There is a lot to remember when packing for a Disney World vacation. There are however a few top items to bring to Disney World that you may not initially think about. In this blog post, I’d like to highlight for you some key items that I make sure to pack for every trip. Each of these items adds value to your vacation by providing either comfort, protection, or convenience.
Here is my list of top items to bring to Disney World:
Florida is known to get a lot of rain. In fact, if you look at the forecast, you will most likely see rain showers somewhere during your vacation week. Now don’t get too worried because that does not mean it will rain your whole vacation. While it is possible to get rain on a daily basis, it is usually for short periods of time. Florida gets a lot of rain, but the sunshine does tend to win the battle for weather dominance. Either way, be prepared in the event that is does start to rain. Having a disposable or reusable rain poncho ready to go in your bag could be a lifesaver. A lot of people will leave a park if it starts to rain, but this can often be the best time to tour around and hit up some rides (unless there is thunder and lightning of course). With lower crowds in wet weather, you could end up benefiting from it if you are ready with a poncho. Just throw it on and keep on going! Chances are the rain will dry up shortly as my experience has been that rain usually comes and goes quite quickly in Florida.
#2. Comfortable Shoes
This could make or break your entire vacation! I easily walk upwards of 15,000 steps a day when at Disney and that would not be possible without the support of amazing shoes. Every foot is different, so you need to find the ones that will work best for you. My preference is the Skechers D’Lite’s because of the memory foam insert they have. They are extremely comfortable and my feet never feel sore at the end of a long walking day – perfect for park touring! Other brands of shoes that I have heard others mention that they like are Crocs, Merrell, Skechers GOwalk, Teva, and Brooks. Whichever shoe you end up getting, just make sure you break them in before your trip so your feet get used to them.
#3. A Great Bag
If you want to carry around some essentials with you in the park, then a good bag is very important. You want it to be big enough to carry what you need, but not too large that it becomes cumbersome. I have two Vera Bradley bags that I use, one is a backpack style when I want to carry more and the other is a cross-body bag when I need less. Both of them are lightweight and easy to carry. The size is also perfect for taking on rides, I have never had an issue getting on rides with either of these bags. The choices are really endless, but here are a few other brands that are popular for touring the parks with – Baggallini, Healthy Back Bag, Le Sportsac, and Camelbak.
They don’t call Florida the Sunshine State for no reason! Be prepared and have sunscreen with you at all times. Make sure to apply it at the beginning of your day and have some with you on hand to re-apply throughout the rest of the day. A lobster red sunburn is one souvenir you do not want to go home with!
#5. Cooling Towel
If you are traveling in the hotter months (March – October), then you will want to be prepared for the Florida heat. The middle of the day is always the worse and this is when a lot of families will take a break and go back to the hotel for a swim. However, if you would like to stay at the parks midday, then arm yourself with some good cooling towels. These are lightweight towels, about the size of a scarf, that you can wrap around your neck/shoulders to cool your skin. All you have to do is wet the towel and then snap it to activate the cooling effect. These are one of my favorite top items to bring to Disney World.
You’ve protected your skin with sunscreen, but make sure to also protect your scalp and face with a good hat! The choice really comes down to what you prefer in terms of style. You most probably already have a hat a home, but you will also find some fun Disney themed ones in almost any gift shop on property.
I don’t know about you, but my eyes are very sensitive to sun. Any bit of sunshine and I am squinting like crazy. Sunglasses are a must for me, I just cannot function without them in the Florida sun. Make sure to pack a pair to protect your eyes and stay comfortable through the daytime hours.
Blisters are sometimes inevitable at Disney World when you are doing so much walking, but there are some extra precautions and treatments that you can take with you. BodyGlide is a must-have for me on every vacation. It looks like a small deodorant stick and you rub it on your foot on the points where your shoes would most likely have friction with your feet. It creates an invisible barrier between your skin and shoe to prevent blisters from forming. You can also use it on other areas of your body to prevent chafing where your skin may rub with clothing (ie, between your thighs). Moleskin is another product you can use if blisters/sore spots do form. It resembles a padded band-aid that you can cut to any size you need.
#9. Hanging Organizers
I don’t know about you, but I always find our hotel room can get disorganized very quickly if we don’t set it up right from the time we arrive. With the amount of stuff you bring back to your room, it can get messy and cramped real fast! My solution to this problem is to bring along a couple of hanging organizers. The first one I recommend is a pocket shoe organizer, but I don’t use it for shoes. I hang it on the clothing rack in the bathroom and store all our toiletries in the pockets. It keeps the bathroom counter clean and usable.
The second one I bring along is a hanging closet organizer. I also hang these from the clothing rack in the bathroom and put our folded clothes in them. This frees up some of our drawer space in the dressers so I can use them for other storage such as souvenirs. It also makes it really easy to see all your clothes and select what you want to wear. Once our suitcases are completely emptied in to the hanging organizers, I store all the suitcases on the top rack in the bathroom. No tripping over suitcases the whole week!
#10. Quarters and Pennies
Disney World is full of pressed penny machines and if you enjoy collecting, then this will be a fun activity to add to your vacation. For each pressed penny, you will need two quarters and a penny. We always make sure we save our quarters specifically for this use and we try and make sure we have as many “shiny” pennies as we can on hand. If some of your pennies are not in great shape, you can ask to swap them out at a gift shop cash register when you are purchasing something. The cashiers are pretty good at trading with you for shinier pennies 🙂
Where there are lots of people, there is also a lot of GERMS. Staying healthy is always at the front of my mind while at Disney, so we are pretty good at practicing good hand washing. Sometimes though, you may not always have easy access to a sink. Or perhaps your little one just finished off a messy popsicle and now their hands are a sticky mess? Having wipes and/or hand sanitizer on hand for these occasions can be a lifesaver. These often do not take a lot of space, so really easy to throw in any bag or pocket. These are for sure one of my top items to bring to Disney World.
#12. Portable Charger
Do not underestimate the amount of time you may be using your phone while on vacation. While you may not be using it for what you would normally use it for at home, you will need it to access My Disney Experience and it will probably be your go to camera/video recorder. The battery can drain quite quickly depending on how often you use it in the parks. Having a dead battery at the parks is the last problem you want to deal with. While you can purchase fuel rods on the go at the parks, you can avoid that cost by bringing along your own portable charger. They are really small and an essential for traveling with electronics in this day and age.
Last but not least… MDE installed on your phone
Don’t forget to download the My Disney Experience app on your phone. Disney World provides free WiFi, so no need to worry about data or roaming charges to use the app. For a more detailed look at why I highly recommend using the app, you can check out this blog post.
With the above items on hand, you will most certainly be ahead of the game when planning for your Disney World vacation. If you would like to sign up for my email list, you will receive free copies of my Planning Worksheets, which include a complete Packing List and Park Bag Checklist.
Did I miss any items in the list above? What are some of your favorite top items to bring to Disney World?
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Laura is a mom of one adorable girl with a love of all things Disney. She traveled to Disney World with her family in 2010 and was hooked. They have since been a total of over 15 times. With all her knowledge of planning Disney trips, she now wants to share that with others. She loves giving guidance, tips and advice to others planning their magical vacation!