The hotel reservations are made, park tickets are purchased, dining reservations are done, and FastPasses are ready to go. The only thing left on your list is to pack the suitcase. If you’re like me, I tend to pack slowly over several weeks leading up to my Walt Disney World vacation, and when I look at the final result the night before the trip, I’ve definitely overpacked, and it’s time to assess what I really need for my trip. During my many trips to the Most Magical Place on Earth, I think I have perfected my list, so here are the items that I can’t leave home without. Make sure these things end up on your packing list too!
1. Sun Protection
The most important items on my list are sunglasses, a hat, and sunblock. The Florida sun is strong, no matter what time of the year you are vacationing, and your trip will be so much more enjoyable if you protect yourself. These accessories are readily available in all the gift shops, but it’s important to come prepared right from the start. I bring several pairs of sunglasses as I always seem to lose a pair on a ride or leave them behind in a restaurant.
2. Baby Wipes
Whether you have a young child or not, baby wipes come in handy all the time. They’re great for cleaning chocolate off of faces after enjoying a Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar, for cleaning sticky hands after cotton candy, or for wiping sweaty faces during a hot afternoon.
3. Windbreaker or Light Jacket
Even if you are traveling to Walt Disney World during the warmer months, it’s always a good idea to have a lightweight jacket for a chilly plane ride or late park nights when the air might be chilly. It also comes in handy in many of the air-conditioned restaurants.
4. Extra Pair of Shoes
You’re going to be putting a lot of miles on your feet as you tour the parks, and it’s easy to get blisters. If you’re caught in a sudden rainstorm, it’s no fun walking around in wet shoes. Keep your feet happy and have a second pair of sneakers or good walking sandals packed. It’s good common sense and ensures that your park fun isn’t ruined. You might also want to pack a handful of band aids or moleskin to care for an unexpected blister.
Recharge and cool off during an afternoon break from the parks or evening swim. If you’re staying onsite at a Walt Disney World resort hotel, the pools are amazingly themed. Kids can participate in great activities and games pool-side during the afternoons. Along with a swimsuit or two, don’t forget a cover up, goggles, and ear drops too, just in case swimmer’s ear strikes.
For any hotel stay, whether it’s Walt Disney World or another destination, I always bring a flashlight. It takes up very little space and you’ll be glad you have it in the event the power goes out in the hotel room.
7. Rain Gear
Whether you prefer a full-length poncho, short rain jacket, or umbrella, it’s a smart idea to be prepared for a sudden Florida rain shower or all-day rain event. My family never lets inclement weather get in the way of our park plans. After a quick stop to pull on our rain gear, we’re back on track to having fun and making memories.
8. Autograph Books and Pennies
Many guests get to Walt Disney World and decide they want to collect autographs from favorite characters. Plan ahead and bring an autograph book and marker from home. It might even be fun to make your own autograph book! Then you’ll be ready to meet a favorite princess or Mickey and his pals as soon as your day starts. If you’re interested in collecting the pressed pennies from the machines all over the parks, start saving your pennies at home and bring them with you. Remember that most of the pressed coins will cost 51 cents total (two quarters plus the penny to be pressed), so save accordingly.
9. Breakfast Foods and Snacks
My family likes to eat a quick breakfast in our hotel room as we’re getting ready for a fantastic day at the parks, so we always pack easy breakfast foods with us for the trip. Things like individual cereal boxes, pop tarts, or breakfast bars are perfect to pack in a suitcase without taking up too much room, but save us a lot of time in the morning. Snacks are another good idea to bring ahead of time. I’m always up for delicious buttery popcorn or a Mickey soft pretzel, but sometimes a smaller snack is ideal while waiting in line or to tide us over before a meal.
10. Water Bottle
Keeping hydrated is so important in Walt Disney World, and everyone has a different method that works for them. You can buy bottled water at the parks, use the water fountains, or wait in line for a complimentary cup of cold water at a counter service restaurant. For my family, the best option is to bring a few reusable water bottles from home and refill them as we go during the day. This way we’re not spending a lot of money on water, we’re not waiting in line, and we don’t need to find a fountain that may not always have the most refreshing water.