1. Spending money
Bringing money to spend while on a vacation sounds like a no-brainer, but sticker shock is indeed real and it happens to the best of us during a trip to Walt Disney World. You know the hotel and tickets will be expensive, and you may even have most or all of your meals paid for upfront with the Disney Dining Plan, but were you prepared for the cost of additional soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, extra snacks, shopping, and sometimes up-charge events? One of the worst feelings you can have on vacation is not saving up enough extra money to afford to do something you want to do during the trip. It will be expensive, but it’s better to save more and come home with some money if you don’t spend it all, than to not save enough and come home with regrets.
Whether you have a simple point and shoot camera, a fancier DSLR, or are just planning on using your smart phone, a camera is a MUST for a day in the parks. It’s not every day that you can go strolling through the Magic Kingdom, so you’ll want to capture all of those memories during your stay.
3. Cell phone
In addition to your cell phone doubling as a camera, bring the phone into the parks is important for keeping up with your friends and family both on vacation and at home. If you’re in a group and plan on splitting up throughout the day, having a phone can be very helpful when you try to find each other later. Your phone would also house the My Disney Experience app, which makes it easier to view all of your PhotoPass photos and plans for your vacation from dining reservations to FastPass+ experiences and more.
4. Chargers/extra batteries
What’s one thing your camera and cell phone definitely need? Extra batteries or chargers. You don’t want to be in the middle of a character dining experience with the kids only to find that your camera’s battery died. The same goes for cell phones. Whether it be from viewing my PhotoPass photos, looking at FastPass selections, or just having the brightness turned all the way up due to the sun, your phone battery may drain quicker than usual in the parks, so having a portable charger with you will come in handy.
5. Autograph books and appropriate pens
If you’re bringing kids to the parks an autograph book is one item you do not want to forget. Sure you could use another piece of paper or buy another one if you forget it, but then you’ll either need to spend additional money or remember to paste the extra paper into the original book—and who has time for that on vacation? A thicker pen that is easy for furry characters to hold can also be helpful when looking for autographs.
If you’re a pin trader, the worst thing you can do is forget to bring them in the parks with you! Leaving your lanyard in the hotel room just means you’ll probably end up buying a pin or two to trade if something catches your eye. It’s always a good idea to keep a couple of extra pins in your purse or backpack so even if you do forget your lanyard or pinbooks you’ll still have a couple to use that day.
7. Hand sanitizer
Do you know how many germs there are in a theme park? True, I don’t know either, but we probably don’t actually want to know. Even though avoiding germs in any place as crowded as Walt Disney World is near impossible, hand sanitizer will definitely be useful during your trip. Using it a couple of times a day, especially before eating or after a water attraction will help fend off at least some of those pesky germs.
We’ve already pointed out that a Walt Disney World vacation is expensive, so it should come as no surprise that part of this expense is from snacking around the parks. Aside from saving money, bringing snacks can help give you more options depending on your diet, and keep the kids calm if they suddenly have an urge for chips while in line for an attraction.
Sunscreen is without a doubt something you need during a vacation to Florida, and something that would be much more expensive to buy last minute in the parks than to bring with you from home. Put some on before you leave the resort in the morning and then immediately throw the bottle into your bag and you’ll be good to go.
Most common medicines like antacids and aspirins can be purchased from some of the larger merchandise locations or from First Aid. If you have prescription medications that need to be taken at a certain time you may want to bring this into the park with you since your return time to your resort can be unpredictable (and you don’t want to rush out of the park because your pills are on the nightstand). If you’re prone to headaches or motion sickness, it isn’t a bad idea to keep a travel sized container of these medicines in your bag—even though they sell them throughout the parks you may not want to bring your migraine over to the nearest store to take care of it.
Orlando tends to rain… A LOT, especially in the summer months. You may prefer a poncho as some guests swear by them, but others prefer umbrellas as they do not need to awkwardly store the family’s wet raincoats in a bag or carry them. With the proper gear you should be able to continue about your day when the rain hits.