9 Disneyland Essentials to Help You Pack Lightly
Disneyland is definitely the happiest place on earth, but can also be the most exhausting place on earth, so it’s important to pack efficiently and lightly. My husband and I have been to disneyland the past 3 summers, and through the trips, I’ve been honing my purse essentials.
First of all, leave the big purse at home. I’ve found that a small, cross body bag or backpack is best. A shoulder purse will end up just causing you neck and shoulder pain. I recently bought the Sienna camera bag from Jo Totes (or of the like http://astore.amazon.com/erinrachphot-20/detail/B00DWA5G18) and have found it to be perfect for traveling. It’s not too big, but not too small and I was surprised at how much stuff I was able to fit in it. Also I get TONS of compliments when I wear it!
Even using a small bag, you still have to be careful not to overpack. However if you’re anything like me, you need a lot of stuff during the day! The goal is to avoid carrying around a lot of weight all day, so you can still pack a lot, just make each item count. Here are some of my Disneyland essentials and some tips and tricks to lighten your load:
Yes, I love my SLR and DSLR, but I need my phone for my instagrams! Be sure to #disneyland!
50mm, 35mm, or other small lens:
When it comes to camera lenses, I’m still working out the perfect formula. The lens needs to be small and light, yet have a good range. The trouble is that most small lenses are primes. So, the best suggestion I have right now is either a 50mm 1.8, or 35mm 1.8. Maybe an 85mm 1.8 would work too. I haven’t used a long lens at Disney (mostly because I don’t want to carry it around all day) but I’ve found myself wanting a long lens sometimes during the day. Above all, try to keep your selection simple and versatile. Disneyland memories move quickly and you don’t want to miss out because you were changing your lens.
Extra film/Memory cards:
During my past two trips to Disney, I’ve challenged myself to leave the digital at home, and only shoot film (Ektar is my favorite!) If you are a film shooter, be sure to pack extra rolls and keep the ones you aren’t using in your hotel mini fridge. Digital shooters will be fine with a single, extra large memory card, unless you don’t plan on unloading your card between days, then you’ll want to be sure to pack extras!
It’s California after all, so chances are these will be on your face most of the day and not in your bag, but I think they are still worth mentioning as an essential.
No matter what shoes you wear, no matter how broken-in, no matter how comfortable, chances are some part of them will start rubbing some part of your foot raw over the course of the trip. (During our last trip, my husband and I estimated we walked nearly 40 miles during our trip!) You can get band aids at the first aid center in the park (the one in California Adventure even looks like a little hospital, it’s so cute!) but bandaids are small, light, and easy to pack, so you might as well toss some extra in your bag. My favorites are the fabric ones. I find they stick the best and really help avoid blisters.
Preferably get one with SPF in it. Chapped, burned lips can seriously ruin your trip.
While I’m mentioning SPF, be sure to put some one before you leave for the day. My husband and I usually head back to the hotel for a nap in the afternoon, so I can reapply sunscreen then and can avoid carrying it around all day. But if you find yourself needing to carry it with you, put a little in a travel size squeeze tube to save some space.
Anti bacterial gel:
The rides are fun, but gross. I’m a bit of a germaphobe so I cherish my anti-bacterial gel in all public places.
Obviously! But to save space, you could put your ID, credit card, and some cash in a small change purse so you don’t have to carry your clunky, heavy wallet around all day. Also, a little tip is to buy your souvenirs on your way out of the park in the evening, that way you don’t have to carry your cargo with you all day!
During this past trip to Disneyland, my husband and I were introduced to the mystical world of pin trading! It was something I never noticed during previous trips, but apparently it’s a pretty big deal! You can buy starter packs of pins in the gift shops and then trade with any cast member you see wearing pins. It’s so fun! You just walk up to them and ask to see their pins. I got a couple of starter packs and by then end of the trip, I had a lanyard full of cute pins that I adore! You’ll see people wearing them around their necks in the park, but I was too nervous that pins were going to fall off, so I kept my lanyard in my purse most of the day.
For me, a snack bar is a must. I get hungry (or should I say hangry!) quickly. I need to eat often throughout the day. Now, Disneyland is known for many things, and one of them being great food. However, the worst drag on a trip is waiting in line for snacks. Skip the lines for little snacks, but meals are best left to the Disney experts. There are so many restaurant experiences to choose from, and they are excellent when it comes to handling any food allergy or dietary preferences, so definitely be sure to dine in at least a couple of times. A few of my favorites were Ariel’s Grotto, and Carthay Circle in California Adventure, and Thunder Mountain Barbecue in Disneyland. Some restaurants have river or castle views, so if you coordinate your reservations carefully, you might be able to get some prime viewing experiences while you dine!
Of course these are just a few of my favorite essentials. I’d love to hear from you if you have any other tip or tricks to save some space and travel lightly! Comment below!