Hi friends! Guess what? I’m in DISNEY WORLD! Today is our first day in the parks and we’re having a BLAST!!!! If you know me, then you probably know that Disney is in my top 5 favorite places in the world! I’ve been tons of times with lots of different people and I’ve had the time of my life every single time. Every time someone tells me that they don’t like Disney World, I respond with, “You just didn’t do it right, then.” Because I honestly think EVERYONE can have a great time at Disney as long as they go into it with a great attitude!
I’m going to put a post together on all of the tips and things I consider a ‘can’t miss’ in Disney. First things first, though. You’ve got to pack for your trip. So, I’m sharing my Ultimate Disney Packing Guide for those of you who are getting ready to head to the happiest place on earth!
Ultimate Disney Packing Guide
For your suitcase:
- Nike Shorts. My family and I almost exclusively wear athletic clothing in the Disney Parks. Why? Because you are constantly moving and it can get super hot in South Florida. With people clocking in at 14 miles of walking in one day, you’re going to want to be dressed for it. My wardrobe us usually 100% nike shorts (or similar options) in the summer months. I add in some leggings if the weather is going to be cooler. I’ve only worn jeans in the parks once and I regretted it… And it was Epcot… too many snacks and not enough elastic! Plus if you get wet/rained on in jeans… GROSS!
- Disney Shirts. Are you really in WDW if you don’t have Mickey on your shirt? LOL! But for real, I usually wear at least one (usually several) Disney themed tees while on my WDW Vacation. My fav spot to shop for these is Etsy! They have some really fun, really unique options for your whole family. I’ll share my looks for this vacay in another post. If you’re ever going to wear something fun like this, Disney is place. You will only look cooler, I promise!
- Sports Bras. I only wear sports bras in WDW because, lets get real for a sec, I hate boob sweat. I hate boob sweat even more when it’s in my nice underwire bras. Plus, who wants to be bouncing around on all those rides… not me! A sports bra, with the addition of being comfortable, is super practical for braving the Disney mayhem.
- Light Jacket. If you’re headed to WDW in the months of May, June, July, or August, you can pretty much ignore this one. But if you’re not, then I suggest bringing a light jacket. If you stay at the parks late at night like we do (oh… you’re open till 1 am? we’ll be there) the wind can get a little chilly sometimes. Especially if you’re sitting around at Fantastic or Illuminations. The wind over that water can get cold really quick!
- Shoes. I usually wear only my comfiest tennis shoes in the parks. Sometimes in the summer, I will pack comfy sandals like Chacos for any day where I want my feet to breathe. But DO NOT, and I mean this, DO NOT break in new shoes on your trip to WDW. Only take your broken in, fool proof, comfy shoes. You can thank me later. I would avoid flip flops or anything with an open back. You do not want to have to worry about keeping your shoes on during all the fun!
- Your EARS! If you’re planning to buy ears in the park, then this won’t apply to you. But if you’re like me and you have a different pair of ears to match every day’s outfits, you’ll most likely buy/make those ahead of time. When you pack these, be super careful. There is nothing worse than opening up your suitcase to reveal broken ears (especially if they’re- DIY). For these instances, I like to bring a hot glue gun. We’re driving, so we have ample amounts of car space (I hope… 4 girls so maybe not) and I like to bring a sturdy plastic box filled with everyone’s ears and hats and sunglasses so that nothing gets broken in transit. If you’re flying, I suggest putting them in your carry on where you can keep an eye on them and then you’ll have them as soon as you get off the plane because as far as I’m concerned, the moment you enter Florida, you’re basically in Disney World!
- Magic Bands. Who am I kidding? I wear my magic band the moment we get in the car to head to WDW or even to the airport! But if you don’t like to silently brag about your WDW trip to everyone you see, make sure that you pack this as it’s your key to EVERYTHING while in WDW! If you’re not staying on site, you’ll get a room key card. I suggest buying a lanyard or something so that you don’t have to dig it out of your wallet every time you need it for something!
- Breakfast. We always do the WDW Dining plan. It’s the best discovery we ever made back when I was younger and we love it (I’ll talk more about it in another post). But I hate wasting my snack credits on breakfast unless its something super special. So I always bring a box of pop-tarts to grab and eat while on the Bus to the park. That way I can spend my snack credits or $$ on better snacks!
