There are certain items that are just common sense to pack for a Walt Disney World vacation. And you won’t find any of those items listed here! We’ve compiled a list of unusual items to pack for a Disney trip. They may seem strange, but each of them will save you time, money, trouble – or just make your vacation more enjoyable.
1. Resealable Zipper Baggies
It may sound strange to pack resealable baggies for your vacation, but trust me, you’ll find them extremely useful. We’ve used them for leftover cinnamon glazed nuts, Halloween candy from Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and to protect any liquids or lotions we’re bringing back from spilling all over the contents of a suitcase. But my favorite use? For wet swimsuits from last minute resort swims before a flight back home.
2. Pop-up Hamper
For anyone who likes to be organized, a pop-up hamper can be a life-saver while on vacation. It folds flat for packing, and when you get to Walt Disney World, voila! No more dirty clothes strewn around the resort room or in luggage, which makes it easier to do laundry, and also to find things in a pinch. You can even get a Disney-themed hamper to add to the fun.
3. Box of Cereal (and Plastic Bowl)
I recently started packing my own box of cereal along with plastic bowls, and it’s made mornings in Walt Disney World much less hectic. You can buy cartons of milk at the counter-service area of your resort to keep in your room’s mini-fridge, and pick up some plastic spoons there too. Instead of having to stop for breakfast every morning, just have a quick bowl of cereal in your room before heading to the parks. This is also a great idea for guests trying to save a bit of money!
4. Empty Luggage
We try to find airlines that let us bring 2 checked bags (ideally for free). And one of these checked bags flies to Florida completely empty. I know from past experience how much I like to buy at Walt Disney World (and the list of friends and family who want things brought back for them keeps growing!), and bringing an empty suitcase or duffle bag gives me room for all of these purchases, without worrying at the last minute how I’ll get everything home.
5. Multiple Pairs of Shoes
You may not be a shoe person, but I always recommend taking multiple pairs of shoes on a Disney vacation. Even your most comfortable, trusted pair of sneakers may end up giving you blisters after you walk around a park for 10 hours. Having a few comfortable, well-fitting pairs will let you swap your shoes out and give your sore feet a break!
6. DIY Room Decor
I love to bring my own in-room decorations to add to the fun of a Disney vacation, and Disney has no problem with guests bringing in their own decorations! Our favourites are Christmas room decor (mini-tree with lights, garland, strand of lights around the inside of our windows) and Halloween decor (spooky window decals, Halloween Disney stuffies, cobwebs). But you can decorate for any special event, or just for fun! This is a great alternative to Disney’s fantastic (but pricey) In-Room Celebrations.
I have family members and friends who rave about the pillows at WDW resorts, and I admit, they’re very comfortable. But, if you’re like me and you have back or neck problems, you may want to bring along your own trusted ergonomic pillow, just in case the Disney ones don’t work for you. Nothing worse than suffering through neck pain on vacation!
8. Small Spray Bottle
This is a trick I learned while travelling in Asia. Bring a little plastic spray bottle, and fill it up with water when you arrive at your room. Then, if you don’t want to waste time ironing clothes in the morning, hang your clothes up the night before, spritz them with water – and they’ll magically be dry and wrinkle-free in the morning. Note: there are a few fabrics that this won’t work for, so for those, you’ll have to rely on the iron.
9. Travel-Size Carry-on Sunscreen
Sure, everyone knows to pack a bottle of sunscreen in their checked baggage before a flight to Walt Disney World. But remember that if you’re staying on resort and using Disney’s Magical Express, your checked bags won’t be in your room right away. And if you want to get right out into the parks, and don’t want to get sunburned, you’ll want to pack a tiny bottle of sunscreen in your carry-on bag to get you through your first day. Just remember the 3-1-1 liquids rule (3.4 ounces or less, in a quart-sized bag), or your sunscreen won’t make it through security.