When preparing for a trip to Disney World, it’s easy to feel like you need to pack ALL the things.
There are lots of packing essentials that can make your trip easier and worry-free, but it’s easy to go a little overboard. We’ve shared a LOT of solid packing info with y’all over the years. But what if you like to travel light? What if you don’t want to lug a backpack full of park essentials? Today we’re sharing the 9 things you actually CAN survive a Disney trip without.
Keep in mind, if you’re tackling Disney World for the first time (or the first time in a long time) you may still want to consider checking everything off that packing list of essentials. BUT, if you don’t mind soggy clothes for a couple of hours, not having water on hand, or a few other small inconveniences, these things could get the ax from your packing list!
You may feel the need to scramble to your bank or an ATM to withdraw cash prior to your Disney trip, but you can certainly get by without it! Through the use of a credit card or paying with your MagicBand, payments can be taken care of easily!
The times you’re most likely to need cash is for leaving tips in restaurants (if you prefer to not tip on a credit card) or at resorts for bell services or housekeeping, which ultimately won’t require a huge amount of cash anyway. In this case, you’ll be able to find ATMs in the parks and resorts!
Learn more about MagicBand+
Towels from Home
We’ve seen many families pack a set of beach towels for a trip to the pool. Not needed!
Most resort pools will provide towels! If not, you’ll be able to use the ones from your room and request extra from housekeeping. Unless you’re very particular when it comes to the softness of your towels, don’t worry about packing them!
Check out some of our favorite Disney pools here!
Mini Handheld Fan
We all want to find relief when that Florida sun is burning BRIGHT, as it often does. We often recommend packing a travel-sized fan to cool you off in line or while walking around. Is it a comfort item? Yep. Is it necessary? No way. If you don’t mind sweating it out a little bit in the heat, this is totally one you can skip.
If you do find yourself wanting to use a handheld fan in the Disney parks, you can get them in many places, like this one we found from Target! It’s the ComfortZone Personal Fan and it has three speeds for maximum cooling.
This fan is re-chargeable and will cost you $11.99.
Click here to buy the ComfortZone fan from Target!
A great alternative is a cooling towel, which packs extremely small in a bag. This ALSO isn’t a necessity, but if you want a more compact way to cool off, we suggest it. You can get this Mission Max Cooling Towel at Target for $19.99.
To activate the cooling, all you have to do is wet it, wring it out, and then snap it, and it will keep you cool for up to two hours before you’ll have to reactivate it.
Click here to buy the cooling towel!
Plus, always make sure to hydrate and take advantage of shady spots and air-conditioned locations when you can!
Here are our tricks to beat the heat!
Luckily, there are locations all across Disney World that offer free cups of water, so you can leave that clunky water bottle at home if you choose. You won’t have to worry about lugging them around the parks all day (or accidentally leaving them behind when you sit down!).
Water bottles offer great convenience, but they can be big and clunky and take up precious real estate in your bag. If you were planning to fill it up with cups of free ice water throughout the day anyway, skip the bottle and go to the source!
If you do want to bring a water bottle with you, we recommend something that is insulated and will keep your drink cold, while also being skinny, so it will easily fit into your park bag, like these Simple Modern Water Bottles!
These bottles are insulated and leak-proof, so you don’t need to worry about them spilling. They come in lots of colors and patterns, and you can grab one for $20.99 on Amazon!
Click here to buy a Simple Modern Water Bottle!
There’s no denying that the Florida heat can easily tire you out, but as long as you consistently remember to drink water throughout the day, you might be fine without the bottle! You might even want to consider setting a reminder on your phone to notify you when it’s time to find a sip.
Here’s where you can find free water in Magic Kingdom
First Aid Supplies
Cuts and blisters can certainly happen in Disney World. However, that doesn’t mean you need to drag a whole First Aid Kit along with you! Disney is prepared for emergencies, no matter how minor they may be. You can find First Aid Centers, Baby Care Centers, and locations selling sundries across the resort.
