Tickets? Check. Magic Bands? Check. The inability to sleep because you’re just too excited for this vacation to start? Double check.
Looks like you’ve got everything ready to go for a successful Disney World trip.
Or DO you . . . ?
During the tizzy of trying to get everything packed for your Disney World vacation, you might slip up and forget a thing or two.
No worries! Happens to everyone.
But we’re going to tell you about those items you REALLY need to remember for a more comfortable and/or cheaper Disney World vacation.
Portable Chargers/ Power Banks
It’s 2021. You will be using your phone a LOT. From making reservations on your My Disney Experience app, to ordering quick service meals with Mobile Order, to checking wait times and showtimes, to taking pictures and videos for social media, to passing time in queues on the Disney Play app, to Disney Genie-ing and Genie+-ing all the things, your phone will likely be glued in your hand all day.
Yeah, you get it. You need your phone. So you DEFINITELY need to keep it charged!
Disney has their own solutions for dying phones — like charging stations and FuelRod dispensers — but if you don’t want to spend precious park time sitting by an outlet or pay $30 for a FuelRod that doesn’t hold as much of a charge as you’d expect for that price, you can always pre-purchase a portable charger or power bank for less money and more charge outside the parks ahead of time.
One of the options we found online was the Miady portable charger for $19.99. It comes with not just one, but TWO power banks, with TWO charging ports on each bank. (Plus they come in fun colors too!)
There are plenty of other power bank options out there that you can snag before vacay to help keep your phone charged for all the important times you’ll need it during the day.
Sun Blockers (IE: Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Sun Visors)
The Florida sunshine is beautiful…to an extent. It can be a weeeee bit unbearable when it’s burning you to a crisp.
Sunscreen is SUPER important to remember! The last thing you want to do is get a blistering sunburn on your first park day and have to deal with it for the rest of your trip. OUCH.
Make sure to try out different sunscreens before you go to find the right fit for your family. Neutrogena and Banana Boat have some awesome two-for-one deals for a spray-on, waterproof sunscreen (easy to apply especially when you’re chasing after wee ones!). They also have lotions available, if you prefer those instead.
(We’ve heard it both ways — some people dislike the sprays because they’re easier to miss spots, while others prefer them because they’re quicker to apply and not as goop-y. For coverage you can guarantee, go lotion, but the ease of sprays is hard to ignore. To each their own.)
Also — don’t forget those sunglasses and sun visors! This might be easier for you to remember for yourself, but your kiddos need these items, too! Find a good, comfy pair of children’s sunglasses ahead of time and maybe a cute, comfy, Disney-themed boat hat to protect the top of their heads from getting burned. You don’t have to buy these in the parks — many retail locations outside the parks have Disney-inspired accessories for cheaper prices.
One last note when it comes to sun and preventing it from making you miserable — make SURE to reapply sunscreen during the day! This is particularly important for your child’s nose and those little legs that might be sticking out of strollers!
(We know those seem very *specific*, but we’ve seen way too many fried noses and shins in our days to keep from mentioning it here.)
Don’t make yourself miserable in the Florida heat! Click HERE to figure out how to handle Disney’s extreme temps!
Orlando isn’t just known for its scorching rays; it’s also a place where sporadic showers happen on the daily. (Plus not to mention you’ll probably be soaked in sweat if not rain. Sorry guys, but it’s true!) And if you’re not getting soaked by the rain or sweat, you’re probably going to get soaked on one of the many water rides Disney has on property — meaning you’re going to need some quick-dry attire.
Having quick-dry clothes for your Disney days will keep you from feeling soggy and gross.
(Have you ever worn wet denim for hours? It’s not fun.)
Consider buying SPF Rash Guards for your kiddos (and for you, too!) before the trip. They’re quick-dry (and SUPER comfy) options found for decent prices at multiple retail locations.
Quick-dry shorts are also important to have on-hand to avoid major chafing. *Shudders at the thought*
Kiddos’ quick-dry shorts can be found at your standard local retailers, as well, for around $10-$25. If you have kids like some of ours, you probably know the struggle is indeed VERY real that some kiddos do NOT do well standing around in wet clothes. Having backup clothes for when those quick dry clothes still aren’t quick enough is still probably a good idea!
**BONUS TIP: Also consider purchasing ponchos and a sturdy, portable umbrella before your trip. Disney sells ponchos for around $12, which is ABSURD when you think about how you can swing by your nearest convenience store and pick one up for $1-$5 instead. Friends don’t let friends pay double-digit prices for a sheet of plastic.
