One of the things that I love about both Universal Studios and Disney World is that they allow you to bring backpacks into the parks, along with water bottles and snacks. The only problem difference between Universal Studios and Disney World is that you’re required to put your bags into lockers for a lot of the Universal Studios rides, while you can carry your bags on most of the Disney World rides.

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Pack For A Day In Universal Studios

The lockers at Universal Studios outside the rides are free for the duration for the ride plus the line length, but they’re also pretty small (only 9.5″ wide, 11.5″ high, and 17″ deep). With that being said, you can bring whatever you want into Universal Studios, but you also want to be cautious about what you bring because you won’t have a ton of place to store your stuff while you ride your rides!

What To Pack For A Day In Universal Studios

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Pack For A Day In Universal Studios

A Backpack- Personally, I think that the best way to carry everything for your days in the parks is a backpack. The only thing to consider when choosing a backpack is that you have to go through security before you get onto Universal property, which means that you will have to open up every compartment. So I suggest a backpack with as little compartments as possible.

Refillable Water Bottle- Water is one thing that you should never EVER pay for when you’re in a theme park. It’s too expensive and something that you can get for free if you pack accordingly. There are water fountains all over the parks, so a refillable water bottle is definitely a must pack when visiting the parks, especially during the summer.

Snacks- Another thing that’s very expensive in the parks is food, and not only is it expensive, it’s also high calorie. A great way to save your money and your calories is to pack your own snacks. During our last trip to Universal Studios, we packed 100 calorie packs of nuts and protein bars, which were perfect for some mid morning or afternoon hunger pains.

iPhone Portable Charger- One of my favorite things to do when we’re on vacation is to severely over use SnapChat and Instagram way too much. The only bad thing about that, besides blowing up everybody’s phone, is that my phone will usually die about half way through the day, which, of course, is bad for everyone. To make sure that doesn’t happen, I always pack a portable charger. They’re usually super small, and one of the most important things that I usually pack. Just don’t forget to bring your lightning charging cable too!

Camera/Camera Batteries- Speaking of taking tons of pictures. You don’t want to forget your camera when you visit Universal Studios, because like I’ve mentioned previously, the details especially in the Harry Potter sections of the parks are outstanding! You’ll want to remember them for forever!

Sunscreen- The Florida sun is no joke, especially in the middle of the summer. The last thing you want to happen is to get fried on your first day in the parks, which would make the rest of your trip totally miserable. To make sure that doesn’t happen, make sure to pack a tube of sunscreen for your day in the parks, and don’t forget to reapply during the day!

Sunglasses- Again, with the Florida sun you definitely don’t want to be caught without your sunglasses. A long day in the sunny parks would make for a lot of squinting and probably future wrinkles if you forget your sunglasses!

Hand Sanitizer- If you ever stop to think about how many thousands of people that visit Universal Studios everyday, it doesn’t take long to think about all the germs that are all over the rides and other things that you touch throughout the day. You definitely don’t want to forget the hand sanitizer for your long day in the park.

Medicine- Before our trip to Disney World a couple of years ago, I read a few articles about packing some basic medicines to take with you into the parks, like pain reliever, Tums, and bandaids, and I couldn’t agree more with those articles! The last thing you want is to get a blister, a headache, or heartburn when you’re in the park and not have anything to fix it. A small medicine bag is a perfect thing to remember to take into the parks.

Fitness Tracker- I don’t think that it’s any secret that when you visit a theme park, you walk A LOT. A great way to track how much you’re walking is by bringing your fitness tracker. I’ve always been a huge fan of FitBit, but our Apple Watches were also great fitness trackers for our days in the park.

So there you have it, what I would pack for a day in Universal Studios. What else would you pack? Did I leave anything off?

  • Biana Perez

    That is amazing that they let you bring water and snacks in….really great way to save a little money and in a swell bottle it’ll be cold water for so much longer! As always great tips girl!

    • I know! The snacks and water is really where the theme parks get all of their money! Plus the snacks are so high calorie! I’d rather save my money and calories for something more exciting! I just got my first swell bottle and oh my goodness it’s amazing! I want to take it everywhere with me now!

  • I’ve always wanted to go to Universal Studios – these are great things to have for a variety of places!


  • What a handy list! I always forget you are allowed to bring in snacks and water. What a budget saver! Definitely saving this for a future trip to Disney or Universal!

    • That’s my favorite part about Universal and Disney, although they definitely try and keep it on the down low though. The water might even be a better deal than the snacks because they charge so much for a bottled water!

  • Kerri Taylor

    this is perfect and i wouldn’t add a thing to it! i FINALLY got a small backpack so i can bring more into the park like a smart person. only took me a few years haha. especially that bottle and charger and hand sanitizer! all key! and sunscreen. well you get the picture haha

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • I know! It always amazes me how fast my phone dies when I’m visiting somewhere and I don’t think that I survive without the portable charger. And I’m so pale and fry so easily that I definitely need to always remember the sunscreen!

