suitcase to pack for disneyland

The Ultimate 2021 Packing List For Disneyland & What To Wear Guide

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Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. It’s one of those places where we can escape our daily life and enjoy a magical time with friends and family, as well as some amazing rides. Before you go, you need to plan your packing list for Disneyland. We share with you all the essentials you will need – from what to wear each month of the year in California weather to what items are permitted inside the park!

Whether this is your first visit or 100th, these tips will be invaluable for making sure your Disneyland visit is as memorable as possible!

Having the right gear when visiting Disneyland or any of the Disney parks around the world for that matter, can ensure your trip is a success rather than one that turns into somewhat of a disaster!

The Essential Packing List For Disneyland

So what do you need to pack for Disneyland? Whether it’s the epic rides, the show extravaganzas or all the Disney characters around every corner, there will never be a dull moment! Here are some of our essential items for visiting Disneyland:

Day Bag – First of all, the main thing that you must have is a good-quality day bag. It doesn’t need to be a backpack either. It can get very crowded at Disneyland and you will likely spend at least part of your day standing in lines so huge bulky backpacks can be quite an inconvenience.

A travel sling bag may be more suitable if it is large enough for your needs. Make sure the bag you take can fit all of your essential day items and one that is comfortable to wear for a full day. Check out our guide to the best sling bags for travel.

Water Bottle – It’s essential to keep yourself hydrated during the day, especially during the hotter months, so be sure to have a refillable water bottle.

Insider Tip: Disney offers free ice water at their restaurants if this is something you want to leave behind, but it is a good idea to bring a reusable water bottle with you so you don’t need to stand in the line waiting each time you need a refreshing drink. You can also refill it at the drinking fountains.

Food and Snacks – A trip to Disneyland can quickly become very expensive when you add food, drinks and souvenirs on top of your admission and accommodation costs. If you want to cut down on costs, pack your own snacks for the day, as it’s fine to take food with you into Disneyland.

Some great options are fruit, granola bars, crackers, energy bars, or other packed foods, such as sandwiches. Make sure you have a big breakfast before you start your day so you have plenty of energy from the get-go.

Tickets / Passes – You don’t want to arrive at the gate only to realise you’ve left your passes behind. The same goes for any other travel documents you need for your trip.

Hand Sanitiser/Wipes – Hand sanitiser is essential no matter where you go these days, to protect yourself from harmful bacteria and other germs.

Insider Tip: Sanitiser wipes are also useful for wiping down surfaces, such as tables before eating or ride handles. The Disneyland staff have strict cleaning procedures in place to do this regularly but having your own isn’t a bad option.  

Mobile Phone – Don’t forget to take your mobile phone with you. You can download the park app to help you plan your visit, book ride passes and view updated crowd information, queues and showtimes.

Waterproof Cell Phone Case – If you want your mobile phone in easy reach, these waterproof phone cases are the perfect way to be able to use your touch screen, capture photos and videos during the day and keep your phone safe.

Otherwise, pack a few ziplock bags that will work to keep your phone safe on Splash Mountain!

Wallet / Purse – You won’t get far without your money or credit cards, so make sure you remember your wallet or purse and identification! Have a little cash on you for any vendors that are cash only, such as balloon stands.

Portable Phone Charger – Make sure you bring a phone charger with you. A portable battery pack with multiple USB ports can be a great alternative for charging on the go. Especially if your phone doubles as your camera too!

Camera / Action Cam – If you are taking a camera for photographs, pack an extra battery and SD card so you don’t miss the opportunity to record your memories. But leave the selfie-stick behind! It’s not allowed.

Sunscreen (SPF 30+) – It gets very hot at times and the last thing you want is to finish your day with a nasty sunburn. Make sure you apply sunscreen before you start your day and reapply every few hours.

Hat & Sunglasses – The sun can be unforgiving, so you’ll want to pack sunglasses and a hat as well, for essential protection against the heat.