Umbrellas are also fairly overpriced at Disney — usually priced around $40. We’ve found fun alternatives for half that price on Amazon (and numerous other retail locations)
Picture this: Your group convinces you to go on Mission: SPACE. (How? Dunno. They must be super convincing.)
You ride the Orange Mission. (You brave, brave soul.)
And when you step off the ride? You’re in Headache Central. (Or…uh…tummyache central, to put it lightly!)
Over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Tums are offered in the gift shops around Disney property — as well as Disney First Aid Centers — but they’re a lot pricier than buying them outside the parks. Check out the picture below. Ten caplets are priced at $3.99. At most big-box stores, you can pick up the very same thing for $1.97.
(Hey, every dollar counts, right?)
You can save money (and your poor head) by stocking up ahead of time.
Do you get queasy really easily on motion-based rides? You may want to grab some Dramamine, too. Again, Dramamine is offered in Disney gift shops and First Aid Centers for a higher price than you’d normally pay at your local drug store. (However, keep in mind Dramamine can also make you extremely sleepy. Trust us, you’re going to be sleepy anyway without the help of over-the-counter drugs.)
Make sure to pick up the non-drowsy versions to avoid losing your energy during the day. (You’re going to need all the help you can get!)
**NOTE: If you are in DESPERATE need of Tylenol or a number of over-the-counter meds, swing by one of the First Aid Centers and a Cast Member can often give you single-serve doses of these medications for free.**
Reusable Water Bottles
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — we see so many people waste SO MUCH MONEY on bottles of water at Disney.
Dasani water can currently be purchased at the parks for around $3.50 per bottle. If you purchase a water bottle for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, that’s over $10 worth of water per day on top of EVERYTHING else you’re paying for during your Disney vacay.
But, we’ve got to keep hydrated somehow, right? Otherwise, we’re going to be pretty miserable during our Disney day. This isn’t just about quenching your thirst — it’s about safety. Disney World is HOT and heat exhaustion, dehydration, or heatstroke are more common than you think. Sure, we can ask for cups of free ice water at quick-service locations, but if we don’t want to wait in line-after-line just for a small water cup, we’re going to need another solution.
Investing in a reusable water bottle can help save a ton of money on drinks. Plus, they’ll keep your water nice and cool all day long!
Insulated reusable water bottles are usually priced around $10-$30, depending on the brand.
The Swig Life water bottles have been a favorite option of ours in the past. They’re lightweight and triple-insulated!
We’ve got an entire post about water bottle refill stations located throughout the Disney property (that you can read once you’re done with this post, of course) so you can know where to fill ‘er up during your park days! Even better, Disney World hotel rooms come with some form of fridge inside. Fill your bottle up at night and pop it in the fridge to be icy cold for you by morning!
See? Even Disney wants you to bring a bottle to the park! <3
In an attempt to be more environmentally friendly, Disney parks have switched over from plastic to degradable paper straws.
Although we appreciate Disney’s forward-thinking, the paper straws can get rather…mushy.
Never fear! Reusable straws can save the day — and your Disney drink!
One of our favorite reusable straw brands that we’ve found online is the Flathead 10-set with an included cleaning brush for $10.95.
Not too shabby! Especially when you consider how many of the straw sets we’ve seen sold in the parks can cost you $19.99. (Although they sure are cute!)
So where are you going to keep your reusable straws, water bottles, over-the-counter drugs, and other miscellaneous items you’re bringing along for a successful Disney day?
In a handy-dandy backpack, of course!
Purses are great to a certain extent, but backpacks have more room and less shoulder stress.
A solid Disney backpack to invest in should have the following components:
- Sturdy material (don’t need any straps breaking on you in the middle of the day)
- Multiple pockets
- Plenty of room without being oversized (don’t want broken straps OR broken backs!)
- Comfort (straps that cut into your shoulders are the wooooorst)
- Insulation (that one’s more of a plus than a necessity)
We have a whole post discussing our favorite backpacks for Disney park days that you should totally check out if you’re looking to invest in a durable park bag.
But if we could add an extra entry to that list, we’d also give a shout-out to Kavu bags. Their unique shape makes them sturdy and lightweight — a solid option to carry around the parks from rope drop to sundown.
Psh, you didn’t think we’d forget to mention Loungefly backpacks, did you? Not only will you have a reliable bag for your Disney vacation, but you’ll look stylish.
Loungefly bags are a great option if you want the ease of a backpack and don’t have a ton of stuff to carry around (you can juuust fit a standard water bottle in most of them, for size comparison). So many Disney fans invest in at least one Disney Loungefly bag to show off around the parks. It’s just another way to dress up, or “Disney Bound,” on vacation!