  • Totally saving this because I am crossing my fingers I get to so this spring!

    • I so hope that you get to visit this spring! Universal Studios is awesome, especially if you’re a Harry Potter fan!

  • I couldn’t agree with you more about all of this! When we were just at Disney, I think I had everything you listed here except for the reusable water bottle (we bought one our first day, and then just kept refilling it from the fountains). I love the convenience of packing your own snacks because if you get hungry in line, you can go ahead and eat!

    • I remember you saying that y’all packed snacks for your trip! It’s amazing how much everything costs in the theme parks, so snacks and reusable water bottles are perfect for a day in the parks. Although, sometimes you still have try some ice cream or other yummy snack in the park!

  • Yes sunscreen. I’m always that person that thinks I won’t need it and then my shoulders are burnt. I love my swell bottle too- stays cold for so long!

    • I definitely agree! I think that I’ve been in the sun maybe 10 minutes for each of the past few weekends and have had sunburns because of it! Swell bottles are seriously amazing! I love my yeti, but the swell bottles are so much more portable.

  • Rachel

    These are great suggestions, Ashley! And awesome idea to bring snacks, especially the nut and protein bars. They will keep you going all day!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde’s Moment

    • Thank you! I loved being able to snack on those almonds all day long and not have to buy their high calorie snacks! Although I definitely admit I still had an ice cream cone while we were there!

  • Yes to a fitness tracker!!! I swear the best way to lose weight is to go to Disney and Universal because the walking is amazing!! =)

    • I totally agree with you! I thought for sure that I wouldn’t have lost any weight after our trip because I ate pretty badly, but I actually ended up losing weight because we walked so much!

  • Yes to all of this! I’ve learned bringing my Swell bottle and medicine is one of the smartest things I can do. It’s the worst getting a horrible headache at a park and being miserable. Which has happened to me before lol! And I still don’t have a fitness tracker but I love looking at my phone to see how far I’ve walked! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

    • Swell bottles are seriously amazing! I love how portable they are and how they keep the water super cold! Chris gets heartburn pretty often, so we always make sure we bring tums with us when we’re out of town! I can’t imagine how miserable it is to not feel well, especially if you’re visiting the happiest place on earth!

  • Nadine

    Totally keeping this list for the day that I get to go. Yay!!!!!

  • This is such a great list! I’m glad you mentioned a camera because I sometimes feel like I’m the only one who carries mine around these days! Haha.

    • I always feel like the biggest tourist when I’m carrying my camera, but I wouldn’t want to miss out on capturing some of those amazing memories!

  • Great list! I think a lot of places are doing the locker thing now because when we went to six flags up in NJ they had the lockers and I’m pretty sure Hershey Park put them in, too. I think it’s smart.

    • We were talking to some of the workers at Universal and they said that they set up the lockers because people were getting injured from things falling out of people’s lockers. As long as it’s free, I’m definitely ok with it!

  • Great list of things and I completely agree with all of it. The water and snacks were a lifesaver for us! Also yes to the portable charger, my phone would have died by noon if I didn’t have my handy charger with me. I do wish the lockers were bigger, but I brought my LongChamp bag which folds well and is huge to hold everything :)!

    • It amazed me how fast my phone died when we were in the parks, then again, I was snapping like crazy lol! We had trouble getting our bags to fit in one locker while we were there, and wish that they had been bigger too. I’ve been eyeing a LongChamp bag for myself! My friend told me that they’re super cheap in Europe so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to pick one up in September!

  • Alexandra Bee Blog

    I will definitely have to check out all your Universal Studios and Disney tips! I’ve been to Orlando a few times, but will be doing the parks for the first time ever this summer!

    • You’re going to have so much fun at Universal Studios! I still think that Disney World is better, but the Harry Potter sections of Universal are out of this world! Let me know if you have any questions! I love planning!

  • Goodness, it’s been so long since I’ve been… I would definitely love to go back soon!!

    • The Harry Potter sections of Universal Studios are so amazing! It’s definitely worth a trip back just to see the new sections.

  • This is a great list! The items are really similar to what we take on our day trips. A refillable water bottle has been clutch! I have a cross body purse and I’m always jealous of Adam’s backpack bc it looks more comfortable.

    • I definitely want to start carrying a water bottle with me on most of our trips because I’m always parched because of all the walking that we’re doing. I’m just glad that Chris agrees to be our pack mule on most of our trips. I hate being the one carrying the backpack, although it is more comfortable than a cross body sometimes.

  • i have never brought my “good” camera before, only because i fly to orlando and don’t feel like taking my precious down there. hehe. battery pack is a must bc i use my phone to snap and take pics!

    • I didn’t bring my good camera for this trip, but I want to bring it next time we go. I think that I could’ve gotten so many better pictures of the details if I had brought it with me. It’s amazing how fast my camera dies when we’re out of town! I think it’s from all the snapping!

