New Items We're Packing for Disney and Universal Trips
Updated: Feb 1, 2021
Everything looks a little different right now, and theme park vacations are no exception! Here are a few items the agents at Happiest Adventures On Earth have found to be extra helpful to keep in our park bags in these . . . unprecedented times. Pandemic or not, some of these items will be our new norm!
You might think of an umbrella to keep you safe from rain (we throw some disposable ponchos into our park bags as well, but an umbrella is better), and of course that's true, but we also love the shade they provide in the bright Florida sun! Especially when queues are moved outdoors, either for social distancing or because they’ve spilled out of the indoor areas, that little bit of shade makes all the difference.
On our November trip, we found this travel umbrella (so tiny and cute!) with a
black UV liner to be MUCH more effective and “shady” (ha!) than the last-minute souvenir Disney umbrella Emily purchased in the parks. The liner really worked, and it was noticeably cooler under Brooke’s umbrella.
Disney and Universal parks have switched to paper straws, if/when they use straws at all. Paper straws, being biodegradable, might be great for the environment, but they don’t last very long. In fact, some start to become soggy as soon as you start sipping from them. Our solution? Bring your own straws!
Some folks prefer stainless steel straws, and they are certainly durable and portable. However, to avoid setting off metal detectors, and because Emily is clumsy and is sure she almost knocked her teeth out on a metal straw once, we tend to prefer the silicone option. We especially like a kit of multi-colored straws (assign each guest their own color so you can keep them straight) in a washable bag with cleaning brushes.
(Assign everyone their own color silicone straw!)
Ziploc bags are lifesavers: you can use them to store snacks and leftover food, keep your phone dry on wet rides or a rainy day, and stash your masks. I like to keep clean backup masks in one bag, and put our, uh, sweaty masks in a separate bag when I’m done with them.
When you’re constantly washing your hands and helping yourself to all of the complimentary hand sanitizer everywhere you look, you might notice your hands getting a bit dry and cracked. I’ve started tossing healing hand cream into my park bag to help prevent the painful, chapped feeling.
Best Bag to Carry at Disney World and Universal
Wondering what bag to carry at Disney World? Cross-body bag or backpack? In our agency, we have a couple different opinions, and sometimes it depends on our travel group.
(water resistant, several pockets, and a three-prong closure: check, check, check!)
Emily has started embracing her 80s/90s roots and taking a fanny pack (or a hip bag, whatever), especially at Universal. Her favorite option is waterproof, with separate pockets for a phone and wallet. Many of the rides at Universal require you to stow backpacks and purses in a locker, but a fanny pack is okay to keep on! Note: make sure you have a 3-prong closure and not a buckle closure. Some team members check before allowing you to wear your pack onto a ride.
However, the most popular bag style by far among our agents is a sling-style, crossbody backpack! An essential feature of a crossbody bag is a phone pocket on the front strap to keep your phone handy at all times -- important when you need to snap a photo or check wait times at a moment's notice!
We hope you'll find our list of recommendations helpful as you prepare for your next adventure!
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