Theme Park Essentials

Fresh off our Spring Break trip to Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World, I thought this would be a great time to share our theme park essentials.


At Universal Orlando Resort, you’ll receive your ticket + room key + Unlimited Express Passes (latter two combined when staying at premier resorts), all of which will be handled often. For convenience and easy access, I find lanyards work best. Here are our favorites which also show off our house spirit:

Gryffindor Lanyard Ravenclaw Lanyard Hufflepuff Lanyard Slytherin Lanyard

Harry Potter Robes

These are pretty pricey in the parks. Here’s a more affordable option that will satisfy your inner cosplayer.

Harry Potter Robes


Interactive wands help you cast spells throughout the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This is a fun activity for kids and kids at heart. Regular wands make a nice accessory and photo prop. If you don’t mind skipping Ollivanders in Islands of Adventure, then pre purchasing your wands means the wizarding magic can happen faster.

Harry Potter Interactive Wand

Harry Potter Wand

The tweens have long outgrown their wands, which are now part of my Halloween decorating. 🙂

Mickey Ears

A visit to Walt Disney World isn’t complete without Mickey Ears. Click on the link for even more options.

Mickey Ears Headbands

Mickey Hat for Boys

Classic Ear Hat

Supportive Shoes

I suffer from plantar fasciitis and on a typical theme park day, I walk 15,000-20,000 steps/day. For years I’ve worn New Balance shoes with good arch support, which help me tremendously.

New Balance Tennis Shoes for Women

Masks & Mask Necklaces

You have to wear them, so why not make a fashion statement?!

Harry Potter themed masks

Princess Masks

Star Wars themed masks

Mask Necklaces


When the tweens were younger, I always ordered matching embroidered shirts for our trips. As they’re outgrown that look (sob), their preference is still spirited, but more subdued. Here are some of the shirts I ordered for this trip.

Ravenclaw T-shirt Ravenclaw Light Blue T-shirt I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good T-shirt HP Love T-shirt

Knowing How to Roll with the Punches

Equally important is a good attitude, and flexibility. All the planning in the world can’t predict the weather. The resort you want more than anything may delay its reopening date. You may not score a virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance, or Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. None of these things should ruin a vacation, but a bad attitude can. So be prepared to roll with the punches if necessary and enjoy your vacation.

Don’t see something you can’t travel without? Let me know in the comments below.

affiliate links used

Hard Rock Hotel / Spring Break at Universal Orlando Resort – COVID Protocols / Mardi Gras at Universal Studios / Volcano Bay Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

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