  • Awesome! I have never been so can’t add anything else, but I would definitely agree with the bringing your own food/water thing. Nothing worse than being stuck somewhere (eg a ride queue) whilst hangry.

    • There really is nothing like being starving or really thirsty when you’re waiting in line, not to mention the fact that everything is expensive in the parks!

  • This list is perfect!! I’m saving it for our trip to Disney in November. I was debating bringing my good camera, but I decided that I need to have it there #bloglife

    • I know! Chris convinced me to not bring mine for this trip, and I really wish that I had! The details in the park were so amazing and I would have loved to get some great shots of them. That’s so exciting that you’re going to Disney in November! Hopefully things will be decorated for Christmas by that point.

  • Christina Sotherden

    Great List! When we travel anywhere but especially if we’re going to be out adventuring on a day trip I always try to bring a snack – being hungry is the worst!

    • Being hungry really is the worst, and I always feel like I’m hungry! Plus if you choose the right snacks to take with you, they’re usually small enough to pack in just a purse.

  • Darcy from A Memory of Us

    Sunscreen is a great tip! you are outside all day, so you’ll definitely need to reapply!

  • I would’ve never thought of bringing a phone charger- but you are so right! The more pics you take, the quicker the batter drains. I also would not have thought to bring medicine or band aids- I hope I NEVER get a blister during a day like being at Universal Studios

    • It really is the worst when you get a blister or a headache and you don’t have the things to deal with it, like medicine or a bandaid. It can totally ruin your trip! When I’m out of town I tend to snap and take pictures like crazy, so a phone charger is definitely essential.

  • i definitely love that they let you bring in water bottles and snacks because everything is so over priced it helps save a bit. i would pack these same exact things but conveniently leave my portable charger at home. lol

    • Funny story, but I actually brought the portable charger into the parks that day, but left the cord at home so we had to buy one in the parks. Maybe I should have added the cord to my list too! The water bottles and the snacks really do save so much money, and the parks must realize how expensive everything which is why they let you bring those in.

  • Living on Cloud Nine

    Such a smart list, love Swell bottle! This should be pinned because some users people may not think of. Great job!!

    • Thank you! Swell bottles really are amazing and keep the water ice cold! They’d probably still have ice half way through the day! Hopefully this will help people out that are headed to a theme park this summer!

  • Awesome list gurlie! I couldn’t agree with you more on never having to pay for water while in the parks, and of course hand sanitizer! Nobody has time to be sick while on vacation 😉
    Green Fashionista

    • It always makes me so sick how expensive everything is in the parks, but thankfully they let you save money in this small way. And hand sanitizer is a definite must! I get so grossed out thinking about all the hands that have been all over everything.

  • Awesome list! I don’t go anywhere without a reusable water bottle, especially in the parks!

    • Thank you! I need to remember to take my reusable water bottle on more of our trips, and not just on the ones to theme parks! Most of the time you can find somewhere to fill it up.

  • Jessica Shannon

    These are great ideas of stuff to bring! I love my s’well water bottle! Paying for water sucks!

    • Paying for water really does suck! I even love bringing reusable water bottles to the airport because I always want water right after going through security.

  • you nailed it! This is perfect for a walking type of trip like this. Snacks are so key at places like that. You’re exhausted from the walking and everything is so expensive!

    • I know! I really think that I need to bring all of these on normal trips that we go on because I’m always thirsty or hungry all the time! And there’s nothing worse than tired, hungry, and thirsty!

  • A portable charger is such a good idea for any vaca or day out. Bringing some healthy snacks is super smart too!

    • I’ve realized that when we’re out of town I tend to be on social media way more than when I’m at home, so my phone dies a lot more quickly. We also really over indulge on meals when we’re on trips too, so healthy snacks are definitely the smartest way to pack.

  • That’s one thing I love about Universal… they let you bring in snacks and water.

    • It really is so awesome! I love that they finally realized that everything is already so expensive, and tried to help their customers out.

  • Those extended battery packs are such lifesavers!

  • yes to almost all of these! i packed everything except for the fitness tracker, because i don’t have one. the portable charger is one of my favourite purchases ever!

    • We have so many of those portable chargers, and they have been such lifesavers! Luckily Chris has a lot of them from conventions so we haven’t had to buy too many, except when I forget them at home and have to buy a new one.

  • Great suggestions. Always yes to the sunscreen and extra chargers. We sometimes play games (like Heads Up) waiting in lines so the battery always drains quickly!

    • Playing Heads Up in line is such a great idea to help pass the time, but it’ll definitely drain your battery quickly! I have a tendency to get sunburned very easily, so I have to reapply sunscreen a lot!

  • That sucks that you fainted at Disney World! The heat is no joke in Florida, but people don’t realize how intense the humidity can be and how it can affect you.

  • awesome post!! thanks so much for sharing!

  • Jill Tracey

    Thank you for this! Do you know if they still allow backpacks and cross-body purses, etc?