Disney is such a fun and magical place to go on vacation- it’s truly a home away from home. There is so much to do and see that it can be overwhelming- especially when it comes to the packing!
You need to account for the weather, for your family and for fun items you want to bring. And if your reading this post you’re probably in charge of EVERYTHING
Making memories and taking pictures and feeling prepared…
and please tell me I’m not the only one that forgets something everytime I go somewhere 😆😆😆
And there’s also the fact that Disney is expensive! So you want to remember to bring some basic things so you don’t end up purchasing them at the parks or resorts.
Plus, you are probably celebrating something- and that requires some pre-thought to packing too!
What about overpacking? That’s totally a thing
Have I totally freaked you out yet?
It doesn’t have to be overwhelming
Ok, so I know I said all those things above about everything you should plan and pack for- but have no fear, because I’ve compiled the top packing tips for Disney World.
These tips are a combination of my own travels to Disney (over 200!) and some comments from Family and Friends, since pretty much everyone in Florida goes to Disney for Vacation!
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.
General Packing Tips
At the most basic level, think about what you might need for your trip! Like if it’s hot, PLEASE consider bringing a portable fan- you won’t regret it! This one is my favorite for myself, and then I have ones for the kids strollers (pro tip, they also clip to baby carriers!) Ponchos are ALWAYS in my bag. Always. Always. Florida is ridiculous when it comes to the rain.
Bring a portable phone charger (don’t forget the cord) because the My Disney App KILLS your phone. Or just write everything on paper. Or get one of the fuel cell chargers when you get to Disney (They are 30 dollars and you rent them). though there’s been a controversy when it comes to the Fuel Rods, so I’d pack your own charger instead. I LOVE this one, and it’s lasted me all year every where I go. 12k reviews on amazon don’t lie 🤣🤣🤣
Bring a Sharpie- I can’t tell you the number of times I needed one on vacation to mark my stuff and didn’t have one. This is especially important if you plan to get autographs. Pens work- but they are so expensive. And they break so easily. Sharpies will never do you wrong and they are so much easier
Only plan to bring just enough clothes- you WILL buy something there and you can always do laundry at the resort. I’ve never met someone who could resist buying clothes at Disney- they get you with the new styles and too cute designs.
Don’t forget about entertainment for the adults and the kids. From boredom while traveling to waiting in long line- it sucks! I love to bring stuff for the kids. Normally I go to Target before a trip and shop the dollar bin section. I also love grabbing the travel water wow and puffy stickers from Melissa and Doug. I see so many people glued to screens (and I have an ASD kiddo so I KNOW it’s hard) but seriously. Bring stuff so you aren’t on screens and enjoy your vacation together!
Things you really should bring from your house
If you have old ones around the house, or you went all out and got customized ones for your trip, these are a must have! Yes, you can get bottled water at the park BUT that requires standing in line. (and you’ll easily drop 60 in drinks for 4 people per day)
You need to drink lots of water at Disney and having a reusable bottle handy on transportation and the line rides will be very important to keeping you hydrated! Yes, the dining plan comes with a refillable mug that ONLY works at the resorts and I think it holds like 12 ounces? it’s deceptively small.
Plus, Disney has gone green with the paper straws and limiting the amount of lids they use (and PAPER cups- sturdy yet biodegradable).
So if straws are a big deal (especially those with sensory issues) you’ll want to bring some reusable ones. I really like these silicone ones because they clean easily, but I also have this foldable one that is lifechanging!
Another thing you’ll want to pack is a larger lunch box or a collapsible cooler. I’m sure that most of us have one of these lying around for family lunches and day trips. I’m a big fan of this one here, and I also rave about how its saved me thousands at Disney.
Fold it up and bring it along so that way you can bring your water in cold and keep snacks fresh. The Florida heat is brutal!
Plus it will keep everything organized. Once, you’ve eaten everything, just fold it back up! This one from Amazon is a lifesaver, it literally folds up so small! I love it!
Yes, yes, your on the dining plan- but there’s SO much food. And if you have anyone with allergies (that’s me so I’m just prepared to bring in food!) then you’ll want to bring these *just in case!*
Sunglasses/ Hat / Sunscreen
You obviously know what you will and will not wear as far as sun protection. Just make sure that you plan for it (even something like a SPF shirt can be helpful!) Don’t let sun poisoning or heat exhaustion ruin your trip!
For the love of all that is holy- put the sunscreen in a plastic baggie. And the shampoo (FYI- many of the resorts are doing away with single serve shampoo, the deluxe ones still have them but most value and moderate don’t. So don’t plan on taking these home with you!)
Even in the summer, there is a place for a light jacket. I’m crazy- I know, but the Florida wind can be brutal and a light cotton cover or swaddle blanket for the kids is perfect.
Some of these summer nights get breezy or the A/C might be wildly out of control. It’s better to bring it and not need it- especially when it comes to the kids.
Lights, camera, shoots
Most people use their phones now, but if there was a time to bring your own camera, the time is now. This is especially true for a DSLR– you will get some absolutely magical shots. Don’t forget about a camera bag, SD card and extra battery.
Selfie sticks ain’t allowed, and they’ll fuss at you for tripods that are too big- just FYI. I like using this smaller tripod that has adjustable arms, though I’ve seen a lot of influencers use ones that clip to the stroller.
This is a must have even if you don’t have kids. Those rooms can get dark and the last thing you want is a stubbed toe at a resort. Just leave it in your toiletries bag for everytime you travel.
Ohh and a noisemaker. One of the times we got a ‘preferred’ room and it was right by the main pool that was open till 11. I wanted to scream! Now I always take a small portable white noise machine.
Plassssssticcccccc (said in my best pauly shore impression)
plastic baggies that is.
