What to Bring to an Amusement Park: 17 Must-Haves to Coast Through Your Visit

This amusement park packing list has everything you need for a day of fun! Make it stress-free for all ages with these essentials.

Published September 12, 2023
Happy family in an amusement park ride

Amusement parks are amazing places to find a thrill, meet your favorite characters, and spend time with family and friends. Packing the right theme park essentials can help you have a fantastic day — and it doesn't have to be stressful.

We've compiled a comprehensive guide on what to bring to an amusement park, what to leave at home, and which items may depend on the park you are visiting. Here's what you need to know so you can grab the necessities and get ready to ride! 

What to Bring to an Amusement Park for Any Age

When you head to an amusement park, you want to make sure that you bring everything you need without overloading your pack. Since you'll be on your feet all day, extra items can become a burden quickly. We break down the top theme park essentials that will make your experience magical!

Basic Amusement Park Packing List:

  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Refillable water bottles
  • Cash/quarters
  • Hair ties
  • Waterproof pouch
  • Portable phone charger & cord
  • Hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes
  • Emergency medications
  • First aid kit
  • Good walking shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Other weather gear

Also, don't forget your tickets or season passes!


Did you know that pavement reflects up to 50% of the sunlight that hits it? This bounces those UV rays right onto your skin. Since most of your day will be spent in direct sunlight and on concrete, this makes sunscreen a must! We advise that you bring both spray on and stick sunscreens. This can make reapplication easy and it helps you to avoid sticky hands.

Helpful Hack

Want to limit the amount of sunscreen you need? Wear sun safe clothing! UPF 50+ rated shirts, shorts, pants, and hats will block out 98% of the sun's harmful rays. Companies like Free Fly also make their sun safe fabrics out of bamboo. This means that the apparel is soft, breathable, and has moisture-wicking properties!

Bug Spray

When you spend half of your amusement park visit standing in line, it's easy to become a target of biting bugs. Don't let mosquito bites ruin your visit! Apply bug spray before you walk in the park and keep a bottle in you backpack for when wild water rides wash it off.

Refillable Water Bottles

Some parks allow outside drinks and others do not. An easy way to stay hydrated and avoid spending what seems like hundreds of dollars buying bottles of water is to bring a refillable bottle for each person in your group and then stop by water refill stations that are positioned throughout the park! This is not only economical, but it also ensures that your water stays cold.


Not all amusement parks have made it into the 21st century. One big theme park essential that is typically forgotten is quarters and cash. These items are important for anyone who wants to stash their personal belongings in a locker. By having quarters and cash on hand, you can avoid wasting time making change and head straight to the prime attractions in the park.

Hair Ties

For the ladies and gents with long hair, make sure you can fully enjoy the view on the many roller coaster rides by having a few hair ties on hand. These pesky little accessories pop at the worst possible times, so having some spares is always a good idea as well. 

Waterproof Pouch 

Another item to add to your amusement park packing list is a large waterproof pouch (or just a few ziplock bags). Every park seems to have at least one water ride that everyone wants to cool off on. This means you need a place to put your cell phone, key fobs, and other electronics so they don't get wet. 

Portable Phone Charger & Cord

Speaking of electronics, between the loads of photos you will take, the trivia and tongue twisters that you pull up to pass the time while you are in line, and the resort maps that you regularly reference to find your way around the park, your phone's battery is bound to die — unless you have a portable charger and cord! 

Hand Sanitizer/Antibacterial Wipes

Whether you are leaving the bathroom, getting ready for a quick snack, or you just got off a thrilling ride that forced your hands onto the germ-covered lap bar, having hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes can help you to stay germ free throughout your time at the amusement park.

Emergency Medications

EpiPens, antihistamines (like Claritin and Benadryl), asthma medications, and aspirin are all permitted in amusement parks in the off chance you need them. For those with extreme allergies, asthma, and heart conditions, having these medications on hand is always a good safety precaution.

First Aid Kit

Of course, emergencies can come in both big and small sizes, so having the tools to fix any type of problem is a good idea, especially if you have kids in tow. Some of the top first aid supplies to pack include: 

  • Bandaids
  • Mole Skin (for blisters)
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Anti-chafe balm 

Waterproof Backpack

Finally, in order to complete your amusement park packing list, you need a place to store all your supplies. A waterproof backpack is a great choice because it allows you to bring it with you on any ride that allows bags. 

Need to Know

Every amusement park has specific guidelines for the maximum bag size allowed on the park grounds. Make sure to check the website before leaving your home or the hotel to ensure that you don't have to purchase an overpriced bag when you arrive. 

Good Walking Shoes

When you go to an amusement park, you should plan on walking a few miles throughout the day. Avoid the aches and pains by not just packing, but WEARING a good pair of walking shoes to the park. Also, make sure that you are comfortable with these sneakers getting wet since you will likely go on some sort of splash ride during the day.


Protect your eyes from UV rays and sun glare by also wearing a cheap pair of polarized sunglasses. Remember that you will likely have to put these in your bag or a cubby when you ride the many attractions, so leave the Ray Bans at home!

Other Weather Gear

It's always a good idea to check the weather forecast before you leave for the park. This can make certain that you are prepared for whatever weather may come your way during the day. For instance, if it's supposed to be cold, bring a pullover or zipper jacket that you can tie around your waist if you get warm. If rain is in the forecast, bring a cheap, disposable poncho in your backpack.