Pre-Purchased Disney Souvenirs
Does your kiddo want a souvenir that you KNOW you can get for half the price back home?
Buy those items ahead of time!
Disney sells many items for double the price they’re worth because…well…because they can.
To avoid having to spend extra moolah on these items (and to avoid a potential temper tantrum if your child has just GOT to have one of these glowing wands of *magic* and *pixie dust*), swing by your local Dollar Store or big-box store to find similar items that serve the same purpose. If your kids are little enough that they won’t know the difference between an off-brand bubble blower wand over the “real deal,” then ta-da! Problem solved. Extra cash money in your pocket for a Dole Whip!
In some retail stores, you may even be able to find off-brand Minnie ears for your little ones that are way more affordable. On Amazon, we even found some in bulk for $15.99!
Wait a minute! What about you, right? You don’t necessarily want to spend all that money on Disney merch, but you want the real deal; the authentic brand.
Try searching for authentic park products on the shopDisney website. If you find a product you adore online, wait to snatch it up when shopDisney has a sale (which happens frequently — just keep checking in with us for the latest)!
Disney Outlets and Disney Character Warehouses are also great places to search for discounted-yet-authentic park souvenirs. Check and see if there’s a Disney Outlet close to your home OR en-route on your Disney road trip.
Disney Character Warehouses are available at two of the Orlando Premium outlets outside the Disney parks. (Might be somewhere fun to explore during a non-park day?)
Good Shoes, Good Socks, and Moleskin Padding
Disney’s a workout, y’all! We’re talking 10,000-20,000+ steps a day (and, if you’re anything like us, that’s waaaaay more than we’re used to).
So you’re going to need a good shoe to keep your vacation from transforming into something miserable.
If you’re a tennis shoe person, make sure the tennis shoes you’re wearing are broken in. You might’ve found a fantastic park shoe recommended to you online that you want to give a go, but if it’s still stiff and new, it doesn’t matter how much arch support it’s going to have — it’ll still be un-comfy after that many miles straight in a day.
You’ve got to break in those new shoes ahead of time to guarantee they’re nice and worn (and that they’re not rubbing the back of your heels raw because we’ve been there, done that).
Also, pack an extra pair of socks in your HANDY-DANDY BACKPACK in case it rains *or* you soak them on Splash Mountain. Very few things are more miserable than wearing soggy socks. Soggy socks mean pruned toes. Pruned toes mean sore feet. And sore feet means an unhappy you.
Don’t want to wear tennis shoes? Try a trusty pair of sandals! Just make sure they’ve got solid arch support and fit well (we HATE it when our heels slip out of our sandals repeatedly during the day).
Oh, also, don’t forget that traction. Definitely don’t want to be tripping all day. Get a pair with a solid grip underneath.
A shoe brand we really like that creates both tennis shoes and sandals for outdoor activities is Teva. Depending on where you purchase them, they can be a hefty initial investment — but they should provide a good amount of traction and comfort once you’ve broken them in.
If you really want to cover all your bases, consider purchasing Moleskin padding.
This will help take that unwanted pressure off your feet and prevent blisters and callouses as they form. You can find these adhesive wraps online or in your local drug store for around $9. This is the ultimate foot safeguard to have on hand. In the event those perfectly broken-in shoes still…fail you (hey, happens!), just pop on a bit of moleskin and keep on walking with less irritation on that skin.
Check out the time we wore popular Disney shoes around Magic Kingdom (and what it did to our feet) HERE!
Last but not least, you need to buy some snacks for those afternoon munchies!
There is an abundance of Disney snacks out there! But if the kiddos in your party (or you!) start to get peckish during the day and you don’t want to drop more moolah on another pricey Disney snack, having some granola bars, trail mixes, etc. will come in handy.
Hear us out. For a single Peanut Butter and Jelly Uncrustable at the Disney Parks, you’re going to pay $3.99 (or more!). However, a four-count pack of Uncrustables at your average big-box store is $3.49. Why pay more for a snack you know your picky eater is going to enjoy if you can grab it back at your local grocery store before your trip for WAY cheaper?
This is a particularly important tip for those who have allergies or dietary restrictions, too. Although Disney is pretty top-notch with accommodating different dietary needs, it’s good to have snacks on hand that you know will work best for you.
Yay you! Now you’re all prepped and ready for the BEST TRIP EVER!
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What items are the must-haves that you always purchase before your Disney vacations? Let us know in the comments below!