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The Ultimate Disney Vacation Checklist: 10 Things to Do Before You Go

Preparing for your Disney trip is a crucial step in making sure your vacation goes off without a hitch. Here are 10 things you must do before you go to the most magical place on earth.

10. Make sure you have extra chargers/memory cards

Before you go on any vacation, you’ll want to make sure you have extra chargers and memory cards for cameras and cell phones. One of the worst things that can happen on vacation is that you go to take a photo only to find that the battery is dead or your memory card is full. Before you go, double check that you have backups of anything you’d need to keep your electronics going during your trip.

9. Pack a variety of clothes

Even if you know what the weather is like during the time of year that you’re going, you’ll still want to pack some variety of clothes. Florida weather can always be unpredictable in that it can start down pouring at any time, and the evenings can be surprisingly cool compared to the day time.

8. Book the Magical Express

Book the Magical Express service before you arrive, that way Disney will have plenty of time to send you your luggage tags. You can use the luggage tags but securing them to your suitcases so that Disney will know to pick up those bags and deliver them to your resort for you. Booking this complimentary service far enough in advance allows you to skip baggage claim at the airport and head right to your resort.

7. Set spending limits for kids

One of the most stressful things about bringing kids anywhere on vacation, is that every attraction ends in a gift shop and your kids are more than likely going to want to buy everything they see. In their defense, the kids most likely can’t understand the value of a dollar the way we do, so it’s more difficult for them to understand why they can’t have whatever they want. Explain to them before the trip that each child gets a set amount of money to spend on whatever he or she wants. This allows them to still purchase what they want, while also reinforcing the idea that they can’t have everything they see.

6. Stock up on necessities

When traveling, it’s never a bad thing to stock up on things like pain reliever, Band-Aids, sunglasses, or sunblock. Chances are you’ll forget something at home one way or another, so having a little bit extra ready to go doesn’t hurt.

5. Look up the weather

Knowing the weather ahead of time will be helpful when it comes to packing. Even though you’ll want to have some variety in your clothes, you should still look up how the weather is predicted to be that week and use that as a basis for what to pack. I would say that people generally assume Florida will be hot and humid, so packing for the summer time is never usually an issue, however people are often surprised at how “cold” Florida gets in the winter. Even if you think it sounds ridiculous, I’d recommend bringing a sweater or two, and maybe even some hats and gloves if you’re prone to get cold easily.

4. Budget spending money

Even with so many aspects of the trip paid for, there will still be plenty that you’ll need to spend money on. If you didn’t purchase the dining plan, you’ll obviously be paying for all of your meals. Even if you did purchase the dining plan, you’ll still be paying for tips. You’ll also need to factor in tips for housekeeping, the Magical Express, and souvenir shopping.

3. Book Fastpasses

If you want to get a head start on your planning, you can book your Fastpasses before you arrive. This is a great way to plan out the days of your trip if you’re someone who likes to plan ahead. If you’re not a huge fan of planning ahead, skip making Fastpass selections that you might or might not use, and instead research the best times to ride certain attractions without a Fastpass.

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2. Make dining reservations

It is very important to make dining reservations before you arrive at Walt Disney World. Many of the restaurants will fill up in advance, and it will become difficult to get a table as a walk up. By making reservations in advance, you will be guaranteed to get a table.

1. Make a plan

Making a plan is the most important piece of preparation you can do. By taking the time to research what each park has to offer and planning what days to go to which park or what rides or shows to do when, you can save a lot of time and headaches on your vacation. You can save yourself from a lot of rookie mistakes by having a game plan!

One of the best ways to be prepared is to plan and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best price for your vacation, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!

Photo courtesy of Silver Pin Studios

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."

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