These baggies are so handy for everything! They work for storing snacks, storing souvenirs and for keeping your phone dry. They are also great for organization in your park bag and diaper bag!
Pack outfits in gallon bags and bring quart sized ones for snacks and keeping phones dry. Use the snack sized ones for… snacks and crayons and everything else.
BONUS- we go through security A LOT (especially if you do any resort hopping on the monorail line) so having everything in clear baggies is a MUST. this will make checking your bag that much easier!
Stuff You’ll Wish you had brought because it makes your life easier. Remember Amazon Delivers to the resorts!
Prevent wardrobe discomfort!
Nothing is worse than being on vacation and having an injury (from small to large, they all suck!)
Save those feet of yours with a few simple and small things to pack!
Mole skin is a super important (and cheap!) thing to bring. It’s better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it! Blisters can (and will) happen while at the parks. So grab some moleskin to help any feet problems.
I also recommend several pairs of shoes. One could give you blisters, one gets soaked in the rain, then your left with one pair- yikes!
IF you end up needing shoes, you can grab some at a few places- there’s Disney Springs (you can take transport too) there’s amazon same day delivery, and there’s also Target delivery (and target is VERY close to the parks if you drove or catch an Uber)
Embarrassingly enough, I have a “thunder thigh” issue- BUT I do have a solution.
If you end up having chafing problems, definitely get some chub rub. You will be walking a lot. I have a favorite brand and it has saved my life more than once!
Glow Stick/Light up Toys- Yes, Disney has an amazing selection of all things that glow and light up. And like you can imagine, they do cost money
Here’s the updated list. Keep in mind that these are not novelty ones, just the regular light up items. Star Wars and specific light up toys are more.
So if you are looking to make this a budget friendly trip, then bring these items ahead of time!
Personally, Im all about the glow sticks.
Everyone in the family can wear them EVERY night- a pack of 50 will last you the whole trip
. You don’t have to worry about loosing the toy from the night before or setting a trend of purchasing a new toy at each park!
Disney does not sell Gum on property. Which is smart but also sucks. Because I really like to have some gum after I eat and it helps my sensory kiddo with waiting in line.
I generally bring a small portable noise maker for the stroller for nap time, and my larger noise maker for the room.
This ensures that any early bedtimes, or late wake ups aren’t disturbed by noise outside the hotel room. If you dont have one, you NEED one! Seriously, grab one off Amazon with all your other vacation items.
pop up storage can be lifesaver when organizing your room. Even if this is an adult only trip, you will still have dirty clothes. And forget about it if you have kids! Just try to contain the mess somehow!
What you’ll wish you had packed extra of
These are those items that you don’t want to run out of while you are at Disney World! Yes, many of the parks and resorts carry these items, but they might not be the brand that you like.
I can also tell you from personal experience, since my husband is a medic, that people FORGET their prescription medications while at Disney. PLEASE don’t do that, and if you do, call your doctor right away so you can figure out what your plan is.
Medications (there IS an onsite pharmacy if you need them)
Diapers/Wipes/Baby Supplies/Wet Wipes (they have huggies at the parks)
Shoes and socks
Extra Camera Batteries and Memory Card
Small Fan/Stroller Fan (the mickey fans SUCK! we’ve had two break on us this year)
Large Portable Charger
Mouse Ears (the headbands are not adult friendly- the ones on Etsy are better)
Travel First Aid Kit
Packing Tips you Shouldn’t Consider
Disney does have it rules about what you can and cannot bring in the parks. I’ve also been enough times to know that certain items just aren’t necessary.
Umbrellas tend to do more harm than good- literally. You’re poking other people, splashing water all over yourself when you fold them up and they take up a lot of valuable room when it’s not raining. Get a bunch of ponchos instead.
Selfie Sticks are simply not allowed at Disney. Pack one and you won’t be bringing it home.
Towels are a dime a dozen at Disney. You can get them from your resort, from the pool area and you can buy one in a pinch from many of the stores in the parks.
Looking for something to sit on when you are waiting for the parades or fireworks? Try a monkey mat instead!
Adult Costumes are another item that simply isn’t allowed unless your going to the halloween party. Even then, they are very strict on what is and isn’t allowed. Make sure to check the rules before you go.
Lastly, Let’s Talk about Luggage
So whatever luggage you have laying around is probably more than adequate for your trip- you DONT need to buy new luggage just because you are coming to Disney.
What you do need to do, is plan strategically!
Pack an extra bag or two (OR pack your bags half full!) as you will have stuff to bring home and you don’t want to have to buy several extra bags there. You can ship stuff home (and the prices are reasonable- way better than you’d find at the post office) so don’t panic if you’ve used all your space up.
In your Carry On bag you’ll want to pack a bathing suit/extra change of clothes. Your Magic Bands, Money, ID, snacks, and whatever you want for your first day at the resort.
Chances are you’ll wait awhile when checking in- normally we wait a few hours (yes, even with checking in early on the app) and a few months back we waited 5 hours at Beach Club. Not typical, I know, but plan for the unexpected. We had to dig bathing suits out of our luggage and it was not pretty with three kids!
Speaking of which, Magical Express (the people that bring you to and from the airport) give you two options for luggage. The first is to bring it on with you, the other is to check it with them and they’ll deliver it.
Except for many times they ‘loose’ peoples luggage. Accident’s happen, so if keeping your luggage safe is a big deal, make sure you handle it yourself on Magical Express.
One last packing tip
Bring extra undergarments!
Hear me out- socks get wet, kids get over excited and might have an accident, you are sweaty and HOT! So just bring several more than you think you need. You can thank me later!
Disney does sell underwear at the resort shops- but yeah… just so ya know.
You’re Disney World Vacation is going to be the best! You can peep all of these free things to do and see here at Disney World too!