Hey girl, what’s in your suitcase? Glad you asked! Have a peek at my ultimate Disney World packing list. I should note we love a road trip and usually drive to Disney World. This gives us a bit more space flexibility than if we are flying. I think this list works for both, but you may need to tailor it suit any luggage constraints.
- Clothes – Let’s talk attire. What to wear at Disney World comes down to personal preference. More than likely it will be hot, and you’ll get wet. You should plan to wear clothes you know you find comfortable. For me that means a lot of dresses. I find them to be pleasant, breezy and cool. I will note, with skirts/dresses, you may want to be mindful of length. Shorter lengths can be challenging to for getting in and out of low attractions such as Test Track in Epcot. I will wear tanks and shorts too. Andy prefers shorts and sleeveless tees. He’ll wear t-shirts sometimes, but he’s usually happier in the men’s tanks. More athletic style wear helps to wick away sweat and moisture, and could be worth considering. But it’s all about what you think you’ll feel best in when it’s hot and humid. Plan for plenty of clothes! You may find yourself wanting to change during the day. We do! It’s amazing how refreshed it can make you feel.
- Shoes – You will be walking. For miles, and miles, and miles. If you’re new to Disney World the amount of steps you take may surprise you. One of the things I SWEAR BY to keep my feet fresh is switching up my shoe game. I try not wear the same pair of shoes more than 2 days in a row. I recommend allotting a little extra suitcase space and bringing 2-4 pairs of shoes that you love. My favorite park shoes are Olukai Ohana flip flops. My husband likes those and Rainbows. I prefer to have my feet open, not enslaved in socks and shoes. Even still I will also wear a shoe like classic Keds, Converse Chuck Taylors, Toms, Vans, or a moderate athletic shoe every couple of days to keep my feet fresh. My parents are more comfortable in athletic shoes like Aasics or Nikes. My mom is trying out a pair of Allbirds this trip. You do you! But I do advise several pairs, and ones you have broken in, that you know are comfortable. Your trip to Disney world is not the time to experiment. Trust me on that.
- Sunglasses – Obvious. I also like to bring an extra pair – just in case!
- Hat – I love to wear a hat in Disney World. It may seem anti-intuitive to put something on your head in the heat, but a hat (especially a fedora or wide-brimmed hat) helps to keep your face and neck shaded. I’m usually in a straw fedora.
- Sunscreen – Choose your favorite and keep it at hand. It’s nice to have both lotion/spray and a stick for your face.
- After Sun Lotion – I do my best to keep sunscreen/hat on to avoid need of this. But I believe that re-hydrating my skin after a day of Florida sun goes a long way to ward off burn and irritation. This is hands down my favorite post-sun lotion.
- Ponchos – It’s probable you’ll encounter rain on your trip. Fortunately it doesn’t usually last long! In the summer months especially, a small storm or shower will pass through and then move along. Keeping a poncho with you to stay dry is really great. I find it miserable to get rained on and then walk around in hot, damp clothes waiting for them to dry in the Florida humidity.
- Waterproof Mascara – Let’s talk make-up ladies. I don’t tend to wear a lot of make-up in Disney World. It’s hot, you sweat, and it just doesn’t hold. However, I don’t like to go anywhere without mascara. In Disney World I highly recommend switching to a waterproof mascara. (I’m giving this one a go this trip.) Between sweat, water elements, misters, pool time, it saves the day by keeping black from running down your face. The other thing I usually wear is a tinted moisturizer/sunscreen combo. It evens skin tone without being heavy.
- Makeup Removal Wipes – Waterproof mascara is stubborn these help with removal before a face wash. They’re also great for cleaning your face before/after a trip to the pool.
- Gold Bond/Glide – Hubby discovered the need for this on our honeymoon. This helps keep chaffing at bay. Gold bond makes a small travel bottle that would be perfect for the park bag to keep things fresh.
- Portable External Charger – Disney World has a way of draining your cellphone battery. You use it to snap photos, check wait times, order food, and of course check in on social media. There are charging stations throughout Disney World, but I prefer to charge on the go. Something like this external charger (or this) is inexpensive, small, and lightweight. Perfect to slip in your park bag and juice up your phones when needed. Also don’t forget chargers and cables for any other electronics you’ll be packing.
- Hand Sanitizer – Lots of people in Walt Disney World. A little hand sanitizer is handy in helping keep germs at bay when you’re on the go in the parks. Bath & Body works makes cute ones that clip on your bag to be at the ready.
