What to Pack for Disneyland in August

Photographed by Michael of Countdown to Magic

You’ve booked travel and bought your theme parks tickets. You’re going to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, in August and now it’s time to pack your bags. It can be a daunting task for first time visitors to the theme parks so we have put together a comprehensive, handy list of what you should bring on your trip. 

August is an interesting month in terms of Southern California weather. Monsoon season typically takes place in July, so you won’t see freak thunderstorms, and it’s too early for the dry Santa Ana conditions that arrive in the fall. It’s still the middle of the summer, so you need to pack accordingly. 

In addition to the essentials you’ll need on a trip to Disneyland, like socks and underwear, we’re looking at everything you should have with you, what you should leave at home and what you need to bring into the parks while you’re here. You want to enjoy your visit to the Disneyland Resort without having to worry about what you did – or didn’t – pack.

Packing for Disneyland in August

Let’s begin with a few quick tips you need to keep in mind.

Helpful Pro Tips

First things first: Download the Disneyland App on your smartphone. This is where you’ll purchase MaxPass and load Fastpasses for your day. You’ll also be able to see photos taken by Disneyland Resort PhotoPass cast members, and if you need to make dining reservations or check wait times on your favorite attractions, this is where you’ll do it. 

Insider tip: The Disneyland App can take up quite a bit of memory, so if you have an older model smartphone or you’re low on memory, fix those things before you leave. Also note that the Disneyland Resort does not utilize the same systems in place at Walt Disney World, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the Disneyland-specific technology before you arrive.

August is a quiet month when it comes to visiting the Disneyland Resort. If you arrive toward the end of the month you’ll be met with legions of Annual Passholders whose pass blockout dates have been lifted, so the earlier in the month you can arrive, the better. (Blockout dates usually lift in mid-August) Local schools start in mid-August as well, which also makes August a prime time to visit the parks. 

Guests who visit in late August will see Halloween decorations going up around both parks ahead of the Halloween celebration that begins in September. If you’re lucky you might get a look at some of the highly coveted Halloween merchandise that will be available. (Inside tip: If you want it, buy it. Halloween merchandise sells out quickly)

To help you get the most from your trip to Disneyland in August, here are the things you should pack on your trip as well as the things you should plan to bring into the park with you. 

What to Pack for Disneyland in August

August is a warm month so you don’t need to worry about packing bulky warm weather gear. T-shirts and shorts are common park gear for guests in August, along with comfortable shoes. Sandals are a great option but flip flops should be avoided because they’re not practical on rides that involve water (where the walkways can be slippery) or where your feet dangle (as in Soarin’). Sandals with straps are a great idea.

Comfortable shoes are a must. Not only will you be on your feet all day, but you’ll be on hot pavement and you’ll spend a great deal of time standing around in line. It’s the standing that can be the absolute worst, so adding gel insoles can be particularly helpful as well. 

Given that it’s August in Southern California you’ll have to contend with the often vicious humidity that could keep you sweaty all day long. Loose clothing is a must, and cotton fabric will keep you nice and cool. 

As a general rule you don’t need to dress up to go to Disneyland. If you have never been to the park and are basing your visit on what you see on Instagram, keep in minds that influencers often dress up because they’re only in the parks for short periods of time. High heel shoes and sandals look cute but your feet will be covered in blisters if worn all day. 

When packing for your trip, think comfort first and foremost.

Here are some of the things you should pack to enhance your visit:

  • Refillable water bottle
  • Ponchos for water rides
  • Extra sets of clothes 
  • Ziploc bags
  • Sunscreen and aloe vera for sunburns
  • Basic medications
  • Hats
  • Favorite snacks for the little ones
  • Lightweight jacket
  • Portable battery chargers
  • Extra backpack for the parks

The weather will be warm in August and you’ll want to stay hydrated. Instead of buying $4 waters you can bring your own refillable water bottle and fill it up at water stations throughout both parks. The Disneyland Resort has special fountains to fill water bottles all over, and this will save you quite a bit of money that you can put to better use on your trip. I also like to bring plenty of powdered or liquid drink enhancers (especially the ones with caffeine) to add some flavor to the water. 

If you and your family enjoy water rides like Splash Mountain or Grizzly Peak Rapids, bring your own ponchos. You can buy them at the local dollar store instead of paying $10 for each poncho.

