Packing for the parks
We’ve been to a lot of theme parks over the last few years and have fine tuned what I carry (I do most of the carrying). It’s difficult to balance the need to take everything and the practicality of not wanting to carry it around all day.
We are heading off to Disneyland Paris in a few days and decided to share what we pack in our park bag. If you think we are missing a key piece of kit, or have any other ideas please let us know in the comments!
A good bag - First we need a decent bag to put everything in, it has to be strong and sturdy and have enough pockets for all your stuff. We use this Toy Story bag for our trips, it’s great and lightweight. Vans has stopped selling it though you can still buy a different Toy Story version. Though we do also have a collapsable North Face bag which is even lighter and can be folded up into a pocket when you don’t need it. It’s great if you are planning on shopping, or to just take your layers/raincoats in for the evening.
Water bottle - Most theme parks provide free water, whether you have to ask or they have fountains. It’s always a good idea to make sure you are hydrated, you will be out all day in the sun and walking quite a bit. The best way to access the free water is through a water bottle. Our water bottle is a Camelbak Eddy Insulated, it means the water stays slightly colder for longer.
Appropriate clothing - Jumpers, coats or jackets always remember to take appropriate clothing. We have a couple of ‘pac-a-macs’, jackets which fold into small pouches. These are great if it rains, or for water rides, plus they give you an extra layer if it gets chilly at night.
Medical Supplies - Some basic medical supplies are always handy, like plasters and pain killers. There is nothing worse than waiting in line with a headache.
A clear plastic bag - Ideally with a zip lock acts as a great waterproof bag. Put your phone/money in before going on those wet rides and it should keep everything nice and dry.
Sunscreen - Remember to take plenty of sunscreen, even if its not sunny.
Camera & accessories - If you don’t have a camera already do yourself a favour and invest in one. Mobile phones are still no match for a good dedicated camera. I typically take two, a Sony RX100 M3 and a GoPro Hero Session for our ride shots. Don’t forget a spare battery and memory card if you need them.
Portable Charger & Cables - These chargers are versatile and can be used to charge your mobile, camera or any other electronic device which supports USB charging. Be careful when taking a charger, so can weigh a lot. I’ve found the Anker Powercore Slim to be the best balance of weight and power. It can charge my iPhone almost twice.
Paper & Pen - For those autographs you always wanted.
Tripod - Even the best photographers still have shaky hands, if you want to get good quality shots at night consider investing in a tripod. A Gorilla Pod is a great everyday tripod, but if you want something more substantial I would recommend the Manfrotto befree one. It’s not the lightest, but it’s very sturdy and fits into my rucksack.
Hand sanitizer - Alongside some tissues great for dealing with the spills of those Dole Whips.