Disneyland and the holiday season are two of the most spectacular things you can imagine! If you are lucky enough to visit Disneyland during December, be prepared to experience one of the most magical times of the year at the most magical place on earth.
Holiday cheer, Disney magic and a little bit of extra joy are the perfect recipe for an unforgettable trip. With the park decorated from top to bottom in amazing light displays, accompanied by special shows and characters to match the joyful season, there is truly nowhere more extraordinary to spend your winter vacation. Disneyland in December is a one of a kind spectacle you have to see to believe.
While Southern California is known for its mild climate and moderate winters, December at Disneyland can still bring cooler temperatures and wet weather. While packing snow gear is certainly not necessary, it’s still highly advised to dress warm and be prepared for unexpected rain.
Along with warm clothes, packing a bunch of snacks, extra supplies and other items are must haves for your December Disneyland trip.
But beyond some of the basics, are you 100% sure you know what to pack for Disneyland in December? If not, have no fear, as this article will help get your Disneyland packing list filled out and ready to go so you can properly pack your suitcases for your upcoming dream vacation!
What to Pack for a Disney Vacation
When packing for a Disney vacation, it is important to focus on the basics. Given the colder weather during winter, it is necessary to bring long sleeve shirts, pants, sweatshirts, and a thicker coat or jacket for the evening.
Leggings or jeans are great options for a day at Disneyland during the winter, given they are warm and comfortable to spend hours wearing. Comfortable walking shoes for the park along with slippers to wear wherever you may stay are a great way to make sure you have footwear for both inside and outside the park.
Extra socks and underwear are never a bad idea, given they may become wet in puddles or on rides that have water features, such as Splash Mountain or Pirates of the Caribbean.
Comfortable pajamas are always the best to change into after a long day of exploring Disneyland, when your exhausted head finally hits that oh so comfortable pillow, and should also make their way into your luggage.
During December, mittens or gloves, a beanie or hat, and a scarf are good items to consider bringing, just in case temperatures are colder than expected, especially if you stay in the park after dark.
In addition to clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen are must haves for any Disney trip. Despite cooler winter weather in December, the sun in Southern California can still be very strong throughout the day. Extra protection is always advised and encouraged.
Toiletries such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, hair brush, deodorant, makeup, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and perfume or cologne can be packed together easily to prepare for and wind down from your day at Disney. Feminie products, if needed, should also be brought along with you.
Items that you may want to bring into the park and should consider packing include a portable phone charger, reusable water bottle, and camera. A backpack to hold items that you carry with you or buy while inside of the park will make your trip easier as well. Additionally, extra snacks can be brought into Disneyland, which will save you some money and keep you from going hungry while walking around all day.
With inclement weather prominent during December in the Disneyland area, an umbrella and raincoat are highly advised to pack into your suitcase. Rain can come on quickly for short or long periods of time, so being prepared with rain protection will be in your favor. Even if wet weather doesn’t arrive, a rain poncho can be used when going on rides that feature water.
Planning on snacking? Food storage such as plastic bags or tupperware is a great way to carry food from home within the park. Bringing these items from home, along with any snacks or meals you want to bring with you to Disneyland can help keep you full and ready to go throughout the day.
Any prescriptions, supplements or vitamins taken regularly should definitely be packed in your suitcase as well. Though basic medications are commonly available at hotel markets and nearby grocery stores, they are not sold within the park. Bringing them from home is the easiest way to ensure you don’t have to go hunting for any specific medicines you may need, rather than spending that time enjoying the most magical place on earth!
Knowing what to pack for Disneyland in December is a crucial part of having the best trip possible. Making a packing list is a great way to ensure you are on track to having everything you need for your visit. Simply listing items you plan to bring and crossing them off as you place them in your luggage will allow you to stay organized and prepared for your Disneyland adventure.
Disneyland Clothes to Wear
During December, warm clothing is highly advised when visiting Disneyland. Pants, a comfortable shirt, and a sweatshirt, which can be tied around your waist if needed, are great essentials to consider wearing. During the day, Disney may enjoy some sunlight, even during winter, along with warmer temperatures.
Given the cooler night weather that comes after sunset, which happens at a much earlier time during winter, it is highly recommended to bring an extra jacket for once the sun goes down and you still want to enjoy all the park has to offer.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, which is why bringing a pair of mittens or gloves, a beanie, and a scarf in a backpack is never a bad idea. Outdoor rides can get windy and you may want the extra layer of protection from the chilly winter air. Extra cold weather gear can ensure you get to enjoy the park for as long as you want to, no matter the temperatures.
