Your guide to Dollar Tree items to pack on your next Disney trip
I grew up on Disney and it holds a soft spot in my heart. My parent was a cast member so it was the only place we ever vacationed and now we are annual pass holders, so I have spent a whole lot of time at Walt Disney World.
Being less than two hours away from Disney (if the I-4 gods are smiling on you…), Disney is am easy day-trip from Pinellas. Many local families annual pass holders and visitors to the St. Pete-Clearwater area add Disney days when they visit our area.
While I love Disney, there’s no denying that it’s stupid expensive. Packing well for your day at the theme park is one way to cut some costs.
We put together this list of our favorite things to buy from the dollar store before going to Disney parks to help you save money. Our list is geared towards families with kids going to the theme parks.
Let’s save some money!
Y’all, it’s Florida, of course sunscreen has to top our list of things to buy at the dollar store before Disney. I’m a huge sunscreen evangelist because I had a melanoma in-situ in my early 20’s.
All sunscreen sold in the U.S. is regulated by the FDA (FDA source), which includes Dollar Store sunscreen. Mentally, it’s easier to use the large quantities of sunscreen you need when a bottle isn’t so expensive.
Just remember to always double check expiration dates since sunscreen degrades over time.
Keeping with sun protection, hats are another great thing to buy at Dollar Tree for Disney. They help with the sun but are also so cheap that it’s okay if they get lost.
Hats are so easy to forget on a ride or restaurant, or have them blow off on a rollercoaster. Bring one along you don’t mind losing
In the same vein, getting sunglasses at Dollar Tree gives you one less thing to worry about losing.
I especially love dollar store sunglasses for my kids because they get lost or broken in approximately 3 seconds. If they decide they hate them and leave them on the People Mover, we’re only out a dollar.
Afternoon showers are a quintessential part of Florida summer. Plan ahead for it before heading to Disney by getting ponchos to throw in your bag.
Disney knows they’ve got you when it’s a torrential downpour and you have to buy something at the park — you’ll spend almost 50 bucks for four ponchos at the park.
We just spent two days at Disney in the constant rain and didn’t get ponchos. Don’t be like us, spend $5 and get them at Dollar Tree.
(Pssst… don’t forget to bring a cover for your stroller too. Learn from my mistake!)
5. Sandwich bags
Sticking with the rain theme, throw a few ziplock bags in your bag for electronics in case it rains.
You can get a small box of sandwich bags at the dollar store. Plus, they can be helpful for organizing your Disney day pack as well or for dividing snacks among kids too.
6. Water bottles
If you don’t already have a water bottle that you wouldn’t mind losing, grab one at the dollar store before your Disney trip. There are lots of places to fill up around the parks so you don’t have to buy a drink.
We’ve lost more than one water bottle falling out from the stroller so now I only like to bring bottles that we won’t be sad to lose.
Disney is a lot of walking — falls and/or blisters can happen. Grabbing a small pack fo dollar store bandaids can be very helpful during your park day.
You can also get first aid items like bandaids at the First Aid or baby center but sometimes you don’t want to trek back across the park to grab a bandaid.
We love Dollar Tree glow sticks. They’re so cheap, kids love them and they’re practical.
Slapping some glow stick bracelets on your kids when it gets darks is a great way to make them easier to spot in the Disney crowds.
Disney sells bubble wands that you see peeking out of so many strollers throughout the park. They really add a nice touch of magic and my kids love when we go by a bubble wand kid.
If you are a bubble wand family, stock up on refill bubbles at the dollar tree (or if you’re like our family and got knock-off bubble guns instead). And if you’re not, having a bottle of bubbles is a nice way for kids to get in on the bubble fun.
10. Pacifier clip
If you have a baby in the pacifier phase still, a pacifier clip can be clutch when you’re out at the parks. No one wants a sad kid who lost their pacifier when you’re at a theme park.
Plus, our dollar store had these cute Mickey ones so you can be on theme for the day.
11. Baby wipes
Even if you don’t have a kid in diapers, baby wipes are so handy. My kids regularly get so much messier than a regular napkin can handle.
These Dollar Tree packs are a perfect travel size to throw in your Disney bag. Plus, the Huggies ones are Disney themed too!
If your kids are young enough, pre-buy a souvenir or two at the dollar store is an amazing way to save money on your Disney trip.
My toddlers are still thrilled with basically anything so a little Mickey or Donald figurine from the Dollar Tree makes them as happy as a $35 dollar thing from the park.
If you’re coming with a stroller, bring something color that you can tie to the handle to make your stroller easier to spot.
Cast members move strollers around to make more space in the stroller parking areas. Very likely you’ll come back to your stroller having been moved at least once during your visit.
Dollar store bandanas are a cheap and easy way to make your stroller more visible.
Dollar Tree has a big selection of snacks and many of them are in a nice smaller size that works well for travel snacks.
Disney is great because they allow you to bring in all the outside food you want. Food at the parks is not cheap so this is a very good way to save money.
15. Travel bottles
Travel bottles are nice to keep your bags light during a park day. Instead of lugging around a huge bottle of sunscreen, fill up a travel bottle or two (just remember to bring enough to reapply).
The bottles can also be used for diaper cream or soaps if your kid has sensitive skin. Definitely don’t use them for booze though, definitely don’t do that…
16. Hand Sanitizer
There are approximately a million people at Disney all touching the same things. I’ve seen a number of little kids put their mouth on things they should not put their mouth on in lines (my kids, my kids are so guilty of this).
I keep a little hand sanitizer in my fanny pack for easy access after any high touch activity. Dollar tree has the perfect size for this.
17. Facial wipes
It’s Florida, it’s going to be real hot on your Disney trip like 90% of the time. Facial wipes are a nice way to refresh in the middle of a park day.
These Dollar Tree ones are a perfect travel size to throw in your park bag.
18. Diecast cars
I like the throw a pocket-sized few toys in my bag that I can hand my kids while we wait in line. We particularly like little cars because they can drive them along as we move through.
Pocket-sized is key so you can easily put them away when you get to the front of the line and not have to keep track of them. The dollar store has lots of little toys that fit this bill if cars aren’t your kid’s thing.
19. Plastic diaper baggies
Having little plastic trash bags come in handy in so many ways, even if you’re no longer in the diaper phase.
Plastic baggies are great for wet clothes, dirty shoes or to keep things like extra toddler clothes dry in the rain.
Disney is a lot of waiting in lines and it can be tough for little kids. If you have younger kids, a pack of stickers can help keep them occupied while they’re waiting.
The Dollar Tree has a lot of options to keep kids entertained, but we like the stickers because they’re so easy to pack and disposable. And you can often find Mickey ones too.