Don’t freak out…you’re leaving for Disney World in one week and yes you should already be thinking about what to pack. Preparing this far in advance will benefit you. Over stuffing your suitcases with unnecessary “essentials” will only create a messy hotel room and could even cost you more, depending on your airline’s checked baggage policies. Under pack and you will have to purchase forgotten items at a high park mark up or worse yet, do laundry and who wants to do that on VACATION?
I will take you through packing my family of five up for one week in Orlando.
Clothes and shoes
Some compare a full day at Disney World to the equivalent of running a marathon. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO WEAR IS COMFORTABLE SHOES. I cannot stress that enough. You will be walking all day and into the night. Your feet will be hot and sweaty. Make sure the shoes you plan on wearing are broken in and you have good socks on as well. Nothing can put a damper on your day more than a nasty blister or sore feet. Happy feet = magical day
I usually dress very casual, it’s not a fashion show. Wear lightweight clothes that you can move in and can stand a little moisture. I never wear black tops during the day as it absorbs the sun like crazy. I like athletic shorts or Capris.
One thing I do for the kids is pack each day’s outfit in a large Ziploc bag labeled with the day of the week. My girls literally get dressed within 5 minutes and those plastic bags come in handy after too. You never know when you’ll need one.
Of course, pack your essentials toothbrush and tooth paste. Save space buying travel size of mouth wash and face soap. I usually don’t pack shampoo and conditioner and rely on my Disney resort for their freebees. I also pack a little first aid park bag that includes aspirin, band aids, Benadryl, Dramamine, and moleskin just in case.
Goodness, they have a lot of crap! You don’t need it all at Disney World. If you’re a Disney Resort guest they really do a great job of providing kid friendly options wherever you are. You can request a crib or pack and play for your room when making your reservation. There are a limited number, so make sure to do it before you check in. I do usually bring a special blanket and stuffed animal from home to make it more familiar.
I pack bottles or sippy cups and even small plastic bowls for any in room snacks and cereal. You can always grab plastic ware from your resort quick service restaurant too.
OK strollers. This has become a big deal for us because we have 3 little ones. I bring a small umbrella stroller for the airport. Something that doesn’t take much to fold up and gate check but allows a ride through the airport. Then I rent a double stroller from Kingdom Stroller rentals. This company is GREAT! They drop off your stroller at your resort and pick it up when you’re done. I also add on a rain cover, cooler and a case of water. I get the City GT Mini which accommodates my older kids as well. They can all take turns when they get tired…and they will get tired. This stroller has easy one step fold up and great sun canopy. The cost is around $80 for a week, which is well worth it considering a double stroller rental in the parks costs 31$ a day! My method works great for us, but your kiddo may feel more comfortable in their own stroller.
We fly Southwest which allows 2 checked bags per person (yea!!!). This is plenty of room for us to pack diapers and wipes. If you were concerned about space you could always order a case of diapers and wipes and have them delivered to your resort hotel. If you intend to receive mail during your vacation, be sure the letter or package includes the mailing address of your Disney Resort Hotel and clearly features the word “Guest” on the front and the date of your arrival. There is a $5 per package handling fee will apply to all packages that are received through the Front Desk or are delivered to your Disney Resort hotel room.
So yea…we get hangry in my family. I always pack snacks: goldfish, granola bars, apple sauce pouches, fruit snacks etc. I also like to save my precious dining credits for lunch and dinner most of the time so this leaves us to fend for ourselves for breakfast. I bring the little individual cereals on vacation. We just pick up some milk and maybe some fruit from the store in the hotel and we’ve got breakfast. Again, if you’re trying to save space in your luggage you can order groceries and have them delivered to your resort. GardenGrocer is great! Minimum delivery amount is $40 on food/drink items. Delivery charge is only $14.00! For orders over $200 the delivery fee is only $2! Same day delivery is additional $30.00 and next day delivery fee is additional $20.00. Did I mention they have beer and wine? Ahem…you may need a late-night adult beverage in your room after those kids pass out. Don’t forget to pack the wine key!!!
Sorry Disney but your coffee sucks! I mean if you’re ok with tinted brown water that has a hint of coffee flavor then it’ll work for you but my hubs and I need a strong cup especially for those early morning rope drop occasions. This may sound insane but I pack my grinder, beans and a pour over coffee filter These fit right over a mug. I brew hot water in the coffee maker in the room and we’re good to go!
Each little Mickey ear wearing passenger gets to pack their own carry-on. These usually include coloring books and markers/crayons, books, homework (which I try to encourage get done on the plane), tablet and charger, snacks and candy.
I also recommend packing anything you may need for your first day in a carry-on bag. Things do happen to bags, and it does take time for them to get from the airport to your room. Pack a change of clothes, and your sneakers if you plan on heading right out to the parks and make sure all your travel documents and magic bands are with you!!!!
We carry a small backpack with good straps. Your park bag essentials should include:
- Rain ponchos (it pours and you want to be ready, also Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids can soak you to your birthday suite). You can find these at the dollar store.
- Towel-good to wipe off a wet seat, roll up and use as a pillow for a napper, sit on during a parade or use as a sun cover.
- Mini first aid kit (see above)
- Hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes, yea we use them. Frequently.
- Sunscreen, don’t get burned
- Kleenex- you can find fun Disney themed packs at the dollar store.
- Bottled water-we freeze them the night before so they are cold and delicious
- Snacks and gum (it’s not sold in the parks so BYOG)
- Cell phone, Gadgets, external batteries and chargers. You use a lot of juice using My Disney Experience App all day
- Fun stuff-I always pack glow sticks which prevents the late-night tantrum fueled impulse buy. We let the kids hand them out to other little friends around too. Spread the love.
- Pressed pennies are awesome and a cheap souvenir. They kids have fun finding new locations all over the resorts and parks. I buy a mini M&Ms before the trip and use the container to store quarters and shiny pennies for easy access.
- Autograph books and pen/marker-We’ve made out books out of spiral notebooks and stickers but you can buy then in the parks also.
- Folder with info just in case-park tickets, map, reservation information, and touring plan, also bring your ID and credit cards. Even though your magic band is linked up to your credit card you may want to have a backup.
Do you have any packing pointers? Leave a comment below, and happy traveling!
Remember, when you’re ready to plan your Magical vacation, email me at [email protected]!