The saying “chance favors the prepared mind” is relevant to your experience at the Walt Disney World Resort. You will definitely want bring some essentials to make the most of each day you spend on Disney property. Don’t leave experiencing Disney magic to chance! Here are the most important items to bring with you through the entrance gate:
10. Comfortable shoes and clothing: Some people view going to Disney World as a fashion statement. I’ve seen guests wearing black shirts and heavy jeans during the summer. Don’t make that mistake! Disney will be sure to capitalize if you don’t check the weather and wear appropriate clothes. I even had to purchase Disney Crocs on one visit because the flip-flops I was wearing were not made for all day walking. It’s also a good idea to consider clothes and shoes that can get wet. Whether it rains or you decide to enjoy one of the many water rides, this can make or break your experience. Athletic shirts and shorts (Dri-fit type) are a safe bet for most of the year in Florida. Hats/caps can’t be underestimated here either – but just be prepared to take them off on the coasters.
9. A small backpack, purse or satchel: You’re going to need something to carry these other essentials. Less is usually more at a day in the parks, especially in this instance. No one wants to lug around anything too big or cumbersome on a hot, Florida day. I recommend a drawstring cinch bag for several reasons. It’s lightweight, easily storable on any and all of the rides, and dries easily if it rains (this will be a theme on this list). These can be purchased pretty cheap and Disney even has some themed ones so you aren’t hindered by heavy purses or bulky backpacks. Just keep in mind, each park checks bags at the security entrances but waiting in this line is worth having the following items with you!
8. Your smartphone (or at the very least a camera): This will seem like a “no-duh” statement but it still must be mentioned, especially because of the other items on this list. Video and picture taking are a must for capturing your special Disney memories so make sure you have enough memory space or extra microSDs at your disposal. Smartphones are obviously convenient and lightweight, as compared to iPads and tablets, so this is my recommendation. And with free access to internet in the parks, you can also use your device to download the Disney Experience App so you can make FastPass + and dining reservations on the fly. Just don’t forget to put it away so you aren’t constantly glued to your phone on your vacation!
7. A poncho or jacket-in-a-bag: This will be common sense to anybody who lives in Florida because afternoon showers are common place (especially in the summer). Unless you want to pay top dollar for a Mickey poncho in a flash rainstorm, I highly recommend investing in a cheap slicker-type jacket-in-a-bag. Disney used to sell these and they have come in handy! First, they don’t take up much room, and don’t need to be folded a certain way to be self contained. I usually carry two in my cinch bag with no problem – and if they get wet, they fold into itself so you can keep the rest of your essential items dry!
6. Charging cords: Because picture and video taking can use up precious battery life, it’s necessary to bring backup! I always see guests hunting for outlets and there are certainly many to be found. Charging station lockers have also begun to pop up around Disney parks for those who aren’t as prepared. During test phases they are free, but I expect they will eventually charge you for a charge. Either way, don’t miss out on capturing memories or that last minute reservation because you didn’t pack this essential!
5. A plastic waterproof storage bag: You’ll want one of these so your smartphone or camera won’t get wet on water rides or in the case of rain. You can get by with a plastic Ziploc bag as well. Make sure its big enough to put everything you don’t want soggy (electronic devices, charging cords, Disney dollars, receipts, etc). Your Magic Bands are waterproof so no worries there!
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4. Hand sanitizer: When you think about how many things you touch at Disney that hundreds of others have touched, it’s enough to make anyone a germaphobe. Even though you’ll probably wash your hands before meals, you might forget before digging into that popcorn bucket! Having sanitizer will give you piece of mind both for you and your little ones from picking up any contagious illnesses innocently passed along on railings or ride buckles.
3. Sunglasses and sunblock: Bring these or you’ll end up buying them (at hiked up prices). It’s not called the Sunshine State for nothing!
2. Gum and snacks: If you want gum, this is only way to enjoy it. Disney doesn’t sell it because people tend to spit it out haphazardly and that causes quite a mess. For those responsible gum chewers, just purchase it beforehand and pack it. Disney also will let you bring in food so snacks are okay here too. I just would hold off on packing anything that can melt… because it will.
1. A refillable water bottle: You can go the cheap route by bringing in a previously purchased bottled water here or you can sport a camelbak. You might even decide to freeze a bottle or two for the beginning of a long day – just hold on to your empty bottle. There are plenty of opportunities to refill with free cups of tap water at restaurants or at water fountains. It’s simply nice to have something if you’re in a long line or waiting for a show/parade. The alternative is paying $2.50 a bottle at the snack carts scattered throughout the park. Disney is not the place to stay thirsty, my friends.
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