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As the mom in the group, it is my responsibility to be the MacGyver of the group; I should have everything on hand to fix any situation while skipping happily through the theme parks. When the kids were little, carrying a diaper bag was a necessity and could fit an endless array of products for any emergency. As the kids grew, however, I had no desire to be stuck lugging around a diaper bag full of stuff.
Enter the fanny pack phase. It’s not fashionable but it certainly is practical.
I have two different fanny packs; one I use on my trips that I take with just my sister where I don’t have to worry about everyone else’s needs and the other is the family fanny pack. My solo trip fanny pack is fun and festive looking. It says “Disney” in bold, colorful letters across the front and only has one compartment. The family fanny pack is just a solid navy blue but has five separate compartments. So why the difference? Why do you even need a fanny pack?
Here is a basic list of what goes in to my family-style fanny pack:
– Tissues (everyone sneezes a time or two)
– sun block (there’s a lot of walking in the Florida sun)
– Advil/Tylenol or other pain reliever (because I’ll get a headache)
– Gum (who wants bad breath?)
– Antacids (all that snacking can give you heartburn!)
– Band-Aids (you know someone’s going to get a blister or fall down)
– Camera (to capture all of the magic)
– Sunglasses (To hide your angry eyes when the kids misbehave)
– Benadryl (bug bits or allergies, they are bound to happen)
– Money (to pay for all this hooplah)
– Pennies for pressing (you know you get one every trip)
– Emergency Ponchos (It’s Florida, so it’s going to rain)
– Park Passes (also your room key)
– Photopass card (to capture even more of the magic)
– I.D./Credit Card ( to prove that you can pay for all the hooplah)
– Wet-naps (kids get sticky!)
– Cell Phones (in case you and your party separate)
It’s a lot, right? But when you think about it, every one of those items is a necessity at some point in your trip. Sure, there are first aid stations in the park but sometimes they are not close by and it is just easier to have a little something on you to take care of a situation before someone has a meltdown!
On one trip my younger son fell and scraped his knee. It was just easier for me to bandage him up rather than walk all the way to the first aid station. My husband gets migraines so it is helpful to have his pain medication with us at all times. When we ride the Kali River Rapids or Splash Mountain, sometimes I just don’t want to get that wet and my emergency poncho comes in handy.
As the mom, it just is part of who I am to take care of everyone in my family when they have a need. Being on vacation doesn’t make that stop. On my solo trips that I go on with my sister, the fanny pack is modified but I still keep a bulk of that stuff with me – just not as much of it.
On a trip that I took with my mom, sister, aunt and cousin, I told them all about the process of packing their fanny packs and no one listened. When we were getting on the Kali River Rapids and I was putting on my poncho they were all like “What’s the big deal?” Well, fifteen minutes later when they were all soaked to the skin and miserable while we stood in the air conditioned Yak & Yeti to eat, it was pretty much self-explanatory.
You can take advantage of the gift shops and first aid stations in Disney; they’ll have everything you need. But it is much less expensive to do it all before you leave home and it guarantees that you’ll have just about everything that you could need. No one knows your family better than you!