You’ll be able to find items like bandaids, ibuprofen, and sunscreen in case of emergency! Most of these common over-the-counter items you can find for free at First Aid or Guest Services. However, it is important to note that there is only one First Aid location per park, and it’s usually located near the front, so if you’re not nearby, you may be walking a while just to grab a Band-Aid. That’s why it’s never a bad idea to have a basic first aid kit with you! We found this one at Target and it’s a first aid kit explicitly for travel.
This little guy is travel-sized, but holds 70 first aid items! It contains bandages in varying sizes, sterile pads, hand cleansing wipes, and antibiotic ointment packets. Throw a bottle of travel pain reliever in there and you’ll be good to go! This travel first aid kit is available for $6.79.
Click here to buy the travel first aid kit!
Baby related products are well-stocked in the Baby Care Centers but will come at a price. In a pinch, you can restock on anything you need for baby. If you’re in need of something a bit more specialized like OTC allergy or cold medicine, you’ll be pointed to the nearest gift shop that stocks those items.
Read: Eight Lessons We Learned the Hard Way About Taking a BABY to Walt Disney World
Disney transitioned from single-use plastic straws to paper straws in 2019. Although they’re better for the environment, paper straws aren’t everyone’s fave. A paper straw’s one true kryptonite seems to be frozen Disney drinks. A few sips in and they’ll start to turn to mush! It can be tricky to try and drink things like milkshakes or slushies, but ultimately, they DO get the job done!
We’re big fans of reusable straws, but they’re not required by any means. Reusable straws may make for a more convenient drinking experience, but they need to be cleaned after use and stowed away. If you want to bring reusable straws with you, check out these ones on Amazon that come with their own carrying pouch and brush!
These straws are collapsible and will fit right back into the pouch when you’re done using them. They also come with a small cleaning brush, so you can clean them after each use if you want to! You can grab these for $10.04.
Click here to buy the reusable straws!
If you don’t feel like lugging a portable straw with you, skip it and sip from your cup directly or use the disposable straws on hand. Both options work A-OK!
Learn more about Disney’s environmental goals here!
We drink a lot of coffee to get through a full day in the parks. But of course, coffee comes with…coffee breath! Gum can be nice to keep your breath fresh and minty (or whatever flavor you like), but it’s not essential.
If you have space in your bag or pockets for it, cool! If you’re like us, it’s an item that always seems to make us spend seemingly forever fishing around the bottom of our bag! We get, in the scale of things, this is a teeny tiny add-on, but if you really want one less thing to worry about, this can be one of them.
You can get this set of nine packs of Trident White gum on Amazon for $6.97 right now.
It is peppermint flavor and each pack has 16 pieces.
Click here to buy the gum!
If you know that gum is absolutely essential for you, make sure to buy it BEFORE your trip. You won’t find gum sold anywhere on Disney property.
Watch our video about things you’ll NEVER see in Disney World!
Although resorts have done away with alarm clocks in guest rooms, there’s no need to fear. Because seriously, when was the last time you set an alarm on a physical clock anyway?! It’s super important to be awake in time to arrive for your breakfast reservation, but you can do so without a physical clock!
The days of having to pack a battery-powered alarm clock for your travels are long gone (unless that’s still your thing. Then you do you, boo!). Make sure your phone is charged with the volume up high (and maybe the snooze option turned off 😉), set your alarm, and you’ll be good to go! Plus, you can even get a wake-up call from Mickey Mouse himself by following the prompts on your room’s phone!
Check out 30 things your Disney Resort can do for you here!
Disney Resorts all offer toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. In your luggage, these items take up space AND add unnecessary weight. You’ll have plenty available in your room, especially since some resorts use refillable toiletries rather than the small bottles they used to provide.
Unless you need allergy-friendly, sensitive skin, or other special options, you’ll be set with the toiletries provided by your resort! (We actually have really love the smell of “Disney shampoo” — the H2O Spa collections the hotels stock their bathrooms with!)
Check out 6 changes happening at Disney Resorts this year!
Hopefully, this list has helped to condense your packing list a little bit! Ultimately, you’re welcome to pack as much (or as little) as you’d like, but we think these are the things you can survive a Disney trip without if you’re really looking to save space for all those souvenirs! Follow along with us for more Disney World tips!
