The Best Disney Glow Sticks, Wands, and Light Up Toys for Parades
Lately I’ve seen some people in discussion groups saying, “I’ve seen glow sticks listed on Disney World packing lists. I don’t understand … what are they for?”
The simple answer is that they’re for fun once it starts to get dark outside.
To some extent, there’s also a safety element to it. If your entire family is glowing, it’s a little less likely that someone will get lost.
This post is divided into 2 sections:
- Tips about bringing glow sticks into Disney World
- Reviews of highly rated glow toys
Can You Bring Glow Sticks to Disney World?
Sure. There’s no rule against it and people do it all the time.
You can save a ton of money by stocking up on glow sticks beforehand at places like Dollar Tree, the bargain section of Target, Oriental Trading Company, or eBay.
However, keep in mind that you often get what you pay for. Plantlady shared her glow stick experience on the Disboards:
I must admit, I bought a ton of glow sticks from Dollar Tree…
But, although my kids love them here at the house.. they looked pretty lame compared to all of the great things Disney sells.
I wanted a String Thing… from Disney.. the neon string, flies around in a circle, with the black light. Much cooler than a glow stick. (My DH bought me one.) That entertained the kids for hours.
My five year old picked out a spinning toy, and he still plays with it, to this day. It’s one of his favorite toys.
(They each got $20 to spend on whatever they wanted.. this was one of his choices).
So, while it’s a lovely idea, to get the glow sticks, they are not nearly as cool as what Disney offers. And I still have several tubes of glow sticks here, because they just didn’t cut it. (My kids never complained… I would like to add that… it was me that thought they looked lame).
On the other hand, DisTwix bought a ton of glow sticks from eBay and everyone loved them:
I was just in the parks, and took glow sticks. I got 200 8″ sticks with connectors, including shipping off ebay for just under $20.
TOTALLY worth it. We had a large group, with three under-10’s, and having everyone where a glow bracelet, necklace, headband, etc made them very spottable in the dark. AND, it was big entertainment for the kids while waiting for the parade/ride/show were we doing once it got dark.
None of the kids asked for any of the other glow things being sold – they were so thrilled with the sticks we had … I will absolutely bring them again.
Regardless of where you buy your glow toys or how much you spend on them, they’re a fun item to have while walking through the park at night, and a nice distraction while waiting to watch the fireworks or see the parade.
If you really want to make yourself happy, bring a big bunch of glow sticks and offer them to non-glowing children nearby. (In a minute I’ll share some links where you can buy packs of hundreds of glow sticks for less than twenty dollars.)
Can You Bring Glow Sticks on an Airplane?
Yes, with some specifications.
TSA’s website says that glow sticks can be brought on both carry on bags and checked bags, but “must follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule for carry-on bags. Please place them in a single, quart-size bag with other liquids, gels and aerosols.”
To me, the easiest way to do it is to just put them into the luggage you’re going to check.
Definitely pack them in some sort of plastic bag, and maybe even wrap them in bubble wrap, as it’s entirely possible that the sticks could crack and leak.
Is it Okay to Use Glow Sticks and Light Up Toys on Dark Rides?
Sometimes toddlers are scared of dark rides, and their parents want to give them a glow stick to calm and comfort them and allow them to enjoy the ride.
However, since the parents are also considerate humans in addition to being kind parents, they’re concerned about whether the glow sticks will bother other people on the ride.
The good news is that because
- A dark ride is not all that dark, and
- A glow stick is not all that bright
bringing a glow stick on a ride shouldn’t be a problem.
If you want to be extra considerate, or you’re feeling self-conscious about it, you could make sure that your child keep it in their lap as opposed to holding it up.
Obviously — and you already know this — a huge glowing wand, spinning toy, or any toy that makes noise is a different story.
Also, Hounted Mansion is the ride where glowing things are most likely to be distracting, so you might want to tuck your glow sticks and glow necklaces under your shirt for that one, especially for the ballroom scene.
MuggleMama on the DisBoards says her family uses modern technology to handle their child’s fear on dark rides:
We bought Annual Passes when our 3rd child was five months old. She went on all the dark rides, and the only places she acted uncomfortable were in Haunted Mansion when the elevator room goes dark and the screaming starts…and that tunnel in Pirates of the Caribbean (which used to be basically pitch black – this was more than 10 years ago).
