Heading to Universal Studios? Here’s 24 must-have items for your packing list for Universal Studios Orlando. I’ve also included a free printable packing list, you can use as you prepare for your trip!
Universal Studios Orlando is absolutely magical. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is full of amazing experiences. Universal does an amazing job of placing you right into a story.
There’s some distinct differences between what is allowed at Universal Studios versus what is allowed at Disney World. No worries, I’ll help you sort through that!
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Whether it’s your first time to the Universal Orlando resort, or you just need a little help remembering what to pack, I hope you find this Ultimate Universal Packing List helpful!
Nobody has time for fluff, so this Universal Studios packing list full of the basics.
These are the must-have items my family actually when we go on a Universal Studios vacation.
- 50% THICKER FAMILY PACK: Avoid the cheap ponchos and get a durable and thick material rain poncho with drawstrings Men , Women, Teens and children individually packaged
- SAVE FOR YOUR TRIP TO DISNEY: You get a total of 8 ponchos 4 adult and 4 child size
- EASY TO TRAVEL AND CARRY: No need to carry a heavy rain coat or umbrellas in Disney, Hiking, Concerts. Fits in your pocket or bag.
Florida is known for it’s quick changing weather. If you go during certain times of the year, like the summer months, you’ll see rain just about every day. No worries though, because the rain showers never last very long.
I find it’s always best to come prepared for Florida weather with your own ponchos. Of course, you could always buy a rain poncho in the park, but it’s going to be overpriced and bulky to carry around later.
My family buys a big pack of ponchos to carry with us into the parks.
These ponchos are lightweight, so they don’t add much bulk to your park bag, but they are also cheap enough that if you want to throw them away afterwards, you can!
2) Small Park Bag
- Adjustable Waist Belt: The belt adjustment extent of this large waist bag is 15.8-49.2in, also comes with an 11.8in the extended belt, you can easily be adjusted to the ideal length that fits your body perfectly and the fixed buckle can hold the excess belt firmly to prevent the belt bag from loosening and slipping off
A park bag is a necessity. You’ll want something to carry your keys, cash or credit cards, cell phone, lip balm, poncho, hygiene products, snacks, and basic necessities.
However, Universal Studios does not allow backpacks and crossbody bags on certain rides. You can place your bags in the free lockers on some rides, and other rides will require you to pay for a locker.
If your family is like ours, you don’t want to spend half your day placing your items in lockers. So…you might want a fanny pack.
The fanny pack. I feel the same way. However, Universal Studios allows fanny packs on certain rides that backpacks and crossbody bags are prohibited. If you can find a bag that converts from crossbody to fanny pack, that is perfect.
Man, I can’t believe I just recommended a fanny pack. LOL
Pro tip: Take it off for pics and Facebook doesn’t have to know…what happens in the parks, stays in the parks.
3) Cross Body Bag
- MACHINE WASHABLE RECYCLED COTTON – The cotton fabric that you’re familiar with has been reimagined; the exterior fabric is made with 50% recycled cotton fibers and has all of the comfort, softness, and vibrancy that you know and love.
- EVERYDAY USE – Vera Bradley crossbody bags for women are perfect for any occasion – whether you are heading to work, on a weekend getaway, going to a party, or traveling, they are your perfect daily companion to wear over your shoulder or as a sling bag
- TRAVEL LIGHT – Interior is fully lined and features 2 slip pockets – this compact crossbody bag keeps essentials orderly & organized – With a 56 inch adjustable strap, you decide how your bag fits you – throw on your shoulder or wrap around your body
If you don’t mind using the lockers (or you don’t plan on riding many of the intense rides or water rides that require lockers, you might find a crossbody bag to be helpful.
We love lightweight bags with lots of zippers. I have a Thirty-one bag that I carry (it’s been discontinued). But this one by Vera Bradley is very similar.
4) String Backpack
- Drop mesh water bottle pockets.
- Easy cinch opening with durable cording straps.
- Zippered exterior pocket for your phone or small stuff.
Another option is to use a light weight string backpack. I don’t normally recommend these types of bags for a theme park vacation, because the strings can dig into your arms over time, but if you plan to buy a wand, you’re going to need a small backpack to carry it in.
You might be able to have your kids take turns wearing it, so that the burden is carried by many.
Keep in mind, you will have to use the lockers.
5) Portable Phone Charger
- The Anker Advantage: Join the 50 million+ powered by our leading technology.
