I just love taking my children to Disney and when I do, I make sure to use this ultimate Disney packing list. We’ve probably clocked in around 15-18 family vacations at the Happiest Place on Earth and so, I have a few Disney World Tips and tricks up my sleeve. Believe me, once you’ve gone a few times, packing becomes part of the fun!
I know most lists will tell you shorts, bathing suits, driver license, and hotel registration number but… um… I gather you got that information. Honestly, I think you know you need to pack toothpaste and shampoo. I mean, this isn’t your first trip out of your home. You want to know what to pack for the ultimate DISNEY trip, right? Well, these are the small things you might not have thought about to help your park visit be that much more special.
The Ultimate Disney Packing List
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Matching Family Disney Shirts
Right off the bat, I’m going to tell you right here and now that you and your family need to plan to wear matching family Disney shirts. I’m just putting the concept right on your radar! An absolute must! When you are home and working on your photo albums or sharing your memories on Facebook, you will LOVE to see your tribe in similar gear. It is the perfect addition to any Disney trip.
Your concept can be based around your favorite movie, quote, song, princesses, or villains. Whatever floats your boat. I even love it when a family simply writes Disney Family Vacation with the year on the back. You don’t have to go over the top, here! Just customize your family vacation shirt as much or little as you’d like and enjoy your getaway together.
Phone Chargers (the right ones)
Friends, there are charging stations throughout the Disney parks. In fact, throughout the years, I found that Disney has become more accommodating to the digitally connected. Easy to access wifi and designated areas to plug in and recharge. However, very rarely do I ever want to just sit and charge an electronic. I have rollercoasters to ride and fast passes to claim!
So, my advice to you is to bring two different types of chargers. Consider bringing a plug with you that you can use while sitting down to eat. Perhaps you will get lucky enough and find yourself next to an outlet. Can I be honest with you? I NEVER leave my house without a plug – ever. Also, I won’t even get on the N train without a charger in my purse.
I never know when I’ll need to give my phone another 10% boost to help get me home. This is for your security, friends. We all use our phones way too much. Teach your children to do the same thing. The last thing you want to be is stranded without any form of connectivity to help.
I would also recommend that you bring along a portable charger.
And while this portable phone charger is VERY HEAVY (I am not going to lie) it holds at least 6 full battery chargers. For a family of 5, you are talking full-blown coverage for the whole day. With just one of these, I can get everyone through an entire day at the park. Hello, thank you, and goodbye. I just want to reiterate one more time that this is a heavy battery, but it is the one I have and it is WORTH its weight in DIGITAL GOLD.
Every child wants to do at least a few character meet and greets when heading to Disney and as a parent, that means you better make sure you bring along an autograph book for each of them. You COULD try to get them all to share one… but you are taking away some of the magic when you do that. It’s true! Let’s just be honest.
Just in case you forget this – because we have all been there – Disney does sell autograph books in their shops. So, don’t fret. A Disney vacation wouldn’t be the same without an autograph book filled with signatures from all of their favorite characters. Here is the official one sold from Disney Parks. More options here. Don’t forget to include this on your Disney World Packing List.
** Don’t forget the marker.
Disney Pins are so much fun to trade. Have you ever heard about Disney pin trading before? It doesn’t matter if you are in Disney World or Disneyland, you can pin trade with any cast member on property and I highly suggest you do. Let me explain a bit about what I mean.
You’ll first need a lanyard to hold all your pins. Here is one sold by Disney available online. You could wait until you get to the parks, but I’m not sure if the prices are different once you are within the gates. Don’t forget – it’s always better to plan ahead when it comes to your Ultimate Disney trip! I always try to do as much as I can from home. That way, when I get to the parks, all I have to do is eat and ride. LOL!
Now, onto the actual Disney pins.
Official Disney word is that you should trade Disney pins for Disney pins. But we’ve gone over a dozen times and have always traded any pins we’ve had and the cast members have always taken them. So, take that information and do what you want with it.
If you’d like to start off with Disney Pins, you can click here and here for some starter kits. Again, there will be plenty of Disney pins available at the parks. Remember, you can trade pins with cast members and other guests. So, have fun.
A note to parents: talk to your children about valuing their favorite pins! My children would always make awful trades because they always felt so bad about saying NO to other kids. They would come back with a random triangle and give away a Mickey Mouse. Um… what? Don’t just assume the kids will respect or understand what pins are better than others. Most just want to trade just to trade!! Remember that. It will save you some heartache.