So, my husband would simply hit the button on his watch so that his watch light would come on (it wasn’t anything obnoxious), and she would get a big grin because to her, it was like this game she played with her Daddy.
He just kept his arm low, or kind of tucked against his stomach so that the light wasn’t really noticeable to anyone else. It worked perfectly for us. We were there on a weekly basis until she was about 2, and I think he used the watch light for her until she was about 18 months old. After that, she was used to all the rides, lol.
Reviews of the Best Glow Sticks
If you’re interested in looking beyond what you can find at the Dollar Store, Target, or Michael’s, here are two sets of glow sticks that are high-quality and a great value.
Budi Glow Sticks
If you want to be creative with your glowing and share with lots of people around you, this is the kit for you.
It contains a total of 467 pieces. The sticks glow for up to 8 hours and come in 7 different neon colors. They are not individually wrapped.
- 200 8-inch glow sticks
- 200 bracelet connectors
- 12 flower/ball connectors
- 10 luminous eyeglasses kits
- 5 skull glasses kits
- 5 triple bracelet connectors
- 5 butterfly bracelet connectors
- Instructions for making jewelry or decorations
(Click here to see a photo of people wearing them)
Amazon reviewer AppleOfHzI says these sticks are significantly better than what you’ll find at a place like Wal-Mart:
After reading through many reviews regarding similar products from other sellers we went with this seller. They arrived earlier today and we couldn’t be happier.
We typically buy glow sticks for our children from Walmart and keep a large stock but over the holidays we have run out. This is something we sometimes let them pick out before bed as a treat if they were good and they enjoy. Even our 1 year old has gotten in on it but he’s not allowed to have his own.
That being said the box arrived in a padded envelope from Amazon. All of the glow sticks were in a separate cardboard box and in great condition. After checking through all the connector pieces and extra items all of them seem to be what we expected and work well together. The colors are vibrant and very unique unlike the ones we are used to from the single packs we’ve purchased at Walmart.
For 467 glow sticks this is a great price and superb quality. We couldn’t be happier and will be buying again when the time comes.
PartySticks Glow Sticks
If you just want simple sticks, and a bunch of them, these are a great value.
The sticks are 8 inches long and they come in 5 colors: yellow, green, blue, orange, and pink.
To get the party started, just crack the tubes to activate, shake well and enjoy long-lasting neon light all night up to 8-12 hours while the glow sticks last up to a year or so unused.
You can choose either a pack of 100 or 200. Each pack comes with 200 connectors, so you can easily make glowing bracelets and necklaces of all sizes.
Amazon reviewer Nicholas Pauly said these sticks were great for his family’s Disney trip:
I wanted some glow sticks for when we went to Disney this year. I had them shipped to the house we were staying at since we weren’t checking any bags on the plane. These worked great. We had a 1.5 and 2.5 year old that just loved them. They were bright and lasted a fairly long time before losing any vibrancy.
They are about pencil thin so not overly big and long enough to fit around my wrist. Too long to fit snugly around a toddlers wrist though, though the girls didn’t seem interested in wearing them. I would definitely recommend these and plan on using them as party favors for my daughters next birthday.
Light Up Wands
While glow sticks are fun, your child might want something a little more “powerful” for their evenings at Disney World (and/or for life in general).
Here are two light-up wands that fit the bill.
Elena of Avalor Magical Scepter of Light with Sounds
This princess wand lights up, plays music, and has different sounds and colors that represent Elena’s different powers.
Interestingly, some reviewers thought this wand was better than the Elena wand the Disney store sells because it:
- Plays more than one song
- Looks better
- Is heavier
- Takes AAA batteries instead of button cell batteries
The one thing parents didn’t like about this toy was that it was a little on the loud side and there was no volume control.
Amazon reviewer Linda Lavender calls this toys “flipping perfect”:
Day one down and absolutely couldn’t be happier!! The look on my daughter’s face was worth every single penny I spent on this regardless of how long this may last.
