Packing for a trip to Walt Disney World can be a stressful experience. There are tons of essentials you simply must remember to bring, but there are also a number of items, that while not absolutely required, might make your trip a bit more enjoyable and stress-free.
This seems to be pretty widely recommended on all blogs or websites, but it definitely bares repeating. Whether you are using the My Disney Experience App or using your phone to find members of your party, if you decide to split up, or someone is using the phone while waiting for others who are in line, you are going to wind up draining the battery at least once while you are in the parks. I like this charger because it has multiple USB ports, it fits a variety of phones and devices, and you can use it when it is plugged into the wall charging. It is also small enough to fit in a crossbody bag, fanny pack, or small backpack if you are trying to keep your park bag light. Just make sure you remember to charge it before you need it!
Sunscreen and Chapstick
No matter what time of year you go to Disney World you are going to want to bring sunscreen and chapstick, especially if you come from a cooler climate. In the winter it is easy to forget the sunscreen, so you can always try and grab some if you order groceries to your room. I also always recommend chapstick, specifically the Burt’s Bees All Weather, because the humidity, the sun, and the dehydration can cause your lips to become extremely chapped.
Precut Moleskin or band aids/Body Glide
This is another pretty common recommendation, but one that again I feel is necessary. Body Glide is an anti-chafing balm, that comes in a package similar to deodorant. You use it for areas of your body that may chafe, in hopes that the balm will make sure you don’t. Common areas are: feet, thighs, under arms, etc… Put it on right after you get dressed and it will definitely make a huge difference. Most people are not walking around for 10 hours a day in the heat and sun on a daily basis, and this will help protect any chafing that may happen because of that.
If for some reason you still get some hot spots or blisters, it is best to treat as soon as possible with whatever product you are used to. If band-aids and something like Neosporin is your preferred item, pack that. Some people may prefer moleskin, but just make sure you have precut strips, since it generally comes in a roll.
It’s no secret that many people come home from Disney World with the “Disney Cold”. Unfortunately, a Disney World trip is not something that you can reschedule if a member of your party falls ill. It is also something people schedule so far in advance that there is no way to know if someone will be sick. That means that many guests will still go to Disney World even while ill.
It’s good to practice good hand washing, but you or another member of your party maybe waiting for the parade and really wanting a pretzel or some other treat. It’s not easy to get to the bathroom and wash your hands and get back to the spot you were in. Having liquid hand sanitizer or hand sanitizer wipes in your park bag will help with quick clean ups when you need them.
Baby Wipes are a good idea even if you don’t have any kids in tow. The heat in Florida makes any cold treat melt fast, which means you could have anything from sticky hands to a mess on your shoes. I like to use baby wipes to clean up these messes, because they are better at getting any stickiness off your hands, bags, etc… but you also don’t need to waste a hand sanitizer wipe. If you don’t have any children you can get small packs of baby wipes in the travel hygiene section of your local Target or Wal-Mart, so you don’t need to lug around a heavy pack of wipes.
Ziplock bags are a huge help to any Disney Park traveller. You can use the gallon size to store an extra set of dry clothes for each member of your party. There are many reasons you may need to change; rain, wet from a ride, stains from food, planning on a nicer dinner and don’t want to wear sweaty park clothes, the list goes on. I pack all my outfits with a Ziplock, and label the day, so I already have them in my suitcase. I pack my spare changes of clothes the same way, so when I pack my park bag, I can just pull out the right set of extra clothes and throw it in my backpack. When I change, I throw the dirty clothes back in the same ziplock, and put it in my suitcase, this also makes packing much easier at the end of the trip.
Another use for the smaller size Ziplock bags is to carry around snacks or leftovers. At Be Our Guest breakfast you are given a basket of pastries for the table, but you may not have room for them while you eat your main course. Since they have to get thrown out anyway, put them in a bag, and eat them when you are hungry for a snack. You can also use the smaller size bags to bring packed snacks from your room. That way you aren’t searching your park bag for 15 minutes trying to find that loose granola bar.
You never know what can happen on a Disney World Vacation. You might get sick, your kids might get sick, you might be in pain from some blisters or chafing. I’d rather carry in pain reliever for my family and have the peace of mind that it’s there just in case, then scrambling to find some at 2 am when be someone wakes up with a fever. Make sure if you are traveling with kids that you have infant or child pain reliever in addition to whatever the adults may need.
The obvious reason to have dryer sheets is if you plan on doing laundry. Doing laundry means packing less clothing, but also means budgeting your time so you can stay at the resort to do it. You can buy laundry soap at the resort, but you can also bring your own if necessary.
Another reason you might want to bring dryer sheets is to kill odors. If your sneakers got soaked on splash mountain, and are dry but smell, just stick dryer sheet in the shoes over night and it should help absorb some of the odor. You can also place the sheets in your suitcase, so as it piles up with dirty clothes you don’t smell all the sweatiness.
While you can pay for most things with your magic band or credit card, there are still some places where cash is necessary. Some of the carts that carry drinks in the parks don’t have the ability to take cards or magic bands, so they are cash only. Also, it is still important to remember to tip those that help you along the way. Luggage services, Mousekeeping, if you use a car service outside the Magical Express and Transportation provided at the resorts. You can also use cash at your table service dining reservations, which may make dining faster if you are on the dining plan.
Traveling anywhere new can be an adjustment. If you are coming from an urban dwelling, the resorts may be too quiet for you and may make it difficult for you to sleep. If you are coming from a more rural area, it may be too loud for you and having a constant soothing sound may make it easier for you to sleep. Whatever the case may be there are now tons of sound machine apps available for your phone. You can also purchase a travel sound machine, there are even ones that attach to strollers if you think your child may have trouble sleeping.
When you’re doing your best to pack the essentials, it’s sometimes easy to forget things that might make your life a bit easier. Hopefully at least a few of the items above will go on your next packing list and do just that. Have other suggestions for items to pack on a WDW trip? Drop them in the comments. Otherwise, until next time, have a magical trip!