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! Right now, especially, Disney World is recommending cashless payments. 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!
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!
Mini Handheld Fan
We all want to find relief when that Florida sun is burning BRIGHT, as it often does. It may also feel a little warmer now that we’re wearing masks in the parks. 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.
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. Plus, always make sure to hydrate and take advantage of shady spots and air-conditioned locations when you can!
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! 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’ll 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.
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. 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.
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 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!
Now that we’re wearing masks whenever we’re in Disney World, we’ve become a little more aware of our breath throughout the day. 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. 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.
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 snag a Boarding Group for Rise of the Resistance right at 7AM or 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!
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 resorts have started to 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!)
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!