Going to Disney World with kids is the most fun (and most exhausting thing) vacation ever. Not only is packing for Disney with kids a real challenge at times, but it also requires a lot of planning.
If we’re being honest, most vacations require you to just parent in a different place, so we’ve put together a list of must have things to bring to disney world with toddlers and preschoolers.
As parents, we know it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the planning and excitement of where to stay and where to eat that you forget about what to pack! That’s ok, packing is kinda boring anyways!
so for everyone out there that is packing last minute, or being a super planner while looking ahead, here’s a curated list of all the things you need to pack for a Disney vacation with toddlers or preschoolers. If you have a Baby in tow, we have a seperate Disney Baby Packing List that you’ll want to check out!
So save this post for later👀 That way, about 4 weeks out (hopefully not 4 hours out), you can refresh to make sure you have everything for your magical vacation.
I also suggest you take a few notes, I love using trello to plan my vacation packing, but paper and pencil works well too!
And Don’t worry if you forget something. The resorts and parks are full of gift shops that carry almost everything, at Disney World prices of course 😉
This post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you, check out my affiliate disclosure for more information and all the legal mumbo jumbo.
Table of Contents:
How much should you pack for the under 5 kids on a Disney Vacation?
The age old question, and one that is very important when you have young kiddos in tow!
The quick and short answer is this: you should pack enough to get you through the length of your vacation, plus two spare days in case something crazy happens. So if your kid normally needs two outfit changes per day, plan to do that for the length of your vacation, and then add two days. Also remember that you can pack less clothes and do laundry, so that you can make room for other extras like shoes, toys, or entertainment options.
Fun Disney Items you’ll love to grab for your vacation!
Mickey ears are, of course, something that most people buy when they get to Disney World. My kids are 3 and 5 for reference, and they have the traditional mickey ears and mickey hat, but these newer hats are the most comfortable pair we’ve owned and keep the sun off them in the parks when it is so hot outside!
The Obvious Disney World Packing List for Toddlers
These are the things that you know you should pack- but a list never hurts!
- Everyday Outfits (one for everyday you are there plus 5 extra!)
- Nice Outfit for Dinner
- Several Pairs of shoes (think water shoes, sandals, sneakers, crocs but at least two pairs! Shoes get lost or give blisters.)
- Jacket or blanket
- Diapers, wipes, trainers, underwear
- Pajamas, resort clothing
- Swim gear (lifevests are available at the pools!)
- First Aid Kit
- Activities like Coloring Books and Ipads
- Snacks, Gum (gum isn’t sold on property)
Big note on the shoes… shoes are the bain of my existentance when I take the kids to theme parks. It can be Disney World, it can be Universal Orlando, it can be seaworld, legoland or any of the smaller attractions I check out for this blog.
Shoes are the enemy of parents at theme parks. They get wet and cause blisters thanks to water rides and splash pads. They fall off and get eaten by the custodial staff. They get left behind at the play areas and thrown off in the many entertaining shows.
So if you see me with the kids at one of the parks, don’t laugh when they are ALL in crocs. yes, those midly ugly shoes have come to the rescue. They dry easy, I can put socks on them if theres a blister (which hardly ever happens) and the ones with straps are loud if one of these munchkins try to take them off!
Ok, what else should you pack?
The Strollers for rent at Disney are pretty clunky and not very comfortable… like solid plastic with no padding and not designed for young kiddos uncomfortable!
Kids under 9 are going to need a stroller at some point in your trip. If you grab one and find you don’t use it much, it can be a storage place for all your stuff!
You can rent from a third party company and they charge a deposit and by the day. Generally it’s around 20 a day depending on the stroller you get. I highly recommend this stroller company because they have the cleanest strollers I’ve found… and they are always in such good condition when I see them in the parks!
Toddlers like to eat! And the lines at Disney are long. If you have a collapsible cooler you can bring in snacks to the park and keep your drinks cool. We have this clevermade collapsible cooler and it has been so useful, maybe too useful because after two years the poor thing is falling apart! We have food allergies so we end up bringing a cooler with us everywhere in the Florida sunshine, but it’s also great for packing up snacks you don’t want to get roasted and for keeping souvenir eats from getting squished!
We like to get some snacks sent in from Amazon for our trips. We also stock up at the resort quick serve area for snacks to have on hand in the parks and the rooms.
You will do a lot of walking at Disney- it’s inevitable. A toddler carrier can be invaluable when they are tired and cranky. (or if you have a kid like mine, a runner!)
We really enjoy the Lillebaby Toddler Carrier with the mesh- but many other companies make toddler carriers too! And yes- they can carry kiddos up to 40 to 60 pounds. We have a 40 pound toddler and it is comfortable.
Disney World Packing Tips that will Make your Trip Magical
The Custom Items!!
We try to get at least two custom items every trip. Our almost preschooler loves to see his name on things and really enjoys matching shirts! Custom Family and Individual Shirts are always a blast. You can even think about custom shirts just for the guys or gals- or something for a special occasion.
Etsy is full of great ideas! and Amazon actually has custom Disney Items too! Make sure you plan these in advance though- at least 3-4 weeks so that they arrive on time for you to pack for your trip!
