One of the most popular posts any Disney blogger could ever write is about what to pack in your park bag. These posts are very helpful. You never hear what kids should pack for their own bag. Because many kids do not carry their own bags. Your kids when old enough should be responsible for their own belongings. Especially once you no longer use a stroller. As a parent, you will miss the stroller. Which made hauling everything a family needs for a day at Disney much easier.
My youngest carried her own park bag at five. Why? Because I was sick of carrying a heavy backpack all day. I had her stuff. My stuff. Whatever anyone else in our party needed. Our bag by day’s end was so heavy. My shoulders hurt and my back was stiff.
You could visit Disney with the clothes on your back. However, you will end up spending a lot of money at the parks throughout the day. If you get cold, buy a sweater. Feeling peckish? Buy a snack. Get a blister? You will go to first aid. Get a sunburn? You should have brought sunscreen. Add a kid to the mix and the problems can multiply.
Kids differ from adults. Some kids eat all day long. Many kids don’t know they have to pee until it’s almost an emergency. If you are on Pirates and your kid says I need to go potty, that ride can feel like an eternity. Some kids get bored. So a few small toys like action figures or a small stuffed animal may make the wait at a restaurant more bearable. So think about it for a second your kid needs all this extra stuff. You haul it all day. Therefore, kids need their own park bag.
They do not need a large backpack. A child sized one or their own hip pack may work fine. Teaching kids to be responsible for their belongings is something we have to do as parents. And having them carry their own items they will not over pack. Trust me. One or two trips with too much stuff they learn. Kids also learn to take better care of their things and not to lose them too.
We purchased our bag at Disneyland and we love it. I have been able to machine wash the bag. It also came with a harness for a Minnie Mouse Doll that came with the bag. So my daughter has a toy that does not take up space in her bag. We also use a Doc McStuffins mini backpack we got for free in a case of Pull Ups. Any bag will do. On a cold day a fanny pack works well too. Because your child will already wear a jacket which takes up a lot of space in the bag.
Here is what we suggest you pack for a day at Disney:
Children who still have occasional accidents a plastic bag with a pair of underpants. Also, leggings, jeans, or sweats, rolled up to take up less space.
A sweater or jacket. Even during summer. Because you never know if your child may feel cold. For milder weather we love using a wind breaker. Because those are compact and lightweight.
Small bag for trading pins. It’s much easier and faster than having them use a lanyard.
A small water bottle or juice box. 2-3 small snacks. Like a granola bar or some Cheerios. We love to pack a fruit squeeze or applesauce too. This saves me so much money.
Hand sanitizer or antibacterial hand wipes.
A few bandages just in case.
A small toy or two to keep boredom at bay. This helps when waiting for rides, parades, and food.
An old M&M’s mini’s tube with coins for penny pressing.
A travel size sunscreen stick. Sunscreen sticks are easy for kids to use.
Travel sized tissues.
Travel size baby wipes for messes.
Try to keep the bag tidy. It also helps you get through security faster. Any additional bags kept in the bag should be clear plastic. Keep water bottles upright. If there is space in the bag prop it up. I just had a water bottle fall over and leak. Most of my items were not salvageable.
Once your kids no longer need a stroller and carry their own things life gets better. I now carry a small cross-body bag or hip pack. I feel so much freer. We no longer have to fetch our stroller. I do not have to carry everything. It makes for a better experience for everyone all around. Do your kids carry their own bags at Disney? How old were they when they started?