One of the biggest questions we always get is “What in the heck should I bring to Disney World?”
It can be tricky to know what to bring into the Disney parks! Being prepared with a few parks essentials can make a HUGE difference in how your vacation goes! Here are 22 essentials that we always bring into the parks!
You’ve probably spent a lot of time and money on your Disney vacation! Now that you’ve got your tickets, dining reservations, and hotel rooms booked, it’s time to pack! We want to help you be as prepared as possible so you can enjoy the moment while you’re inside the parks! Here are some things to pack that you might not have on a normal vacation packing list!
For the Weather
We bet you’ve heard that it gets hot in Orlando! So here’s the deal: Florida is HOT. Like, most of the year it’s at least warm enough to break a sweat and for a good portion, it’s downright unpleasantly hot. Especially if you’re going to Disney during the summer months, you’ll want to bring along some cooling towels that you can use to chase the heat away! To use these, you just soak it in water and wring it out. Give it a little flap in the air, then put the towel around your neck. It draws sweat away from your skin, and the cool water feels GREAT when you’re walking around in the heat!
We like these towels from Amazon, which is a pack of four towels for $15.29!
You can never have too many solutions to crazy hot weather, so we like to bring in a handheld fan as well! Fans are especially great for kids too, and there are some that you can clip onto a stroller if you’re planning to have one in the parks. (Trust us — we’ve gone with babies in summer and a stroller fan is borderline necessary!) While you’re standing in line, an electronic fan does a much better job than trying to fan yourself with a park map!
The fan we like best from Amazon comes in blue, pink, black, or white and costs $15.49! Toss a couple extra batteries in your bag and you’re good to go!
When you’re walking around for 10+ miles a day (which tends to happen in Disney World!) and especially when it’s in the hot and humid Florida weather, you need to stay hydrated! We’ll say it again for the people in the back: stay hydrated!! You can get free (small!) cup of ice water from most counter service restaurants in the parks, but it’s also a good idea to have some of your own! We like having a collapsible water bottle so that when it’s empty we can smush it down and it doesn’t take up as much space!
These Nefeeko Water Bottles from Amazon are some of our favorites. They come in black, blue, green, and orange. There’s a carabiner attached so you can clip it onto bags or strollers, and they hold 18 oz of water! One bottle costs $11.99.
You’ll definitely need sunscreen if you’re going to be out in the sun for several hours a day! You can find shady spots in the parks a lot of the time, but there will definitely be places that have long stretches of being out exposed to the sun (we’re looking at you, EPCOT World Showcase!). Bring sunscreen, apply it often, and try to step into the shade when you can!
Whatever sunscreen works for you is great! We usually use this Banana Boat spray sunscreen for our trips into the parks! The sport formula locks on to your skin and doesn’t sweat off (since we already covered you’ll be sweating a LOT.)!
Speaking of shading yourself from the sun, don’t forget hats and sunglasses! Make sure to pack these for any kids that are coming along as well — a lot of people forget this and then have hot, grumpy kids because the sun is in their eyes!
And what better hat to have than one with Mickey ears on top? We love this Mickey Hat from Amazon! It has a simple design and costs $15.49.
We’ve talked about the sun, but you’re also very likely to see some rain on your Disney trip, no matter what time of year you’re there! If you don’t want it to put a stop to your fun, don’t forget a rain poncho so you can put it on quick and keep on moving! You might also want to bring an umbrella in case it gets super rainy!
You can get a 5-pack of clear rain ponchos for $10.98 on Amazon. They’re one-size-fits-most and have drawstring-closed hoods! These can often fit a lot better than Disney’s own (much pricier) ponchos.
Now that you’re prepared for everything that crazy Orlando weather can throw at you, let’s see what other items you should throw into your suitcase!
Random Toiletries to Remember
This one might seem random, but you’ll really regret it if you don’t pack it: lip balm! When it’s hot out and you’re running around the parks, you’ll probably need some chapstick, and you don’t want to pay park prices for something so small that you can easily pack ahead of time!
We love this Vaseline Lip Therapy balm, but whatever kind works for you is great, as long as you have plenty of it!