Autograph books are a must have item to have and look back on when you talk about “the First Trip to Disney!”. I’m also a huge fan of getting a stuffed animal/stuffy type toy that can grow with baby. Fun for the park and fun for home!
Another super cool thing I saw at one of my last trips was to get a Disney BOOK- not an autograph book. Then you have all the characters sign that. Then you can read to your kids with this signed book!
Amazing right?! It pulls double duty because you can read to them while you wait in line! We are getting one of these to start bringing to get signed (although we see Mickey way too often, maybe he will get his own page- or three!)
Light ‘Em Up
Glow up items are also a great thing to have- I look online for necklaces, spinners and glow sticks to bring before the trip. Especially since they cost 15-30 dollars at Disney and my toddler won’t really play with them much after the trip.
You can get a HUGE multipack of glow sticks on Amazon for the same price that you would pay in the park for one item. If your looking for a more eco friendly option you can get something fun like glow in the dark stickers for less environmental impact.
Souvenirs, Mickey Ears, Pennies and Pins
These can all be super fun items to bring to the parks!
Mickey ears are a classic “need” for a Disney Vacation! Pick up some cute ones online before you get to the park for the unique factor, or grab some when you get there!
Pressed Pennies are one of the favorite things my toddler likes to do. He loves spinning the crank wheel and picking out the design. Best part is it’s only 51 cents!
Souvenirs at Disney are EVERYWHERE. If you are looking to maximize your budget, think ahead to the items that you can bring, especially for a toddler that doesn’t really know the difference between what you pull from your bag and what’s in the store you just walked past!
The Weather Stuff
Make sure you bring rain ponchos, I normally grab a multi pack from Amazon for every trip so I can just toss them when we are done! There is a 99% chance that it will rain at some point in your trip. Hopefully, you are at the pool and can run back to your room- not at the parks and completely soaked!
This is also why I always recommend packing an extra outfit. Or at least a shirt for everyone in your party.
If you come in the winter YOU MUST pack for both types of cold and hot weather.
Don’t get caught without the appropriate clothes because then you’ll be rushing to by Disney Gear you didn’t plan to get. We can have a cold front come in overnight or the weather person can be 100% correct about the beautiful weather. You just never know.
A weather proof stroller cover is a must- parking for the strollers is NOT covered. Sometimes we like to cover it with ponchos, but the water proof cover really works best.
The Heat and Humidity
If you come when it’s hotter (so like 10 months out of the year!) there are several items that I recommend.
An Insulated Water Bottle– It gets really hot at Disney and you want to have water available at all times. Not “I’ll go wait in line” but, more like, I have it right here and I can drink without waiting for another 20 minutes because I’m already dehydrated! Remember- NO GLASS in Disney Parks. So it’s a stainless steel water bottle or a plastic one!
Frog Towels– they sell these at Disney and they are worth the cost- it’s just nice to have them before hand so they are less expensive!
A fan (or several fans) will be so beneficial for keeping you cool. Again, they have the misting ones at Disney for around 20 dollars.
Sunglasses, Hats and Sunscreen. I’m sure you know your family better than I do- take into account what they will wear and bring it just in case. If you get sun poisoning your first day, the rest of the trip will be veryyy hard!
What you might need for Disney
If you plan to do laundry at Disney (and you should at least plan for an emergency laundry run because sh*t happens) you will need some items! Many of these can be found at the resort gift shop, but if you have a preference for laundry soap it can be ideal to bring your own.
We also like to pack a pop up laundry hamper, wet/dry bags and a collapsible bin or two. This helps keep everything organized and separated.
Planning for some picnics at Disney? Or maybe breakfast at the resort?
Think ahead to some of the items you might need! Utensils and plates, maybe some water cups (or bottles)
You can also plan to bring items like a collapsible cooler and some ice packs- even if you don’t plan to use it at Disney it can be important while you travel.
These are items that are on an individual family basis. Think about items that your family might need or want to have on vacation just in case. Like for us, we need dye free everything and latex free everything. So we also bring items just in case they are needed.
I did want to reassure you. There is a first aid center at each park, highly trained paramedics just a phone call away, and medications at each resort gift shop. So if you feel comfortable with just finding things as you need them, you will be able to find them! If you need specific product, bring them with you!
FAQ about Toddler and Preschool Packing for Disney
Can you do laundry at the resort? ‘
Yes! Isn’t that great! Disney resorts, as well as all the good neighbor ones close by, offering laundry options at the resort. And it’s really super easy to do it too. Here’s an example of how it’s digitally set up (this is at universal but disney uses the same setup!)
If I forget something for my toddler or preschooler, where I can I purchase a replacement?
I forget a lot of stuff! Thankfully Disney knows what’s up.
Inside the gift shops you’ll find everything from toys and swimsuits, to socks and underwear! The shops at the Parks also carry a large assortment of items from personal care products to everyday items. I highly recommend a trip over to Disney Springs to the very large World of Disney Store because they have almost everything you could ever need there!
Overall, Packing for a Toddler isn’t difficult- you just have a lot to consider! Did I miss any important items? Let me know in the comments below!
Important Related Toddler Articles
Best Rides for Toddlers at Disney World