16 essentials for a magical Disney trip
Full Disney style that'll take you from the theme park to the school yard
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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
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.
2. A backpack with classic characters
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.
3. A face mask in Disney, Pixar, and Star Wars themes
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.
4. A water bottle for cool hydration
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.
5. A cozy hoodie, for when the sun goes down
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.”
6. Super comfy shoes
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.
7. A very professional-looking ticket lanyard
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.
8. Eco-friendly snack bags
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.
9. A wet bag for unexpected accidents
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.
10. A super cute hand sanitizer
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.
11. A camera that's just their size
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.
12. Some yummy lip balm that comes in their favorite characters
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.
- Get the Minnie Mouse strawberry lip balm by Tsum Tsum at Amazon for $4.99
- Get the Ice Cream Clone Stormtrooper lip balm by Tsum Tsum at Amazon for $8.38
13. A long-lasting sun screen that's free of all the nasty stuff
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.
14. A sun hat for mid-day protection
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.
- Get the Disney Kid mouse ears baseball cap at Shop Disney for $24.99
- Get the toddler reversible Mickey bucket hat at Target for $9
15. A bag tag with Baby Yoda
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.
16. A snuggly plush to sleep with after a long day
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.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.