Theme Park Checklist - from an amusement park enthusiast! Never go unprepared, everything that you need to make sure you have for a successful day in the park.

While I’ve spent the majority of my summer focusing on working I’ve had a lot more time to relax and a lot more days off than I normally do have during the school year. It’s great being able to sleep in, have lazy days around the house, and watch a bunch of Netflix (right now I’m obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy.. honestly its so good!) but some days I need to do more and get out and have a full day of activities. On days like that I’m grateful for where I live, because I’m close to two large amusement parks (Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood) which gives me a chance to spend my days there.

To me there is something magical about going to a theme park: it helps transport you to a different world and allows you to forget all your stresses and troubles for one day.

I grew up going to Disneyland once a year with my family and lately got myself an annual pass so I could go more often. Through this I have learned a lot of tricks and tips on how to survive all day Amusement Park trips. Planning a trip to a theme park this summer? Here’s what to make sure to pack in your bag that day:

1. Memorabilia

One of the best ways to get into the spirit of going to an amusement park is to jump in full force. Whether you’re a pin collector, a button wearer, or a DisneyBounder there are a bunch of ways to get involved and look cute doing it!

My favorite thing is to wear my Mickey Mouse ears while visiting Disneyland, there’s a reason that they sell hundreds of different styles of these in the park.. they’re so fun! If you want to stand out and have a cute style that mimics one of your favorite movies or characters, you can purchase your ears from an Etsy shop. I got my ears from my friend Nikki, who sells over at Mad Blue Creations on Etsy here. I highly recommend checking out her beautiful variety of Mickey Mouse ears… she even takes custom orders! Check her out here before your next Disney trip.


2. Comfortable Shoes

Since you’ll be spending the majority of your day walking and standing a pair of comfortable shoes is a must. While I would love to walk around Dapper Day at Disneyland in high heels to compliment my dress, my feet will thank me the next morning if I opt to wear my Nikes instead.

3. Snacks

As I shared in my post about what to pack in a college backpack, I am hypoglycemic and need to make sure to eat at certain times and have snacks on hand. Even if you don’t need to carry snacks everyday like I do, you really should consider carrying them during an amusement park trip.

Stumped? Here’s some ideas:

  • Trail Mix
  • Protein Bars (I love Luna bars the most!)
  • Fruit
  • Sandwiches

4. Water or Sports Drinks

Dehydration will not make for a fun day. Pack a water bottle or two in your bag (or some Gatorade) before you head out to prevent from feeling crappy all day. It’s also a great way to save money because water bottles in amusement parks tend to cost a bunch!

5. Wait Time App / Website


Waiting in lines is definitely the worst part about going to a theme park, but if you are smart about it you can avoid the longest lines and still have a great ride filled day.

Before you head out check to see if the park that you are going to has an app or website for wait times. Disneyland has an app where you can not only check wait times but also FastPass times, show times, where characters are out to meet and greet, and so much more. Universal Studios has a website that tells you what the ride wait times are as well.

By using this information to your advantage you can get the most out of your day as stress free as possible.

6. Phone Charger / Extra Battery

If you’re like me your phone will die while you’re in the theme park. Even if you refrain from using battery sucking apps like Facebook and Snapchat, chances are that your phone is going to be precariously low by the middle of the day.

If you are using a phone GPS to get you to the amusement park or back home make sure to bring a car charger and charge your phone while you are using it so that it prevents the battery from dropping before you even get into the park. Check ahead of time and see if the park that you are going to will have amenities to give you a place to charge your phone and consider bringing your charging cable with you. At Disneyland there are phone charging lockers that you can rent out for a very small price, and at Universal Studios you are welcome to use any outlet that you find (hint: go to the Starbucks in the park!), but if you forget your phone cable you’re out of luck.

If your phone has a removable battery it may be smart to charge the extra battery the night before and bring that like my boyfriend does. That way when your phone dies  you just pop in a new battery and you’re good to go.

7. Cash & Change


From carnival games to weird fortune telling machines you never know when having small bills or coins will come in handy.

8. Jacket

Check the weather before you go, but it is generally a good idea to pack at least a light jacket in your bag for when the sun goes down (even here in Southern California!)

9. Sunscreen & Sunglasses

Those UV rays aren’t a joke, be prepared. Pack a small bottle of sunscreen, or a spray if you like that better, and a pair of sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

Pro tip: When going on water rides wear your sunglasses to protect your eye makeup from being ruined!

10. Hand Sanitizer


Thousands of people are going to be at that amusement park today.. and yesterday.. and the day before..

When I’m in an amusement park I have to touch everything that I see, so I’m constantly putting on hand sanitizer or slipping away to wash my hands. Especially before a meal. Don’t get sick after having a great day!

11. Camera


I’m a huge advocate for saving memories by taking photos, especially if you are going to the amusement park with younger kids!

Most of the time a smart phone camera will suffice, but sometimes it’s fun to bring a good quality camera or a Polaroid camera with you to take some extra fun shots.

12. Ticket


Last but not least, make sure you can get into the park.. don’t leave without your ticket.

Print a Checklist

It’s a lot to remember, make it easier on yourself by printing this theme park checklist! Ensure you don’t forget any of the essentials on your next trip.

theme park checklist

What are your must brings for theme park trips? Share them in the comments below!



Theme Park Checklist

5 thoughts on “Theme Park Checklist

  • August 5, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Love this post! I went to college near disneyland and had an annual pass for a bit, too. These are great tips!

    • August 6, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      That’s so cool! Disneyland is such a fun place

  • March 21, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    WOW!!!! Great post! I like it very much! Thanks for sharing this useful post! It can help me a lot! I always went to parks now or then and sometimes I often do not have a fully ready. Now, there is no worry about it from now!

  • January 15, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Great work, Dani!
    Glad to read your post! Useful tips! Preparation is very important no matter what we do in our common life, it is also applied in theme park and I am fairly willing to visit the theme park one day with your tips.

  • August 15, 2018 at 11:54 pm

    Very useful tips.
    It’s so sweet of your sharing.
    And you are beautiful!


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