Need to Know

Just like with the sunglasses, leave your good gear at home. Things get lost and stolen at amusement parks all the time. Avoid the heartache by bringing items that you don't mind disappearing.

Additional Theme Park Essentials for Families With Kids

When you have babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in tow, there are a few extra items that you always need to pack. Here is what to bring to an amusement park for young kids.

Kids smiling and riding the carousel

Additional Items to Pack for Small Kids:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Puppy pads
  • Feeding supplies
  • Change of clothes
  • Temporary safety tattoos

Diapers / Wipes

Every parent knows that you need an arsenal of diapers and wipes when you are away from home with the baby. Make sure that you have more than enough diapers and wipes to keep your littles clean and dry throughout the day and have some extras that you stow in the car for emergencies.

A few puppy pads can also be helpful for the parents who don't want to lay their babies down on germ-covered changing tables.

Feeding Supplies

Normally, outside food and drinks are not permitted in amusement parks, but there are exceptions for baby food, folks with dietary restrictions, and those with other special needs. When packing, make sure that you bring extra formula or breast milk so that your little one can stay well hydrated in the heat. Also, don't forget ice packs to keep perishable items at a safe temperature.

Feeding supplies may also include empty sippy cups to fill upon arrival, utensils and baby food, and other baby specific meal items.

Need to Know

Outside food, like baby formula and breastmilk, may require approval upon arrival, so plan to get to the park a bit earlier to speak with guest relations or park security. This can save you precious park time and a big headache at the entrance.

Change of Clothes

Babies and toddlers spit up, spill, and have unfortunate blowout moments. This makes bringing one or two additional outfits well worth it. Just remember that you have to carry these items around the park all day, so consider romper style ensembles that only require one piece.

Temporary Tattoos

Did you know that you can buy temporary tattoos that provide spaces for the child's name, an emergency phone number, and even medical information in the off chance that you get separated? These theme park essentials are a fantastic investment for the parents of young kids who have a tendency to wander. Best of all, they are waterproof, so they will stay on all day long!

Check the Park Website Before Bringing These Items

Every park is different. Spots like Silver Dollar City welcome guests to bring small coolers, food, and drinks, whereas parks like Six Flags prohibit these items. This is why folks who plan to spend the day at the amusement park should always call the park or check the website to confirm what items they are allowed to bring prior to arriving.


As mentioned above, coolers are sometimes welcome at amusement parks and other times they are not. Moreover, the way in which you cool the contents of your cooler has restrictions as well. Most parks prohibit dry ice and some won't allow regular loose ice either. Glass is also normally not permitted. Make sure to check the park website to find out their exact rules and regulations. 

Need to Know

Just like with bags, the parks that do allow coolers normally have restrictions on the size of the coolers that are allowed in the park. 

Outside Food or Drinks

Most parks want you to purchase food inside the park, so outside foods and beverages are prohibited. However, if you have special dietary restrictions or allergies, you can speak to guest services about their exceptions. We recommend calling ahead to confirm what information they will need for approval of these items, as well as visiting the guest relations desk when you arrive at the park. 


Many parks across the nation turn into spooktacular sights throughout the fall season and then winter wonderlands around Christmas time. This makes the idea of dressing up an exciting thought. However, there are many parks that prohibit costumes.

Places like Disney make exceptions for certain holiday events, but they have age limits and restrictions on the embellishments and length that the costumes can be (clothing must not touch or drag on the ground, capes must stop at the child's waist, etc).

It's always best to check the park's website prior to arriving in a costume to avoid being turned away at the gates or being forced to buy an expensive outfit to wear instead. 

Strollers and Wagons

Most parks will allow strollers and wagons to help parents transport their kids throughout the lengthy grounds, but just like coolers and bags, many of these establishments have size restrictions on these transport items. 

Quick Tip

If you don't mind spending the money, some parks will let you rent strollers for the day. This can be an easy alternative and it can help families who are traveling from out of state to visit the park on vacation. Just call ahead to confirm that this particular service is available at the amusement park you are visiting.

What Not to Bring to an Amusement Park

Every amusement park has a few items that are always restricted when visiting their grounds. Here are the top items that parks say no to bringing inside!

Group of people arriving at an amusement park

Selfie Sticks

We all love a good group photo, but selfie sticks are not the way to do it when visiting an amusement park. This is likely for safety purposes since there is always that one person who thinks pulling it out on a ride is a good idea. 

Costume Masks

This is likely another safety concern. Most parks prohibit masks and face coverings, even during holiday events. 

Suitcases or Bags on Wheels

It may seem convenient to bring all of your theme park essentials in a wheeled bag, but this is another amusement park no-no. You can always call the park or check their website to confirm, but the majority say no to this type of carrier.


While many amusement parks have water rides, most of them will not allow you to wander around in only your swimwear. You are welcome to wear these items underneath your clothes, but unlike at the water park, amusement parks normally have a clear requirement of shoes, shorts, and shirts in order to stay and enjoy the attractions. 

Pack Theme Park Essentials for a Smooth Day of Fun

Being prepared is always the best way to guarantee that you have loads of fun at theme parks. Checking the park website is an easy way to confirm what to bring to an amusement park and what items are taboo. Finally, make sure to keep in mind that you will have to carry everything you bring throughout the day. If you don't plan to rent a locker, less is sometimes more.

What to Bring to an Amusement Park: 17 Must-Haves to Coast Through Your Visit