Going to Disney? Take these 6 Things in Your Backpack to Save!



Are you planning a trip to Disney?  If you are, most likely you are in sticker shock at the cost of the tickets.  However, if you don’t plan right, that can be just the start of the shock.


As new residents to Florida, we bought year passes to Disney.  As of the date I wrote this, we have been 14 times and I am proud to say that with the exception of a rare treat from Starbucks in Disney (which by the way is one place in Disney where prices are comparable to outside the parks), we haven’t spent any additional money.  Amazing considering there are always at least 5 of us going, if not more.

I credit this to the 6 things we always pack in a backpack when we go to Disney World.  Of course, if you have a stroller, you can also just make sure you put these items in the bottom stroller basket, but since we are past that stage – it’s the backpack for us, and thankfully some of my kids are old enough to carry it.

#1: A Beverage Bottle for Each Person




Bottles or water cups are something you definitely don’t want to be without.  I learned this the hard way on a visit to Hollywood Studios years ago (when we were at Disney for a week vacation.)  Since we would visit in the summer, it was really hot.  All of us were getting over heated.  My husband decided we should all get Powerade to drink.  At that time there were only 6 of us and the bill was $24!  I was in shock.  For $24 I could buy 48 bottles at Sam’s club and I only got 6.

This is why we bring drinks with us and once they are finished we use the water fountains to refill them.  If you have a kiddo that doesn’t like plain water, consider adding a little bottle of liquid drink enhancer to the bag.  Even if it costs a couple dollars, it is definitely cheaper then the $4 per bottle of water you would have to pay to buy it at Disney.

One final tip on this – include a sharpie in the bag, so you can write names on the bottles and keep track of whose is whose.

#2: Don’t Forget the Sunscreen




On our first visit to Disney I had read to take sun screen and bug spray.  I found I never needed the bug spray, but was so happy to have sun screen.  I am sure you could buy sun screen at a store, but since it’s Disney, I can guarantee you, you’ll pay a pretty premium.  Instead get a deal on it before you leave.

Also, if you pack your own, you can make sure you have a variety you like.  That’s why Blue Lizard sunscreen is in my bag.  It’s a natural sunscreen that I have found works great.

#3 Don’t Leave your Autograph Books at Home (Plus a Pen)


Disney-Backpack-Autograph Books


If you have young ones (meaning 10 or under),  you will definitely want an Autograph book for all the encounters with the characters.  Meeting the characters is such a magical experience and the books provide a great memento.

Of course you can buy these in the parks, but be on the look out at Disney.com before you go since you can often get a deal on them when they host sales.  Also, many times you won’t fill the whole book up on one trip, so you can reuse it if you happen to go again.  I just mark the date at the start.

Finally, don’t forget a pen.  The characters don’t have one and if you have to buy one at Disney it will be at least $6.

#4 First Aid Kit AND Medicine




While you would like to think there wouldn’t be any injuries or illnesses at the happiest place on Earth, they do happen.  We’ve had everything to little scrapes and headaches to 104 fevers occur while we were at Disney.   This is why I always make sure to have pain relief – like Motrin or children’s Tylenol in the back pack.  Once again, you can buy these at some of the park’s stores.  We had to do that once twenty years ago.  I think we paid $5 for 6 pills.  Definitely not frugal.

I also always pack a first aid kit.  While there are first aid centers in the park, I like having it with me to save time and take care of the problem immediately.  Fortunately this doesn’t get used very often, but it did last time when my finger got sliced on top by something, so I have a picture for you of what’s inside.



I have band aids, cleaning wipes, neosporin, anti-itch cream (great for heat rash), and a medicine spoon.  This was for a child’s prescription that happened to be in my purse.  Also in my purse and along the line of health care, I always have hand sanitizer.  This is put on hands before they get the next item that is in the back pack.


#5:  Snacks




While I normally don’t buy pre-packaged individual sized snacks, they do come in very handy for trips to Disney.  I still only buy what’s on sale and if possible with a coupon.   Even if I don’t have a coupon, it’s still much more frugal then buying snacks at the park for kids where lowest price item is $4 each.   After all a 5 pack of Little Bites on a BOGO sales is about $2.49, which is definitely less then the $20 five snacks at Disney would costs.

One of our favorites and a treat I always make sure to have in the backpack in Aldi Trail Mix packets.

#6: Rain Ponchos



I have definitely learned that weather in central Florida is very unpredictable, especially during wet season.  That’s why I always have rain ponchos in my back pack.  Instead of paying $10 at the park for a poncho, I pick up my ponchos at Dollar Tree for $1 each.  Sure they don’t say anything Disney related on them, but do you really want your Disney memento to be a poncho.

The Dollar Tree ponchos are durable enough to reuse (which is why the one is wrinkled in the picture.)

In addition to using them in rain storms, which do happen at the happiest place on earth, we also find them very handy for rides like Kali River Rapids and Splash Mountain.


So those are my 6 items I always have in my bag?  Do you have anything else you make sure to take into an amusement park?  Would love to hear.

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