Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
A packing list for a theme park? I know, I thought the same thing for literal years. And regretted it with every trip to a theme park. A day at a theme park might not seem like something you need a packing list for. At least, that’s what I think, almost every time I go to one. And then I inevitably end up spending money on things I should have just brought with me, or end up with a sun burn and a dead phone!
So, learn from my mistakes and make sure you pack these things before taking your next trip to a theme park!
Power banks to charge your phone are an absolute must, especially if you plan on taking a lot of pictures or using the app of whatever theme park you’re at for a virtual map. And make sure you charge them! I almost always forget that crucial step. You can find plenty of these on Amazon, like this one here. If you’re like me and consistently forget to pack them, you can almost always find them at Walmart. I’ve accumulated several from Five and Below over the years! I was so glad I had a few of these at Walt Disney World. Between the constant photos I took, and using the Disney World app for a map and to reserve fast passes, these kept my phone alive all day! This is the first item on the list for good reason – in today’s day and age, it’s probably the most important thing to include on your theme park packing list!
Reusable Water Bottles
I cannot stress this one enough! Almost every theme park allows reusable water bottles in (as long as they’re not glass). While you can re-use plastic water bottles in the park, this is definitely the cheaper and more environmentally friendly option. Plus, hydration is a must, and you’re way more likely to stay hydrated if you don’t have to pay for it! I love Hydroflask since they’re super durable and come in a huge variety of styles and colors. Click here to buy one on Amazon! So, unless you want to spend $5 to $10 for every single bottle of Aquafina or Dasani, definitely add this to your packing list the next time you visit a theme park!
As someone from Florida, who most definitely neglected sun protection for most of my teenage years, I cannot stress the importance of this! Sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, lip balm. Even in winter months, the Florida sun is relentless. I prefer this homemade, organic sunscreen. Most theme parks have pretty limited shade so this is a must on a packing list for a day at a theme park.
Close-toed, comfortable walking shoes. Most theme parks are pretty big, so you’ll be doing a lot of walking. I’ve seen plenty of people in sandals or even heels but I definitely wouldn’t recommend that. Also, you don’t want to risk losing sandals on a roller coaster! (And yes, this does happen!) My feet get achy and sore super easily, so I usually stick to breathable running shoes with a good set of inserts. These ones on Amazon are comparable to one of my favorite pairs.
Disposable ponchos. Florida weather is notoriously unpredictable. It could start pouring rain while the sun is still out, especially during the summer months. It’s much better to be prepared than walk around in wet clothes all day. Amazon has this 12 pack with 6 kids sized and 6 adult sized so your whole family is covered!
A Change of Clothes
A change of clothes, or at least a change of socks! Most theme parks have at least a few water rides. If you plan on going on these, I STRONGLY recommend you bring an extra pair of socks. Wet socks are the absolute worst, especially when you’re walking around all day. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been stuck walking around with wet socks. Once at Great America in California, I scoured every gift shop in the park before I found some outrageously priced socks to change into. Learn from my mistakes and bring an extra pair of socks when you pack for your trip to a theme park! Please!
A jacket, sweater, or cardigan
Much like the wet socks…you don’t want to be cold and miserable when the sun goes down and you’re waiting for the fireworks to start! Even in Florida, it can get chilly after dark. If you don’t plan on staying in the theme park all day, I’d still recommend bringing a jacket in case the weather changes. I’ve definitely had to buy hoodies plenty of times when it suddenly gets chilly after dark, even in sunny Los Angeles or humid Tampa. It was no fun scrambling to buy a hoodie at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay when I should have been snagging a spot to watch the fireworks.
Snacks. While you can buy plenty of snacks at most theme parks, you’ll be paying theme park prices so I’d recommend supplementing with some snacks of your own. It also might help you eat a little healthier too! Additionally, if you have dietary restrictions, a theme park may not have the food options you need. For example, my sister is a vegan, and while Busch Gardens Tampa Bay technically had vegan options…onion rings, a sad veggie burger and a bowl of lettuce with cherry tomatoes wasn’t exactly vegan friendly.
A backpack or fanny pack
You’ll obviously need somewhere to put everything on this little packing list! I find a small backpack the most convenient, but fanny packs are good too! Something like this one from Amazon is perfect to pack for a trip to a theme park! This is also great for any small souvenirs you get while at the park! As a side note, bringing a baby carrier in addition to a stroller is an excellent idea…partially for having a comfortable way to carry the baby while you carry other things in the stroller. Things such as….a giant stuffed animal you definitely did NOT expect to win (totally not speaking from experience here).
A good night's rest!
I know, I know, not technically something you should pack. But, something you should definitely bring with you! For most people, a trip to a theme park is not a regular occurrence, it’s a special, maybeee once a year occasion. So for that reason, you probably want to make the most of your trip to a theme park! Meaning, you’ll want to get up early, make it at park opening (to beat the lines!), make the most of every second, and not be completely drained by mid-afternoon. So, once you finish packing everything else on this list, go to bed early!
And there you have it! The must haves for your packing list for a day at a theme park! Hopefully this helps you to be better prepared and avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made before! Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments!
Power pack- I have one, and yet I never think to bring it! This is such a great reminder! And snacks of course, especially if you’ve got littles!
I always forget to pack a poncho. Which is really bad because my favourite rides are the water rides where you get soaked!
Pretty solid list you’ve got here! I grew up with all the theme parks annual passes, and these are the items I always had with me!
I’ve learned from experience – these are always the things I forget to bring with me!
These are great items to bring! It can totally make or break a day at the theme park 🙂
Useful list. I especially like the recharger recommendation. That is something easy to forget. But in places like that we use a lot a battery taking pics and checking apps. Recharger is a must!
Such great tips! The reusable water bottle is so important! Like you said, not only is it more sustainable, but water in theme parks is so expensive. Comfortable shoes are also definitely a must, such a good tip.
Can’t agree enough with these! Definitely 100% a powerbank, with all the photos I’d be taking! And I don’t care what people say, Fanny Packs are SO in style 😂. I never would’ve thought about a poncho but it makes total sense. Great list!
Wonderful list! I always forget to bring sunscreen with me 🙂
I admit that except for a reusable water bottle, I don’t take anything with me to a theme park. But you’ve justified by stating what and why one should pack for a theme park.
The post is interesting to read since nobody gives a thought on what to pack or take to a theme park. I carry three of things you mentioned – reusable water bottles, sun protection, and comfortable shoes.