Need a few recommendations on packing

Hi All,
After my nightmare about being totally unprepared for the parks, I’ve decided to start making a serious packing list and I need a few recommendations and questions answered.

  1. We have a day planned at Typhoon Lagoon. I see on Disney Tourist Blog that they recommend buying water shoes for the park. I have flip flops that I love, is there really a need to purchase water shoes? Is there a reason my flip flops would be a bad idea?

  2. I have a baseball hat that I wear during the summer, but for Disney I was thinking of getting a hat that would protect the back of my neck and ears better. I’d like something that I can cram in a bag - Do any of you have recommendations for a crushable/packable hat?

  3. Last time we went DH carried a backpack, and I had a fanny pack. This was great when we were all together, but when we took the kids in separate directions, I could only carry my sunglasses, wallet and hand sanitizer in the fanny pack. I was thinking about upgrading to a cross body bag, or getting my own backpack. Do you park experts have a preference of one over the other? If so, can you throw out a brand that you like?

There are way too many choices online and I need all of you to help me narrow them down by at least steering me in the right direction.

Last request: I’ll take anyone’s suggestions on things that things that people might not always remember to pack that would be useful.
You are all so knowledgeable, thank you in advance for your advice!

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https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CPY32PW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I used this hat for my trip out west last summer. It’s lightweight and packable, and the neck shade rolls up into the hat if you don’t want it.

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This is the backpack that we use. It’s pretty lightweight and versatile. My kids take turns carrying it too.

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Here are a couple of backpacks I use:
The is one is smaller but has tons of separate zipper pockets for organizing including one that faces your back which I feel is more secure:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01ND3Z1WN?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_image

This one is bigger, still very lightweight and I’ve even machine washed it a few times, good as new:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01DNGEJTK?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_image

Regarding shoes for water park, the only reason to do water shoes is if you want to actually wear them in the water. Even so, on some slides they will make you take them off and hold them. Generally I felt like water shoes were a pain because they get full of sand. We brought them but everyone just took them off and walked barefoot.

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Thank you! I love all of the color choices!

This is the exact type of intel I was looking for, thank you! I will not buy any water shoes.

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Regarding water shoes I think the questions are:
Do you need to protect your feet from hot pavement?
and
Do you need to wear shoes to not be limping the next day?
For me the answer is yes and yes, but YMMV.

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When the kids were little we used a family backpack, but once they were out of the stroller (around 4.5yo/5yo) everyone got their own (appropriately sized) bag.

At first they each had small messenger bags that held their autograph books, Sharpies, and a rain poncho, as well as a small toy, etc. As they became tweens and teens …dd (now 20yo) opted for string bags and LoungeFly backpacks and ds (now 16yo) prefers a sling bag that can be worn on front or back. Dh usually just uses a fanny pack and I have had a series of cross body bags (like Baggalini or similar)

Personally, I don’t recommend string bags as they aren’t comfortable for me, but dd liked them. I do toss an empty string bag into my bag to carry extra stuff (purchases, etc) and will often attach it to my bag w/ a carabiner.

As for shoes, I have a variety of Crocs and Croc sandals that I wear at WDW and usually will wear one of them to a water park. Sometimes walking barefoot on concrete all day can hurt and/or the concrete can be super hot.

HTH

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This too. So to the OP’s question what I do is bring flip flops for walking around the park but where practical go barefoot on attractions.

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First water park day we went barefoot. Feet were a bit sandpapered from the concrete. We did a lot of walking.

Typhoon Lagoon is better for less walking and more shade. We try to get some shade because by the end of the day, there’s been plenty of sun.

Over the years we’ve opted for more and more cushioning in our water park foot wear. Those strappy sandals with thick soles, like hiking sandals, may look odd, sartorially, but sure do feel good. We’re not kowabunga slide folks, so we’ve not been asked to remove our sandals. We’ve been on all the shorter, family friendly slides. Worn them in the lazy river, too. I would not buy water shoes unless they had a lot of cushioning.

Your water park clothing that you’ll be wearing on slides should have no buckles or metal things sticking out.

We have also adopted more rash guards - both short and long sleeved, board shorts and even ankle length (like stand up paddle board) pants for water park clothing. It’s fast drying, sun screening and even cooler as the moisture evaporates on hot days.

If you are going barefoot, remember to reapply sunscreen often to the tops of your feet. :blush:

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Regarding shoes:

I have not been to TL but went to Volcano Bay last year and was barefoot most of the day and did a lot of walking. Also was in the wave pool and lazy rivers using my big toe to balance a lot. Result was a huge, painful cut that opened up in the pad of my big toe that was with me the rest of the trip.

Point being, I would recommend wearing shoes between slides, but at least at VB they have a spot for you to deposit your shoes at each slide entrance. It sounds like at TL they let you hold your shoes in your hands. Doesn’t have to be water shoes, but some people might prefer those.

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On the bigger steeper slides you either hug your shoes to yourself or don’t wear them up the stairs.

Rules change tho we didn’t go on any slides at TL or BB that required us to take off footwear. I’ll try to remember the last year we were at a water park. We’re most of us not terribly adventurous.

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Yes, this!
“We have also adopted more rash guards - both short and long sleeved, board shorts and even ankle length (like stand up paddle board) pants for water park clothing. It’s fast drying, sun screening and even cooler as the moisture evaporates on hot days.”

If you like flip-flops, go ahead and use them. Me, I can’t stand them. If I have to carry my shoes on a slide I’ll bring water socks even knowing they won’t last more than two water park days. If I can leave them at the base of the slide, I’ll wear Birkencrocs.

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Thank you for the suggestions!

I have some Teva’s sandals that are pretty clunky and unattractive, but they are sooo comfortable, I will be sure to bring those for our water park day. I’ll have to shop around for the rest of my family.

We all have rash guard shirts, I didn’t think about protective shorts. Good call, my family and I come in 3 color options: bright white, pink or flaming red, so the more sun protection the better, I’m going to research board shorts/pants now.

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Yow! Your poor foot, that must have been miserable with all of the walking in the parks. I read your story to DH and he is 100% team water shoes now, before he was sure he’d be fine barefoot.

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Good choice! It’s the textured cement that does it to me. That and walking on coarse sand.

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Yes, that stuff is brutal. I have very bad calluses plus neuropathy in my feet, so I always wear something on my feet.

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From my niece about Typhoon Lagoon from our 2019 big birthday bash:

I wore a water tennis shoe. More support for my feet.
Lots of water shoes and barefoot in the park. Lots of flip flops worn to the park. Actually a few tennis shoes that they wore to and from and went barefoot there. The side walks are pretty shaded and they mist the sidewalks in the sun for the most part.

[Me: Did you go on slides?
Did you have to remove your shoes ever?]

Oh lol. If they are shoes you can leave them on slide or flip flops have to come off.

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Thank you so much! This is really helpful to know, especially that shoes can stay on while riding the slides. I’m going to start my search to find my family water shoes for the slides.

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#2: I like this packable hat

Sunday Afternoon makes great hats for kids, like this bucket hat. Actually, I think that they make hats for all ages but we only have the kid ones.

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