* Other than drying off after a shower or swim.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy maxim that every traveler needs a towel is advice that certainly rings true at Walt Disney World. If you’re bringing a bag into the parks with you, a towel is worthy addition to your gear. If you’ll have a stroller with you, then a towel is a near imperative. In some cases, your best selection is a small hand towel. In others it’s a full-size bath sheet. Choose the one that can fulfill the uses you need from the list below.
1. Use a towel to dry off in the inevitable Disney World rain: If you’ve been to Central Florida in the summer, you’ve almost certainly been caught in a sudden rainstorm. Cleaning yourself up is a lot easier if you have a towel available. Even a hand towel, kept in your bag in a ziplock, can dry your face and arms enough to make you comfortable and ready to soldier on with your park touring. Towels can also help if you get drenched on a water intensive ride such as Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids.
2. Use a towel to protect breakable items purchased in the parks: If you buy a small, breakable item in the theme parks, they’ll likely give it to you wrapped in yards (and yards and yards) of paper cushioning. For a more environmentally friendly alternative, forego all this waste and just wrap the mug in towel for transport back to your room.
3. Use a towel to protect your car interior from the sun: Summer sun at Walt Disney World is sweltering. If you have a car with you (your own or a rental), that means the interior of your car will be even hotter than the center of the sun. Throw a towel over the steering wheel, your seat, or your child’s car seat and your time before the air conditioner kicks in will be a lot more pleasant.
4. Use a towel to create decor for your hotel room: During the pandemic, the hard working Disney World mousekeepers have less time for creating fun extras like the towel animals that were once a mainstay of the WDW resorts as well as Disney Cruise Line. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make some cute towel animals yourself to entertain your kids. All you need is towels, plus maybe a rubber band or two and, if you’re feeling extra fancy, a few stickers or googly eyes.
5. Use a hand towel as an environmentally friendly way to clean your hands: I went through a phase, long after my kids were past diaper age, where I brought a packet of baby wipes with me on every Disney trip: to clean my hands after a sticky snack or otherwise freshen up. Yes, you can (and should) head into the restroom to thoroughly wash your hands often, but there are times when this is not possible (for example, when having a snack in the 2+ hour queue for Flight of Passage). In this case, a more earth-friendly way to clean up is using a damp hand towel. (Keep it in a ziplock in your park tote.)
6. Use a towel as a pillow or blanket for a chilly toddler: The Disney rental strollers are hard, unforgiving, plastic. If you’re using these, roll up a small towel for your toddler to use as a pillow when napping in the stroller. Or, if you’re out in the evening during the winter, bring a towel to use as a blanket while in the stroller.
7. Use a towel as a shade to protect your baby from the sun: Back to the Disney strollers, if your baby is taking a stroller nap during the summer, instead of having them bake, you can drape a towel over the stroller hood to create a larger area of shade.
8. Use a towel to protect yourself from hot surfaces in the parks: In the summer, the Disney pavement is HOT. There are some circumstances where you need to sit down in the sun, on a park bench or on the pavement while waiting for parade, for example. To protect your skin from discomfort or even burns, lay a towel down first before you sit.
9. Use a towel to block random sources of light in your hotel room: Depending on where you’re staying at Walt Disney World, light can seep into your room from a variety of places such as a gap at the bottom of the room door. A folded or rolled towel can stop that light seepage instantly, giving you a better night’s sleep.
10. Use a hand towel as a placemat or a bib for your toddler: Eating at a WDW quick service restaurant with a toddler? Use a hand towel as a placemat to keep his food off the sticky table. Or tuck a hand towel into the top of his shirt to create bib to protect his shirt from a drippy snack.
So where are you getting the handy towels to take care of all these tasks? You can obviously bring a few from home. Or if you’re flying to WDW and don’t want to take up space in your luggage, borrow some from your hotel room or grab an extra from the cart at your hotel pool; just remember to return them when you’re done using them.
If you want a deeper dive into the nuances of towels at Disney World, check out our FAQ on this topic.
Are you a fan of using towels in the parks? Got any other ideas? Let us know in the comments.