theme park essentials

Since I’ve been spending both week and weekend nights at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, I thought that I should take the time to discuss some theme park essentials.

I mean, if one travels to Orlando, it’s going to be for a theme park of sorts.

Go ahead – visit Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, Sea World, and LegoLand! We want you to visit our parks. We want you to hang out and have a great time!

But make sure you aren’t forgetting a few necessities.

Now, as a frequent park-goer, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks – especially what I should and shouldn’t take with me. Because, believe me, there’s nothing worse than dragging around a bag full of things you aren’t even going to use.

Instead, narrow it down. Only take what you really need.

Cute, Comfortable Sneaks

The first essential: cute and comfortable sneaks. Don’t even pretend that those flip flops you love wearing are going to feel okay after hours of walking around. And even your favorite pair of flats will fall flat after all that standing.

No. The only kinds of shoes that should be worn – yes, even on Dapper Day! – are sneakers.

There are lots of sneakers that work with all kinds of outfits. Vans. Toms. Converse. Keds. Adidas. Those amazing Gucci sneaks the bloggers are wearing.

Take those. They look great with denim cutoffs and they look great with a dress.

Believe me, you’ll thank me later.

The Perfect Bag

Since I don’t carry much to the parks, a small almost-wallet-sized cross body is my go-to. My current choice is this Cherokee Rose Embroidered Clutch that I picked up at Sophie and Trey.

It’s small but it can hold everything I need, even all my keys (and I even have pepper spray attached to them)!


Umm, yeah. Don’t ever forget to take Band-Aids. Now, there are first aid areas around the parks, but when your shoe is causing a blister or the excitement of looking at the park map ends up in a paper cut, there’s nothing better than having one right with you.

For those that have kids, this is a must-have. Do I even have to say why?


No – there is no real reason to drag around the five credit cards and other useless stuff hanging out in your wallet. Most of that stuff is nonsense anyway – like those eat-ten-ice-cream-cones-and-get-one-free cards and all the membership cards you’ve hoarded over the years.

That stuff is just going to weigh you down. And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up with sore, tight shoulders or an aching lower back.

That stuff really puts a damper on your day. So just take the minimum: identification (so you can drink – I mean, duh!) and a card (to pay, obvi!).

Travel-Sized Skincare Must-Haves

Ok, so the beauty/skincare items that I recommend are: chapstick (LipSense, for me!) and eye drops. However, if the day is going to be super long and we’re going to dinner afterwards, I’ll bring one of those sample-sized perfumes.

Yeah, don’t pretend you don’t have a random stash of those somewhere.

For those that need a little more – just don’t. Theme parks aren’t places to meet the man of your dreams. You’re there to have fun. Yes, dress cute and do your hair in the morning, but there’s no need to reapply blush or powder your nose.

It’s Florida, even our winter is hot. You’re going to sweat. And it isn’t going to be pretty.

So if you meet the guy, you’re both lucky. He’s already seen you at your worst.

Which reminds me, bring a pony (ponytail holder – is that what it’s really called?!). I wear one around my wrist all the time but if you don’t, please pack it – or wear it around your wrist for once.


Before you get all why-wouldn’t-we-bring-our-phone-with-us on me, know that I’ve added this for a reason. I’ve added this because your phone is the perfect camera.

Most cell cameras are pretty darn good these days. There’s no need to drag that cute Instax you got for Christmas last year or your DSLR. Sure, those polaroids are cute and DSLR pics are great – but it’s not worth it.

Save that stuff for a trip abroad or a fun girl’s trip to the local Farmer’s Market. If it’s something that won’t require hours and hours of walking/standing (not including trips abroad to visit world heritage sites or world wonders), those kinds of cameras are great options.

Ok, well that’s about it for me. And I know, I don’t have kids so my packing list will probably be a little lighter than yours. But I guess the main point is: don’t overdo it. Relax. Take the weight off your shoulders – literally and figuratively.

You’re going to have a great time. I promise.

So, for those that frequent the theme parks, what are some of your must-haves. For those that don’t, got a question or concern?

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