Best Packing List for Disneyland in December
If you’re traveling to Disneyland in December, then you know doubt trying to identify exactly what you need to pack for your upcoming trip. Well, thankfully you’re in luck, as this article is all about providing you with the absolute best packing list for Disneyland in December!
Best Packing List for Disneyland in December
Let’s begin with all of the comfortable clothes you will need.
Packing Leggings, Joggers and Comfy Pants
Pack comfortable clothes! When you’re at hour 7 of being in the parks, you’ve survived the Haunted Mansion and are hustling over to Main Street to snag a great seat for the Christmas Fantasy Parade – the last thing you want to be dealing with are uncomfortable clothes to slow you down!
When you start packing you should keep in mind that the temperature in Disneyland during December has an average high of 68°F and a low of 48°F. Leggings, joggers, or comfortable pants are going to be your lifesaver. If you do thrive in a colder climate, shorts are great too, but bring something warmer to bundle up in the December chill.
My rule of thumb when packing for Disneyland in December is to pack for two extra days of clothing on top of how long you’re planning on staying. Unlike during the warmer months of the year, you’ll likely encounter the occasional rainstorm, and you’ll be thankful for the extra set of clothes when you get back to your hotel.
Bring a Rain Jacket
Bring a rain jacket. I know, I know… bring a rain jacket to Southern California? The suggestion alone sounds like the beginning of a great joke, but better to be prepared for the rain than have to deal with soaking wet clothes as you’re waiting for your peppermint churro.
Socksbring as many socks are you can shove in your suitcase. Your feet will take a pounding and you’ll be on them a lot. On an average day in the parks, you could be walking anywhere between 10,000 to 35,000 steps. I’ll just come out and say it, your feet are going to sweat even with the colder weather. If they don’t, your socks will get soaked on Splash Mountain. Show your feet some love and bring extra socks with you to comfort them after a long day. This will help keep your feet fresh and ready for the next outing.
Moving along but keeping on the theme as it is most likely to ruin a great trip, bring an extra pair of tennis shoes to alternate between, and be sure to break them in! I have made the mistake of taking one pair of sneakers with me and there’s nothing worse than waking up the next day and your shoes are still wet from the Grizzly River Run the day before. Or breaking out your brand-new shoes just to get blisters. You’ll be running around the parks from sunrise to past sundown, going on water rides, and with the possibility of rain, you will be thankful to have a dry, comfortable pair of shoes waiting for you the next day!
Flip Flops or Slides
I would also highly recommend bringing flip-flops or slides for around your hotel. Whether you’re staying at a Disneyland property or off-site you’ll be far more comfortable exploring the Holiday décor in your comfortable slip-on shoes.
Sweaters or Matching Shirts
When choosing to go to Disneyland in December you really are going at the most beautiful time of the year. With all the decorations and chances for great family/friend photos bring along some ugly sweaters or matching shirts! With the Castle decked out in Holiday cheer and all the characters dressed in their finest, you’ll be happy for great pictures to look back on!
TIP: Meet up with Santa as he takes a break from his busy schedule by Critter County or check out Sleeping Beauty Castle, and the Main Street Christmas Tree if you’re looking for that classic family Holiday photo with a Disney twist.
Skin Protection is a big must! Now I know what you’re thinking, “didn’t you mention rain and clouds for Disneyland in December?” Yes… yes, I did, however, you’re still susceptible to sun damage even with overcast skies. Bring some sunscreen or ensure your facial moisturizer has SPF in it.
Bring some into the park with you as well to reapply. If you do forget to pack some sunscreen, rest assured you can purchase it from the convenience stores in Disneyland hotel or California Adventure. If in desperate need, you can check out Sephora in Downtown Disney as well for a larger variety.
Sunglasses (preferably cheap ones)
Bring along a pair of sunglasses for the chance of sunshine but make sure to include a protective case or just get a cheap pair to throw into your bag while on rides or inside. Beware – if you don’t put your glasses into a case between use there will be scratches as you chuck them into your bag with all your other Disney-Day essentials.
That is why I suggest just purchasing a cheaper pair to bring along. I made the mistake of bringing my brand-new Ray-Ban sunglasses and could not believe the condition they were in after jumbling around in my bag with my hotel room keys, wallet, and other Disney treats.
Don’t forget your tickets! I know in this day and age you hopefully have the My Disney Experience App and have your tickets on your smartphone, however, if you bought through a different company and plan on printing them out, be sure to actually pack them!
Now with all the amazing food and Holiday themed treats that will be awaiting you on your December Disneyland vacation, I would highly recommend bringing some of your family/friends’ favorite snacks. There will be so much sugar available to you, so I will typically bring something a little healthier like trail mix, and seasoned nuts for those late-night snack sessions! These healthier treats will give your body a boost and won’t take up too much space in the suitcase.
Last but not least, if you’ve never been to Disneyland before, or never been to the parks in December, just know you are going at the busiest time of the year. Expect long lines and come prepared with a smartphone! You can download games like Heads-Up App, or the Play Disney Parks App to keep you and your family occupied. Or Download the My Disney Experience App to keep track of your reservations, your Genie+ services, ride wait times, and more!
