Magic Bands

11 Walt Disney World Vacation Travel Essentials

You’re headed for Disney World and now it’s time to pack. You know there are many essentials you’re going to want to remember to bring along for the trip. While decisions may vary from family to family on what items are necessary, most will agree that these 11 items are absolutely essential.


1. Face Coverings

Cast Members Masks

Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up). Disney is requiring all guests to bring their own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. Disney’s guidelines state that all face coverings should:

  • Fully cover an individual’s nose and mouth and allow the Guest to remain hands-free
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Be made of breathable material, either disposable or reusable
  • Costume masks are not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn.
  • The use of face coverings is not a substitute for physical distancing.

2. MagicBands

For Annual Passholders and those staying on Disney Resort property, MagicBands are considered essential. With a MagicBand you have all the Disney magic right at your fingertips (or in this case, right on your wrist). While there are still those who rely on cards, MagicBands have emerged to become the more popular choice, as they serve a host of functions. Your MagicBand acts as your room key, park entry ticket, meal card (for those with a Disney Dining Plan) and can even be linked to credit cards and used for making purchases. You can customize and order your very own MagicBand online while booking your vacation, and it will be delivered to you prior to your trip. But if you are for any reason unable to do so, you may pick up MagicBands from your hotel’s concierge or purchase them (and have them customized and activated) at a number of locations throughout the various parks and other Disney affiliated locales.  

3. Reservation numbers

Make sure to bring with you copies of all your reservation numbers. This is crucial information to have, especially considering many experiences and dining arrangements must be made well in advance. It’s always a good idea to print out the originals and make additional copies to keep with you in your pocket, in your luggage, and given to each member of your party for assurance that you have the necessary information you need when you need it.

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4. Ponchos and rain gear

You never know when a vagabond cloud is going to pass through. That’s why you should always be prepared with a poncho at the ready and other protective rain gear. You should always keep your ponchos handy with you as you visit the parks, and most are packaged conveniently to fit in your pocket. If you’re carrying a bag you may also want to consider a compact umbrella and/or hat. Also note, it never hurts to pack rain boots and a rain coat to leave in your room, given the chance you will be returning before heading out again, but you’ll get by conveniently with just the aforementioned essentials.

5. Two pairs of shoes

walking shoes

In considering the rain and the many other reasons your shoes may get wet, we recommend bringing a second pair with you on your vacation. Many visitors already know that some rides can be drenching. Also, you may have taken preparations for rain, but there’s still that overlooked consideration in regards to your shoes. You don’t want to spend the rest of your vacation shuffling around with wet shoes! So break out your second pair and let your others dry out for the following day.

6. Mandatory medicines

You want to enjoy Disney World to the fullest, without the limitations of pain and other debilitations. That’s why it’s essential to pack all the necessary medicines you may need. From any mandatory daily requirements (prescriptions, diabetes medicine, etc.) to those extras your may end up needing like Dramamine® and painkillers, it’s vital for the welfare of your vacation to come prepared and ready to ensure an optimal vacation time.

7. Sunscreen

It’s easy to overlook the time you spend in the sun during a visit to Walt Disney World. From pools to park visits and other outdoor recreational endeavors, you’ll be so busy having fun that you probably won’t notice the outward effects of the harsh Florida sun until you return to your room. That’s why it’s imperative to take the necessary precautions in preventing burns with the proper amount of sunscreen.

8. Swimsuits

Every Disney World Resort hotel has pools on its grounds, and then with waterparks like Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon offering up waves of watery fun, you simply can’t afford to forget packing your swimsuit. It’s Florida, and Disney pools are open all year long. So even if you’re traveling here from Alaska in the winter, you’re going to want to go swimming once you get here—perhaps even more so if that is the case.

9. Cellphones (electronic devices) and chargers

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This day and age cellphones serve many crucial purposes, but most importantly they still serves as your primary source for communication. Especially now, Disney is planning to use the MyDisneyExperience App more than ever for guests to keep up with park plans. And of course, if you’re going to bring your phone you have to bring your charger and any essential connecting ports to stay fueled. In fact, many people like to bring portable chargers to the parks as well in order to keep phones fully charged throughout the day. Depending on the family, other potentially crucial electronic devices to consider are digital cameras, camcorders, tablets, etc.

10. Light jacket/sweatshirt

Okay, so you may be in Florida but that doesn’t mean you should skimp out on bringing along a lightweight jacket or sweater. Even Florida nights can get a little chilly at certain times of the year, and with the many indoor venues cranking up the AC to full blast on some of the hottest days, you don’t want to be left cold. Sweatshirts and light jackets also serve the alternative purpose of added protection from lighter rain and dampness if you’d rather save the poncho for heavier downpours or drenching events.

11. Money and gift cards

Disney Gift Card

You can’t deny that having cash on hand is crucial when traveling. Even if you prepay for a number of experiences, including Disney Dining, you’ll find there are many extras to consider. What about that additional snack or that customized pair of Mickey Ears you’ve been dreaming of?  Money is mandatory for traveling to any destination, and Disney is no exception. So be sure to pack essential monetary needs, including any Disney gift cards and other value discounts and coupons you may have. You never know when they may come in handy.

In addition to these key travel essentials, every vacationer has their own personal list of must-bring items to consider. So remember to plan accordingly and bring with you any and all personal essentials you rely on daily or those you do not feel you cannot survive without. Your vacation at Disney World is worth it in ensuring you have the most magical time.

About Laura

Laura Catherine aka “LC” is a writer who resides in Maryland with her family and several pets. She visits Walt Disney World whenever she can. Additionally, she is a published author of three novels, a children’s book, and has a passion for gardening.