See what we pack to beat the heat!
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Oh boy, planning a Disney trip can be quite the adventure, and we totally get it! But fear not, dear friends, we compiled EVERYTHING you need (and the things to avoid!) to plan the ULTIMATE Disney vacation.
Whether you're a rookie or a seasoned pro, our insider tips and tricks will have you exploring the parks like never before. So come along with us, and get planning your most magical vacation ever!
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What are your must-have items when packing for Disney World? Tell us in the comments!
All good, but cut back on the clothes for a weeks stay. 3 pairs of shorts max, 1 long pants, 6 t-shirts, 4 sports/polo, try ped Sox vs. full length, Reconsider every item in your bag, plan-each days wardrobe and leave room … it seems that whenever I return from a Disney vacation, there are always items I never wore, plus most deluxe resorts have in room laundry and all resorts have washers and driers. I have even washed my own on Disney Cruise line.
Well, I can’t agree with all of these. FIRST, you do need a water bottle, unless you don’t mind standing in line waiting for a small free cup of water with ice. C’mon, if you look at the cast members they ALL have water bottles! Second, you may not need that silly Minnie fan, but what does help is one of the fans that sprays water as it operates! These really do help! Especially in the summer heat. Now, how could you even suggest that Gum is not essential! IT’S NOT ALLOWED ANYWHERE! They don’t sell it anywhere on Disney property and they don’t want it there! Walt made this rule when Disneyland opened! I’m shocked that you are telling people to buy gum before their trip! You’re telling them how to break a rule! As to not really needing cash….I worked for Disney for many years, and Disney LOVES plastic, especially when it’s hooked to a magic band, because guests really can’t keep good track of what they are charging…because it’s just too easy to swipe! If you on a budget, when your cash runs out for the day, it runs out and that’s it! Unless, of course, you have no budget!
Love this list but I’m going to disagree with the First Aid kit. Disney First Aid Stations are absolutely first rate but they can be a long way from where you are in the park. Additionally, I’ve given out lots to other guests that needed Band Aids. All I ask is when they have a kit to pay-it-forward to another guest.
Margaret+Zukoski, First off, the cast members have water bottles because THEY can not just leave their post and go up to a quick service and get water. What the DFB was saying is that water bottles are not the only way to get water if you don’t want to consume water from a plastic bottle. Many people don’t realize that you do not have to buy water and can just get cups of it for free. For some on a tight budget, waiting for water is a better option then always buying it. Second, gum is not “banned” just because Disney does not sell it does not mean that they can tell people that they can not have it. I don’t blame them for not selling gum, but if you bring your own, be responsible and make sure it does not end up on the ground. I will say that a person should always carry some cash on them. I have been to WDW several times when the “system” went down temporarily and you could not charge anything. Definitely bring some cash.
Another thing you won’t need to pack is a hair dryer. We stayed at Pop Century in Dec 2020, and the hair dryer in our resort room was just as powerful as the one I have at home. And I agree about packing less clothing (especially shirts). We took enough clothes for half of our trip, and then did laundry halfway through, which worked out great. But this was our first Disney trip, and what we hadn’t counted on was how many t-shirts, sweatshirts and, in my husband’s case, Hawaiian-style shirts we would fall in love with and buy during our trip. If your budget and plans include buying clothing, leave room in your luggage for it and plan on wearing it during your trip! (One thing you DO want to pack is a small pair of scissors to cut off all the tags, though.)
In reply to “Rocky.” You do not have to pay for bottle after bottle of water. You bring a bottle and simply refill it from fountains. I’ve done this myself. Second, if Disney wanted gum there or allowed it, they would sell it. Sadly, people are NOT responsible with gum. How long did you “work” for Disney?
Sorry, Margaret, I agree with Rocky! I have chewed gum many many times in WDW and have never once been told by a cast member that it is against the rules. Really! I am glad they don’t sell it though, as many people don’t chew responsibly. ☺️
I also bring a water bottle and refill it with either free water or from fountains, so agree with you there!