8 Essentials You Can’t Forget on Next Universal Studios Trip

There are plenty of factors to consider when planning a trip to any of the Universal theme parks—and you do not want to show up unprepared. Forgetting to pack something or leaving it back in your hotel room can cost time and money, and Universal knows that. You’d be surprised how much even a simple bottle of water can cost. 

To keep you from shelling out more than you planned on your Universal theme park vacation, here are some must-haves that you should make sure don’t get left at home.

stmped is supported by our readers, so when you use links on our site to make a purchase, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Power Bank

Your cell phone will be your lifeline in the park. Alongside normal communication functions, it gives you easy access to a map that lists wait times for each ride so you can optimize your day. It’s easy to say that complications can arise if your phone dies, which is why you should travel with a power bank. Portable chargers, like this solar-powered one by SOXONO, make charging on the go easy, so you don’t have to stop to find a charging station or head back to your hotel room earlier than expected.

Sunscreen

The Universal parks were built in sunny areas where visitors can travel comfortably throughout the year. Forgetting sunscreen can lead to an uncomfortable sunburn that can put a damper on your trip. Keep sunscreen in your bag and remember to reapply throughout the day. Feel free to choose your brand and SPF of choice, but this 30 SPF sunscreen from Sun Bum should get the job done.

Small Backpack

How did you plan to carry all of these items around with you? A small backpack is the easiest way to transport all of your personal items around the park, and it can also double as a fashion statement. Go with something that can show off your love for your favorite franchise in the park, like this Loungefly Spider-Man backpack. It’s small enough to squeeze in and out of the free lockers with ease, so you can easily and safely store your items when you go to ride your favorite coaster.

Rain Jacket

Who likes to walk around in wet clothes all day? While the parks are generally in hot climates, that doesn’t keep them from experiencing the occasional rainstorm, so be sure to check the forecast beforehand. It helps to have a rain jacket, like this one from Columbia, in your bag, just in case a storm arises. Even if it doesn’t rain, you might be happy you brought it when your party decides it’s time to hop on a water ride.

Water Bottle

When you’re on the go in a theme park, it’s even more important to stay hydrated. The heat and thrills can easily tire anyone out if they don’t have enough water. Save yourself from exorbitantly priced bottles of water by bringing your own into the park. Consider something like this SPECIAL MADE collapsable water bottle so you can maximize space in your bag as you travel throughout the park.

Card Holder

Bulky wallets are a drag to carry around all day. Try swapping out your usual wallet for something light and slim, like this Hershel RFID card holder. That way you can have your ticket and credit card on you, for any park hopping or souvenir purchases that arise, without having to stop to put your wallet in a locker for large rides that don’t allow you to carry on items.

Fandom T-shirt

Show off your love for your favorite fandom by wearing some merch to the park. Whether you wear a vintage Jurassic Park cap or try this Harry Potter-inspired herbology shirt, you want to be confident in your outfit of choice. Merch will not only look great in pictures, but it can also help you find fellow fans in the parks.

Hand Sanitizer

With thousands of people traveling in and out of the parks every day, there’s a chance that someone will be carrying around some sort of cold or virus you could catch. Protect yourself and those around you by using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not readily available. These Purell bottles are great for traveling because they are small and come with a jelly carrier that can attach to a bag for easy access. 

The 5 Times Disneyland Closed Unexpectedly, Explained

It takes a lot to stop Disneyland from opening. Over its 65 years of operation, the park has only experienced six unscheduled closures. National crises and weather hazards are the main reasons that the castle has closed the gates, but did you know that a confrontation with the Yippies also caused the park to close up for the day in 1970? The fair and few closings of the park show their dedication to their business and serving their customers.

The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

The first time Disneyland unexpectedly closed down was for the national day of mourning following the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. According to Disney Parks Blog, Kennedy is only known to have visited Disneyland once in October 1959 when he was a senator.

An Anti-Vietnam War Riot

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by People’s Guide to OC (@pg2oc)

On August 6, 1970, the Youth International Party, a countercultural free speech and anti-war movement, invaded Disneyland. Before the riot police arrived and closed down the park for the day, their members, commonly referred to as Yippies, raised a flag at City Hall and managed to take over Tom Sawyer Island.

A Winter Storm

Disneyland’s third closure in 24 years took place on December 16, 1987, due to a winter storm. The fierce snowstorm moved quickly across Southern California, reaching from Malibu to the extremities of the Mojave Desert. The Los Angeles Times reported that Disneyland did not see snow but did face rain and strong winds.

The September 11 Attacks

DesignOil / PIXABAY

The September 11 attacks on the United States resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths and sparked the country’s war on terror. Disney closed down their parks nationwide in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the United States. According to Disney Food Blog, the Disneyland reopened the next day with additional police, a K9 unit, and security screenings in place.

The COVID-19 Pandemic

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Marcela (@disneysweetstuff)

Disneyland closed on March 14, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That summer, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park announced plans to reopen in time for the 65th anniversary of Disneyland Resort, but these plans were delayed. Downtown Disney was able to reopen that summer, however, the California parks both remain closed until the magic returned on April 30, 2021.

Questionable: The Northridge Earthquake

FEMA

In the early hours of January 17, 1994 a 6.7 magnitude earthquake shook the San Fernando Valley. The Northridge Earthquake killed around 60 people, injured thousands, and resulted in over $20 billion in damage. There is debate as to whether the whole park was shut down due to the earthquake or whether rides were just temporarily closed, but either way it seems that safety checks occurred to ensure rides were secure.