I don't mind it, but if you put too much stuff in there after awhile your back and neck are aching. Luckily we've never popped up with an emergency on any trips so there wasn't a need for all the stuff. Snacks we usually leave in our rooms and go back and eat during our breaks, or right in or outside of which ever park we are visiting.
I am lactose intolerant so I keep alka seltzer and lactaid pills in my short pockets or the camera bag in case I get up the nerve to have dairy products. I am then prepared.
Worst of all, in my experience at least, most folks don't know how to handle a backpack - they're constantly bumping into others, knocking over displays, stopping in the middle of walkways to rifle through them, delaying loading times, etc. Ditch the bag - set yourself free and enjoy the park.
I have a zippered pouch that I wear under my shirt, around my neck and under my arm. In the pouch are my car key, money, Season Pass, license, and cell phone. Anything else..food, drink, windbreaker, spare clothes... is in the car.
I don't begrudge the need to carry items into the park, but I think the time has come for Disney to begin setting limits on the amount of bulk a guest can bring in, similar to the restrictions the airlines impose upon carry-on bags.
I only ride water rides when it is really hot. Last one I was on was Popeye at IOA. It was 95 degrees that day. I remember getting off the ride and feeling dry ten minutes later. Only to then go on Dudley Do Right and get wet all over again.
I laughed when I saw the update though. Our daughters are 2 (will be 3 in 3 weeks) and 6 months. It has gotten so that we spend so much time packing for them that we forget about ourselves. Like last weekend we were packing and preparing for the zoo and then halfway there I realized I forgot my wallet and cellphone. But of course we had plenty of diapers, wet wipes, toys and snacks. ha ha.
Since we had two young children, I dutifully packed up a backpack with everything we might need. And by 11:30 am, I was hot, cranky, and tired of hauling that bag around. Every ride I had to take it off and stow it. I had to remember to grab it if one child suddenly dropped their hot dog to run to Mickey Mouse.
I looked around. And spotted the group of twenty-something guys. No backpacks. No purses. And yet they somehow made it through the day.
We've refined our needs and reduced the size of everything we need. After nearly a year of visiting a theme park 1-2 times a month, this is our typical set-up:
1. Cargo clothing for everyone. Shorts, pants, or skirts with reasonable sized pockets. No need for a purse.2. Collapsible cups. Why haul water? It's heavy. Fill a cup at a water fountain and sip there. Buy one of those gigantic sodas and split it between cups. (Less waste)3. Trial sized sunblock. Walgreens always seems to have some inexpensive ones - even sprays.4. A bag or two of some kind of snack. Trail mix works better than cheese and crackers.5. Wallets and cell phones (with cameras) for the grown-ups.6. Convenience stores carry individually portioned headache meds and allergy meds. Not that expensive and better than carrying a bottle.7. Emergency ponchos for those that don't want to get wet on water rides or if it looks like rain.
Need a tissue or have a sticky child? Bathrooms are nearby. Keep a couple of quarters on hand if you're worried about suddenly needing feminine products. Sun glasses perch on top of the head or with sport grips.
Bonus - we can waltz through the "No Bags" line.
In my fannypack is plastic ziplock bag with the following items:
SunblockIDHealth Insurance card (@ Mr. Niles: You missed that one!)Debit Card (never a credit card to control spending)cashTicketsTravel size purell (especially at a park on a beach)Small digital cameraCell phonea Change of socksKeys
I keep my the rest of my change of clothes (layers a must)and snack food in the car and goto the lot and take breaks.
I have always felt that walking around slighty wet is part of the experience. So I only change if I have to. However, I have exzema and I keep extra socks with me because the chemicals in the water can set off an outbreak. I keep a third pair in the car too. I always where my sunglasses with a tight fitting laner that I do not take off untill dark.
As for reusable water bottle...DO NOT bring in a nice one. Only reuse one you bought in a rest stop or store. Some parks like Cedar Point sometimes will not let you store your bottles while you are on cetain rides. You have to throw out your bottles. You don't want to lose a nice one you brought from home or in the park.
I have a new kid now so I am forced to carry more. Love the collapsable cup idea! Great suggestions! Thank you.
If there is anything we want to have in the park, not in the car, we put it in a locker up front. I carry a sample size sunblock, my camera, my cell phone in my pockets. My cash and credit card go in my pass holder. We do have the refillable mugs, and those we leave unlocked in a locker when we are riding rides.
BGW does not allow outside food. So the only place I carry around a back pack with snacks and everything I would ever need in a lifetime is Disney. They have bag holders on the rides and allow in outside food.
At Busch Gardens, if you are riding, you need to be hands free!
As for a change of clothes, I prefer to leave mine in the car and change at the end of the day