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.

Heading to Universal Studios?  Here's 23 must-have items for your packing list for Universal Studios Orlando.  Plus, free printable packing list, you can use as you prepare for your trip!

These are the must-have items my family actually when we go on a Universal Studios vacation.

1) Ponchos

family pack of ponchos

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

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

vera bradley cross body bag

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

string backpack by adidas

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

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!

6) Sunscreen

banana boat sunscreen

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.

7) Sunglasses

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

ziplock bags

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.

9) Breakfast

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.

10) Snacks

fruit snacks

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.

11) Band-Aids

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

dr scholls moleskin

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

harry potter swimsuit

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.

16) Extras

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

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.

19) Hats

nike hat

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

medicine bag

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!

22) Lanyard

harry potter lanyard

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.

Free printable packing list for Universal Studios Orlando

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

Here's the 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 pack for your trip!

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!

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.

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