What are Life Hacks?
A Life Hack is “an uncommon solution to a common problem.” For this list, I’ve tried to stick with actual hacks, and not things that could be simply tips. It was harder than I thought to find good ones, but I’m going to keep looking. So here are the 10 Best Life Hacks for your Disney Vacation that I’ve found… for now.
If you are planning a trip to Disney, you might also want to check out our Disney packing tips and free printable packing list.
The Less-Mess Mickey Bar Life Hack
Enjoying a Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar is a must-do, especially while you’re sitting in the heat waiting for the afternoon parade to start. In addition to being delicious, it’s also almost guaranteed to be incredibly messy, especially in the case of the little ones. So while keeping the napkins and wipes handy is always advised, here’s a hack that is useful:
1. Grab a beverage lid from a nearby counter service restaurant.
Turn the lid upside down, and insert the popsicle stick of your Mickey Bar through the lid. Instant Drip-Catcher!
The Disney Shopping Bag Life Hacks
In addition to the plastic straws, Disney has recently begun a push to eliminate plastic shopping bags. So these next couple of hacks are only useful if you can get your hands on one. Like the lids, we’ll investigate on our next trip and update this.
2. Seat Cushion
Stick that sweatshirt you’ve been holding onto for the evening inside a bag and then use it as a seat cushion for sitting on the hot pavement while waiting for the afternoon parade. Your butt will thank you!
In a pinch, a large shopping bag just needs a hole ripped in the bottom, and two holes (one on each side) to become a kiddie poncho. It sounds ridiculous, but I’ve actually done this with my child to keep them dry until we could get a real poncho.
Disney Ponchos are pricey, so using the shopping bags or bringing your own dollar store ponchos can save you money!
*Tip from Allison in the comments: the dye in the bags could run, so turn the bag inside-out if it’s going to be up against your clothing.
Storage Bag Life Hacks
Handy for packing snacks or lunch to bring to the park (Yes, you are allowed to bring your own food!) Zip-loc bags come in a few different sizes and are so versatile that you should bring them even if you have no idea what you’ll use them for! Unfinished meal at a restaurant? Stash the leftovers into your Zip-loc bags for snacking later. Wet clothes? Stick ’em in a bag to keep them separate from everything else!
Here are two more of my favorites:
4. Water-proof your tech!
Protect your phone and camera from getting wet. Now, if you’re daring, rip a small hole in a storage bag, (I find the quart-size bags are good for small cameras) and stick your video camera inside. Align the hole with your camera’s lens, and poke the lens through, stretching the hole for a tight fit. Now you can take your camera on those water rides or into the midst of that splash area without fear!
*note: this is great for the main theme parks, but for the resort pools and water parks, I’d invest in a waterproof case or a waterproof camera.
5. Organize your clothes.
Lisa has done this for the past two trips and it’s great! She packed outfits for both kids into individual gallon-size storage bags and even labeled them with a sharpie to note which day she thought they should wear each. Then each morning of the trip, it was a snap to grab that day’s bag and get the kids dressed!
Hotel Life Hacks
For most of us, space is at a premium on our vacations when it comes to our hotel rooms. To save money we often cram our families into smaller spaces than we normally enjoy at home. Factor in the lack of drawer and cabinet space in your room, and that’s a recipe for one big, disorganized mess!
6. Toiletry Organizer
Use an over-the door shoe organizer as handy pockets for all your toiletries, accessories, and things you need to grab ‘n go when heading out! It keeps them off the sink and counters and floors.
Potty Time Life Hack
7. Post-It Flush Control
Is your child afraid of the potty automatically flushing? Well, then those automatic, industrial strength flushers at the theme parks are a nightmare! Simply stick a Post-It note over the sensor before sitting down on the toilet and the flush will not occur until you remove it!
If you don’t have a Post-it, almost any material will work. The Post-it is handy because it sticks easily and removes easily as well. But when pressed, your inner-MacGuyver might make this work from chewing gum and a park map, or water and some toilet paper…
Lost & Found Life Hack
I lose something every trip. Usually it’s just my sunglasses, but sometimes it can be something more important and not as easily replaceable. Use your camera and/or phone to record things to help jog your memory.
8. Take pictures of everything to help you remember.
- your family – you’ll have a pic of what you’re all wearing if anyone becomes lost. (Lisa wrote about this hack as a way to keep your kids safe at the parks)
- where you parked your car – sometimes committing it to memory is just not good enough!
- your various park media: Tickets, Room Keys, PhotoPass cards, Gift Cards.
- Your name, address, and phone number. Write this down and then snap a pic. Now it’s on your phone and in your camera should those items become lost.
Penny Life Hack
I love to collect pressed pennies. Every trip, I scrounge up my loose pennies and quarters and stick them in bag or small container so I can bring them to the park. There’s a better way.
9. Use a M&M mini container to carry your coins.
Stack them, 2 quarters, 1 penny, 2 quarters, 1 penny, etc. No more fumbling in bags or pockets for the right change.
*bonus hack. Got a penny that isn’t as shiny as you’d like. Ketchup will shine that penny right up. Ketchup can be gotten for free at any counter service restaurant. That a few napkins will help get your penny shiny again!
Refreshing Life Hack
Drinking lots of water while at Disney is very important. It will keep you cool, and keep you hydrated, and bringing your own can save you a few bucks too! And while it’s a well-circulated tip that you can get free ice water at any counter service restaurant in Disney just by asking, I came across this little hack for those of us who like to bring some cold water with us to the park.
10. Freeze your water overnight… ON ITS SIDE!
I was always aware of the frozen water bottle trick. But until that ice melts, you don’t have anything to drink. Thanks to this hack I found, that’s not a problem anymore. When freezing it at night, make sure it’s only half full, and lay the bottle on its side. In the morning, you’ll be able to pour more water into the free space in the bottle, which will reach from the bottom to the top. Instant cold water. That ice will last you a good while, even on a hot day!
Maybe you knew about some of these tips, but I’ll be very impressed if you knew all 10! What are your favorite Disney Vacation Life Hacks? Please let us know by leaving a comment, especially if we don’t have it on our list!! And be sure to check out our 10 Best Life Hacks for your Day at the Beach!