It’s difficult to imagine a full day at a Disney park without a bag of some sort. These days my family shows up with all the accouterments you would expect for folks with young children. Namely, a gigantic double stroller with portable fans to keep the baby cool, a diaper bag, baby carriers and a backpack loaded with supplies. We take snacks, water bottles and rain gear. Even if you’re traveling without young kids, it’s a good idea to bring some sort of bag along for personal items like phone chargers, keys and sunscreen. Particularly if you plan to be at the park all day during the summer months. A small crossbody bag is a great option.
The good news is that most Disney attractions have been designed with convenience for guests with bags in mind. We noticed recently that the Walt Disney World Resort has updated some of the security protocols at park entrances to make the process more streamlined for guests with bags. At the time of this writing, you can just bring your bags through the metal detector with you.
In years past, each bag was thoroughly hand-searched by security personnel. They opened every compartment and ALL of the zipper pockets. Therefore, guests without bags could breeze through an express security line. While convenient for the rare party without any bags, this procedure created congestion near the front of the park. Families had to reunite and often repack their bags. The new process is much better. Strollers now go through a separate line. But both lines move quickly and it’s easier to stay close to your party. A similar security process is now also in place at Disney Springs, too.
Are bags allowed on rides at Disney World?
Yes, bags are allowed on rides at Disney parks. Larger bags like backpacks will usually need to be stowed near your feet in the ride vehicle. Many roller coasters and thrill rides have a mesh storage pouch for small loose items like phones, hats or sunglasses. Sometimes these pouches can accommodate smaller handbags or a fanny pack (which are back in style!).
Some rides, like Epcot’s Soarin’ Over the World, cannot accommodate medium and large-sized bags on the ride vehicle. As a result, cast members will direct you to place your backpack or bag in a designated location on the floor before you take your seat and get buckled in. On Avatar: Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are shelves built into the ride chamber where you’ll be directed to stow your belongings during the ride. This includes bags and other personal items.
What size bag can you bring on Disney rides?
Anything backpack-sized or smaller can go with you on most Disney World rides. According to Disney’s website, bags must be smaller than 24” long x 15” wide x 18” high. If your bag meets the size requirement for park entry, you should be allowed to take it with you on a ride. On the other hand, several items are not allowed in Disney theme parks. The list includes pepper spray, glass containers, selfie sticks and alcoholic beverages.
Disney does offer paid daily locker rentals near guest services at each of its theme parks. There are small and large options at all the theme parks. Epcot and Magic Kingdom also offer jumbo lockers. Disney’s water parks also offer standard and large-sized lockers for rent.
What do I do with my bag on water rides?
You have the option of taking your bag with you on the water rides at Disney World. However, there are free lockers available for stowing your belongings outside Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom. Although it’s possible to stay relatively dry on this ride, it’s completely out of your control. In my experience, at least one person in each raft gets drenched, and it could just be your lucky day. You may get completely soaked. So it’s a great idea to take advantage of a storage locker for this attraction.
There is a 38-inch height requirement for Kali River Rapids. So if your party includes small children, leave the bags with the non-riding members of your party. The ride does have a compartment for bag storage which offers some protection from the elements. If the line is long and you want to have your bag with you, pack a sealable plastic bag for your cell phones.
Certainly, Kali River Rapids carries the most risk for getting riders wet. However, there are a couple of other rides where park guests and their bags may get splashed. Epcot’s Frozen Ever After is a boat ride located in the Norway Pavilion. While the waterworks are minimal, I have noticed that small amounts of water can accumulate on the floor and the bench seats. For this reason, be mindful of where you place your bag on this ride. The Magic Kingdom’s Pirates of the Caribbean is similar. However, if you’re seated near the edge of the boat and a cannonball splashes into the water at just the right time, you can get pretty wet.
Where do backpacks go on Disney rides?
On most rides, backpacks will need to be stowed near your feet. Many of Disney’s ride vehicles have been designed with ample space to accommodate a backpack near your feet. My very large husband (6’2” and 250 pounds) is our family’s designated backpack carrier. I have borne him five sons (including TWO sets of fraternal twins!). Therefore, he was awarded this role to balance our division of household duties and responsibilities.
The big man reports that Slinky Dog Dash, Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train and Space Mountain can be a tight squeeze with a backpack at his feet. However, he has successfully crammed into each of these rides with a backpack. Smaller riders should be good to go. Pro-tip for larger designated backpack carriers: as you board the roller coaster, pass the bag to a member of your party with a lesser need for leg room.
Do you have tips for taking backpacks on rides at Disney? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments.