March 06, 2017
Visiting Disney Parks at Walt Disney World or any of the parks at Universal Orlando Resort are some of our favourite things to do here at 1923 Main Street. With over 95 weeks spent at Walt Disney World Resort alone, you could say that I am a bit of a keener when it comes to Disney travel.
Travelling to Orlando theme parks in particular can be challenging enough without having to worry about whether or not you’ve forgotten something -- especially if this is your first time visiting. So while each family will have their own unique list of items that they don’t want to forget (hats, sunglasses etc.), here is my suggested list of eight essential items that you should always bring with you on any visit to Disney Parks or Universal Theme Parks in Orlando.
8 Items You Shouldn’t be Without at Walt Disney World Resort or Universal Orlando Resort:
Florida is hot and Disney Parks and Universal Parks can compound the heat with crowds and wait times. You can always find a place to get a drink, but that often involves waiting in line or searching for some place close by without deviating from your schedule. It’s amazing how hard it can be to find a drink when you really want one! Bringing your own refillable water bottle (or bottles) means that you can always have a drink close at hand. Plus, you can refill it at a fountain within the park and be ready to go again.
Tip: Remember that you can also ask for a free cup of cold tap water at any quick service restaurant location if you don’t have a drink with you.
A small tube of sunscreen and a sunblock stick are two essential items that you should have on hand – especially if you are visiting between March and September when the sun can do some quick damage. You don’t want to weigh yourself down with bulk size bottles, but the small travel bottles of sunscreen are a great choice here. Keep the sunburns away and everyone protected. This will go a long way towards reducing the risk of the inevitable first visit meltdowns due to uncomfortable burns.
Meeting your favorite characters (including the likes of Kylo Ren, pictured above at Disney's Hollywood Studios) is one of the most fun things about visiting a Disney Park or Universal Theme Park. While each location will happily sell you an autograph book onsite, they tend to be expensive and you may not have it when you need it. Come prepared with any type of small bound booklet of blank or lined pages and you will ensure that you won’t miss out on a key autograph from your favourite characters.
Tip: Bring along a marker with a normal felt tip for the characters to use. Small pens with fine tips are harder for them to hold and write with, so they’ll appreciate the thought that went into letting them write with a larger size marker (like a regular tip Sharpie).
If there’s one thing that’s nearly certain, it’s that someone at some point will spill or drip something on themselves or somebody else. Having a few wet naps on hand will make for a quick and easy clean-up until you can get to a restroom or back to the hotel to do a more thorough job. Kids and adults alike will appreciate the quick clean up that gets them back on their way.
Believe me, I love Park food as much as the next guy (Disney popcorn and Mickey Ice Cream sandwiches are personal favorites), but sometimes hunger can come out of nowhere – especially for the little ones. If it goes unsatisfied for too long, hunger can morph into a full-fledged meltdown and put a damper on the day. When this happens, you don’t want to be desperately searching for some place with no line to get food. So bring along a couple of small, light snacks to stem the tide when hunger hits (such as granola bars, packaged pepperoni sticks, nuts etc. – something that won’t melt in the heat). This will help to carry you through until you can get to lunch or a bigger snack at a later time.
Unlike California, it does rain in Florida – and it rains a fair bit if you’re visiting in the summer time. When downpours hit the parks, the crowds scatter to the nearest shelter and the shops will break out their handy supply of ponchos. At something like $8.00+ a pop for a poncho, it can get pretty expensive to outfit a family, let alone the time it takes to line up and get one. When the rain hits, it’s a great time to visit attractions in the park (the ones that don’t close due to rain – like the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror). So save some time and money and get a jump on everyone else by coming equipped with your own ponchos when rain is in the forecast.
On a related note, having a small microfibre towel or two is a handy item to have on hand for several possible park scenarios. These little towels will come in handy for everything from small spills on clothes or faces, to drying off seats on rides after a rain shower. You can bring some napkins as a substitute, but a microfibre towel is small and light and definitely much sturdier (plus, they dry very quickly and are washable and reusable).
Of course, once you have your kit of essential items together (plus any of your own that you add to it), you’ll need a knapsack or backpack to carry them all around the Disney and Universal Parks. Any small bag will do (it will be checked by security at the entrance to the park), but a knapsack or backpack will keep your hands free and items secure. Fortunately, we carry a great selection of Disney and Universal themed bags that are ideal for this!
You can do the parks in style with the eye-catching Harry Potter Mini Backpack or a soft Disney Princess Ariel Knapsack (also available in Cinderella or Frozen themes).
Check out our full selection of backpacks and knapsacks from the likes of Disney, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Batman, Harley Quinn and more! Simply search "knapsack" or "backpack" here on 1923MainStreet.com to see the full range of packs that we offer.
Hopefully, these tips and essential items recommendations will help to make your trip to Walt Disney World Resort or Universal Orlando Resort that much more enjoyable and carefree!
What are your favourite recommended items for visiting the Disney or Universal Theme Parks?
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