You’re excited about your upcoming Disney vacation and it’s time to pack. One of the things you need to decide is what kind of bag to take to Disney World when you visit the parks. Fanny packs and backpacks are the most popular, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Not sure which one to take? We’ve rounded up the pros and cons. Keep reading to get the answer to the question – Is a fanny pack or backpack better for Disney World?
If you like to travel light or are a minimalist (keys, wallet, ID, phone, and you’re done), then a fanny pack is a good bet. It’s easy to get into and you can move it to the front of your body when you get on rides. On the other hand, if you like to take your whole world with you when you’re on the move (understandable for families with small kids), then a backpack may better serve your needs. You’ll have more space, be hands-free, and you can take it on most rides at Disney World.
The one thing we don’t recommend is a lady’s handbag with small handles. Disney World is not the best place to showcase your fashion sense. The focus should be on comfort and convenience. A cross-body sling bag or anything that leaves your hands free is the way to go. Men, you should de-clutter your wallet and carry only the essentials. Also, make sure your pockets have Velcro, so you don’t drop something important like cash or your Disney park tickets.
Pros and cons of fanny packs or hip packs at Disney World
If you go to the mall with a hip pack, you may get a few stares. But at Disney World, fanny packs are the best thing to bring! Here are some reasons why you should wear a fanny pack to the Disney parks.
You’re hands-free, which is helpful whether you’re on a roller coaster, eating, taking pictures of your family, picking up a child, posing with characters, or just about doing anything fun at a Disney park.
Your valuables are safe
If you’ve ever had a panicky moment when you think you dropped your wallet, you know what we mean. With a fanny pack, your cash, ID, phone, and Disney park tickets are in a zippered bag securely anchored to your waist.
Security checks at the park entrance are quick
You don’t want to be the person who holds up the queue because you’ve got a million things in a backpack that needs to be checked by security. It takes seconds for the security guard to go through a fanny pack.
It holds the necessities plus more
Besides your cash, cards, ID, and Disney park tickets, a moderate-sized fanny pack can hold your camera, phone, sunglasses, Tylenol, Band-Aids, and maybe even a snack.
A fanny pack gives quick access to everything
If you’ve ever rummaged through a backpack for something you need urgently, you know how frustrating it can be. In contrast, you can just unzip your fanny pack and get what you need, even while walking.
Fanny packs are safer
A large backpack can injure someone if you’re not careful. You turn around suddenly and hit a small kid you didn’t see. Or you forget you’ve got a backpack on and knock something over in a store (paying for a broken Frozen snow globe is no fun). Fanny packs at Disney World are safer in this respect.
A fanny pack is less visible
If you hate having your backpack in all your photos, you either have to take it off and leave it on the floor or give it to someone else in the family. With a fanny pack, you can just slide it around to the back of your body. Also, it doesn’t leave tan lines on your shoulders if you’re wearing a tank top.
Fanny packs are easier to wear on rides
You’ll have to take your backpack off and fit it in your lap or under your seat. On some rides, backpacks are not permitted – you have to place them in a locker and retrieve them after the ride – so that’s a lot of wasted time. A fanny pack you can just slide to the side and sit comfortably on virtually any Disney ride.
No back pain with fanny packs
An adult carrying a full backpack for a whole day at a Disney park can end up with back pain. It can also get hot and cumbersome in the Florida heat. Fanny packs are easier on your back.
Fanny packs are theft-proof
Pickpockets can get into your backpack if you’re not careful. For example, if you’re waiting in line, someone could potentially steal something from one of the outer pockets without your ever realizing it. This is next to impossible with a fanny pack when you’re wearing it on the front of your body.
Everyone carries their own stuff
When you wear a backpack to Disney parks, your family will tend to give you things to put in it. If everyone wears their own fanny pack, then no one person has to carry any extra weight. Everyone’s responsible for their own stuff.
The only disadvantage of wearing a fanny pack at Disney World that we can think of is that your friends may make fun of you! That’s probably because they haven’t experienced the convenience first-hand. You don’t have to wear them anywhere else, but when you’re at Disney World, fanny packs are the way to go!
Backpacks at Disney World
If you simply cannot fit everything you need into a fanny pack or you’re too self-conscious to wear one, then a backpack is your next best option. The biggest advantage, of course, is more space, while also being hands-free. If you’re bringing a backpack to Disney, you’ve probably got dozens of questions on your mind. We’ve got all the answers.
Can you bring backpacks on rides at Disney World?
Yes, you can bring a backpack on most rides at Disney World. Depending on the type of ride, you may be able to store the bag under your seat or on your lap. However, on some rides like Dumbo the Flying Elephant where space is limited, this may be uncomfortable. Backpacks can be hazardous on some rides – Avatar Flight of Passage and Soarin’ come to mind – so Disney has storage bins next to or under the seat to store your backpack without the risk of it falling off or being stolen. When you bring a backpack with you on a Disney World ride, loop one foot around a shoulder strap when you put it on the floor. This will ensure it doesn’t slip off during the ride.
Can you store a backpack on Disney rides?
There are lockers outside some rides at Disney World but not many. If available, you can use the lockers to store your backpack. This is especially recommended if you’re going on Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where your backpack could get drenched even though the storage bins have rain covers. If you have a heavy backpack but only need to access it a few times a day (families with small children, we’re looking at you), then there are lockers near the park entrance, which cost $10-15 for a day’s use. You can store your backpack here and access it throughout the day. This way you have the things you need without carrying extra weight around all day.
Can I leave my backpack on my stroller while I go on rides at Disney World?
Not recommended. You should follow common sense at Disney World as you would anywhere else. You wouldn’t leave your backpack unattended anywhere else and you shouldn’t do this at Disney World either.
Is a fragile souvenir safe in a backpack at Disney World?
We wouldn’t take that chance. If you’ve bought a breakable souvenir at Disney World, avoid carrying it around with you all day if you don’t want to risk the heartbreak of smashing it. Either leave the purchase for the end of the day. Or use Disney’s delivery service if you’re staying onsite – they will deliver to all Disney Resort hotels.
As you can see, we’re fanny pack fans when it comes to Disney vacations, but backpacks have some distinct advantages. Whatever you decide – fanny pack or backpack at Disney World – have fun and stay safe.