Stay organized while planning your next vacation with these five Disney packing tips!
As much as I like to believe that I’m a semi-pro at planning a Disney vacation, there is one thing that I just cannot deny: I suck at being a light packer. If you’ve ever seen Chris and I bring stuff into the room from our car, you’d swear we were moving in (not that I’d have a problem with that, though Disney might!). We’ve gotten quite a few funny looks as we lug in our suitcases, computer bags, my Keurig (yes, I am that person who brings her own coffee machine), and all the baby stuff that now comes with us. I tend to justify my excessive packing by saying a lot of it is for the toddler (haha), but the truth is Chris and I just can’t leave some stuff at home.
Even though packing light is a bit challenging for me I do try to stay somewhat organized about it. Using my Disney packing tips really does help me stay on track and keep the mom brain at bay!
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When Chris and I first started traveling to Disney I was under the impression that we could wash clothes at the resorts, buy the refillable mugs for coffee and coke, and pick up whatever I forgot on Disney property. Well, after a while I realized that all of that added up. I mean, $10 to do a load of laundry? No thank you. Also, who wants to do laundry on vacation? I don’t even want to do it when I’m at home!
When I realized just how much extra we were spending on the little things I began to look for ways to cut those costs and keep that money for souvenirs. Don’t want to do laundry? Pack more clothes. Want coffee and coke without buying refillable cups? Bring your Keurig and pack a big thing of soda from Sam’s Club in the car for the drive down. Now I realize that not everyone takes their car to Disney, but there are still ways you can get around this! Though, if you like to keep those refillable mugs as souvenirs you should buy them. We have plenty and I love them! But they’re only worth it (for us) if we’re staying at the resort for more than four days.
We typically stay at value resorts, and they do not have coffee pots in the rooms. Some of the moderate and deluxe resorts do though, so I suggest checking on that when you book your room.
Over the years I’ve learned what to cut and what I think is essential to bring for us to be comfortable. Everyone’s level of comfort is different, so what I think is a necessity may not work for you. But hopefully these packing tips will work for you no matter how minimalist you are in packing for your Disney trips!
Use these five Disney packing tips to keep you organized and save you money!
+ Keep a detailed list of everything you need
I am a huge list maker and that really helps me weed out the unnecessary items I tend to pack. I also have a bad case of mom brain and can’t remember anything to save my life. I’ve learned that if I don’t make lists and keep them in multiple places around the house (no lie, I have about three running Disney lists in various places) I will forget something important and then kick myself for the entire 13 hour drive down to Orlando.
+ Use one small bag for overnight items
If you are flying into Orlando and taking Disney’s Magical Express to your resort, it can take up to three hours for your bags to get to your room. Use one small suitcase as your carry on and pack overnight essentials in it. I suggest this because if it’s bedtime and you still haven’t gotten your bags, you’ll want to have your pajamas and toothbrush readily available so you can get a good nights sleep in for the next day. Plus, if you have kids, bedtime routines are crucial to keeping them happy (and for keeping your sanity).
+ Utilize Amazon Prime for on-site deliveries
In the past, Chris and I have had items shipped to our resort so that we don’t have to worry about packing them in our suitcases. We typically use Amazon (and our prime two-day shipping comes in handy a lot!) and suggest using it for snacks, drinks, or if you’ve forgotten something and don’t have a way to get to a nearby supermarket. All you have to do is ship the package to whatever resort you’re staying at and put your confirmation number on the shipping label! Your package will be delivered to your room after you check in.
PRO TIP: If you use online check-in you must call the front desk to let them know you have a package waiting for you! They will not deliver it otherwise.
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+ Bring Plastic Baggies
I love ziploc bags, specifically the freezer sized ones. They’re great for organizing smaller items like toddler socks and shoes, cell phone chargers, and medications in your suitcase. But they’re also really helpful when you’re in the parks! We pack extra and use them to keep our cell phones dry in the rain and to keep an extra outfit on hand for our toddler.
+ Keep your magic bands in your purse
Okay, this may seem like a no brainer but I cannot tell you how many times I have accidentally packed away our magic bands. It is a huge pain to go check-in and realize you have to walk back out to your car, pull out the suitcase and start going through it to find them. Keep them out where they are easily accessible and you won’t have the issue I can’t seem to get away from.
+ (BONUS TIP) Plan for a late check-in
If you arrive at your Disney Resort early chances are you won’t be able to check in until 3pm. If this happens, have a back-up plan. Remember the overnight bag I suggested earlier? Pack some bathing suits in it as well! You can leave your bags with the bag check attendants and they will deliver them to your room whenever it’s ready. That way you don’t have to look after your carry-on’s while you’re enjoying pool time with your family.
+ (BONUS TIP) Download the My Disney Experience APP on your phone
If you’re not into paper lists for things like your confirmation number, dinning reservation information, and Fastpass times and dates, the My Disney Experience APP will keep all of that information right on your phone for you. This is the major reason I suggest bringing a cell phone charger into the parks because you will access the app a lot and drain your battery! You can also find things like attraction wait times, your photopass photos, and times for fireworks and parade shows on it. It’s a handy little tool and one you shouldn’t go without.
PRO TIP: If you connect to Disney’s wi-fi when you’re in the park you’ll save a little bit of your battery life!
While I am not the model person for helping you plan a minimalist suitcase for Disney, I can give you a general idea of what is necessary and what you can leave at home to save some money! You can also download this Disney Planning Details Printable that will help you keep all of your important information in one easy to access place!
What Disney packing tips or tricks do you have? Did I miss anything?
Check out more tips for planning your Disney vacations!