Our family loves visiting Disney World! We had annual passes for 6 years and went every few months, so we learned a thing or two about what to bring to Disney World. If you are looking for ideas on what to pack for Disney World, I’ve assembled a list of “must have” and “nice to have” items for your trip. Our Disney packing list recommendations include items that we have used multiple times and that we support as Disney trip essentials. Be ready, Disney is no joke. If you don’t plan ahead in terms of what you pack, then you will end up frustrated or having to purchase it at much higher prices. Here are my tips on packing for Disney World.
Disney World Packing List: Must Have
Packing for Disney excites me! I’ll admit I am a Disney nerd, but I am also a packing nerd and love to think about what I will need. After over 50 visits to Disney World, here are my ideas for some of the “must have” items to place on your Disney World packing list.
My number one piece of advice for what to pack for Disney World is some comfortable sneakers. I don’t know how people walk around Disney in flip-flops. As comfy as my Olukai sandals are, I would never walk around Disney in them. I recommend a good pair of sneakers that don’t give you blisters. Bring the most comfortable pair you own (do not worry about style here). My best sneakers are my Merrell sneakers, which is one of my Disney trip essentials. I also take a back up pair because, inevitably, it will rain in Orlando, and I will need a second set. Here are some options for the best shoes for Disney.
Hydro flask Water Bottle
Another item that you cannot forget on your Disney packing list is an insulated water bottle. For a while, I did not want to spend money on the hydro flask ones, but once I saw how cold it kept drinks, I was sold. Although they range from $15-20, they are well worth the money. You will be happy when it is 90 degrees and you have cold water after hours in the sun.
Another key item that must be in your Disney World packing list is a backpack. I have no idea how people show up to Disney without bags. Even when we didn’t have kids, my husband carried a backpack with our jackets or ponchos and two water bottles.
The best backpack for Disney doesn’t have to be huge, it just has to be able to store things in various compartments, since you are likely storing things for children. Travel backpacks are a great idea for Disney because of these compartments. Two backpacks are ideal actually. One for snacks and water, and the other for miscellaneous items. That way one person isn’t lugging around a 20 pound backpack. Here are some recommendations on the best bag for Disney.
Disney Backpack for Adults
Yes, a Disney backpack for adults is key for happiness on this trip. The best backpack for Disney if you are traveling without kids is something lightweight. I recommend ones that are hiking day packs because of their water-resistant material and they are very light.
This is another must have on your Disney packing list. There are germs everywhere in Disney! To save money, I buy a big hand sanitizer and deposit them into smaller travel ones. My new favorite has been to have a carabiner attachment on the outside of my backpack that has my hand sanitizer. That way, I touch fewer things and it is very accessible when needed.
Due to the current pandemic, Disney has many hand sanitizer stations available at the parks, yet I would still recommend bringing your own.
This is mandatory when visiting the parks as of 7/20. I have heard from many people that the disposable masks are very hot and not breathable. I recommend finding some cloth masks that are as comfortable as possible. Disney is also selling their own themed masks if you’d like to buy from their site or when you arrive at the parks or resorts.
A strange item to bring to Disney World? Let me explain why they are useful. Sandwich size Ziploc bags are perfect for packing snacks instead of bringing whole boxes, and they are great as storage for leftover food items bought during lunch/dinner. They can also help to provide somewhat of a barrier to keep your phone dry on wet rides.
I have been a victim of forgetting a poncho on so many Disney trips. When I pack them, it never rains, and when I decide not to pack them, it pours. After about 2 years of this back and forth nonsense, I stopped looking at the weather and just packed them no matter what. I’ve had to spend close to $50 on ponchos because I didn’t pack them. Lesson learned – buy cheap ponchos and add them to my Disney packing list. Here are some ideas of what to do in Disney when it rains.
Autograph books at Disney can cost near $20. If you’re planning on doing Disney on a budget, you can get them for much less on Amazon. For years my kids loved to get the characters’ autographs, and the first time we bought them on Main Street. Another lesson learned – buy autograph books before the trip on Amazon.