Comfortable walking shoes are a must for any Disney trip. Often guests will walk many miles throughout the day while in the park without even realizing it. Sneakers or running shoes are the best way to spend the day walking and standing for extended periods of time. Comfortable shoes will make your trip much more enjoyable without aching feet.
Plan on bringing a water bottle, extra coat, snacks, umbrella, or wallet into Disneyland?
Carrying any of these items in a backpack is the most convenient way to keep extra items with you. A comfortable, roomy backpack can be the difference between an easy day or an overwhelming one. Any basic backpack can provide you with the extra space you may need for items that you bring with you or purchase while within the park.
Disney attire is a fun way to join in the magic that is Disneyland.
With a wide variety of custom Mickey Ears on the market today, there is no limit to the type of dazzle you can add to your outfit. Any favorite character, movie or show can be represented in a unique way through Mickey Ears and other Disney collectibles! Wearing your Disney attire, whether it be ears, a hat, jacket or shirt is a fun and practical choice for your Disneyland trip during December.
Given the holiday season is in full gear during December, any holiday themed attire is another way to join in the fun within the park and remain practical. Santa hats, holiday sweaters and more are spirited ways to dress for both the season and the destination.
What to Pack for a Toddler going to Disney
What better place to visit as a child than Disneyland? Finding a place made of dreams, make believe and all beloved childhood heroes is a lifelong memory for any youngster. When visiting Disneyland with a young child, it is important to make sure you have everything you need to make your trip as fun and efficient as possible.
Depending on the age and abilities of your little one, Disneyland packing lists for toddlers can look drastically different from packing lists for kids of various ages.
If you are traveling to the park with a toddler, a stroller is most likely necessary for your visit. Even if your child is consistently walking, Disney days are a lot of steps for any adult, let alone for a little one. Strollers can be brought into the park or rented, though bringing your own from home if possible is a good way to make sure you have everything you need and to avoid paying rental fees.
Another benefit of having a stroller for young children at Disney is easy and accessible naps. If you do not want to leave the park for your child’s nap(s), a stroller can offer a good way for them to nap on the go. While enjoying lunch or waiting in line for a ride, your child can comfortably rest in their stroller and wake up ready to go.
A diaper bag is another must bring item when visiting Disneyland with a toddler. Packing a change of clothes, extra shoes and socks, snacks, sippy cups, diapers, wipes, rash cream, bottles and formula if applicable, and toys into your diaper bag can be helpful in a variety of situations that may arrive during your day at Disneyland.
The food at Disneyland is extremely delicious, which may lead to some spills and stains on your toddler’s adorable outfit from all their snacking! Having a change of clothes will help prevent them from staying in dirty clothes in the case of an accidental spill. And if you’re interested in forgoing the snacks in place of an actual sit down restaurant, I’ve previously written about the best Disneyland restaurants for kids, so be sure to check that out as well.
Extra shoes are always a good idea for your little one, in case they get uncomfortable in the ones they are wearing, or they become wet somehow while in the park.
Consider packing an extra pair of socks in your diaper bag too, just in case they also become wet.
Bringing a sippy cup in your diaper bag is a great tactic to make sure your little one stays hydrated during their big day of exploring. Water fountains are available throughout the park to refill their sippy cup as needed free of charge. Plus, the lid on a sippy cup makes them easy to carry in the bag without worrying about spills or leakage. If you purchase juice or other child friendly beverages, they can be poured into their sippy cup for independent drinking.
Diapers, wipes and rash cream are essential to bring into the park with your little one if they are not yet potty trained. Since you will most likely be spending many hours at Disneyland, be ready to make a few visits to the restrooms to change your little one’s diapers. Changing tables are available in almost all bathrooms throughout the park, along with baby care centers where you can rest, change, and feed your little one. In case of a sudden diaper rash, rash cream will definitely come in handy.
Bottles and formula can be used to make a bottle on the go if your child is still consuming formula. Easily make a bottle with formula brought from home while walking from ride to ride to make sure you’re never stuck without necessary supplies or with an extra hungry little one. If your child is no longer drinking bottles, snacks can be packed into your diaper bag so they can eat while on the go.
Toys may be your secret weapon for preventing boredom while waiting in line for rides or shows with your child. Patience may wear thin when waiting to get on rides, or sitting in a stroller walking to various areas of the park. Having a small toy is a great way to keep your little one occupied if needed!
On top of a diaper bag and stroller, bringing all basic essentials your toddler uses on a daily basis is ideal, such as clothing, pajamas, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Making your little one as comfortable as possible during your Disneyland trip will help them enjoy themselves to the fullest potential!
