Every avid Disney-goer has packing essentials for their Disney vacation. They’re the people who always seem to have extra bags to carry in to the resort full of things they need and always have extras of. You know you’ve seen them! They even get the weird looks from other guests and employees who can’t imagine why two people would need two suitcases, two computer bags, a camera backpack, and a tote bag if they’re only staying for four days. Wait, that’s just us? How embarrassing.
It’s taken me almost six years, but I’ve pretty much gotten my Disney suitcase packing down to a science. And for some crazy reason completely unbeknownst to me, I love to pack a suitcase. It’s almost therapeutic. I have my own system too, which is why Chris never offers to help. He doesn’t want to mess with the system, plus he gets off kind of easy so I’m sure he doesn’t mind!
While our must-have list has changed over the years, I think I’ve finally figured out what is needed most and what can be left behind.
Moleskin: Poor Chris gets the worst blisters when we go to Disney. We’ve gone through so many pairs of shoes with him, and no matter the shoe he still suffers. It used to be that by the end of our trips he was in so much pain he couldn’t walk, until I discovered Moleskin. At the first sight of a blister he cuts off a piece and puts it on his foot, and he is fine for the rest of the trip as long as he remembers to do this each day! It’s been such a lifesaver and makes the trips so much more pleasant.
Ponchos: I know, I know. This is on everyone’s list of must-haves when traveling to the parks but I think it’s worth mentioning for the billionth time. I always stock up on these every time I go to Target, and for $1 a poncho how could I not? They keep the rain off of you, they literally take up no space in your suitcase, and they fold up easily after the rain has stopped. Plus, they’re $7 cheaper than the Mickey ones they sell at the parks. Who doesn’t want to save some money?!
Filtered water bottles: We never buy water at Disney. It can get expensive and it’s really not worth it when you know that any quick-service restaurant inside the parks will give you a cup of ice water for free. But, I don’t like drinking water just when I’m eating, I want to carry around a bottle with me! So, I found an awesome filtered water bottle at Target for $8 and I fill it up around the parks constantly. Why filtered? To be honest, I’m not a fan of the water out of the fountains and the filter definitely helps with that. I never leave the resort without it!
Portable phone charger: Phones are our lifelines. If you get separated from loved ones at the parks you need an easy way to reach them, and you can’t really do that if your phone is dead. Plus, they’re super useful if you want to check wait times for rides or show times for your favorite parades! My Grandmother gave Chris and I USB chargers for Christmas one year and they have come in handy so many times while we’re at Disney! It’s still one of my favorite gifts to date.
Ziploc bags: Gallon sized, sandwich sized, you name it I bring it. If it’s raining or we go on a water ride, I throw our electronics in those bags and it keeps them dry. If I want to bring a snack with us, I throw it in a bag and keep it in my backpack for the day. If we eat at a restaurant and I want to bring some of the food with us for later, I put it in a bag. And, if I have a ton of little things in my photography backpack (SD cards, wireless remotes, etc), I place them all in a bag so they’re easy to find. Yep, they’re super useful!
Laundry detergent: This one may sound strange, but I like to stock up on travel laundry supplies at Target from time-to-time. Sometimes things get dirty and we need to clean them. Sometimes I realize that I didn’t pack enough undergarments or Chris doesn’t have enough shirts for the entire trip. No matter how hard I plan sometimes things just fall through the cracks. It happens! Luckily Disney has on-property laundry rooms so I can do a load if I need to. And I’ve done laundry a few times on our vacations. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
I also asked you all what kinds of things are on your can’t leave behind packing lists, and here are some of the responses I got!
‘A Brita Water bottle. It was so handy to just refill rather than buy bottles of water!’ – Christine
‘Glow in the dark sticks for younger children helps prevent expensive nighttime purchases, a hand-held fan for warm weather, moleskin for my feet, chewing bum since you can’t buy it in the parks, and a roll of quarters and a handful of pennies for the pressed penny machines.’ – Nicky
‘A camera!’ – Sarah
‘A 50mm lens (f/1.8), tripod, and a .9 neutral density filter.’ – Sean
What great tips, right? Now it’s your turn, what are your must-have park items when heading to Disney?
And if you’re in a Disney mood, stop by and check out some of my other favorite Disney posts I’ve written!