Walt Disney World Resort Vacations #5

Walt Disney World Resort Vacations #5

How to Pack for a Disney Vacation

After trial and error over more than a decade of Walt Disney World Resort Vacations trips, I have groomed our family’s packing list into perfection. Let me be clear: what is the “perfect packing list” for my family may not be what your family needs. However, perhaps you will find some things on my list that would be helpful for you!

Technically you could arrive at Walt Disney World Resort Vacations with only the clothes on your back and find everything you need in your resort gift shop. However, because a Disney resort shopping spree would likely cost more than my Magic Your Way package itself, I have outlined below what we bring from home.

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I pack in three categories:

  1.  Luggage (some checked at the airport, some carried on, but none of these bags make it to the parks)
  2. Stroller bag (this is a large tote bag that lives in the bottom of our stroller during our trip…speaking of strollers, either bring your own or rent from off-site to be delivered to your resort. The Disney strollers must be returned as you exit the park at the end of the day when your children are exhausted and you are exhausted, and they also have absolutely no storage. Also make sure to mark your stroller –tie bright bandannas or ribbon to the handle bars, and zip tie a laminated stroller tag to the handle bars; this not only deters stroller thieves, but also aids in locating your stroller in the sea of strollers at stroller parking)
  3. Backpack (preferably with fewest possible number of zippered pockets, because you will have to unzip EVERY section at each parks bag-check at entry; our backpack perches on an S hook or carabiner hung from our stroller handle while we are with the stroller. It is not EVER left unattended and accompanies us on all attractions and at meals.)



  • Hanging storage container for the closet (we use ours for snack-stash, for easy access)
  • Snacks (100 calorie packs, a couple boxes dry cereal and snack baggies to distribute once at WDW, pretzels, protein bars, nuts, cracker sandwiches)
  • At least 1.5 outfits for each person per day (there may be spills, and there may be days that you just want to change into a fresh outfit. I pack my children’s outfits in gallon Ziploc bags; each bag contains one outfit for each child, and the children alternate picking a bag. Before our trips we have fun Disney-fying clothes for the trip by using fabric glue to attach Mickey head shaped fabric swatches to tank tops and dresses. Coordinating clothes at least in similar colors/patterns for the children help keep track of everyone in your group, and bonus: they make your vacation photos even more impressive.)
  • Spot treatment for clothing stains and if you plan to do laundry on your vacation, bring some quarter and travel laundry detergent (you can purchase it at the resort laundromat, but of course it’s cheaper to bring from home); use your rolling luggage bag to easily transport the clothes from your room to the resort Laundromat and back
  • Dish soap (to clean out your refillable mug and water bottles)
  • Mole skin (we bring at least 2 packs each year) and scissors
  • Body glide
  • Clorox wipes/ Lysol spray to disinfect your room. (I am sure Mousekeeping does a fabulous job, but I am on high alert for germs at Disney World, because I don’t think germs are smart enough to know they simply have no place at the Most Magical Place on Earth….and think about it: people aren’t going to cancel a trip that has been planned for months or years, so they will bring their sick kids, germs and all!)
  • Envelopes for your Mousekeeping tips (I admit: I just leave the cash on the pillow though)
  • Power strip
  • Chargers for phones, camera batteries, laptops ect
  • Night light
  • Toiletries
  • Bathing suits
  • Shoes (Bring at least two pairs of different styled shoes for each person so you can alternate each day to keep “hot spots” at bay. Crocs, Teva, and Keen sandals work well…but my children always insist on bringing their $2 flip-flops too)
  • First aid kit (Band-Aids, Neosporin, etc) and medicine (pain reliever, decongestant, Pepto, etc)
  • Window clings and other fun things to decorate your resort room window
  •  Band-Aid Blister Block stick (coat on everyone’s feet in the morning, particularly where their shoes may rub to prevent “hot spots”…once a hot spot start, switch to mole skin)
  • Diapers and swim diapers for the un-potty trained set, along with a pool float if you have a special one (the resort pools provide life jackets)
  • Inflatable beds for young children (aids in more restful sleep on our trips)
  • ID bracelets for young children 

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Stroller Bag

  • Bathing suits for children for the many fountains
  • Ponchos (purchase at least one 2pack from Dollar Tree for EACH person in your family –they don’t dry out very well, thus making them usually a one-time use item)
  • Extra change of clothes for little ones
  • Clear shower curtain and 2 clamps (to protect stroller and contents in rain storms)
  • Water bottles (all Counter Service and Table Service restaurants will refill them with ice water for free)
  • Snacks (peanuts, cereal/fiber/granola bars, dried fruit, goldfish, ect); you are allowed to bring food into parks
  • Glow sticks (to distract children from the overpriced light-up toys sold by the plethora of carts in the parks after dark; these are also fun to share with unsuspecting strangers who weren’t prepared with proper distraction –spread the Magic!)
  • Travel spray bottles (to fill with ice water for heat relief)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses (bring at least one cheap pair for everyone; losing your fancy Ray Bans on Splash Mountain might put a damper on your trip)
  • Germ gel (actually lives in  our stroller cup holder all week)
  • Wet wipes (I prefer the antibacterial type, given my germ issues)
  • Baggie with a few Mole skin pieces (a God-send for the pre-blister “hot spots” that plague my husband’s feet)
  • Portable USB charger

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  • Cell phones
  • Camera –video and still (I like to keep mine separate because chances are if there is something I want video footage of, I am also going to want still photos of the same event), extra batteries and large memory card for each
  • Diaper (for emergencies, like when your fully potty trained 5 year old decides they must use the bathroom right away or they will pop, and Universe of Energy has just started the 37 minute portion of the ride –the one where you are not allowed to exit for any reason short of life threatening emergency)
  • Your personalized travel guide from Disney Planner Skye Durrer (skye@skyesthelimitvacations.com)
  • Lanyards and pins/autograph books and pens/penny pressing canisters
  • Magic Bands
  • Ziploc bags (to store wet clothes and food –like cookies, muffins, whole fruit, ect — we can’t finish at Table Service meals)
  • Travel germ gel (you can never have enough germ gel; think about the YUCK that your children contract by touching the railings and handles in a place visited by 100,000 people a day.)
  • Travel tissues
  • “Meal pack” for babies and toddlers (pack Ziploc baggies with disposable place mats, silverware and sippy cup for a single meal)

Now, take a deep breath as I realize you may feel overwhelmed. I would suggest starting early- make a list and carry it with you, keep an eye out for fun (cheap) Disney things to pack to surprise your kids, and visit the dollar store to get as much as you can from your list. Every year a month prior to departure I get out a basket and start tossing things in it that I know I will need. My friend keeps a running list in her phone and checks things off when she makes it to the dollar store or finds the mole skin from last year and tosses it in her special WDW box stored in her closet.

It feels better to go into our vacation excited instead of panicked about forgetting something. Some of these items may seem trivial but I promise the littlest things can make the difference between a good trip and a fantastically magical one; of course, I choose fantastically magical! If there is something that you do forget, you most likely will be able to find it at Disney World… but it will cost you!

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Happy Planning!


Don’t forget to check out all the other great advice on planning your Walt Disney World Resort Vacations.

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