HGV Owners and their child enjoy a roller coaster at a theme park

Seeing a theme park through a child’s eyes is priceless. When things go right, a family trip to a theme park can be a huge hit for everyone involved. Unfortunately, if you go unprepared, stress, whining, crying, and complaining might tarnish your anticipated adventure.

Theme parks are exhausting no matter what, but here are the 15 must-have items to pack to simplify your day.

Affordable Souvenirs (Ahead of Time)

Let’s face it, souvenirs at theme parks are beyond pricey! Instead of forking over $20 for a unicorn bubble wand or $40 for mouse ears, come prepared with much more affordable souvenirs you can place on your child’s hotel room pillow on arrival. Glow necklaces, character t-shirts, and stuffed animals can all be purchased on Amazon, Target, or the Disney Store for much less than inside the gates of a theme park.

Buy Tickets Online

You will be standing in enough lines during your day, so cut out the first one of ticket sales. Instead, buy your tickets ahead of time online and scan upon arrival.

Theme Park Apps

The “Fastpass” is a luxury of the past. Next up for helping visitors get the most of of their theme park visit: smartphone apps. Apps like the Universal Orlando App and the Disney Experience App can show you line wait times, alerts, and more. This is a must!

Protective Clothing

From long lines to outdoor shows, you will be out in the sun most of the day at a theme park. Protect your family from excessive and harmful exposure with UVA and UVB shielding clothing.

Sunnies & Hats

Since you will be doing a lot of “sun on concrete” time, be sure to wear sunglasses and a hat to prevent glare.

A little girl wears sunglasses and a hat to a theme park in order to stay protected from the sun.

Safety Tats & ID Bracelets

If you are traveling with children, purchase these Travel ID Bracelets and write your phone number. Or Safety Tats can be used and won’t rub off for several days!

Collapsible Umbrella Stroller

If you are traveling with toddlers, use a lighter-weight collapsible umbrella stroller. These still offer shade, without being bulky and heavy. A stroller is also a great place to store water bottles and a picnic lunch!

Waterproof Action GoPro Camera

Water rides or not, a waterproof action camera can be a great way to capture the special (and laughable) moments!

Portable Phone Charger

Taking video, photos, and using the theme park app can drain your phone in no time. Pack a portable charger to give your phone a boost during the day.

Your Own Snacks

Kids eat. A lot. Pack plenty of snacks to avoid the ‘hangry’ pains that could kick in at any moment!

Water Bottle

Did you know that most theme parks offer water for free? You just have to ask for it. Bring your own water bottle and refill throughout the day. This is a simple cost saver!

Wipes

Little kids. Big kids. Adults. It really doesn’t matter. Baby wipes to keep clean and theme parks go together like peanut butter and jelly!

Mini First Aid Kit

Bandaids. Neosporin. Advil. Tylenol (for kids). You never know when a trip and fall or a headache might happen.

Packing a mini first aid kit in your theme park bag helps you be ready for any situation that may arise!

Tiny Wallet

Please don’t bring your everyday bulky wallet with things you won’t need at the park. Leave your library card and grocery discount cards at home. Driver’s license, credit card, and medical cards should suffice.

The Ever-So Stylish Poncho

You can leave this at home if you are visiting a west coast amusement park during summer, but if you are in an area with rainstorms, such as Orlando, you need to be prepared. These summer storms pass quickly, and the sun comes back in no time. However, a lot of tourists leave the parks, thinking the rest of the day is ruined. Be the prepared tourist, and pack a lightweight poncho in your bag.

A woman wears a plastic poncho at a theme park in order to continue enjoying the park until the rain stops.

We hope our ideas of how to pack for a theme park helps you prepare for your next family adventure!

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