Packing for a Walt Disney World vacation can be a daunting task. You just can’t bring everything with you. And then there are some things that should just be left at home. Here is your guide to help make those questionable packing decisions a little bit easier.
James often makes fun of me because I tend to over-pack. I’d rather be over prepared than under prepared. Who doesn’t need 8 pairs of shoes? Anyway. Over the years I’ve learned to cut back my load and only pack the essentials. I’ve also learned that not every choice is a good choice when it comes to packing for Disney. There are just some things that you shouldn’t bring. Thankfully there is a suitable back up just in case.
Pack a Reusable Water Bottle, Not Bottled Water
Florida is hot…very hot. For that reason, you must make sure that your family stays well hydrated throughout your trip. Water can be expensive. Although ice water is free at many quick service locations, it may not be there when you really need it. Save yourself a little money by packing a reusable water bottle. Better yet, invest in a filtered water bottle. Fill your bottle before you leave the hotel then refill at water fountains throughout the day. It’s much better than lugging around a load of bottled water around the park.
Pack Sensible Shoes, Not Heels
Before you go packing your stilettos think again. You will be doing a lot of walking so you want to make sure that you bring sensible shoes. Sneakers and shoes with good support are your best bet. For some, flip flops won’t work either. I’ve been ok in them only because I’m used to wearing them all summer long. I’ve had some issues with Converse sneakers, though. You have to wear what is comfortable for you. Also don’t bring brand new shoes. Take the time to break them in before you go.
Pack SPF 50+, Not SPF 8
You may want some color, but you don’t want to burn. Make sure you pack a sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or greater. Aside from the sun beating down on you, you could also get burned from the sun’s reflection on the pavement. So make sure your legs are covered.
Pack Camera (or Phone), Not an IPad
This tip has a lot to do with etiquette. When you’re at home, your I-Pad may be great to take a quick picture or video. However, at Disney, be considerate of the people around you and use your phone or camera to capture those magical memories.
Pack This: Comfortable Clothes
While elaborate, fancy outfits may be suitable for other vacations, the key word when it comes to clothing at Walt Disney World is comfort. Breathable cotton fabrics will help you stay cool in the high temperatures. You also want to pack outfits that are comfortable to wear. You’re going to be sitting on rides or standing in lines. The last thing you want to do is to keep adjusting your outfit. You could also dress up your comfy clothes with accessories. Ever try Disneybounding?
Want to get kids to help with the packing? Try our Vacation Packing List for Kids.
Pack a Soft Cooler, Not a Hard Cooler
To save a couple bucks, many people opt to bring their own snacks and drinks into the park. Be aware that only soft coolers are allowed inside the parks. Plus they are easier to fold up and pack in your suitcase.
Pack a Poncho, Not an Umbrella
It rains a lot in Florida. Your instinct may be to pack an umbrella for such occasions. But, when battling the crowds or maneuvering a stroller, an umbrella may not be such a good idea. The best option for rain is a poncho. Slip one on and bing, bang, boom, you’re off and ready to hit more rides. While ponchos are available in all Walt Disney World gift shops, you can easily save money by purchasing some ahead of time at dollar stores or pharmacies.
Heading to Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon? Print out our Water Park Packing List.
Still unsure about what to pack? We’ve got you covered. Download our Complete Walt Disney World Packing List below. You’ll find tips on everything from what clothing items to bring to what to pack in your park bag.
Saturday 4th of May 2019
Going to WdW on The 15th . We are 66 and haven't been to park since before Epcot. Our 40th wedding anniversary. Addimited foodies and music people. So much information. We will be at park for 5 days. How do you get a fast pass and how is it loaded with your choices????Being so close to flight do we get a band at front desk? Thanks Paula Tabor
Saturday 4th of May 2019
Hi Paula, Congratulations on your upcoming trip and Happy Anniversary. I understand how overwhelming Disney can be if you haven't been in a while. FastPass reservations can be made 60 days in advance for on-site guests and 30 days in advance for off site guests. But since you are going on the 15th, you are good to go. You will need two things to get started. First is valid park tickets. The next thing to do is set up a My Disney Experience account online https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/ or you can download the My Disney Experience App on your phone. Once your account is set up, you will need to link your tickets to your account. We have a step by step guide on how to make reservations here: https://adventuresinfamilyhood.com/make-fastpass-reservations.html. You get 3 FastPasses per day. Once they are done you are allowed to make 1 additional FastPass, one at a time, through the app or at one of the kiosks in the park.
Magic Bands: If you are an on-site guest, you can order Magic Bands though My Disney Experience. It takes about 11 days to ship. You can also get them from the front desk at the hotel. If you are off-site, your Fastpass reservations will be linked to your ticket/card. All you will have to do is tap your card at the attractions at your FastPass time.
I know this is a lot. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help walk you through the process.