Anyone who’s travelled with kids knows that packing just the right amount of stuff for a vacation is no small feat. If a trip to Disney is in your brood’s future, here are 20 must-have items that will have you feeling just like your family’s Fairy Godmother.
1. An extra suitcase or duffel bag
In addition to the world-class shopping at Disney Springs, most Walt Disney World attractions have you exit through the gift shop. That means souvenirs—lots of souvenirs. Bring along a small, empty suitcase or duffel bag with your other luggage, so you have room for all your new goodies.
When kids get hot, bored and hungry, they get cranky. Stop tantrums before they happen by packing plenty of portable snacks in your park bag. Granola bars, apples, crackers, raisins and string cheese are all good choices.
3. Bubbles or small toys
Whether you’re stuck in a long line or staking out a spot for the parade, waiting cannot be entirely avoided at Disney World. A light-up bubble wand, a Mickey plush, or other small toys can help to keep kids occupied in-between activities.
You might think all the Disney fun happens inside the parks, but the pools at the on-property resorts are a great way to cool off when the temperatures soar. Even if your schedule is jam-packed with park days, throw the swimsuits in your bag just in case—a relaxing afternoon in the pool can help energize your family for an evening of rides and fireworks.
5. Extra (comfortable) shoes
Even if you don’t get soaked on Splash Mountain, pop-up showers are practically an everyday occurrence in Florida. Unless you want to be stuck with soggy shoes all day, pack an extra pair so you can switch them out as needed.
6. Ponchos or umbrellas
There’s no need to let rainy days ruin your vacation. These can actually be some of the best days to visit the parks because most people run for cover, leaving you with less crowds and shorter wait times. Pack a few ponchos or umbrellas so you can keep the fun going without missing a beat.
Florida sun. Enough said.
8. Day Pack
Do yourself a favour and pack your theme park necessities in a small(ish), easy-access bag or backpack. Stick to one without too many zippers or pockets and the guards (and other guests in line) at the security checkpoint will thank you.
9. Water Bottles
You can easily purchase water bottles all over Disney (and many quick service restaurants will give you free cups of ice water), but the easiest way to ensure everyone in your group stays hydrated is to carry your own bottles and refill them throughout the day. You’ll save a ton of money on water, too!
True, many Disney attractions are indoors, and there are plenty shady spots, but that Florida sun can sneak up on you fast. Better to start your day with sunscreen and reapply once or twice than to start your vacation with a (painful) sunburn.
11. Matching shirts
Outside of being super cute, matching shirts actually serve a purpose. When you’re dressed alike in bright colours, it’s much easier to spot one another in a crowd.
While credit and debit cards or a Magic Band can be used to pay for most expenses, you will need cash to tip bell services and Mousekeeping attendants. Also, only some penny press machines take cards, so change is helpful if you want to take advantage of this cheap souvenir.
13. Portable charger
Between all the cute photos you’ll be taking and using the My Disney Experience app to track FastPass+ and dining reservations, your phone battery will drain faster than you can say Mickey Mouse. With a portable charger, you can fuel your devices on the go, so you never miss out on the chance to document those special moments.
14. Resealable plastic bags
You won’t regret tossing a few small and large resealable bags into your luggage. These are great for storing snacks and holding wet or dirty clothing.
15. Laundry supplies
No one wants to do laundry on vacation. But doing a few loads near the end of your trip can lighten the load when you get home. Disney’s on-property resorts have laundry services, but you’ll spend less if you pack your own travel-sized detergent and dryer sheets.
16. Handheld fan or mister
A small fan (bonus points if it clips on to your stroller) or misting spray can help keep your kiddos cool when the sun is blazing. Don’t be surprised if passersby ask for a spritz!
17. First aid kit
Blisters and boo-boos happen, even on vacation. Be prepared with a small first aid kit that includes bandaids, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes and anything else you think you may need.
18. Autograph book and pen
Disney fan kids are going to want to snag a few character autographs. Bring your own notebook and pen from home (there are plenty available in the parks if you forget) for an inexpensive and fun keepsake.
19. Portable high chair
If your little one still uses a high chair, attaching a portable version to one of the seats in your hotel room will ensure you have a safe place to sit them down for meals and snacks.
20. Hats and hair ties
Fast-moving rides plus Florida humidity can be the downfall of even the best hair days. Keep a hat or hair tie in your bag to tame your mane if it gets a little wild.