- Remarkably Compact: One of the smallest and lightest 10,000mAh portable chargers. Provides almost three-and-a-half iPhone 8 charges or two-and-a-half Galaxy S8 charges.
You are about to give your phone a workout!
You’ll be taking pictures, keeping up with wait times on the Universal App, and Mobile Ordering food. All these things will drain your phone battery.
We use this portable phone charger. It’s great for giving your phone a quick charge mid-day. Don’t forget to pack a charging cord too!
- SUPERIOR ENDURANCE VS. SWEAT & WATER — From family fun to hardcore competition, Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen provides strong sun protection that stays on so you can play on
- CLINICALLY PROVEN UVA/UVB PROTECTION — This SPF 50 broad spectrum sunscreen lotion protects skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays
Always, always wear sunscreen! Even if you don’t normally burn, sunscreen is a must in Florida. Nothing can damper a vacation, like a sunburn.
We like to buy a large family size sunscreen with a pump for easy application in the hotel.
Sunglasses are a must for the whole family! Florida is called the sunshine state for a reason.
I recommend packing 2 pairs of sunglasses. After a full day of wearing sunglasses they can rub your ears and irritate them. Having a different pair to wear the next day helps alleviate this problem.
8) Ziploc Bags
- Three 30 ct boxes of Ziploc Sandwich and Snack Bags perfect for storing and transporting sandwiches and snacks
- Each Ziploc Sandwich bag features an extended tab and an easy-grip texture that makes them easy to use
- Ziploc bags made of BPA-free plastic and are reusable when used as directed
Ziploc Bags are a must at theme parks. It’s great to be able to divide up snacks into smaller bags.
Ziploc sandwich bags are also great for keeping your phone or camera dry and protected.
Our family always brings some quick items to keep at the hotel for a quick breakfast. We often bring yogurt, cereal, milk, granola bars, fruit, etc.
We also bring cups, spoons, and bowls to make breakfast in our room happen seamlessly.
- Includes (40) 0.8 oz single serving bags
- Delicious fruit snacks where fruit is the 1st Ingredient
- Excellent source of Vitamins A, C & E
- Gluten free, fat free & preservative free
I like to pack a variety of snacks for our vacation. You don’t need to go crazy, but it’s nice to revive yourself with a fruit snack or granola bar. This is a great way to keep kids happy and save some cash.
A family of 4 could easily spend $30-$50 dollars for just a snack at Universal, so bringing one along is smart.
Plus if you have special dietary needs, it’s the best way to make sure you have a snack that meets your needs.
Bring along a few band-aids! This will save precious park time, if someone in your party happens to get a small cut.
12) Mole Skin
- Thin design conforms to the foot and fits in all shoes
- Designed to stay on all day
- Cuttable Moleskin can be shaped to any size
- Can be cut to any size, including use for large areas
Dr. Scholl’s Mole Skin is a life-saver if you get a blister at the parks. Basically this acts as a buffer so that your shoes don’t rub your blister.
We always bring it to the hotel, and don’t forget to bring a small pair of scissors so that you can cut it to size.
13) Swimsuits & Gear
- WE’VE THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING – At least when designing the most comfortable adult swimwear. Versatile and practical, Intimo’s officially licensed swim trunks are an essential addition to your summer wardrobe. The swim trunks’ durable construction withstands active play, while the stylish design ensures you look effortlessly cool at the beach, pool, or water park
Even if you don’t plan on swimming, it’s a great idea to have your swimsuits with you. You just might decide it’s the perfect time for a swim!
Our family likes to plan on “off-day” during our vacation to visit a local beach or just hang out at the pool.
Also, sometimes it’s nice for little ones to wear a rash guard shirt for those water rides.
14) Extra Clothing
Don’t forget to pack extra socks and underwear for everyone. Sometimes you get caught in the rain, or a water ride soaks you. It’s so nice to have that change of clothes if needed.
In addition, pack extra outfits for kids AND adults. If something happens, you can go back to the hotel and change before you head out for your evening.
15) Map of Universal Studios
You can print out a map of Universal Studios before you arrive or of course, you can grab a map at the front gate. My kids always love looking at the map and planning out our day.
Be sure to pack extras of items that could get lost easily, like contact lenses, hair ties, etc. It’s always better to be prepared!