Cell Phone Charger
This is a must bring on any vacation, but definitely one of the Disney trip essentials. Adding a portable cell phone charger to your Disney packing list is vital because you will likely be taking pictures, sending pictures, and checking your My Disney Experience App for Fastpass times or wait times. This sucks up your battery. Don’t stress and bring a compact cell phone charger to save the day.
Unless you are visiting when a cold front is passing through, it is always hot in Disney World. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are all important items to place on your Disney World packing list. Check out some of these Disney inspired options below.
Travel First Aid Kit
I learned the hard way that I should always pack a mini first aid kit with a couple of band-aids and some medicine. Although Disney’s First Aid Station is great, my kids don’t always fall near the first aid station on Main Street. Taking some Advil in a plastic bag is also a great tip when packing for Disney World and its craziness.
Disney Packing List: Nice to Have
If you’re packing for Disney World, these items below are not necessary, but they really can be nice to have. When preparing to visit WDW with children, there are many items that would make your life easier. Consider putting some of them on your Disney World packing list.
A spray fan can be a lifesaver in Orlando’s humid, hot temperatures! When the kids were toddlers we bought one at Disney and spent too much $. We learned and bought another one on Amazon for much cheaper and had cold water misted to our faces for less. If you have a baby or toddler, consider a stroller fan too.
This was great when my kids were younger. Everywhere you go within Disney World, there are vendors with those darn bubble wands. Although adorable, they are expensive! We gave in once or twice, and then got smart and bought two on Amazon. We revealed the bubble wands when the cranky time came at about 4:00 PM. Mom for the win!
My daughter loved Disney princesses when she was younger. So when she received character costumes for her birthday or Christmas, she would ask to take them to Disney, and I agreed. I knew she would get uncomfortable after a while, so I packed regular clothes for her. If your daughter or son loves to dress up, using Disney costumes from home or purchasing ones online are much cheaper than at the Disney parks.
Matching Disney Shirts
Personally, I have never been a fan of matching Disney shirts, but so many people are. There are some inexpensive options on Amazon, but you can also customize them on Etsy. Creating a family shirt for a trip to Disney could be something you’ve always wanted to do. Check out some Disney shirts on Etsy below.
I decided to buy these after a few times of saying no to glow necklaces and swirly glow in the dark toys when we stayed in the parks at night. Before one of our Disney trips, I went to the Dollar Store and bought a pack of glow necklaces. I brought them out after dinner and the kids went crazy! It also kept them happy enough to not bother me and ask for something for the rest of the night!
We bought two Minnie ears at Disney park prices before we “wised up”. I checked online and there were people creating customized Mickey and Minnie ears, and much better prices. If you enjoy these or just like them for the pictures, then add them to your Disney packing list. Amazon sells Minnie ears, but Etsy has much more of a variety of custom Minnie ears.
Packing for Disney
Packing for Disney World begins with taking out my carry on luggage, backpack, and packing cubes. If you’ve never used them, read my post and watch my video about using packing cubes to get you started.
Why packing cubes? Because they really help organize your items and make them so much easier to find when you need them. The best packing cubes really depend on your preference. I prefer the medium packing cubes and the slim packing cubes, especially when I’m traveling for about a week.
These are a cute way to add a little Disney flair to your luggage and make it more recognizable if you check it in. We bought some Disney luggage tags not long ago, and each time I see them, it brings a smile to my face.
I hope these suggestions help you decide what to place on your Disney packing list. Packing for Disney doesn’t have to be difficult, but I do think it requires some planning ahead of time. Although not all of these suggestions will end up on your Disney World packing list, I hope that some of them do and end up becoming Disney trip essentials for you and your family.
If you are visiting Disney for the first time, then you’ll need to know about these Disney Fastpass Secrets. I share my strategies for which fast passes to reserve and the reasons why you need them at all four parks: Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom. If you’re looking for something to do besides the parks, consider going to Disney Springs or check out some of the many things to do in Disney World besides the parks.
Related Post: How Much Does a Disney Cruise Cost?
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