We just got back from our fourth trip to Disneyland with kids. We’ve gone with one toddler (well, a 1 year old, so basically a baby!), a toddler and a baby, two toddlers, and most recently a preschooler and a TK’er. During all of these trips the things I pack in the Disneyland bag and stroller stayed mostly consistent, aside from the addition and subtraction of diapers and other baby items.
Below I have outlined everything that we brought in our Disneyland stroller and bag, broken up by each category so you can see how I packed it all.
Inside our Disneyland Stroller
In three days at Disneyland, we walked over 30 miles. That’s a lot to ask of adults, let alone children. At 3.5 and 5.5, Isla and Nolan were not ready to walk the entire time. They did walk a lot more than they have previously, but the stroller is still essential to a successful trip for at least the next few years for our family.
The added benefit of a stroller is that it is a mobile locker. I’ll expand more on what is inside each specific bag below, but here is a list of everything the stroller held:
- A bag with an extra change of clothes
- A plastic container with lid for snacks
- Water bottles
- Two thicker blankets for each kid
- Autograph books
I used a small reusable grocery bag for the clothes. I put a full change of clothes for each kid inside, including socks and underwear. I also added in a warmer layer for AJ and I. Luckily, the weather was really warm when we were there, but it did cool off at night.
If you plan to go on water rides, I’d throw in a pair of flip flops for each kid. They are lightweight and don’t take up much space. I had both kids change into flip flops while we rode Splash Mountain so their tennis shoes weren’t soaking wet for the rest of the day. I also put an extra pair of socks for each adult in the bag as well. There isn’t anything worse than having to walk around in wet socks all day!
The snack box with lid felt like a small stroke of genius. On our last trip, we kept everything in a backpack. By the end of the day, it had all been smashed and was less than appealing and ultimately didn’t get eaten. The clear plastic box kept everything from getting smashed and was the perfect size to fit in the basket under the stroller. I was worried it wouldn’t make it through security, but as long as it’s clear, you shouldn’t have a problem.
We also brought a lunch box sized soft sided cooler. Our refrigerator in our hotel room didn’t have the best freezer, so we weren’t able to refreeze our ice packs each night. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but the cooler did keeps things cool long enough to be eaten.
Snacks that worked really well for us:
- Fig bars and RX Bars
- Raisins and dried fruit
- String cheese
- Hummus and pretzel chips
- Adult lunchables (what are they really called?!) with crackers, cheese and salami
We have a parent organizer on the stroller handle, but our Hydroflasks don’t fit in there easily and it’s fairly small. To maximize space, we hung our water bottles from the handle of the stroller using these clips for the kids’ bottles and these larger ones for ours. They were also really handy for our backpacks when we need a break from wearing them.
The blankets were a last minute addition. The weather was in the mid 80s when we were there, but the mornings and evenings were still really chilly. We put the kids in shorts in the morning, then wrapped them in a blanket for the walk over. I thought they’d be really clunky and in the way, but they folded up well and we were able to tuck them into the sun shades when not in use. They were also really handy when the kids fell asleep while we were still in the park. It gave us an extra hour or two to explore or watch Mickey’s Mix Magic show because they were cozy and warm.
Inside Our Disneyland Bag
Although there was still plenty of room in the stroller, AJ and I both still carried a backpack. The stroller is great storage, but it is left alone for long stretches. Our backpacks held all of our personal stuff, like wallets. The last thing you need when being far from home is to have your wallet stolen.
I have used this backpack for two trips and it has always held up well. It’s lightweight, not too bulky, and the nylon dries really easily if you get soaked on Splash Mountain. There is also a hidden pocket on the back that is the perfect size for a wallet. AJ usually carries a backpack as well. However, after this most recent trip with a 3.5 and 5.5 year old, I think only one of us will need a backpack. All the praise hands for bigger kids needing less stuff!
Here are the other things we carried:
- Power bank and charging cables
- Small first aid kit, including tweezers, bandages, and antiseptic
- Hand sanitizer: we had one hanging from each backpack and from the stroller.
- Wet Ones: this might seem redundant, but there is always a kid with some kind of cut on their hand and these wipes don’t sting like the liquid sanitizer.
- Disinfecting wipes
- Dramamine: I get crazy motion sickness since having kids.
- Pain reliever: this is available at the First Aid stations in each park, but it’s always nice to have it on hand when you need it.
- Sunscreen: we brought Coola sunscreen along on this trip and we are huge fans. It dries quickly, but doesn’t leave your skin feeling tacky like other sunscreens.
- Swaddle blankets: these are perfect for blocking off your spot on the parade route, as shown in the picture below. They fold up easily when not in use, so it isn’t a huge sacrifice of space, but they’re still big enough to hold your spot. These are also good for keeping sun off kids without overheating them if they take a nap in the stroller midday.
- Glow sticks: I buy these ahead of time at the dollar store and they’re a perfect distraction while waiting for fireworks. They were also really nice to help keep track of kids once it got dark!
You could easily pare down the bags and put the extra clothes into a backpack. My back has never been the same since having kids, so I wanted to alleviate as much stress on it as I could.
One day we’ll be able to go on a Disneyland vacation and not have to worry about taking everything but the kitchen sink with us. I’m definitely an overpacker, but one day we’ll be able to ditch the stroller, the kids can carry their own backpacks and we can walk for hours on end exploring every bit of the park!
What is your must have in your Disneyland bag and stroller when visiting with kids?
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