We have visited a number of different Universal Studios theme parks around the world including Universal Studios Orlando, Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan.
In that time we’ve learnt a lot about what to take to the park and what to leave back at the hotel (or back at home in some cases).
Depending on your party size, duration of your stay at Universal Studios and whether you are adults only or going with children will depend on the items you plan to pack.
When we have gone to the parks with children in the past we have packed extra essentials and we can’t recommend taking spare clothes enough! Trust us, you will want them for one reason or another.
When we visit the parks as just adults we tend to be a little more spontaneous and take the bare essentials to get us through the day. We often find that we can pick and choose things like snacks if we have them to hand we will take them otherwise we buy them in the parks.
If you are spending a few days at Universal Studios, take everything you think you will need one day and the next take out what you didn’t use and organise your bag that way.
Table of Contents
1. Water Bottle
Never underestimate taking a water bottle, whether it is just a bottle you started that morning or a reusable bottle you frequently use. We always try to pack at least one water bottle per bag.
This was a savior on our latest trip as we often got carried away and would need a quick drink. There are plenty of places you can top up water at Universal Studios or buy a drink but we always try and stay hydrated.
There are water fountains around the parks and rides along with stalls and carts providing cups for free. I suggest taking a water bottle that is stainless steel as they are great for keeping drinks cooler for longer.
I have used both the Camelbak and Chilly’s water bottles and honestly love them both for different reasons. I would suggest using the Camelbak if you like to have a bottle with a spout or sharing with children.
Buy Here: Camelback Chute Steel Water Bottle – You can also get these in plastic and smaller sizes for children.
Buy Here: Chilly’s Steel Water Bottle – They also come in smaller sizes perfect for children.
2. Day Bag
Of course, you are going to need something to pack your daily essentials in. This can be in the form of a backpack, handbag or a bumbag or for the Americans a fanny pack.
Pro Tip: Best way to save on space and carrying more stuff, make your park bag your carry on bag for your flight/journey.
This gives you one less thing to think about when working out what to take to Universal Studios.
Personally, I always choose to take a backpack, it is easier to carry, I feel everything is much safer and enclosed and has more scope to carry more if needed.
Bumbags are great if you are only taking a couple of the below items or if you are part of a group.
Pro Tip: All rides require you to place your stuff and loose items in lockers, taking a bag makes this easier as you can quickly grab your bag from the locker.
This also means there is less chance of your loosing anything or leaving it within a locker.
You can find a number of bags that are both stylish and practical but honestly just having something that meets all your needs are the best thing. I recommend using a backpack as they are easier to wear and store everything you need in them.
Buy Here: North Face Unisex Jester Backpack
Buy Here: HikPro 20 L Backpack
3. Lip Balm
No matter where I am in the world, if I don’t have a lip balm with me I am guaranteed to get sore lips. I always try to pack a lip balm with me no matter where I go.
The hot weather and racing of the rides will quickly dry out your lips and you will feel the pain later on. It is also a great idea to get one that also has an SPF factor built-in for extra protection.
This is definitely one of my must-haves when planning what to pack for Universal Studios.
Buy Here: Burts Bees All Weather Lip Balm
While walking around the parks the sun is always directly above you, this can take its toll on your head, shoulders and neck. I always put on plenty of suncream before leaving for the parks and take extra with me.
You can buy smaller sizes perfect to fit in a bag or bumbag for the day. There are a number of trusted brands you can buy from. We always like to use the Banana Boat spray-on suncream as it is quick and easy to use guaranteeing best coverage.
Buy Here: Banana Boat Twin Pack Suncream Spray
5. First Aid Kit
There are many reasons I decide to pack a small first aid kit. One of them is I never know when I am going to need it and the second is we can be quite clumsy people.
Though there are first aid areas dotted around the parks I always feel at ease knowing I have something to hand if I need it. I mainly pack plasters, pain killers, blister pads and some antiseptic wipes.
I have noticed when I don’t have my kit we have an accident so I always carry a little one just in case. This is also very handy if you feel you might get a blister throughout the day.
Buy Here: 90 Piece Premium First Aid Kit
6. Power Bank
Don’t underestimate the power of taking a power bank to Universal Studios with you. This is one of the top things on my what to pack for Universal Studios as I love being able to snap plenty of pictures on my phone.
This is also great if you need to order an Uber back to your hotel or villa.
And don’t forget to bring the cable for your phone!!
Buy Here: Anchor Powercore Power Bank
7. Snacks & Drinks
Yes, you can buy food and snacks practically every couple of meters in the parks but there is nothing wrong with making sure you have some on you. This can be in the form of bringing your own drinks from the supermarket or a reusable bottle to refill in the parks.
I always like to have some kind of snack in my bag for if I am feeling a little faint, in need of some sugar or just hungry. I like to have a little something whether it be some popcorn or a fizzy drink as I sometimes feel a little woozy and light headed after a ride and the sugar helps me feel better.
This is also a great idea if you have any allergies and want to make sure you have something to snack on. It gives your day a little more ease so you can spend it enjoying the day and not hunting down food.
You can find some great deals on refillable drinks and refillable popcorn at bot Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood. These are great to split between a family or group to share to spread the cost and keep everyone happy in one go!
8. Misting Fan
This may sound really strange but children often can’t regulate their own temperature so they can often get overheated and not realize. Many families will visit in school holidays which often means summertime and more than likely one of the hotter times to visit Universal Studios.
A great way of keeping children and babies cool is having a misting fan or small fan attached to the pushchair.
This helps create a little cool onto the face and body so they don’t get too hot and bothered.
Buy Here: Small Handheld Misting Fan
9. Spare Clothes
Along with your usual packing of clothes for your children you may want to think about adding a spare set of clothes in the park bag.
Children can be clumsy and spill or fall over or just find a lovely cool water park area to play in.
Pro Tip: Look for Feivels Playyard and Barney’s Backyard at Universal Studios Orlando and Super Silly Fun Land at Universal Studios Hollywood.
These are special areas designed for kids to run and play while parents and guardians can sit and watch close by.
This is definitely something to think about when looking at what to pack for Universal Studios. Remember if you are preparing to carry around wet clothes you will need a bag to take them in, this can be a ziploc bag, carrier bag or waterpark style bag.
10. A Game / Toy
Depending on the age of your children and whether you are using the express passes might determine whether you want to pack some games.
I am not talking about pulling out a full game of monopoly but something to help keep them entertained while waiting in queues or until a show starts.
Pro Tip: Download a couple of games onto a phone or Ipad/tablet that are both solo games and interactive for the family.
That way everyone can take part in the game during a long wait.
This can be in the shape of a small figure/teddy they love to play with or a game on a phone. Small toys, cards or activities are great for keeping little ones entertained while waiting in lines for rides or during lunch.
11. Wipes & Hand Sanitiser
No matter how old you are there is always that time you want a wipe, tissue or hand sanitizer. This is extremely handy if you are taking children to Universal Studios.
They are also a must-have if you are traveling with babies, children or even some adults (I am clumsy, that’s all I have to say!)
12. Signature Book
Though more commonly known and used at Disney there are still plenty of opportunities for character meets at Universal Studios.
If you are on the character meetings game don’t forget to pack in a signature book and pen for your little one to pull out and get signed. Even if they don’t get a signature a photo in the space would still look good!