Lip balm – Keep lips hydrated with a lip balm or chapstick. Many also have sun protection included as an added bonus. Get different flavours for each family member so you know who they belong to.

Mini First Aid Kit – There are first aid stations around Disneyland if you need medical attention, however having a few basic first aid supplies, such as bandaids for dreaded heel blisters or minor knee scrapes can be a timesaver.

Wet Wipes – Even if you don’t have a baby, wet wipes are essential in any day bag. Use them for wiping sticky fingers and cleaning up spills. Baby wipes are also much more gentle than sanitiser wipes if you are just wanting to clean hands and faces.

child sleeping in stroller at disneyland

Stroller – If visiting with a young child, even if they rarely need it anymore, it can be extremely useful for them to have somewhere to rest. Use stroller clips to attach drink bottles, bags etc, to avoid them getting lost as well!

Insider Tip: Our toddler was happy to get out and walk for a while when her big sister, who was 4 at the time, needed to rest her legs. She ended up taking a nap in our Mountain Buggy Nano stroller mid-way through our day and we are so glad we had that option. If in doubt, take the stroller!

Glow Sticks – Glow sticks are essential for night time and parades. And much cheaper to buy them before you leave rather than waiting to buy them at the park.

Autograph Book – Collect the cast member character signatures around the park with your autograph book if you already have one at home. Don’t forget your pen!

Lanyard & Trading Pins – Start or expand your Disney trading pins collection and use your lanyard for carrying items such as fast passes and park tickets.

Handheld Fan – For hot days, a mini handheld fan or water spritzer is perfect for cooling yourselves down!

Baby & Child Essentials – Don’t forget all the usual essentials you need when travelling with a baby or toddler, such as enough nappies and wipes for the day, formula or bottles, baby food pouches and a bib.

Amusement parks are a big day out for a baby or toddler… or an adult! Check out our tips for visiting theme parks with toddlers.

Clothing You Need For Disneyland

What you wear to Disneyland will impact your comfort on the day so make sure you dress to suit the time of year and something that you can spend a long day wandering around in. Here is our essential clothing packing list for Disneyland:

Comfortable Walking Shoes – This is a big one! You need shoes you can comfortably wear all day long without getting blisters or sore feet. A pair of walking shoes are a good option or during the hotter weather, you may prefer comfortable all-day wear flip-flops.

Insider Tip: I love Sanuk Yoga Sling sandals and wear them almost all day every day, so these were great for a day at Disneyland during Spring. They make flip flops for men, women and kids.

Comfortable Clothing – Choose t-shirts that cover the shoulders to protect against the sun during the warmer months. Shorts or pants are a good option for active days of walking around the park, lining up and enjoying the fun rides on offer.

Light Jacket or Cardigan – Having a light jacket you can layer over clothes for evenings is recommended even during the warmer weather.

Cold Weather Clothing – Jeans or comfortable long pants with long-sleeved t-shirts, jackets or sweaters are great options for winter.

During the cooler weather, ensure you have layers for early mornings and evenings when the temperature drops.

A light sweater or cardigan is good most of the year-round in California, however certain times of the year requires a heavier jacket or a raincoat in case of wet weather.

Poncho – If rain is expected, or even if it’s not, having a compact rain poncho for each member of the family is a good way of staying dry without bringing big heavy raincoats with you for your day out at Disneyland.

You can get disposable ponchos that take up minimal space in your day bag. This is much cheaper to purchase before you go rather than paying for expensive options at Disney parks. This is a good way to avoid extra costs!

What To Wear To Disneyland: Month By Month Guide

Every month of the year in Southern California is different, so you’ll want to pack items for all conditions.

Anaheim rarely experiences cold weather, even during December and the winter months, when there’s only a handful of nights that get below 40 °F or less. This makes it fairly easy to know what to wear all year round!

Below we have put together a list of what to wear to Disneyland each month of the year:

January: January is one of the coldest months in California, so you’ll want to bring warmer clothing to layer during the day. January usually has mild temperatures with highs in the 60s to 70s F (around 22 degrees Celcius on average).

