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Parenting

16 essentials for a magical Disney trip

Full Disney style that'll take you from the theme park to the school yard

A set of Disney-themed water bottles and a child in a Disney-themed backpack. Credit: Simple Modern / Shop Disney

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Hold on to your mouse ears—it's a big year for Disney fans. 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, and on April 30 Disneyland and California Adventure are slated to reopen their gates after being closed for over a year. There's no denying it, after being deprived of travel to the nation's favorite theme park, this year promises to have a whole lot of Disney going on.

Whether you're able to make the trip or—like so many Disney enthusiasts—you're just caught up in the excitement, now is the best time to load up on some super cute Disney gear for the kids.

From a set of mouse ears to wear while they're being introduced to the classics on Disney+, to a full getup for a memory-making family trip, this is everything they need to embark on a lifetime obsession for all things Disney.

1. Some mouse ears that are just their style

Minnie mouse ears and BB-8 hat with mouse ears
Credit: Shop Disney

No trip to a Disney theme park is complete without mouse ears.

Let’s get the most important thing out of the way first. No trip to Disney is complete without a set of mouse ears for your little Mouseketeer. Mouse ears have come a long way since we were kids; these days the sky is the limit for auricle self-expression, and they’re made for all ages—from infants to teens (and for even the kid in you). Even BB-8 looks ear-resistible with this set of Mickey ears.

Get a set of mouse ears at the Disney Store, starting at $12.99

2. A backpack with classic characters

A child in a Disney-themed backpack
Credit: Shop Disney

Classic characters abound on this faux leather backpack.

Mickey and friends will have their back while they’re wearing this backpack. This kid-sized pack will carry all of their favorite essentials and, because it’s made from durable faux leather, it stands up to tears and wipes down easily when hit with spills. Adjustable padded straps keep it comfy, and an exterior zip compartment makes for easy access to anything they need to get to quickly.

Get the Mickey Mouse & Friends backpack at Shop Disney for $24.99

3. A face mask in Disney, Pixar, and Star Wars themes

A family of four in Disney-themed PPE masks.
Credit: Shop Disney

Show your Disney love with these masks.

Restrictions are being lifted but it’s still a good idea to stay protected. Be safe in Disney style with one of these masks that can compliment any kid’s favorite cartoon aesthetic. Whether they want to go full-on mouse, or they are a Mandalorian fan, these super-soft masks have them covered.

Tip: These masks run very, very small (youth small is best for toddlers). Read the reviews and be sure to size up.

Get a Disney face mask 4-pack from the Disney store for $19.99

4. A water bottle for cool hydration

A set of Disney-themed water bottles
Credit: Simple Modern

Help them stay hydrated and on-theme.

These water bottles by Simple Modern scored high marks during our testing of kids’ water bottles and they come in some of the most mouse-friendly prints you can find. They are leak-proof, spill-proof, and easy to clean. They also keep kids’ drinks cold when walking to and from park rides all day, and they look great—and on theme—while doing so.

Get the Simple Modern 10oz Disney-themed water bottle at Amazon for $16.99

5. A cozy hoodie, for when the sun goes down

A hooded sweatshirt in primary colors with Mickey Mouse imagery and the numbers 2021
Credit: Shop Disney

This hoodie knows that 2021 is our year.

Disneyland and Disney World are in two of the country’s sunniest states, but both get pretty chilly when the sun goes down. It’s always good to have an extra layer on hand and this one not only celebrates the theme park with iconic images, it celebrates 2021 as the year we all got out of the house and back to “The Happiest Place on Earth.”

Get the Mickey Mouse and Friends zip hoodie for kids at Shop Disney for $39.99

6. Super comfy shoes

A purple and blue pair of kids' shoes
Credit: See Kai Run

These shoes are sturdy and won't get soggy if they get soaked.

We know these aren’t actually on-brand, but we recommend keeping the awesome Disney-themed Natives for when they are reminiscing at home or at the beach about their recent trip. For a day or two at the theme park, get some comfy shoes that will keep their feet supported all day long.

These shoes by See Kai Run have a wide toe area, which provides essential wiggle room for when feet start to swell after walking all day. They are also made from mesh and canvas, so they are good for keeping sweaty feet comfortable and they are water-friendly for when your kids just can’t help but jump in every puddle they see.

Get the See Kai Run Anker water-friendly shoes at Amazon starting at $38.41

7. A very professional-looking ticket lanyard

A blue Mickey Mouse-themed lanyard
Credit: Shop Disney

This lanyard will keep their kids' pass handy and protected.

Keeping their park pass handy just got more fun, now that Mickey is hanging around. This card holder lanyard keeps your kid’s pass protected with clear laminate window on one side, and a Mickey icon appliqué on the other.

Get the Mickey Mouse card holder lanyard at Shop Disney for $20

8. Eco-friendly snack bags

Two snack bags in white with mouse prints.
Credit: Bumkins

These reusable bags help reduce waste.