A few other items to consider packing, that you will want to bring into the parks with you:
- Pain reliever
- Hand sanitizer
- Collapsible water bottle
- Small wallet
I will expand on these next!
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What to Pack Inside of a Disney Parks Bag
Now, if you’re curious about to to pack inside of a bag you’re physically bringing into Disneyland (instead of a packing list that’s solely based around your suitcase/luggage bag), here is what I’d recommend.
Get the Right Backpack or Bag
First, of course, off you will need a backpack or a drawstring bag. I will typically go with the drawstring bag with a zipper on the outside or inside for quick access to our Disney tickets and wallets.
If you’re over the age of 25, bringing in some kind of pain reliever like Aleve, Advil or Excedrin may be a vacation-saver for you. To get rid of any unwanted headaches or body aches I always go into the parks prepared. With the Disney Festival of Holidays in full swing, you won’t want to miss out on any of the music or food due to some discomfort.
Don’t forget your hand sanitizer! Lots of people, and lots of germs. Sanitize your hands before you eat to ensure you stay bright and healthy for the duration of your December Vaca fun! The small travel sizes work best as they take up the least amount of space in your bag and should cover you and your group for a day or two in the parks.
Collapsible Water Bottles
Collapsible water bottles are a great addition to your Disney bag as well. I discovered these a few years back and don’t think I could ever go back to my standard water bottle for in-park use. This item will not only save you space in your bag but will also save you from the dreaded $5.00 plastic water bottles that are sold in the parks.
Save your dollars for the Holiday DOLE Whip Sundae (sold at the Tropical Hideaway), the Peppermint Cold Brew Cocktail (sold at the Sonoma Terrace), or my favorite – the Peppermint Beignets (sold at the Mint Julep Bar). There are plenty of water fountains around the park to refill as you go.
Now, I know masks are completely optional as Disneyland no longer requires them inside or outside, but I highly recommend bringing along a disposal mask just in case you’re feeling a little under the weather, or if there are a lot of sneezers in the area. Flu season will typically be at its peak in December, so why not prepare?
When going into the parks, you’re going to want to start your day off with as light a backpack as possible. I have found that bringing my full-size wallet is just unnecessary and tends to just take up space and add weight that you need not carry. I will typically just pack a small wallet or waterproof wallet to hold one credit/debit card (if you don’t have one uploaded to your Disneyland app), my ID, and my hotel room key. This seems to do the trick and if you’re nervous about your cards possibly getting scanned through your bag, purchase an RFID wallet before your Disney Vacation.
What to Pack for Kids or Toddlers
When packing for toddlers (or kids in general) just be prepared… they will get messy, and they may need multiple outfit changes throughout the day. When packing clothes for your child or toddler be sure to add a few spare tops and bottoms. Especially during December, with the likely chance of rain, you will want to have a fresh set of clothes ready in case of a sudden downpour.
Bring at least one insulated/rain jacket for fluctuating temperatures. If your child or toddler does get warm throughout the day, ditch the jacket, but during the Holiday season you will need this backup and if you plan on checking out the “Believe in Holiday Magic” fireworks display you’ll want to bundle them up.
Hats are so versatile and a great way to keep your toddler warm, keep the sun rays away, as well as any rain off their face. No matter the weather in December a hat is for sure a must (check out the Goofy-styled hat sold in the Disneyland parks and Downtown Disney for a fun, and well… goofy kind of style)!
First Aid Kit
Pack a travel-sized First Aid Kit in your diaper bag or toss one in your backpack. Imagine this, you’ve just entered the parks, heading down Main Street when your toddler catches a glimpse of none other than Donald Duck strutting down the sidewalk. Bursting with excitement your toddler loses their balance and takes a little spill. As I’m sure you’re more than aware, scraped knees will happen so be prepared with a travel-sized First Aid Kit. I typically pack different sized Band-Aids (with Disney characters), moist towelettes, antibiotic ointment, cotton applicators, tweezers, and… stickers for fun!
Sunscreen for Children
For the same reasons previously mentioned in the section above, in December the weather is likely to be overcast but it’s still possible to get burned. Make sure the whole family has some sunscreen on before you leave your hotel and bring some with you into the parks to reapply throughout your day.
Snacks for the Kids
While waiting to take a picture with Mickey, or sitting in line for Winnie the Pooh, your toddler can happily munch on a treat from home. Disney does allow food to be brought into the parks, so I would suggest packing a few of your toddler’s favorite snacks.
Toys to Keep the Kids Happy
As go-go-go as Disneyland is, there will be downtime when you’re waiting in line or taking a breather before gearing up again. During these times, it’s always great to have your toddler’s favorite toys, or new toy at the ready to keep them occupied and happy.
Sanitizing Wipes for Dirty Hands
With so much to see and so many interactive games around, you will want to bring along some sanitizing wipes or hand sanitizer to keep your kids’ and/or toddlers’ hands clean to keep everyone happy and healthy.
Below, check out a YouTube video of a mother packing for her upcoming trip to Disneyland:
If you are sure to include the items above in your suitcase, you will be as ready for your December Vacation as any seasoned Disney goer! I hope you found the best packing list for Disneyland in December helpful as you gear up for your Holiday adventure. We hope it’s magical!