- Brita water bottles – *TIP* You can get a free cup of ice water in any counter service location at Disney World. Awesome. But when you’re thirsty in line, that doesn’t help. Purchasing bottled water in the parks adds up quickly. We like to bring filtered water bottles into the parks with us. The water at Disney World doesn’t taste all that great. (It’s gross, actually.) But these filtered water bottles take care of that so you can refill at any fountain and stay happily hydrated without breaking the bank.
- Lysol spray – I touched on this in my last post. I like to have this on hand in the hotel to spray down surfaces to kick the germs. This is great to do with your park bag when you get back to the hotel too.
- Clorox Wipes – I love Clorox Wipes. They’re handy for messes and sanitizing. What’s not to love?
- Laundry Bag/Pop-up Hamper – It’s much nicer to be in a clean & tidy space. Providing a spot for your dirty clothes keeps the aesthetic a bit nicer and the mess down. All Disney hotels have a laundry facility. Should you chose to clean a load of clothes on a pool day, it makes dealing with that much easier.
- Mickey/Character Gear – This may be a bit redundant, but don’t forget your favorite Disney shirt/watch/shoes/hat etc.
- Swimsuit/Coverup – Disney World hotels have GREAT themed pools, most with water-slides and other bells and whistles. I wholeheartedly suggest you take advantage of them on your trip. Nowadays Disney has controlled hours of their pools with locked gates. But, when I was little my mom used to get up early and take me swimming before we hit the parks. I love those memories. There is also Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach if you want to hit a Disney water park. Disney provides the towels. Wahoo! You can skip packing those.
- Ziploc Bags – These are useful for a multitude of things. I especially love them for holding wet clothes/items or to keep wet OFF of certain things. Don’t want your sunscreen to explode in your bag? Ziploc. Boom!
- Laundry Pods – I usually pack a tupperwear container with 3-4 of these because I often end up doing a load or two of laundry. They don’t take up much space and it’s much cheaper than buying from your Disney hotel.
- Tide To Go – This snazzy little “pen” is perfect for the hotel or park bag to keep any Mickey Premium Bar, ketchup, or the like from permanently staining clothes.
- Lightweight sweater/sweatshirt – OK, now I know what you’re thinking. “This woman has lost her mind. She’s been doing nothing but talking about the heat and now she’s saying pack a sweatshirt?!” I won’t be dragging one around the park, but the air conditioning can be chilly inside in Disney World. Especially if you’re wet from the pool/sweat. In the evening post swim or what not it can be nice to toss on. I also like to make this a gift shop purchase from the resort where I’m staying. I have a zip sweatshirt from Animal Kingdom Lodge that I just adore and a pull-on hoodie from Wilderness Lodge that put me in the Disney state of mind in the winter.
- Snacks – I’m not huge on bringing food to Disney World, especially into the parks. It’s a great way to save cash, but I love to eat Disney chow when I’m there. It’s part of the experience. That being said, it’s nice to have a couple of your favorite options on hand in your hotel room. (And in your park bag for hangry if you have kids… or yourself…) If you’re considering bringing your own food/beverages into the parks just remember – no alcohol or glass is allowed. And be sure to bring things that aren’t going to melt on you.
- Band-Aids + Neosporin – At times, despite our best efforts to wear our most wonderful shoes, we end up with blisters. Having these already packed is lifesaving. I especially like to have Band-Aid Hydro Seal Blister Heels in my bag in addition to an assortment of (Disney themed, of course!) regular Band-Aids.
- Motrin IB/Advil/Tylenol – Whatever your favorite OTC pain reliever is, I would bring it along and keep it on you to fend off headaches and the like. I’d like to note that all of Disney’s parks have a great First Aid station where you can get bandages, ice packs, and OTC medications if you’re in need. (Hopefully you’ll have no need though!)
- Cash – We never carry cash so I have make a note to get some before trips. (Perhaps I am speaking out of turn, but I find that younger generations frequently don’t carry it.) Making sure to have a cash allotment for tipping and whatnot is wise. There’s a safe in all Disney hotel rooms to stash any surplus or other valuables you may wish to secure.
- Park Bag – You need a bag to take into the parks. Something comfortable and not too big! (Post on this upcoming!)
- Glow bracelets – You can pick these up at your local dollar store or Target and they make a great special touch at night in the parks.
That’s it for my major hitters! Don’t forget the other things to pack that are more travel-general and less park-specific:
- Toiletries: nail trimmers, nail file, toothbrush, toothpaste & floss, face wash, moisturizer, deodorant (please!), razor etc.,
- Comb, brush, styling products, hair ties, headbands, bobby pins, etc.
- ID, Insurance cards, discount cards, etc.
- Feminine products
Looking to theme out your luggage? shopDisney has you covered with options.
Did I forget anything?!? Let me know in the comments below.
See ya real soon!