Yeah, I said it. I’m weird like that. Hand sanitizer is and always will be included on my ultimate Disney packing list because no matter how clean a place may be, people come with colds. And you just can’t escape that. When I see someone ahead of me sniffling and rubbing their nose and then they go ahead and reach for the turnstile, you better believe I head straight for my Purell. And I get every person in my family to lather up, too! Stuff happens!
People don’t stay at home. You have to just accept that. So, a huge packing tip from me is to expect people around you to come with the flu and you need to just be prepared to combat their little viruses! A hand sanitizer bottle is super small. Will it pain you to add it to your Disney World packing list? I don’t think so.
Yeah! I’m cheap! Whether I’m going on a Disney Park (Disney World or Disneyland), Disney Cruise, or some other form of Disney vacation, I always pack a water bottle with me because it is so much cheaper to refill than it is to buy a brand new water bottle at the store. Also, I have three kids. So, just times everything by three. When it’s time for ice cream… it’s three ice creams. So, when it comes to water… I rather just have everyone share my refillable water bottle and save about $40 each day while we are away. Don’t forget – small savings really add up!
Fam, I don’t know how you feel about the fanny pack. I’m not someone who particularly leans hard of them, but when you are really trying to edit down what you are bringing out with you to the parks, this is a great solution. Especially if you have older children and are out of the diaper bag phase. Thank you, Jesus, for getting me through the diaper bag phase!
A fanny pack can hold your credit cards, your phone (I know you have to update your social media. I am with you.), some makeup, your sanitizer, and maybe some tissues and chapstick for the kids. The absolute essentials. The things you have to get to right away.
When I go to Disney, I never bring a real purse because I don’t want to leave it anywhere. I always leave my real purse at home. I actually own a super small crossover bag that I ONLY wear on vacation. Which is actually really weird to admit now that I’ve written it down. I’m about to get even stranger because two of my cousins have borrowed that purse and taken it on vacation over the years. IIt’s the sisterhood of the traveling purse! But it’s perfect for it’s big enough for me to carry just what I need and honestly, it’s about the size of a fanny pack. So, grab a fanny pack and thank me later.
Frogg Togg Towel
Ok, you are going to think this next item is crazy, but hear me out. By wetting the Frogg Togg towel in cold water, it actually changes the temperature of the product and allows it to activate quickly and cool up to 30 degrees. So, a quick dip in some ice water (there’s plenty of ice water all of Disney – AHEM), will just CREATE a cooling device that you can walk around with and that will maintain its new temperature for around 3-4 hours.
The Frogg Togg will pretty much get you through the middle of the day. You know what I am talking about Disney lovers. The part of the day when you are walking around the Disney Park and literally melting into Main Street. The part when you are willing to swipe your credit card and buy just about anything for 25 minutes in air conditioning. $400 to become a princess at Bippity Boppiity? Absolutely! Just sit me right underneath the vent!!!
No, but seriously, on your next Disney vacation, give the Frogg Togg a shot and let me know what you think.
Don’t be cute. If I had to offer my number one advice for all women out there – it’s this. Don’t be cute. I once wore wedges to Animal Kingdom and I howled louder than the lion in the safari. People started to gather around me as if I was part of the show. Drummers encircled me and I think I summoned a third level demon. I don’t know who the hell I thought I was but I was a fool. I will tell you that.
Get a great pair of walking shoes and recognize that you will be spending all day on your feet. All day. So, if that means flip flops, sneakers, or I don’t know what – build your outfit from the bottom up. Don’t forget this tip. Remember me and how I almost didn’t make it out alive.
Over a dozen times at Disney and over a dozen ponchos bought at Disney during a storm. Please, do yourself a favor and just buy a rain poncho at home – wherever home is! Save $20 a piece!! Here is a FIVE pack for TEN DOLLARS. I am not kidding about this. Even if you don’t use the rain ponchos – you are still saving money. Hedge your bets, people.
If it rains, you are going to stay because you just spent so much money on air and hotel and tickets into the parks. So, you will need the ponchos. You will NEED them. But they are around $15-$20 a pop! Fair warning. Grab the 5 pack above and tuck them at the bottom of your bag and I hope you never have to use them. But at least you have them with you. Florida is notorious for storms coming in and out of the region. Sun showers, tropical storms, crazy wind patterns, and then a gorgeous afternoon. There’s no predicting it!! But you can prepare with this really easy packing tip.