Packing Tip: Plan all of your outfits ahead of time. Like, down to the underwear and socks. Like I said before, you’re going to want to be super comfy so it shouldn’t be hard to match those outfits before hand. Then two things will happen. #1 You’ll be dressed faster than lightning in the morning which means more sleep and more park time! #2 You can look forward to your different outfit days and plan specifically for each park. I’ve planned my outfits around our park day and the activities I know we will be doing in those parks. I’m wearing Silver shorts today for Hollywood Studios (#moviestar) and leopard print on our day in Animal Kingdom. I have a ‘Best Day Ever’ shirt for Magic Kingdom, because duh! And I plan on eating myself around the world in Epcot, hence the ‘#Snackgoals’ tee!
For your Park Bag:
- Backpack or Fanny Pack. I like to carry a full size backpack. My sister argues that a fanny pack is fine. My sister also ends up storing all of her larger items in my backpack… So I’m thinking I win this debate! At least one person in your party should carry a backpack. You’ll need the space for some stuff. But fanny packs are great for everyone else. That way you don’t have to keep bugging the backpack girl for your phone, chapstick, etc.
- Ponchos. It will rain. Pretty much every afternoon you’ll get a little shower. Be prepared. Don’t wait to buy a poncho in the park. They’re expensive. We buy good ponchos (not the plastic ones) so that they don’t get all sticky and gross. I’ve done the raincoat thing. And while it’s much cuter, the ponchos cover more of your surface area an keep you much dryer. Plus you can sit on them if the ground is a little wet for the nighttime shows!
- Sunglasses. This is Florida guys (or Cali for Disneyland). The sun is going to shine and it’s going to be BRIGHT! Avoid seeing parades through squinty eyes and bring some sunnies. If you’re not good at keeping up with them, buy cheap ones or get a sunglass lanyard so that they don’t fall off! I usually bring my nice ones, but as a rule, as soon as I get inside a ride’s line, I take them off and put them in their case in my backpack so that I don’t lose them.
- Sunscreen. I’ll be honest, I don’t usually pack this because I don’t typically get sunburnt, but I’ve traveled with people who do! This is a great thing to have if you do have a tendency to sunburn and especially for the kiddos! You’ll be out in the sun a good bit! PS: Don’t forget your feet if you’re wearing sandals… That could suck!
- Chapstick. Maybe this is just me, But I don’t go ANYWHERE without my chapstick. Better to be safe than sorry guys.
- Phone with My Disney Experience App. If you don’t have the app, go get it! you can load all of your reservations, fast passes, and itineraries onto the app and it will keep you posted on ride wait times, show times, when your reservations and fast passes are coming up, and if you can book any new fast passes. It’s a life saver for the trip.
- Backup Phone Charger. Bring either your regular phone charger and search for plugs or just a backup charger in case you start to die. We try to avoid this by making sure everyone has the app and using alternating phones throughout the day!
- Camera. You’ll bring your phone, duh! But if you’re wanting to take a bunch of great photos, you’ll probably want to carry your nicer camera. There is the option of the Memory Maker for those of you who don’t want to carry a camera or deal with taking pics. This is really great for larger parties. Basically anytime you see those photographer around the park, stop and get them to take a pic. Then they will scan your magic band and you’ll have access to all of those images. You’ll also have access to your ride pictures. Those are always super fun!
- Tylenol. There will be a time when someone in your party has a headache. Give them a coke and some Tylenol and get on with the fun! No need for anyone to sit out on anything if they don’t have to! Also, you’ll probably annoy each other at some point. I always travel to WDW with my little sister. We may be 25 & 20, but we still tend to get on each others nerves. Take your Tylenol and put a smile on your face and remember you’re in the happiest place on earth… act like it! (that is a word for word quote from my mother on our last WDW trip).
- Body Glide. You may think I’m crazy but I promise I’m not. You’ll be walking… a lot. And it gets super hot. Unless you’ve got thigh gap for days and 0% body fat, your skin is going to rub together in places that can become painful. I tend to use it on my inner thighs and between my skin and bra under my arms. There is NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING worse than being chaffed in the parks. BE PROACTIVE! Use it on your feet where your shoes rub and don’t forget the kiddos. They get chaffed too! I’m telling you, this stuff will keep you from crying later!
- Water Bottle. Just in case you get thirsty. Water is free in the parks and you can refill it anytime.
- Pony Tails & Bobby Pins. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. When your ponytail breaks and you have to go buy a $10 minnie mouse pony tail holder. Don’t be stupid like me. Just pack extra!
- A Watch. This isn’t technically in your park bag but on your body! You’ll have reservations to get to and fast passes to make. If your phone dies or you don’t feel like digging it out. This will be a huge help. My watch is my Fitbit – which is also a super fun thing to have in the parks. 20k steps and counting!