February: February can have warm days with occasional rain showers or dreary cool days when temps hover around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 22 degrees Celcius. It tends to be one of the wettest months of the year. A light sweater will usually do. Pack a poncho for rainy days.

March: Spring weather typically occurs in March, but it can be anything from warm and sunny to windy and cool. Have a jacket on standby for the chilly days. Average temperatures are around 73F or 23C.

April: April is usually one of the driest months in California with highs at around 76 degrees Fahrenheit or 24C. A light jacket for evenings is a good option since it’s usually sunny and warm.

May: May is the start of the warmer weather in California, which means higher daily temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit (26C) and plenty of sunshine.

June: June brings the summer months and a dry heat with highs at around 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27C) and plenty of sunshine (a light sweater will do). Pack a swimsuit to take advantage of the warm days.

July: July is typically hot in California with highs at around 87 degrees Fahrenheit or 30 degrees Celcius with sunny weather. Enjoy the warmer nights and days with good sun protection clothing. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

August: August is hot in California with highs at around 89 degrees Fahrenheit (32C) and sunny weather. This is great swimming weather so don’t forget your swimsuit!

September: September generally has mild temperatures, but it’s not unheard of for it to get up towards the high 80s F or around 31C.

October: October is usually mild with highs in the 70s and 80s F, (high 20s C) but rain can happen at any time. Pack layers so you’re prepared!

November: November has slightly cooler temperatures with highs around the 70s in Fahrenheit or 24 degrees Celcius and rain is more likely. Pack layers and a poncho so you’re prepared!

December: December usually has mild temperatures, but it can be chilly in the morning and evenings with highs around 70 and the lows around 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Pack a warmer jacket for those cold starts and evenings or for rainy days!

These monthly averages are a guide only since weather is unpredictable at best! Always be prepared for potential wet weather or temperature drops with some layers.

What You Can’t Take To Disneyland

Like any public venue, there are certain items that are restricted from Disney parks, although some of the items that aren’t allowed inside of Disneyland may surprise you.

There was one that caught us out on our last visit – the selfie stick, which we actually forgot was inside our camera bag!

All bags and strollers will be inspected upon arrival at the gates so if you want to avoid lining up a second time, make sure you remove any of the items off the restricted list from your day packs before you go.

Here are a few other items you should leave at home (or in your hotel room) when visiting Disneyland and other Disney Parks:

  • Wagons
  • Drones
  • Skates, skateboards and shoes with wheels
  • Horns, whistles and noisemakers
  • Suitcases and extra-large bags
  • Glass containers with the exception of small baby food jars

We also recommend leaving behind anything you don’t need – toys that don’t need to spend the day at the park with you, items you won’t be using and of course, those uncomfortable shoes and clothes that will make your day less enjoyable!

If you are staying at one of the Disneyland Resort hotels, you will be able to easily pop back to your hotel room to drop items off, but this still takes time out of your day of fun, so start your day packing as light as you can!

Quick Tips For Disneyland

These quick tips will help your Disneyland vacation go much smoother and happier:

  • Dress each family member in distinct outfits or bright colours to make it easier to find each other in the crowds
  • Have plenty of snacks suitable for younger kids
  • Bring a stroller even if your child is almost past the stroller stage – it works great for naps!
  • Have your own water bottle to refill at the water fountains
  • Use the Disney app to plan your day, book fast passes and know show times
  • Don’t forget your poncho or long-sleeved shirts for layering during cool or wet days

If Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, it’s easy to feel like a kid again and enjoy some of the exciting rides or meet a favourite Disney character for pictures in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle!

It can be hard to know what you will need before arriving at the park so we hope this packing list for Disneyland and California Adventure Park helps you out when planning your visit! Time to start packing for your magical family vacation!

For more Disneyland planning tips: 

packing list for disneyland