Packing for Walt Disney World can be a lot of fun because there are so many ways to personalize your vacation. I’m sharing our favorite packing tips for Disney World that include the essentials and a few fun items to personalize your Disney vacation.
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Packing for Disney World doesn’t have to be overwhelming and really you can purchase anything you may forget. I prefer to prepare ahead of time to save time and money. We pack the necessities but also some fun Disney essentials to have an amazing Disney World vacation.
4 Fun Packing Tips for Disney World
1. Order Mouse Ears Before You Arrive at the Parks
Mouse Ears are a fun essential when visiting Disney World. I always have intentions of purchasing them when I arrive at the parks, but we are so busy checking out attractions and rides that I sometimes miss the chance to stop and shop. This year I am prepared before we even leave the house!
My daughter and I wanted to do matching ears for our upcoming Disney World trip and I was so excited to find Mouse Life Ears. Mouse Life Ears has amazing options. She has so many different choices that we honestly had a difficult time making a choice. I could have picked at least a dozen pair for the trip.
We narrowed it down and can’t wait to wear them on our next visit. Mouse Life Ears also makes ears for the cruise. They are so unique and original too! You can even have your ears customized to make all your Disney dreams come true!! Check out Mouse Life Ears and add them to your packing list. It will save you so much time in the parks and will be one less thing to think about.
2. When at Disney World You’ve Got to Dress the Part
On our first visit to Walt Disney World I had a different Disney shirt for each of my kids for each day at the park. It was fun for them to meet their favorite characters and be wearing them on their shirts. My daughter had to hide her Rey shirt when we met Kylo Ren, but he really liked the boys Darth Vader shirts. It is so fun to interact with the characters and wearing fun shirts makes it even better.
This year I partnered with Rustic & Ritzy Boutique(now closed) to wear some original shirts to the parks. I love Disney because it is a great place for families and we always have such a wonderful visit. Our shirts are a perfect fit for this feeling.
We were able to customize our shirts to add the extra special touch that made it so personal to our family. I can’t wait to wear the shirts in the park. This is a great planning tip for Disney World because you will save so much time and money inside the parks. It will give you more time to enjoy the parks and enjoy your family.
3. Light Up the Night with Glo-Sticks
This might be one of my easiest tips for planning a Disney World vacation. Pack Glo-Sticks before you arrive. You can stop at any local dollar store, party store, or Target/Wal-Mart to pick up some really fun Glo-Sticks. I have even found Disney themed glo-sticks.
If I am short on time I will order from amazon. You can find glo-sticks here.
For a family of three kids this can be a significant money saver. Most of the Light-Up items for sale are at least $10 a piece and bringing your own can save a lot.
I like to pack a few extras to share with the other families that may be around me. Usually the parents are so happy to find a less expensive alternative and I love sharing the Disney magic!
4. Don’t Be Shy- Wear the Poncho!
This is another Dollar Store find that is a necessary for visiting Central Florida. Depending on the time of year you visit you may encounter rain at least once during your visit. We visited in late August and it rained every day! I was so happy we packed the ponchos. We have purchased ponchos from the Dollar Store and recently found some on Amazon that we loved. You can check them out here.
They are really pricey in the parks and this saves my family of 5 over $50! The rain really clears out a park so having the ponchos mean short lines and less crowds because you don’t have to leave the park.
We also used the ponchos to ride the water rides when we didn’t want to get soaked. This might sound crazy but we would put them on in line when we got close to the loading station. It kept us dry and happy for the rest of the day too! We didn’t have to worry about changing clothes and carry around wet clothes all day long.
Essential Disney World Packing Tips
5. Magic Bands & A Plan
When packing for Disney World you need to remember a few things to make the most of your day. If you are staying on-site pack your Magic Bands. I typically pack them in a Ziploc bag in our carry on. This makes all 5 of them easy to find and covers me if luggage gets lost.
I have talked about this before but I always recommend visiting Walt Disney World with a plan. I call it a “flexible plan”. Before I leave for our Disney vacation I plan out what park we will visit each day, hours of the parks/shows/parades we want to see, where we want to eat, and our FastPass reservations. I promise this is easier than it sounds.
Start by looking at Walt Disney World website and explore the parks pages. Get to know what type of attractions are at each park and what attractions are best for your family. Write down each park on a sheet of paper and start listing the attractions and restaurants that would be a good fit for your family.
When you have everything ready you can start making dining reservations(180 days from arrival) and FastPass reservations(60 onsite guests/30 off-site guests). If you need help organizing sign up for my email list and receive a printable worksheet to plan your vacation.
Take the time to include your kids in the Disney planning process. You want to make sure everyone is on the same page. There is so much to do at Walt Disney World for all ages and taking the time to plan the best plan for your family is so important.
In the last 5 years every visit to Disney has been different. When we had 3 under 5 we did more characters and it was a slower pace. Now we are running for roller coasters.
With each visit I had a plan of what would be best for our family and it saved us wasting time at things that were not a good fit. At the end of this post I list some of my best Walt Disney World planning posts to get you started.
6. Ziploc Bags in Every Size!!
This planning tip for Disney world can be applied to all family travel. I am always reminding myself to add some to my bag when we are out for the day.
I typically pack gallon bags and sandwich bags for our vacation. It is an essential for us in so many ways and I am so happy I started doing this a few years ago. The list of ways to use Ziploc bags are endless but here are 12 ways I have used them so far…
- Distribute snacks among my kids.
- Bring medicine to the parks.
- Roll our wet ponchos up.
- Take leftover food from a meal my kids didn’t finish.
- Pack a change of clothes.
- Carry my sunscreen. Keeps it easy to find and it doesn’t spill in my bag.
- Carry antibiotics when my son had an ear infection.
- Keep tissues in.
- Hold hand sanitizer and wipes.
- If there was an accident during the potty training days.
- Little collectibles that my kids always find.
- Keep my phone dry on the wet rides.
- Carry my portable phone charger.
7. All Day at the Park Essentials
If you are arriving at opening and leaving after fireworks you need a few essential items to get you through the day. Be sure to pack these items in your backpack or stroller for a full day at the parks.
- Comfortable Shoes(Not packed but Essential!)
- Hats for you and the family.
- Sunglasses for Everyone.
- Sunscreen (Apply while you are waiting for park opening)
- Aspirin/Motrin-You don’t want a headache to ruin your day so this is essential for the adults!
- Sweatshirts for cool mornings or evenings.
They do sell many of these items inside the parks but it can be difficult to find and way more expensive then bringing your own.
8. Snacks to Keep Everyone Happy
When traveling with kids it is at the top of any parents list to pack snacks. A visit to Disney World is no different. Bring small snacks that you know your children enjoy and it will help distract them while waiting in line and in-between meals. This little planning tip can make unhappy and tired kids(and adults!) much happier.
9. Great Luggage, Flexibility, & Fun
You also need a great piece of luggage to carry it all in! How cute it this American Tourister Spinners luggage I received for our upcoming Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Thank you American Tourister!! I love the color and it is so light weight! Having a great piece of luggage to pack is important for getting everything safely to your destination.
Above all when you are visiting the parks it is important to have fun and be flexible. Preparing before you leave helps ease the stress of forgetting things when you arrive but if that happens it is okay! You have your plans but sometimes being flexible leads to unexpected surprises. It is your family vacation so have fun because you are going to Walt Disney World and it is the most magical place on Earth.
More Planning Posts for a Walt Disney World Vacation:
- 6 Tips for Your First Walt Disney World Visit
- How to Make FastPass at Magic Kingdom
- Everything You Need to Know to Make FastPass Reservations at Walt Disney World