While I was planning our trip to Disney World I started a packing list. There are some nice packing lists here and there, but I thought I would add my thoughts on what worked for us last week.
Of course there are the essentials like clothes, and sunscreen. But, I find a little preparation before the trip makes everything a whole lot smoother and keeps everyone happy once you’re actually there.
In no particular order, here are some things you should bring when you visit Disney World.
- Stroller. If you fly, it’s even better because it’s free to check. Yes, you can rent strollers daily at Guest Services, but it is so worth having your own. Not only do you save money, but you have extra pockets and storage for all the stuff that inevitably comes with you.
- A plan. This takes the most work. You have to decide what parks you’re going to visit, which attractions you want to see and ride, and what time you want to be there and when you want to leave or eat. I saw families who got into arguments about what they wanted to do next (“This just looked like the shortest line, so I picked it!”). There are tons of planning websites available, so I’ll leave it at that.
- Umbrellas. On our trip back in 2012, I ended up buying an umbrella in the middle of a huge rainfall and it was like $10. It broke shortly after vacation! This time we brought our own umbrellas, but we splurged and bought ponchos at the park when we hit the first rainfall. The ponchos run around $9 for adults and $8 for children, but the nice thing is that if it rips/tears, they will exchange it free, so make sure you keep the receipt! This actually happened to one of our ponchos and they exchanged it with no issue.
- On that note, if you do bring a stroller, bring a cover for it. We ended up bringing a shower curtain that I took off directly from one of our bathrooms and using it as a cover when it started pouring rain.
- Glowsticks/lights. If you’re staying for an evening show like fireworks or parade, Disney sells all sorts of fun lights and stuff at a hefty price. We brought our own lights and glow sticks and our kids didn’t notice a difference. In fact, they had fun giving their extra glow bracelets to kids nearby to join in the fun.
- Disney gear. Princess costumes were around $70 at the parks, and adult shirts were around $30 each. We ended up going to our local Disney outlet before the trip and stocked up on Disney shirts that averaged around $10-15 each. And if you check online, there are inexpensive costumes available for purchase (also a great time to check out places like Target around Halloween).
- Skip the autograph books and pen. I bought it one year for my nephew and while it was fine, for this trip I brought my extra Project Life 4×6 cards and bought a pack of Sharpie RT Retractable Permanent Markers. I also brought our own clipboards which helped characters like Pluto and Eeyore sign. (I’m going to put the autographs into our scrapbook.) It wasn’t too much to carry because I just stowed them into our stroller!
- Special treats like Disney Princess Over 50 Temporary Tattoos or Disney Mickey Mouse Sterling Silver Stud Earrings Jewelry make the trip a little bit more fun without impacting your budget. I picked up a couple of different iPhone Cases to make it fun to snap photos. My mom ended up with Sully and I got the Cheshire Cat.
- Obviously, comfortable shoes, right? You’re going to do a crazy amount of walking and one of the things that has worked for me, especially after having worked as a professional wedding photographer, is to change shoes halfway during the day. This is going to depend on whether or not you take breaks in the middle of the day, but I found it worked better for me to switch out. If I wore sneakers in the morning then I wore flip flops in the evening.
I think I’ve covered most of it. There are things like snacks and water, or bringing a drink mix, but you can find more on that through Pinterest. 🙂
Please let me know if you have any other tips or tricks in the comments!