3 people, one big backpack or 3 small drawstring packs?

She’s 11 1/2, about 5 feet 2" I think.

Oh so that might be big for my son… Maybe the kid size would be better for him.

Even when our youngest is 9 I would bring a stroller for storage. We stuff a small cooler on the bottom, hang our popcorn bucket and possibly jackets. Then 1 backpack for everything else. I’m not a fan of those small string backpacks. They seem to slip off easily on my kid. I’ve had my backpack fairly jammed and no issues on rides.

I also do not really want my wife or daughters carrying anything. The less tired they are the happier they are. It helps them deal with me better when I complain about them shopping.


For day trips anywhere we just take 1 rucksack for all of us. Less chance of the kids loosing anything.

DH carried his own bag with our camera and a water and I carried a smaller backpack with a water and stuff for myself and DD. I don’t think I will get her to carry her own until she’s old enough to 1. not get tired of carrying it and trying to unload it so DH or I end up carrying 2 bags and 2. keep track of it herself.

It is a little big, but very light. She used it last year when 10 and probably same height as your son.

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I say one backpack and you can switch off. Those drawstring ones don’t have water bottle pockets which would annoy me as that’s what I access the most frequently.

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We are doing four small back packs this year… I am sorry but i am fed up of being the family mule and i think the children are old enough to carry their own things now… will also teach them to look after their belongings… they are 14 and 11 so a bit older…
The lighter you can travel the better - its tiring enough at Disney without carrying around heavy bags all day.

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Whichever you choose, I recommend you pack as lightly as reasonable in an uncomplicated bag.

I was in a security line last week with someone who had brought her backpacking bag along as her park bag - seemed like 8,000 little compartments that security had to go through all of. And anyone at that security table (both lines) had to wait for it to get checked.

You definitely don’t need to plan for a 3-day foraging hike every day; just bring the few things that will be useful during the day. It only takes 5 minutes to repack it in the morning.


I’d recommend one bag because then only one has to go through security bag check. However, if you want to give your child responsibility, then the smaller bags are preferable. I agree with others… no string bags. The strings will be uncomfortable, may break and because they don’t close tight, things may fall out or be lost on rides.

I bought a packable backpack that was lightweight and easy to throw into my suitcase, instead of becoming an extra carry-on.

This one worked well for me:


I wonder why Disney is still doing the manual bag checks. The security into Universal was far more efficient. Everyone must pass through metal detectors, and all items in pockets/bags must go through the X-ray machines. We got through security in less than 1 minute for all 5 of us.


Yes! We just left UOR and never had a single wait for security. Disney could speed up their security if they would adopt this from Universal.

When it is just my husband and I, we carry one messenger bag around the park. We are bringing my pre-teen nephew and niece with us on this trip so I bought them lightweight drawstring bags so they can carry their own junk through the park. We’ll have essentials like the first aid kit, sunscreen, toothpicks, etc. but they can carry their own water bottles and anything else they want to buy in the parks.

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I use this


And I adore it, has been on many trips and its still trucking. Works great for hats, ponchos, sunscreen, etc.

Our family has gone bag free the last couple of trips and we love it. Just the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities.



I think if I showed up at the park dressed like that, I might be escorted out. :slight_smile:



THIS is my #1 conundrum for my next trip! We are seasoned travellers (WDW and the world) so have bag packing down to a science and an art. We usually goat cooler times (so need a bag that can hold 4 sweaters), and we usually go with DH who is happy to carry the small sized backpack (I carry it from time to time to let him rest.) I usually have a very small x-body purse with my necessities (phone, charger, small meds, sunglasses, $, poncho if I’m pushing the limits).
However, This trip I am going with DMom and DS7. The bag question is causing me anxiety! It’s July, so we don’t need sweaters. Aside from the stuff that I put in by small purse I still want to bring 3 water bottles, autograph book, and some snacks (and DS’s poncho and popcorn backet) that won’t fit in my or my mom’s purse.
When I go solo I just do as above and carry a water bottle in my hand. I just don’t get how people go bagless with kids! LOL!
I’m looking for a small backpack, but don’t want a slingback (not flattering in the chest area, if you know what I mean). I don’t want it to be too big because we all know the bigger the bag is the more stuff we stuff into it. I don’t want it to be heavy because then it will be sweaty on my back in the July heat. I also don’t want to have DS7 carry his own bag, because that means I will likely just end up carry mine AND his!
ARGH. Ok. Done venting about the bag. Off to do more searching for the perfect Disney carry-all. :wink:


Same conundrum here! We travel a lot and I’m still looking for the perfect bag! I’ve got my eye on a Vera Bradley crossbody, Kavu crossbody or maybe the VB small backpack.