Sure, one of the best things about the Magic Kingdom are all the amazing snacks you can get there: Dole Whips, waffle sandwiches, Cheshire Cat Tails, yum! Sadly, the lines for those snacks can be daunting and suck up some valuable time that is better spent enjoying the sights and rides. Stuff a few snacks in their backpacks with these eco-friendly, mouse-ear emblazoned reusable snack bags.

Get the Bumkins food 3-pack of safe snack bags at Amazon for $17.95

9. A wet bag for unexpected accidents

Two wet bags in black with Mouse-ear prints. One is on a stroller and one is filled with beach supplies.
Credit: Bumkins

These wet bags are essential for potty-training travelers.

Our family has been using these bags for years and they are an all-purpose travel necessity. Not only are they essential for getting through the potty-training years, and for carrying a change of clothes, they are great for holding damp clothes after a curious kid gets a little overzealous near the water fountains or when Splash Mountain gets a little too wet.

Get the Bumkins Disney wet-bags at Amazon for $9.95

10. A super cute hand sanitizer

A Mickey and Minnie hand sanitizer
Credit: Disney

Let Mickey and Minnie convince them to sanitize.

Keep those hands clean with some easy-to-access sanitizer. Whether they need a quick cleaning after a park ride or you want to freshen up their fingers right before lunch, these Mickey and Minnie-themed sanitizer holders will get them bit more enthusiastic about sanitation.

Get the Mickey and Minnie hand sanitizer 2-pack from Amazon for $12.95

11. A camera that's just their size

A child takes a photo with a KidiZoom camera
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

They're gonna want their own camera to snap some selfies with.

Whether their trip is to the “happiest place on earth” or the most magical one, they’re going to want to chronicle their trip. This camera is one of the hardest-working and most durable kids' cameras around (it stood up to our rigorous drop tests ). It's also easy to grip, is selfie-friendly, and comes with a self-filming video option for the young and budding influencer.

Get the Vtech KidiZoom Duo Selfie Cam at Amazon for $55.13

12. Some yummy lip balm that comes in their favorite characters

Two lip balms, one Minnie Mouse and one stormtrooper
Credit: Tsum Tsum

These yummy lip balms with help keep lips moisturized after a long day of fun and sweets.

A day at the park can equal some pretty parched lips. These on-theme lip balms taste and smell yummy, will moisturize their pucker, and will keep them them smiling.

13. A long-lasting sun screen that's free of all the nasty stuff

A bottle of Coppertone Pure and Simple sunblock
Credit: Coppertone

This sun screen is mineral-based for long-lasting coverage, and it's tear free.

This sun screen has racked up accolades for living up to its name. It’s free of PABA, Phythalates, fragrances, parabens, and dyes. It’s simple, it’s mineral-based, and it’s touted as a favorite tear-free sun screen that guards against any irritation, should it make its way into your child’s eyes. We like that this three-pack allows for your whole family to slather up before you go, and comes with a travel-friendly stick that fits in your purse for all-day reapplication.

Get the Coppertone Pure & Simple sun screen 3-pack at Amazon for $21.32

14. A sun hat for mid-day protection

Two hats to protect from the sun: One red with mouse ears and one blue with a picture of Mickey Mouse.
Credit: Disney

Protect them from the sun, while looking Disney-smart.

When noontime comes, you’re going to want to up their sun protection. It’s going to be hard to pry those mouse ears off of them, but a hat with its own set of ears may help. It doesn’t sparkle and it doesn’t look like BB-8, but it proudly announces to the world that they are a “Disney kid”—should anyone have any doubt.

For the little ones, we like this bucket hat to keep their eyes shielded and their neck covered. It’s also reversible, so it can change with their moods.

15. A bag tag with Baby Yoda

A decorative keychain with Baby Yoda
Credit: Shop Disney

If you say this isn't necessary for a trip to Star Wars Land, we'll disagree.

It’s possible to argue that this Mandalorian-themed tag is not necessary for a trip to a Disney theme park. We respectfully disagree. Any time you have an opportunity to buy something with Baby Yoda on it, we say you should go for it; we think your kids will agree.

Get a The Child bag char at Shop Disney for $10.19

16. A snuggly plush to sleep with after a long day

A Mickey Mouse plush toy with the name Daniel on the foot. A little boy cuddling up with a bunch of stuffed characters.
Credit: Shop Disney

Are you really going to pick just one?

After a long day at a theme park (or watching their favorite Disney or Pixar movie), it's time for some snuggling. We love the classic Mickey or Minnie, which you can get personalized with their names, but we'll concede that it's pretty hard to pick just one favorite. From our personal experience, Disney obsessions never grow old, so this is one stuffy that may just last a lifetime.

Shop stuffed and plush animals and characters at Shop Disney starting at $15

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