Sign up for UV Index email alertsIt doesn’t matter whether you’re going to Disneyland, Disney World, or a local theme park, these tips will help you save money and have a fun and safe trip!
Healthy On-the-go Travel Snacks
Bringing along healthy snacks is particularly important if anyone in your party is diabetic or hypoglycemic, but they’ll also come in handy if you have children or you want to save money over purchasing theme park snacks. Choose crush-proof snacks that can take the heat, but ones that are nutritious as well. Nuts, dried fruit, granola bars, etc., are good choices and will give you something to share with the kids when they start asking for the expensive snacks available at the park. Luckily, Disney and other parks are offering many more natural and nutritional options. They’re very easy to find and should satisfy any snacking need, but you will pay a premium price for them.
Here are a few great snacks you can pack from home, or plan ahead and order them from Amazon.com and have them delivered to your hotel. You’ll save over packing them in your suitcase and taking up space or making your bag go over the 50 lb weight limit (a $50+ charge from most airlines – check with yours for the current weight limits and over-limit rates).
Healthy Snacks to Bring Along To the Theme Park
These our favorites and go-to snacks when we travel.
Gluten Free, Tree Nut-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy Free, Nut Free, and no High-Fructose Corn Syrup (not vegetarian, does contain gelatin).
Organic Dry Roasted Almonds, Organic Dry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Raw Sunflower Seeds, Organic Raisins, Organic Cranberries (Organic Cranberries, Organic Apple Juice Concentrate, Organic Sunflower Oil), Organic Wild Blueberries (Organic Wild Blueberries, Organic Apple Juice Concentrate, Organic Sunflower Oil).
Organic Rice Syrup, Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Chocolate Chips (Organic Sugar Cane Juice, Organic Cocoa Liquor, Organic Whole Milk, Organic Cocoa Butter, Lecithin, and Organic Vanilla), Organic Crisp Rice (Organic Rice Flour, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Sea Salt, Organic Malt Extract and Annatto Color), Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Naturally Milled Organic Sugar, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Rice Maltodextrin, Organic Soy Lecithin, Sea Salt, Organic Maltodextrin, Baking Soda, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Cream, Glycerin, Natural Flavor, Wheat Flour, Almond Flour, Peanut Flour.
Annie’s Variety Snack Packs – Cheddar Bunnies, Chocolate Bunny Grahams, Honey Bunny Grahams & Chocolate Chip Bunny Grams
Made with Organic Wheat; no artificial flavors, synthetic colors, or synthetic preservatives.
Organic wheat flour, organic dehydrated cane juice, organic expeller pressed sunflower or safflower oil, chocolate chips (dehydrated cane juice, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla), unsulphured molasses, natural flavors, baking soda, soy lecithin, and aluminum free baking powder. Made on equipment that also manufactures products containing peanuts, eggs, milk and tree nuts.
If you’re making an extended day trip and will be in the theme park during lunch or dinner, bring along one of these nutritious meals that need no refrigeration:
GoPicnic Ready-To-Eat Meals Kid-Friendly (but filling enough for adult’s too!)
Ready-to-eat meals that require no refrigeration or preparation. Each meal contains five individually wrapped food items that contain no trans fats, HFCS, added MSG, artificial colors or flavors. With less than 500 calories per meal, just open and enjoy. The perfect take-along lunch for on the road, traveling, outdoor adventures, and theme park visits. Meals are available in gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, protein, and all natural.
Bring Your Own Water
Staying hydrated is important as well, so you’ll want to carry several bottles of water with you or better yet, a refillable water bottle (choose BPA-free plastic or stainless steel) with internal filter. Our favorites are the Britta Hard-Sided BPA-Free Water Bottle with Filter (no accidental spills!) and the Brita Soft Squeeze Water Filter Bottle For Kids. Filter replacements are easy to find and they’re lightweight enough you won’t mind carrying them.
Good Quality Sunscreen
Always bring sunscreen along, even when it’s cloudy outside. Reapply your sunscreen as directed (usually every 90-minutes). But buy the RIGHT sunscreen. Check out the Environment Working Groups (EWG) 2016 Guide to Sunscreens, Best Scoring Kids Sunscreens, Best Beach and Sport Sunscreens, and avoid the Worse Scoring Kids Sunscreens.
Don’t wait to purchase sunscreen at the park. It’s VERY expensive, and the selection is limited. Plus, if you’re flying, you’ll have to toss the bottle of sunscreen you just purchased or put it in your checked luggage. The last time I was at Disneyland, they didn’t sell any TSA-approved size sunscreen lotions.
Shop EWG’s 22 best sunscreen lotions for kids in 2016.
You and the kids should wear hats while you’re in the park if there are UV warnings. You can download the UV Index smartphone app or Sign up for UV Index email alerts from theEnvironmentall Protection Agency (EPA) and prepare accordingly. A packable hat is lightweight and fits into your day bag.
Theme Park Safety for Kids
Before you go, make sure your child has his/her name and your name and phone number somewhere on them. For very young children, an ID bracelet is ideal. Children get scared, and it’s quite common for them to not know your real name, they only know you as “mom” and “dad”. Noting allergies is important as well. Some well-meaning finder may offer your hungry child a snack while they look for you, you want to be sure that they’re not given anything that could harm them. Faced with a cry and hungry lost child, it’d be hard to say no to them so prepare the good samaritin with information.
For school-aged, an ID necklace is more discrete, but there if they need it. If your child won’t wear one, safety pin your details inside a sweater or coat pocket or inside any bag they may be carrying. We let our boys write on their arm with permanent markers; they thought that was cool, but temporary safety tattoos are a better options. Put the info out-of-sight so other’s can’t see it, but your child can show it quickly in the event they get separated from you. Explain to them how to find someone to help them or direct them to stand still the moment they realize they’re lost, so they don’t get far.
Temporary, Travel, and Permanent Kid’s ID Options
Travel ID Bands For Kids or Adults who Need Assistance
For older children, have a meeting spot picked out before you head to the theme park. Provide them the plan details in writing – it’s easier to refer to in the event they become scared or nervous – and go over them together. Talk about what to do if you’re separated, and there’s an emergency. Where will you meet? Who can they ask for help? What 3rd party contact can they call to get a message to you? It should be someone not in the same location as you but someone who’s available by phone. Discuss what to do if there’s inclement weather, or they become frightened and need to find you. With public places being targets for terrorists, having a plan is important, and having alternates in the event your original plans can’t be followed through with is imperative.
Theme Park Ride Safety
Finally, when thinking about theme park safety tips, remember to follow all rules which are posted in the park and make sure your children understand them as well. Remain seated on all rides and keep hands inside the rides. Deaths happen at every theme park, even Disneyland, and Walt Disney World, and many times they could have been avoided if visitors had taken proper precautions. Take the time while you’re waiting in line to talk about the ride, what to expect, and how you expect your child to behave. If everyone in your family follows the posted safety rules, you can ensure your entire family will enjoy their day.
Have fun but be aware of your surroundings. You can avoid a lot of trouble just by keeping your head up and taking in the activity around you; This isn’t a time to bury your face in your smartphone!