Garbage Bags For Dirty Laundry
I always find it amazing to hear that people throw their dirty clothes into their suitcases instead of into garbage bags first. Do you then disinfect your suitcases when you get home? Wipe them down with Lysol or something? If your clothes are all muddy and dirty – I say this because I have two boys – how then can you pack for a new trip and place fresh clothes inside after just removing yucky ones? Catch my drift?
My suitcase looks like I am filming an episode of Dexter. I look like a serial killer. Plastic upon plastic. Nothing dirty touches my suitcase because I need to ensure that I’m keeping it sanitized for my next trip. So, do yourself a favor and pack about 3 or 4 garbage bags so you can load up all your dirty clothes and shoes for your return flight home.
It also makes it easier for the kids to get organized at night. They know exactly where to place all their clothes at the end of the day when we return to our hotel rooms. Hope you take this packing tip to heart. It belongs on the Ultimate Disney Packing List but can work for every other trip as well.
We usually eat all of our food at either the regular service restaurants or the quick service locations, but sometimes my kids want a little something extra during the day. Truth be told, when I am on vacation, I am on vacation, but we do always pack just a few extra snacks and keep them in our bag for when we are stuck on a line or a long bus ride home. I don’t like hangry kids or a hangry husband. So, while I still love to take advantage of all the Disney treats and eats, I do like to bring a few little extra things from home – just in case.
Detangler Spray / Wet Brush / Leave In Conditioner
This is for families with girls. Chlorine is rough on hair. And when you are on vacation and jumping in and out of the pool, it can put our locks to the test. During the summer, when I am in between pool days, I usually put a hair mask on my hair and just LEAVE it in for the day. I do that for my daughter as well. You can’t leave your hair down on these days – you have to have it up and in a bun. But ladies, it is worth it during the summer.
My suggestion to you is on days that you know you aren’t hitting the pool, give your hair a break and put a leave in condition or hair mask in and don’t rinse it out. Put a palm full and leave it from the bottom of your ears all the way down to the tip of your hair. You don’t have to do your roots since you are going to be in public. Living Proof has a great one but honestly, I love Aussie’s as well and it’s much cheaper. I know it says 3 minutes – just ignore that and leave it in.
When you get home, shower and rinse it out. Your hair will thank you BIG TIME. As far as the detangler goes, Pantene has one that is GREAT or you could always use Johnson’s. And I can’t go anywhere with my daughter without our Wet Brush. I even use one, too.
Head to the dollar store and pick up a few packets of bubbles for your kids because I am telling you right now everyone will want those bubble fans and I have about 18 of them all over my house. I could sell them out of my garage and make a full-blown living! We get them every time. Every single time! And then after we buy them, we tell ourselves that we won’t again and then when we return… it’s literally the first thing we buy. Those bubble fans suck us right in.
If you bring bubbles, it could help you one of two ways. You could try to avoid the purchase entirely. Good luck with that, by the way. OR at a bare minimum, you will have cheaper refills. Your children will use all the bubbles up in about one hour and then it will become just a fan WAHHHHH! But if you have bubble refills, you will become the coolest mom on the block.
I am no longer in this phase in my life, but I vividly remember how fabulous the stroller clip was. While you don’t think that you will need it because this is the year you promised to edit down your life, it’s just not the case. We always end up having too much stuff with us. Bring your stroller clip and give your back a break. The bottom of our strollers are never big enough to carry everything we need them too. Right? These clips act as extra arms. Total pro mom tip!
Last but not least, friends… you cannot forget your Mouse Ears. And if you don’t have any Mouse Ears, you need to buy some ASAP. There are so many different options here and here. If you act fast enough, you can even get them customized. I mean, do you love Louis Vuitton? How about a pair of knock off Louis Vuitton Mickey Mouse Ears for around $48??? I’m not kidding – check them out here. Options are endless and fabulous!
Other Items Not To Forget:
- Headache Medicine
- Hats for everyone
So, what do you think about the Ultimate packing list for Disney? Did I get you thinking a different way? If you need a printable Travel Packing List, here you go! Get started jotting down everything that works for your family today!