This is a great size, one of the pictures attached is a standard size note pad sitting next to it so you can judge for yourself the actual size. I honestly wouldn’t want it any bigger.
One the of the surprising things I found is VERY VERY important to me – IT HAS AN ON OFF SWITCH and the option to keep it on the “try me” mode. How great is that!?!
It lights up all different colors and sings a song!! My 3 (almost 4 year old) is in love beyond words as you can see from her face!!
I hope this helps in any decision making for any of you!!! I totally recommend this product, and if by chance it happens to break, I will DEFINITELY buy another one or see what the seller may be able to help me with.
Spinning Diamond Glow Wand
This wand is Amazon’s Choice for “kids light up toys.”
If your child want a light-up wand and doesn’t care if it has Disney licensing or not, this is a great choice.
The wand is 13.5 inches long and has a diamond-shaped top. It needs 3 AA batteries, which are already included and installed.
It does not make any noise.
Amazon reviewer Courtney calls this wand “cute and sturdy”:
My three-year old asked for a magic wand for Christmas. I looked at a million options and decided to try this one, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. The wand lights up and spins, which is the part she really likes, but unlike every other toy in our house, it does not make noise! Hallelujah!
A lot of the wands I’ve tried have felt cheap. I mean the materials just didn’t feel sturdy. This one actually feels sturdy. It doesn’t feel like flimsy, cheap plastic. All of that, and it’s not super expensive! I’m very impressed with this toy!
Disney Light Up Toys
If you’re just looking for a Disney toy that lights up, but aren’t sticks or wands, check out these two:
Light Up Plush Minnie Mouse
If you know a little girl who likes singing and likes Minnie Mouse, then she will probably love Pop Star Singing Minnie Plush.
Minnie is made of super-soft cuddly fabric and wearing a star-printed pink dress with a matching bow. When you press her hand, she first speaks, and then sings the “Bow Me Mine” song from Disney Junior’s Minnie’s Happy Helpers.
Minnie’s star lights up when she sings.
The two AAA batteries required are included.
The Best Minnie Mouse Toys for Toddler Girls
Minnie Mouse Pillow Pet Night Light
This is a great choice for a girl who wants to have a night light she can cuddle with at bedtime.
All your little girl needs to do is press a button, and stars will illuminate her ceiling.
The nightlight projects four options:
- A combination of all 3 colors continually alternating every 4 seconds
It has a built-in timer that shuts off after 20 minutes, so you don’t have to worry about the light staying on all night and wearing out the battery.
The light requires 3 AAA batteries, which are not included.
Light Up Spinning Toys
Yeah, yeah … glowing is fun and all, but the spinning glowing toys are what really get the kids’ attention, right?
Here are two toys that light up and spin. One is Disney-themed and the other is just a highly-rated toy.
Buzz Lightyear Light Up Chaser Toy
This toy features everybody’s favorite space ranger. If you squeeze’s legs together, it activates spinning light tubes and lighted atro-blaster.
Requires 2 AA batteries, which are included.
This was the only Disney-themed spinning light up toy I could find online (that didn’t have lousy reviews.)
Light Up Wand Spinner Toy
If you want to buy a light-up spinning before your trip and your child doesn’t care if it has a Disney character on it or not, this seems to be a good choice for a reasonable price.
When you press the button, the multi-colored plastic light tentacles, each connected into a spinning orb, spin, createing an eye-catching, luminous effect.
One nice thing about this toy, that isn’t immediately obvious, is that the order includes two of them — one with a red handle and the other with a blue handle. Perfect for siblings!
Amazon reviewer Superman was impressed that the battery lasted for hours:
We bought these to take to a Disney on Ice show so we would not have to spend 4x more on their light up toys.
We gave them to our granddaughters and they loved them. They kept them on for 4-hours and the batteries lasted nicely … these worked so well we were all very happy.
And, we saved over $40 over buying light up toys at the ice show.
What are your experiences with glow sticks at Disney World?
- Are glow in the dark toys a must-have for your Disney vacation?
- Do you prefer to purchase them beforehand or at the parks?
- Do you have any clever tricks for keeping toddlers from getting anxious during dark rides?
Let us know below in the comments!