Remember how we said you’ll be walking a ton in Disney World? With all that movement, odds are good that some blisters and chafing will occur! For a little bit of prevention, try using Body Glide Anti-Chafe Balm, which you apply like deodorant to areas that might chafe.
We can attest that this works wonders! Your thighs will be thanking you BIG TIME at the end of the day if you pack this. You can keep some in your bag to re-apply when necessary while you’re out and about! Body Glide costs $9.99 for a 1.5 oz stick.
But alas, blisters can still occur, even with the best prevention. So bring along a little bit of cure with moleskin padding. You stick it over the blister, and it helps SO MUCH in easing the pain and preventing more rubbing. This could save the day in the parks if you get a blister that hurts bad enough that you don’t want to walk anymore!
We just get simple moleskin squares, which come in a 10-pack of 3″ by 3″ pads for $6.99. They stick to your skin REALLY well and, while they won’t get RID of the blister, they’ll protect it so it hurts less.
When in doubt, put a band-aid on it. This is a BIG one if you have kids! Whether they fall and scrape a knee or bump against something, a band-aid can be magic, so you want to make sure you’ve got one on hand!
We always keep several with us in the parks, just in case! This pack of 100 assorted sizes costs $6.88 on Amazon.
EVEN BETTER, we LOVE little portable on-the-go first aid kits (basically a few band-aids and some antibacterial ointment). There’s a totally fab company called Welly that makes REALLY Fun little metal tins full of bandages and even travel kits. This option is a 2 pack of tiny travel kits and, take it from us, is a lifesaver when you need it.
Plus…their band-aids come in REALLY fun patterns! You can get this 2-pack for $13.98.
As a quick note, also remember to bring any medicines you’ll need on your trip! There are some generic medicines in Disney World hotel shops, like Ibuprofen and Tums, but they’re more expensive than what you can get normally back home.
Health and Safety
And speaking of medicine, there are a few more things you’ll want to have along for health and safety reasons! One of these is hand sanitizer. You’ll probably be touching a lot of things that other people have touched (like ride vehicles, stair rails, etc.), so applying hand sanitizer often is a great idea! It’s also good to have before you eat in the parks since a sink to wash your hands might not be super close by.
We like this pack of travel-sized Purell hand sanitizers because you can strap them onto bags and forget about them ’til you need them!
Depending on the health and safety protocol in Disney World, you might need a mask for inside the parks or buildings! The mandates for mask-wearing have been changing a lot recently, and masks are still required indoors in Disney World, so we’d recommend bringing a few masks on your trip. Even if there’s no requirement when you get to Disney World, it’s possible that one could start while you’re there. Better safe than sorry! We’re pretty partial to this Purple Wall Mask, themed after the famous Purple Wall in Tomorrowland!
The Purple Wall Mask is $14.99. If you do need to wear a mask, we also love having a mask chain handy so that we can take it off and put it back on repeatedly without losing, dropping it, or placing it on a dirty surface! These face mask lanyards are just $4.18 for a pack of five!
Your suitcase is getting pretty full right about now, but there are still a few more things to stuff in!
Clothes You Might Not Think You Need
You’ll probably remember all your cute Disney World outfits and Mickey ears, but we’re gonna remind you of a few essentials to add to the list! The first one? Comfy shoes. We repeat: Comfy. Shoes. We’re not joking when we say there is a LOT of walking on a Disney World vacation! If you insist on your super cute but not very comfortable shoes, you’ll probably be regretting it fairly quickly. Although sneakers are generally the best bet for most people, we still love wearing sandals sometimes so that our feet don’t get too hot.
These Born sandals are a little pricy, at $68–$90 depending on the size, but they’re super comfortable and we love the style and fit!
You should have at least one pair of comfy shoes, but really we’d recommend bringing two so that you can switch them out if one starts to cause blisters or gets wet! If your feet do get wet — in the rain, on a water ride, because of a spilled drink, or however it happens — you’ll want to have some extra socks available to switch them out! This makes you more comfortable and also prevents blisters!
We found some general socks on Amazon that are comfy and good for walking around in! Make sure you have enough that if you need extras for every day you won’t run out!