When you’re packing your suitcase, pack at least one more outfit than you have days planned at the park. If you get wet you might not want to walk around in soaking wet clothes all day. Trust me, the humidity is such that you won’t dry off all day, and being in damp clothes all day can be pretty miserable. Having extra clothes can be helpful. And though it’s the middle of summer, a lightweight jacket can be helpful at night because the temperatures can cool off quite a bit.

Ziploc bags are an essential travel item on my list. You can bring them with you to pack your wet clothes in, or you might organize your purse or diaper bag to help speed things up at the security line. 

Sunscreen is an absolute must. If you’re planning to spend 12 hours in the parks you might need to apply sunscreen 2-3 times throughout the day, so bring enough to keep the whole family protected. Keep in mind that you’ll be standing in the sun in most lines at both parks, and you’ll need to reapply it when you go on water rides. Sunscreen is something that can be pretty expensive in the park, and it’s not cheap at the nearby drug stores, either. Bring your own, as well as some healing aloe vera, and save some money. Having a hat with you will also keep the sun off, too.

Bring your own aspirin and basic medications with you. You never know when you might need to deal with an upset stomach, an allergy or a headache. There are no places inside the park to get basic medications like Advil or Benadryl while in the parks short of going to the First Aid center and it’s not a quick process.

Just as it’s wise to bring refillable water bottles, bringing snacks with you will also save you some time and money, especially if your little ones have special dietary needs. On the bright side, if you pack snacks that means more empty space in your suitcase on the way back.

One of the most important items to bring is a portable battery charger and all of the necessary cables to operate and charge them. Your phone will go through its battery quickly and you will likely need to charge your phone at least once during the day. Finding places to charge a phone in the park is next to impossible, so bring your own and charge on the go.

Some guests prefer to keep their hands free during the day so bringing a backpack to carry everything is a good idea. A crossbody purse might also work, depending on how much stuff you need to carry into the park.

Lastly, be sure to leave room in your suitcase for the treasures you purchase. Keep in mind that things like popcorn buckets and giant stuffed animals will take up lots of space so you need to have room for them, especially if you’re flying.

What Not to Bring into the Parks

Once you arrive at the Disneyland Resort, you’ll want to race inside the gates to get into the parks. Who wouldn’t, right? Keep in mind that you will have to go through security, and so it’s wise to go through the list of items that you can’t bring into the parks. If you bring these items you will be asked to either return them to your car, to your hotel room, or to throw them away. Glass containers of any kind are forbidden, as are selfie sticks. Leave these things at home.

When it comes to passing through security quickly, my suggestion is to use the Ziploc bags from the list above to pack things in. That way you can pop the bags out for security and save the cast members the time of rifling through your bag. 

Also keep in mind that Disneyland recently changed its rules for the size of strollers that are allowed into the parks. Strollers cannot be larger than 31” wide and 52” long. Be sure your stroller is the appropriate size before you arrive, or plan to rent a stroller when you get there.

What to Bring into the Parks

Keep in mind that if you drive to the Disneyland Resort it can take an hour or more to get back and forth between your car and the parks, and even if you’re staying on property at the hotels it can take an hour to go back to your room.

As such, you need to think about all of the things you might need during the day and carry them with you as if returning to your car isn’t an option. Once you leave the park you will have to pass through security again and this could take up a solid chunk of your park time just going back and forth. 

Disneyland lockers are a great way to store things that you don’t want to carry around. We talked about packing extra clothing for water rides, extra shoes or even your lightweight jacket. You don’t need to carry these all day, so instead you can rent a locker for $8 and use it throughout the day.

Here’s a pro tip: If the park reaches capacity and guests are turned away from Disneyland, which is a real possibility with Galaxy’s Edge, having a locker will allow you to return to the park even if it’s at capacity because you have items inside your locker.

If you decide to use a backpack in the park, bring your water bottle, snacks and extra clothes. A pair of dry socks will be very helpful if you happen to get soaked on Splash Mountain. Pack your sunscreen because you’ll need it throughout the day. You can also use your backpack to carry your purchases or you can have your bags sent to the front of the park to pick up at the end of the day.

In Case of Emergencies

Thankfully Disneyland is within walking distance of several drug stores and a Target. Rather than waste room in your suitcase, you can also arrive in Anaheim and make a stop at Target for snacks and supplies for your trip. You can also pick up toiletries, forgotten items of clothing and extra sunscreen. Load up on water, fresh fruit and other essentials, and that will save you some money by getting them outside of the park.

Remember, packing the right items will make your trip all the more enjoyable. Think comfort and convenience over everything else, and you should be just fine on your visit to Disneyland in August.

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