It’s not what’s IN your bag at Walt Disney World, it’s about WHAT bag you bring with you into the parks. So many extras this year are being added to our bags, such as multiple face masks and bottles of hand sanitizer, that a reevaluation of the type of bag we all carry into the parks is worth our time. We have to make sure we have the right bag for a long park day, after all.
While the best bag is no bag, choosing the ultimate bag is not only about how it will look in your Disney parks pictures, but also about convenience and comfort.
I have a wide array of bags that I look forward to carrying in the parks that have Disney décor on them. I also look forward to purchasing new ones in Disney Springs as a souvenir for myself when visiting the parks.
My favorites are the Vera Bradley collection, Coach, Loungefly, and Dooney and Bourke, and I have many that are random Disney-themed ones that you can find on shopDisney or in the parks. I often will see one I like on Zoë Wood's Monday Merch Meeting articles on The DIS' website. Another idea is decorating your favorite bag with Disney accessories such as pins or buttons.
Keep it Light
The very most important key to a good parks bag is that the actual bag itself must be lightweight. If you already have a heavy bag and add more items to it, you are in for a challenging time walking all day lugging that heavy bag. I have been known to weigh my bags on a scale (even a food scale) in order to select the lightest weight bag to bring. The weight on your back, shoulder and neck area all day can be uncomfortable if you aren’t used to it.
Some materials I find weigh heavier than others, such as leather versus vinyl. I also evaluate the bag’s straps. I find leather and backpack straps too harsh on the neck and shoulder areas, while a soft cotton/polyester material is preferred.
You would think a bag with numerous compartments is the best bag because it will keep you better organized. I disagree. I have found that the less compartments a bag has, the faster it is to find things. It is also easier at park security to open one or two pockets instead of several. I can always use a Ziploc bag in the main compartment to easily find smaller items and keep those items clean or waterproof.
There is no wrong bag style for Disney; the fanny pack is back, drawstrings and backpacks are always popular, but I've found that crossbody bags are the best for being able to distribute weight. Crossbody bags also allow you to alternate throughout the day which shoulder to carry the weight on.
When closer, more interactive character meet and greets return, a fun way to style a bag is to have characters autograph a white bag using permanent markers.
Are you a Garbage Mom/Dad?
This is a special note to parents out there: don't be a garbage mom/dad and carry everything for everyone. This is a trap! Your older children can carry their own special bag with their own special items that they need in their bags. It is a great way to teach responsibility, ownership, the importance of taking care of your property, and that mom/dad is not the family garbage can for your "stuff" (or insert foul language in that quote!).
A parks bag doesn’t have to be a statement; the priority is comfort and customizing it to meet your needs. What you put in your bag…now that’s up to you, but a little bit of pixie dust wouldn't hurt!
Which bag do you carry into the parks or are you the lucky one who goes bagless?!