What do you need for a day in the parks?  As with everything, the answer to this question depends on you.  I will suggest must haves items, as well as items you might need only sometimes in your back pack.  The only time we don’t carry a back pack with us is when my wife and I get time in the parks alone.
Always pack the bag the night before.  This saves time in the morning and helps to reduce the risk of forgetting something.  Items that are always in our bag are a few medical supplies [band-aids, ibuprofen, anti-allergy meds (adult and child), and upset stomach meds] camera, ponchos, hand sanitizer, extra underwear and change of clothes for the kids (maybe even the easily frightened adult) and baby wipes (even if you don’t have kids).  The best way to pack these items is not to bring the whole boxes of medicines with you.  Take a tablet or two or buy the individually packaged tablets.  Put the ponchos at the bottom of your back pack, you don’t always need them but when the monsoon hits you are going to want them.
Another thing to bring all the time is a few plastic baggies.  These are helpful for a few reasons.  Remember that change of clothes I mentioned?  A few years ago we vacationed in December, and during a day at the Animal Kingdom we rode Kali River Rapids (the ride with the warning “you will get wet, you may get soaked”).  I took my daughters on the ride and we did get soaked.  After the ride they were cold.  We ended up buying them new “Disney priced” clothes.  This is also where the bags come in handy, they are a great place to keep the wet clothes so they don’t get the rest of the items in your back pack wet.  They are also great to put unfinished snacks and other sticky items in.
We also keep an activity bag in the back pack.  This is great for the kids during the times you are waiting in line or at a restaurant.  We always have a kid’s book in the bag, paper, pens and pencils for them to draw and other small activities.  The activity bag has become essential for our park touring.
Items that are typically in our back pack, but not always, are sunblock, snacks, hats, sunglasses and ear plugs (ear plugs????).  Ear plugs are great for your kids if they are frightened by loud noises and the fireworks are too much for them.  Also, the aforementioned sunblock, hats and glasses are not needed during the evening hours, but are a necessity during the day time hours.
Now that we have listed enough things to fill a small trailer, make sure you have a sturdy back pack that will be big enough for the items you want/need, but won’t hold you back.  Remember, you can’t wear the back pack on the rides and you may have to put it by your feet.

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