17) Nail Clippers
- Nail Clippers Set – HAWATOUR Nail Clipper Set contains fingernail and toenail clippers, small fingernail clipper with curved edge to fit your finger nail and big toenail clipper with sharp edge for your thick toenail
Hang nails happen. And they always happen when you don’t have nail clippers handy. Make sure to pack some nail clippers to keep at your hotel.
18) Trash Bags
To keep our luggage clean, we always put our dry, dirty clothing in trash bags to take it home. Make sure you allow it to dry completely though before placing it in a bag, otherwise the moisture will cause problems.
- Dri-FIT technology helps you stay dry and comfortable
- Adjustable back strap with metal buckle closure for a customizable fit
- Soft and absorbent terry sweatband keeps you dry on hot days
- Embroidered eyelets help enhance breathability
- Embroidered Swoosh logo on front and back panels
Wearing a hat is a smart way to keep cool and keep your head from burning. Make sure you bring a hat or ball cap that is comfortable and can be stowed in your park bag.
20) Medicine Bag
- 【SMART SIZE & ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT】 — WANDF toiletry bag is only 3.6 oz and dimension is 9.5(L)x 4.7(W)x 5.9(H)inch, it is small when packed up and doesn’t take up much space in the suitcase.
- 【EASY TO CARRY】 — The side handle not only makes the travel bags for toiletries easy to carry but also can be used for hanging. Access toiletries easily and quickly!
We always bring a small medicine bag with our family’s necessities. Our go to medicine bag has headache medicine, antacids, prescription medications, motion sickness remedies, SeaBands, and other personal items.
21) Ear Plugs and Sleep App
On our last vacation, we had a very noisy hotel.
We ended up buying some ear plugs and installed a sleep app on our phones to make ambient noise to drown out the crazy noise going on outside our room. Thank goodness it worked!
- One of the easiest – and most fun – ways to show your style is by sporting an ID badge and key lanyard that goes way beyond boring!
- Add some “flair” to your daily work or school wardrobe and show off what you love at the same time
Lanyards are kind of a thing at Universal Studios. Most people wear them to hold their room key/card, their Universal pass and Express ride passes. It makes it easy for kids to manage their passes. I love this Harry Potter one.
If you want to explore more options, be sure to check out the Best Universal Studios Lanyards here.
23) Comfortable Shoes
You are going to want to bring comfortable walking shoes with you. I recommend bringing broken in shoes that you have worn for at least a few months. This is not the place to wear new shoes.
You’ll do a lot of walking if you spend the entire day in Universal Orlando parks.
Make sure your footwear is comfortable and bring at least 2 pairs of shoes, in case one gets soaked in a ride or rain storm. That way, you have a dry pair for the next day.
You can check out the shoes we recommend for theme parks for kids here.
24) Comfortable Socks
Comfortable Socks (read: name brand socks) are the key to keeping your feet from getting blisters. Well, that and comfortable shoes. We love and recommend the Adidas brand.
Universal Orlando Packing List Printable
You can download our free Univeral Studios Florida packing list by clicking the black download button below.
What NOT to Pack
1) Stroller – If your kids are 4 and up, I recommend leaving the stroller at home. You’ll waste a lot of time trying to navigate a stroller and park it outside each attraction. Plus there’s the possibility of theft.
Prepare kids for all the walking ahead of time by having them play outside each day for an hour or take a family walk.
2) Prohibited items: These items are not allowed: Glass containers, Alcohol, Hard-Sided Coolers, weapons, Cannabis, Illegal items or substances, Clothing that is offensive, Clothing that could create a false impression, Power driven devices such as Segways, Hoverboards, Drones, etc.
You can see the full list of prohibited items here.
3) Coolers – Our family always brings a small collapsible cooler into Disney with bottled water, but Universal doesn’t allow soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5″ wide x 6″ high x 6″ deep – which basically means they don’t want you to bring a small cooler.
I mean, my kids’ lunch boxes are bigger than that! If you find a cooler this small, let me know! LOL
More Universal Studios Articles:
Alright! I hope you’ve found this packing list for Universal Studios Orlando helpful! If you’ve got a thrill rides seeker in your party, be sure to check out the Best Roller Coasters at Universal Studios.
You can also find out more about the Universal Studios Express Pass here. We outline all the details….and if it is worth the cost!
Want advice on what to wear to Universal Studios? We’ve outlined everything you need for every season!
Curious about the rides at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure? You can find our complete guide to Universal here.
Plus don’t miss all of our Walt Disney World advice here. We’ve got the Ultimate List of Tips and Tricks to make your Disney World Vacation extra magical.