Snacks to Pack for Disney
Packing snacks for Disneyland is a great, often forgotten way to save a few extra dollars and stay fueled throughout your day at the park. Outdoor food is allowed inside, making snacks from home an ideal option to eat while on the go. While Disneyland is known for its delicious treats and wide variety of cuisines, some of your favorite snacks can also come along with you!
When trying to decide what to pack food wise, try to focus on items that don’t need to be reheated, refrigerated or frozen.
If you do want to bring a warm meal to enjoy in the cold weather, ramen (or simply a warm drink) in a thermos is a great option. Making ramen before entering the park and storing it in a heat saving dish is a smart way to bring your own preheated meal.
Snacks that save space and fill you up are recommended to get the most bang for your buck. Having items that will provide you the most amount of energy with the least amount of weight and room in your backpack are a win-win.
Granola or protein bars, fruit such as apples, oranges, or bananas, pretzels, hummus, sandwiches, chips, and vegetables such as mini carrots or celery are all good options. These foods provide you not only with calories to keep your body going, but also nutritional content and vitamins, without overloading whatever backpack you may be carrying throughout the day.
Sandwiches are a great and easy option to make in your hotel room and pack with you for your visit. Bread, squeezable mayonnaise or mustard, your favorite meats and cheese can all be assembled without a need for cutlery if it isn’t easily available to you during your stay. This is an easy on the go meal that keeps you full and tastes delicious.
Premade salads are also an ideal meal to bring in your backpack when visiting Disneyland. If you want a light, healthy snack while waiting in line, all you need is some plastic cutlery, which can be found at restaurants and food carts throughout the park, to enjoy your premade salad on the go.
A water bottle-whether plastic or reusable- really comes in handy while in the park. All the walking, sightseeing, rides and exploring can make for extra thirst throughout the day. Disneyland provides water fountains throughout the park, so you can simply refill your bottle whenever needed for free!
And if you’re interested in eating snacks made at Disneyland, check out my following article: The 10 Best Disneyland Snacks You’ll Love Eating
Extra Items To Bring To The Park
What items should you bring in your backpack when visiting the park? Your wallet, ID, Disney tickets or passes are necessities to bring along with you. If you’re an annual passholder, having it readily available for discounts at retail stores is a plus.
A phone charger, whether portable or plug in, is highly recommended. Phone batteries can run out quickly and may not last the entire length of your day at Disneyland. Charging stations throughout the park are available for you to use if you find your phone is close to dying.
Given all the photos you may take throughout the day, and trying to get a hold of others you are with if you become separated at any time, it is recommended to have a backup charging resource just in case. In addition, ride wait times, ride closures, restaurants and food mobile ordering are all available on the Disney app, which is definitely a good reason to keep your phone charged the best you can during your visit.
An umbrella that fits inside of your backpack is another must when visiting in December. Southern California weather can be temperamental during winter, so even if the forecast didn’t call for any, be prepared for unexpected rain being a possibility.
Hand sanitizer should also find its way into your bag. Despite Disneyland being a very clean park, thousands of people make their way through everyday. Sanitizing your hands throughout the day is the best way to protect yourself from being sick. Though there are hand washing stations located all around the park, hand sanitizer is a good option when you need a quick refresh, such as when you are waiting in line or before you eat, when hand washing stations are not in your immediate area.
Chapstick, sunscreen, and gum or mints can be useful throughout your day at Disneyland. Cold winter days bring drier weather, when chapstick may be necessary. Despite lower temperatures, on sunny days UV levels can still be high in Southern California.
Applying a layer of sunscreen to your face and other exposed skin to protect yourself from an unwanted accidental sunburn is a good idea. Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean the sun is always hiding! Mints and gum are also a great way to refresh after enjoying one of those delicious Disneyland meals.
Disneyland is truly the most magical place on earth. Even if you forget an item, that’s okay! There are always secondary options to replace something that you might have forgotten to pack from home.
A packing list consisting of what to pack for Disneyland in December is a great way to keep yourself on track when getting your stuff together for your trip, but if something accidentally doesn’t make its way into your suitcase, don’t fret! Your trip will be nothing short of magical even without exactly everything you need.
There are lots of markets in and around the Disney properties that may have what you’re searching for in the case of forgetting something at home. Just remember to bring your excitement, love for Disney, and tickets with you and you are good to go! Enjoy your trip of a lifetime to the most magical place on earth during the most magical time of the year.
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