Christmas, and I was racking my brain trying to come up with a great gift. Something useful and fun and of course Disney. I decided on a Disney Survival Backpack. This is what I gave them.
When packing for Disneyland I always pack a backpack. I pack it up even before we leave home so that I have one less thing to worry about when we get there (sometimes we just throw our stuff in the room and head straight there because we just can’t wait!). So I got to thinking, what do I keep in my backpack?
Here are my backpack purchasing requirements:
- It should be padded with a nice comfortable back and straps.
- It should have lots of pockets. So everything has its place.
- Water bottle holders. Mine can hold 4.
My current backpack has lumbar support as well (I bought my parents the same kind). Comfort is the key word here you will be wearing it all day and depending on the time of year for up to 16 hours.
Ours is an AirBak backpack and we actually liked them so much that we bought more of them for my kids to use as school backpacks. We have them in both blue and green.
Next I look at what types of things you need on a regular basis while you’re at Disneyland.
- Sunscreen, I bring travel sized bottles two aerosol for a quick spray on (enough to reapply, my daughter is a redhead) and a cream so you can put in on your face and ears (Travel size is lighter so your backpack won’t be so weighed down).
- Sunglasses (we usually keep these on our faces but when they’re not we throw them in the backpack).
- Chapstick of some kind, I recommend something with sunscreen in it.
- Tissues for the sudden allergy attack (this happens to us a lot!).
- Anti-bacterial wet wipes and hand sanitizer.
- Sandwich baggies with a zipper (for anything from keeping your electronics dry to packing up leftovers for snacks.)
- A mini first aid kit, I also recommend mole skin it really helps with blisters.
- Digital camera (we actually use our phones more than our camera but we pack it anyways just in case they die).
- Extra batteries and SD card for your camera.
- Disposable ponchos, 1 for every member of your family that is going (this comes in handy if it rains or if you really don’t want to get drenched on a water ride).
- I also pack a portable battery charger so that we can recharge our phones on the go.
- Emergency items such as Advil/ Tylenol, allergy meds, Dramamine (I put all of my meds into 1 small bottle so everything is in one place, just make sure you can tell them all apart), or tampon/pads (if you don’t have these make sure you have a quarter that is what they cost at Disneyland).
- Cash (there are some carts in the park that do not take cards so just in case there is a churro emergency keep some spare cash in here)
These are the items that I always keep in my backpack. We replenish and recharge but this is it.
If we are driving (we’re from Utah) we can bring some of our favorite snacks along with us but we usually can’t bring everything, like fruits and veggies for instance. Once we arrive we head to the grocery store and stock up on snacks. This is a huge money saver and since I have a lot of diet restrictions it makes my life easier.
What we bring:
For me– Sliced apples and peanut butter, trail mix, dried fruit, gluten free crackers.
For my hubby– Cheese and crackers, trail mix, granola bars and gummies.
For the teens– Granola bars, Pringles in single serving packs, cheese and crackers, gummies.
I don’t bring all of these snacks at once we pick 1 or 2 each and throw them in there. On top of this I budget $10 per person per day for Disney snacks, because there are times when you really want the churro or the popcorn! If we don’t use it we can add it to our souvenir fund.
I also bring empty reusable water bottles for all of us. (You can get free cups of water at any counter service restaurant or you can refill at a drinking fountain.) I recommend something with a twist on cap that won’t spill while being bounced around in your backpack. I also don’t recommend the refillable Disney cup unless you have a stroller because you won’t have anywhere to put it if you want to get on a ride unless you can finish the whole thing.
Most of my list goes into the small front pocket and is separated into compartments. Things I want easy access to go in here. The other two pockets are larger, and we use the larger one for our ponchos they are small and we just throw them down at the bottom. We also use it to hold our hoodies and jackets during the day (because it gets chilly during the evening) and the other pocket is for any purchases that we make during the day. We only carry in 1 large backpack (my hubby carries this), my daughter and I both carry a small purse and my son carries a small draw string backpack.
My list is based on my family of 4 which includes me and my hubby and my 2 teenagers who are 13 and 16. My list won’t match up to everyone’s needs so I suggest that you examine or think about what supplies you will need while you are there. Then with some of my tips and your additions you will be able to create your perfect Disney Survival Backpack.
As I was writing this article I asked my teens what they thought was the most important thing to have in the backpack. Their reply was food. My teens are generally not hard to please, give them their phones and some earbuds so they aren’t bored in line and some snacks and they’re good to go. I am lucky enough to have teens that seem to like hanging out with us (even in public) but sometimes taking some time to go out on date and letting them have the freedom to roam around by themselves can make your trip that much better (they say absence makes the heart grow fonder). Just make sure they have their essentials, they should be cool with their phone (make sure it’s charged) and some cash (in case they need that emergency churro).