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 decent amount 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 and Caregivers, 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, we’ve all been there. Disney has lots of items you can purchase should you need something while on vacation- but we can plan ahead with the packing list to *try* to pack everything you might need!
Below you’ll find 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!
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.
This post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you, and I may earn commission on qualified sales, check out my affiliate disclosure for more information and all the legal mumbo jumbo.
Table of Contents:
- How much should you pack for the younger kids on a Disney Vacation?
- Disney World Must Haves for Toddlers
- The Disney World Packing List for Toddlers
- Disney World Packing Tips that will Make your Trip Magical
- Planning for Disney World Weather with your Toddler
- What you *might* want to consider packing for a Disney World Vacation
- FAQs about Toddler Packing
How much should you pack for the under 5 kids on a Disney Vacation?
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.
Must haves for Disney World with Toddlers
⭐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!
⭐We also bring a bunch of “throw away” toys like sticker books, small light up toys, and other items I find in the Target Dollar Bins.
⭐Tracking Tags like the Airtag or SmartTag. I’ve got the for the stroller, for every kid, and for all the bags. Most importantly, the baby doll ‘Baby’ and the favorite stuffy, ‘Bear’ have tags on them.
We’ve left them in the parks twice now– and both times we were able to find them thanks to the tags! My son left his Bear in the UK garden Maze in EPCOT and a nice security guard walked with us after 9 to grab it because we could see the tag. And a Cast Member helped us find Baby when she was left in Hollywood Studios at the Muppet Vision 3D after she had been placed in the back.
⭐Tracking tag Bracelet. My toddler has an Airtag bracelet we got from Amazon. We use it for Disney, and anytime we go somewhere with a crowd. I’ve never had to use it to find him, and I hope I never need to!
⭐Identification. There’s lots of ways to do this, but I prefer the old Sharpie on the arm, because I know it’s not going anywhere. Some parents (not me, but I’ve got to shout them for their creativity) get temporary tattoos made. You can also add a contact sheet to the inside of their bags (inside so no strangers can see it!).
Disney will suggest adding their name to a pin, like a birthday pin or celebratory pin, but my toddlers always pull them off. Then there’s a hole in their shirt or they poke themselves with the pin!
⭐ Shoes that won’t cause blisters (or lots of bandaids and socks!) I prefer to bring three pairs of shoes per kid, as I find that switching out shoes from one day to the next prevents blisters. I also bring extra in case it rains, we’ve lost a shoe (it’s happened to me- I hope it doesnt happen to you!), Or a shoe breaks (which we’ve also managed at Disney. They have lots of cute kids shoes for purchase!)
⭐Sun Protection. For my Toddler, we do a Rash Guard UV Shirt if we know we’re going to be in the Park all Day since Sunscreen can be ‘difficult’ to apply several times a day. Bonus: Get the really bright shirts so you can find your toddler in the crowd!
⭐ Special Dress Up Outfits! This toddler prefered the Olaf Costume to go with his Olaf stuffy, but other options can be jumpsuits, princess dresses, pirate costumes, spiderman… it’s endless! We choose to do dress up before breakfast and then we went to meet Olaf at Hollywood Studios.
The Complete Disney World Packing List for Toddlers
These are the things that you know you should pack- and a list will help to make sure you’ve got everything before your trip!
I’d like to suggest packing cubes, for keeping things organized. I’d also recommend ‘premaking’ outfits and placing them in their own plastic bag with a label. That way it’s easier to get dressed and grab a spare outfit for the bag!
- 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!). There are splash pads at some of the Parks, and Pools and Splash Pads at the Disney Resorts.
- Toiletries which include Shampoo, Bubble Bath, Sunscreen
- Sun Protection- Hat, Sunglasses, Sun Shirts (Rash Guards)
- Fans, preferably stroller fans with bendable legs. (if the clip breaks, the fan is useless, the bendy legs tend to last longer)
- First Aid Kit (I have a small one I bring into the Parks, but bandaids are available at First Aid)
- Activities like Coloring Books, Autograph Books, Sticker Books or Tablets
- Sensory Toys
- Snacks, Gum (gum isn’t sold on property)
- Snack Containers
- Reusable Water Bottles
- Stroller Straps for drinks, snacks and toys
- Airtags or Tracking Devices for your toddler, for the stroller, for your Bags
- Backpack with Harness and Walking Guide, or Wrist Walking Guide
- Toddler Baby Carrier
- Special Outfit for their favorite Characters
- Autograph book
- Rain protection, like a waterproof stroller cover,
- Your Patience!
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. They dry easy, I can put socks on them if there’s a blister (which hardly ever happens) and the ones with straps are loud if one of these munchkins try to take them off!
Other great options include shoes with lots of straps to avoid taking them off, and bringing socks, bandaids or moleskin in case of blisters. (You can also get large bandaids at the First Aid Centers inside the parks)
Strollers and Transportation
There’s a couple ways you can do Strollers at Disney World, and each of them have their pros and cons!
- Rent Strollers at the Disney Parks, once you are through security. Pro: No worrying with strollers on the bus, return it at the end of the night. Con: You might have to carry your kid to the parking lot/through the resort at the end of the night.
- Bring your Own stroller: Pro: You can carry all your stuff. Budget Friendly. Con: May be hard to bring depending on your travel arrangements. You have to fold it up when you use Disney Transportation (like Trams, Buses- but not the Skyliner, Monorail, and some Water Taxis)
- Purchase an Umbrella Stroller at Disney or Nearby Store: Pro: You’ve got a way to move your toddler around. Con: Not much room for stuff, stroller is short to the ground, wheels hard to navigate. You have to fold it up when you use Disney Transportation (like Trams, Buses- but not the Skyliner, Monorail, and some Water Taxis)
- Rent a Stroller from a Third Party Company: Pro: You have a stroller, and can return it at the end of your trip Con: You have to fold it up when you use Disney Transportation (like Trams, Buses- but not the Skyliner, Monorail, and some Water Taxis)
- Decide not to bring a stroller: Refer to point one, because you’ll be renting a Disney stroller by lunch. The parks are simply too big for children under 5 to not ride.
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!
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
Essential Safety Items
Starting out with a very important but sometimes overlooked packing item!
I’ve seen (and used) all of these between my three kids, and here are some ideas for you to make the best decision for your family!
- Airtag with a clip to attach to shoe/belt or bracelet
- Walking Guide with wrist attachment or Harness
- Temporary tattoos with phone number
- Light up shoes, light up headband to spot runners after dark
- Toddler backpack/toddler ‘walk with me’
- Toddler Baby Carrier
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! We are getting a Princess Book for my daughter to do this for her 6th Birthday.
Light Up Toys and Bubblers
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 find all of the light up toys at Disney in this guide if you’d like to know what the options are ahead of time.
The Weather Stuff
Rain Coats are nice if you have the room to pack them. 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.
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.
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.
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