Have you heard us rave about slip shorts before? If you haven’t, here it is! Slip Shorts are a lifesaver! We’ve basically become spokespeople for these little miracle undergarments. You can wear them under your shorts or skirt and they help prevent sweaty thighs and chafing! Plus, if you’re wearing a dress on a roller coaster, it’s nice to know you’ve got shorts underneath! (Anyone who knows the struggle of crawling in or out of the seats on Space Mountain knows this one all too well!)
Our favorites are these BESTENA shorts from Amazon, which cost $13.99 for a pair!
We also wanted to mention a few things you might not have considered bringing from the kitchen!
From the Kitchen
Most Disney World restaurants use paper straws now. We are all for saving the environment, but we kind of think these straws are…not the best. They get gummy and gross pretty quick, especially with frozen drinks. Don’t get mad at us — we solve the problem by bringing our own reusable ones!
This 12-pack of reusable straws could be enough for your whole group, and it comes with a variety of sizes/shapes of straws, two cleaning brushes, and a drawstring container! The whole pack is $6.95 right now on Amazon!
This next one is optional: snacks for in the parks. Usually, we’d rather get a Mickey pretzel or Dole Whip, but when we’re on a budget (or trying to be a bit healthier), we’ll bring in some snacks from home! We also sometimes order groceries to our hotel room to save on breakfast items, which really helps with budgeting!
Most Disney World hotels have a small grocery section in a gift shop, but bringing your favorite snacks from home will ensure you get just what you’re looking for (and likely save a few dollars)!
Another random thing that always comes in handy is Ziploc Bags! These are great for leftover snacks in the parks and for protecting things that you want to keep dry in the case of a random rainstorm. We often pack a few gallon-sized bags for any situation that might demand them!
You can get this pack of four 30-count gallon-size Ziploc bags on Amazon for $17.84!
We’ve covered most of the main sections, but there are just a few miscellaneous things we thought of!
Other Things to Toss In Your Bag
If you’ve got small kids with you, you’ll probably need the full-on big diaper bag situation. But even then — and for anyone without the need for a huge bag — you might want a small bag or fanny pack to hold essentials that you want to grab quickly! Your phone, wallet, and other smaller items have a better chance of not getting lost if they’re tied around your waist! It’s easier to get situated on rides with smaller bags as well.
We like this simple fanny pack on Amazon that comes in lots of different colors for $13.77.
Everyone needs a photo in front of the Cinderella Castle, right? And a pic of those delicious snacks, and one of the whole group, and a few selfies in front of a cute wall…you get the picture 😉 Our point is that you might need a portable phone charger just in case your phone runs out of juice in the middle of the day! OK, scratch that — you WILL need it in the middle of the day! Seriously, SO MUCH in Disney World is reliant on the My Disney Experience app nowadays before you even get around to taking photos. Get. A. Backup battery. Even if you’re not using your phone for tons of pictures, you’ll be glad to have a backup option so that you always can use your phone if you need it.
These portable phone chargers are compatible with several different kinds of phones and cost $35.99 for a pack of two!
Disney souvenirs ain’t cheap in the parks, so we found a hack if you’re going to be traveling with little ones who want lots of fun Disney toys! You can buy some cheaper Disney souvenirs on Amazon, at Target, or anywhere else, and then give them to your kids while you’re in Disney! That way they’re still something new and Disney-themed, but it won’t cost you quite as much as the things in the parks!
We love this simple Minnie Mouse Ears Headband from Amazon, which costs $9.99 — about $20 cheaper than most Minnie Mouse Ears in the parks! There are a few different styles for these ears as well, including Stitch ears, Belle-themed ears, and Tangled ears!
Our last tip is another money saver: pack gift cards! You can get some Disney gift cards at less-than-full-price in certain stores, including at Target and Sam’s Club, where a membership or Red Card will get you a discount on these gift cards! When you use all the money from the cards, you’ve saved some by pre-paying less than the full price!
It also is helpful for budgeting, when you have a certain amount on a card and it’s harder to spend more than that.
Though Disney will have you covered with some options for those unpredictable situations, you’ll definitely have a better variety of options and save some money if you plan ahead and bring these items from home! That wraps up our tips for packing all the essentials for a Disney World vacation! We hope you have an AMAZING time, and keep following DFB for more tips and planning advice!
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What are your must-brings for a Disney vacation? Let us know in the comments!