Anyone who travels knows the basics of what to pack, but packing for a Walt Disney World trip requires special attention to certain items that you don’t want to leave at home or have to purchase while on your vacation.
The weather in Florida is unpredictable, except for the somewhat regular afternoon rain showers, so it is important to include weather-related articles that will come in handy when rain is in the forecast. In the spring and early months, the days can be warm to hot, and the evenings can be on the cool side, so you would be wise to pack for hot and cool weather. I have a list of ten packing suggestions I feel you should consider when planning your WDW vacation.
1. Clothing — Due to the unpredictable weather in central Florida, I suggest you pack a variety of clothing styles. For those hot, summer months, shorts and tank tops are a good choice, but you may also want to pack a lightweight jacket or sweatshirt for the cooler evenings. Hats or ball caps are important to protect your face and head from possible sunburns, and for those unpredictable afternoon showers, be sure to pack ponchos and possibly a mini umbrella for the heavier thunderstorms, which can occur occassionally. Jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and lightweight jackets are about all you would need for the cooler fall and winter months. Although Florida can have some colder weather, it usually does not require heavy jackets, gloves, or knit beanies.
2. Shoes — For a Walt Disney World vacation, it is best to bring those shoes that protect your feet from the hot asphalt, but also shoes tht are comfortable. This is not the time to break in a new pair of shoes. Walking is the primary mode of transportation for any WDW visitor, so your feet will be participating in a marathon of walking. Flip flops are good for water parks, but not the best choice for traveling around the theme parks. For those special occassions at one of the more elegant restaurants, you might want to pack a pair of dressy shoes.
3. Toiletries and Medications — Most travelers know what personal products and medications to pack for any vacation, but a Disney World vacation calls for some special products. Sun block and sunburn medication are essential for a Florida vacation, especially at the theme parks, where you will be exposed to the hot Florida sun all day. Ear plugs are not only good for swimming, but also for small children who may not appreciate the loud noises of fireworks and other special events like Fantasmic. Foot powder and soothing muscle lotion are essential for feet and joints. All that walking, entering and exiting the rides and attractions can lead to a few aches and pains, so be prepared with proper relief medications.
4. Paperwork and identification Necessities — It is always a good idea to pack all important paperwork, including ID information, Hotel confirmation, credit cards, dining reservations, thank you card or tip envelopes for Housekeeping staff, stamps for mailing those magical Disney postcards to family and friends. Most importantly for Disney Resort guests, don’t forget those Magic Bands.
5. Electronics — At most Disney Resorts, WiFi is provided free of charge, so bring your laptop, I-pad or other electronic communication devices so you can download your daily pictures or check your emails. Many guests have saved their paperwork to flash drives just in cast they lose any important information. Don’t forget to pack your cameras, phones, battery chargers, and a surge protector for safety. There are outlets in all of the Disney theme parks, where you can plug in your chargers; you just have to search them out or ask a cast member of a nearby outlet. A camera bag is an excellent choice for carrying not only your camera but your battery chargers also.
6. Food Items — Most of us who have taken many WDW vacations and stayed for a week or more find it very important to pack extra snacks and beverages for those times when you are relaxing at your resort, taking advantage of recreational activities, hanging around the pool, or taking a snack break away from the hustle and bustle of the parks. Bringing your own snacks and treats can save quite a bit of money. During the heat of the day, or when the parks are the most crowded, take a break, visit your Resort, kick back and enjoy a quick snack of fruit, peanut butter crackers, trail mix, sweet treats, etc. These small afternoon breaks are a good way to get rejuvenated and ready to enjoy the magic once again.
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7. Water Park Essentials — In addition to the Resort Hotel pools, Walt Disney World has two water theme parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizard Beach. If you stay at a Disney Resort there is bus transportation to both water parks. It is a good idea to include beach towels in your packing list. Towels are available at both water parks, but at a nominal fee. Swimsuit coverups, goggles, water flotation devices, and flip flops or aqua shoes to protect your feet from the hot concrete. Bring some of your snacks and treats along to save money. A disposable waterproof camera is a good way to document your day at the water park.
8. Disney Theme Park Guide & Maps — Don’t wait until you get to Walt Disney World to check out the location of your favorite theme park rides or attractions. You can access quite a bit of detailed information on Disney theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs, including maps which you can download and print. Of course when you arrive at any Disney theme park, there are guidebooks and maps available, but it never hurts to get a head start and give the members of your family a chance to pick out some of their favorite rides or attractions. You can also access daily openings and closings, plus check weather forecast. Bring along any information you think will be useful to plan your perfect Walt Disney World vacation.
9. Children Essentials — Walt Disney World is a child’s Paradise, where they can become a prince, princess, or pirate and enjoy the magic and fantasy that will become their dreams come true here at the most magical place on earth. What more could they possibly want or need? Well, here are a few suggestions of what to pack for those long waits at the Meet & Greet attractions or other rides. Sometimes, even with a fast pass reservation, wait times can be a bit long for a youngster. Autograph books & pens are great for getting those special character signatures, but also makes a great drawing pad, using some pages in the very back of the book. A child’s camera is great for letting your little ones capture their own images and will keep them busy for a short period. And, of course, those mini electronic games can help pass their waiting time, especially on those rides or attractions where there are no interactive queques. This would also be a good time to pull out a snack or juice box.
10. Everything Else — Okay, so you think you hve packed all you will need for your WDW Vacation. Let me add a few more suggestions: zipper bags for wet swimsuits, trash bags to tidy up your room between Housekeeping visits, pins for trading, empty bag for Disney souvenirs (collectibles, clothing, etc.), pennies and quarters for those penny pressing machines, pen flashlights, fan to block out noises, a journal to make notes of each day’s adventures, and last but not least, be sure to bring along a lot of energy—you’re gonna need it.
Well, there ya go, a Disney Insider’s packing tips. I am sure you will probably come up with your own ideas on what to pack for a Walt Disney World vacation. Even if you forget something, there are plenty of places to purchase items you may have left at home, except the paperwork. Your ID and paperwork are the most important items to pack. The rest of the list and your own ideas will make your special WDW vacation even more enjoyable.
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