If there is anything worse than spending a day in the Disney parks carrying a heavy backpack, it’s realizing you forgot to pack something you need. That’s why I’m sharing some tips on what to bring on your Disney vacation – from the hotel room to Walt Disney World.
I’ve taken quite a few Disney trips to visit all the Disney theme parks – the Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom. I’ve also stayed at a variety of Disney resorts.
The best way to prepare for your next magical adventure is to review this ultimate Disney World packing list. Treat it as a Disney World vacation checklist while you’re packing your bag with your younger kids.
Some Important Tips:
Check the Weather Forecast
It’s a good idea to check the weather in Orlando, Florida around the time of your trip to ensure you’re packing appropriately.
While you don’t need to bring your entire pharmacy to the parks, you may want to have some pain relievers or fever reducers in your hotel room, in addition to prescriptions of course. If you forget, don’t worry. All parks have an outpatient clinic with a first aid kit.
Once, my 2-year-old son had a fever at a hotel and I was able to get kids Tylenol at 3 am.
Get a Backpack
A bag with a wide strap and a zipper, like a backpack, is a must. A baby bag works wonders because it has so many spots for things at the park. (Yes, you can bring in your own food and drinks.) This backpack is a great fit and is less than $25.
The Ultimate Disney World Packing List
Are you ready to get packing now? Let’s plan for your road trip or flight! (sprinkles pixie dust)
Disney World Must-Haves
I think this goes without saying, but please remember to bring your park tickets. Luckily, Disney cast members to make this easy by offering the My Disney Experience app. I highly suggest linking everything there. You can also link your tickets, hotel room, Disney Genie, credit card, dining plan, and more to the magic bands you wear on your wrist.
Even though the app will help you in the park and at a Disney resort hotel, it won’t cover you on the road, at the airport, and outside the park, so ensure your wallet has your credit cards and everything else you need. Today, that may include important documents like passports and COVID vaccination cards.
3. Cell Phone
A cell phone is a must to access the My Disney Experience app, snap all those pictures you’ll take with the Disney characters, and play games with each other, like Heads Up, when you’re passing time standing in the long lines.
4. Bottles Of Water
Because central Florida is hot year-round, you don’t want to skimp on the water. I suggest buying a case or two of water and bringing bottled water with you to the parks in the backpack mentioned above. If you have a little one in a stroller, the bottom of the stroller makes for a great place to store the backpack with everything in it. I also take this reusable water bottle everywhere I go, so that’s another option – filling up a refillable water bottle at a water fountain.
I suggest using a cell phone camera at the parks, but some people will bring a DSLR to places like Animal Kingdom. You can also strap on a GoPro at some places and take some pretty amazing videos too.
6. Portable Charger
Portable charges have been the best invention of humankind since the internet. You can charge your cell phone or camera by simply leaving it in your backpack while you walk around! When I visited the Social Media Moms Celebration, this was a gift to content creators because we needed them!
7. Cables and Chargers
Remember to take the cables and chargers for all of your electronics. My kids watch videos on phones and iPads during the entire 3-hour drive to Orlando. Don’t forget to charge them before you leave home and before you leave for home.
These are the kinds of things that get marked up like crazy in a vacation destination. Remember this because you’re visiting the sunshine state and you want to be protected, especially since you’ll be outside all day every day, especially if you visit Blizzard Beach or Typhone Lagoon for the water rides.
Make sure you fill up your hotel room and backpack you’re taking to the theme parks with lots of snacks. My kids love the little bags of chips, goldfish, gummies, and granola bars.
I always have an extra small bag with the essential items – things like a toothbrush, toothpaste, chapstick, eye drops, cotton balls, q-tips, baby wipes, etc. It’s packed and under my sink right now because this is a must on every trip I take.
All you need to do is add prescription medication. For you, this could be throwing things into a ziplock bag, but I find keeping a bag like this always packed works wonders.
11. Sunglasses & Hat
It’s the Sunshine State, remember? Plus, if you don’t wear sunglasses, you’r elikely to get a headache from the sun beating down on you. Don’t forget your case to protect the lenses.
My son has a red and black hat with Mickey’s ears, so it’s the best. I don’t wear hats, but if they don’t bother you, bring a couple to avoid some of the harsh Florida heat.
12. Comfortable Walking Shoes
During my last trip to Nova Scotia, I made the mistake of walking in old sneakers. The next day I bought three pairs of new walking shoes. Now, I’ll never wear out my shoes again! My feet hurt for about a week! The point here is, you’re going to be doing a lot of walking and you don’t want your feet to hurt so bring comfortable shoes that can handle a lot of steps! I’m telling you – your best shoes.
Fun fact: The Disney buses that take you from place to place on the huge property are freezing. So, while you may not need the sweatshirt outside in the daytime, some indoor areas are kept pretty chilly. Plus, if you’re lucky enough to visit when we have a cold front come in, then you may need this in the morning or at night.
14. Hand Sanitizer
Even if COVID wasn’t a thing, please know you are touching things tens of thousands of other people just touched. I always keep hand sanitizer in my purse after pumping gas on road trips and a sample size in my purse or belt bag for tourist traps.
15. Portable Fan
Not only are these portable fans you wear around the neck pretty cool looking, but they’ve come in handy in so many situations. It’s such an easy way to cool down in line. Besides theme parks, they are a lifesaver at those fall soccer games.
Obviously, this list doesn’t include the obvious things, like clean clothes and a bathing suit. This ultimate packing list is to give you peace of mind before you leave for your Disney World trip by sharing some things you may have forgotten. (I speak from personal experience.)
For some extra packing tips, click here.
Some other things I’ve never brought but are not a bad idea include the following items:
- a raincoat
- reusable straws (because I hate paper straws)
- Disney pins (if you collect them and want to wear them on your lanyard in the most magical place)
- Apple air tags in my luggage (just because we haven’t traveled there since I got them)
What Not To Pack
You can bring these things for fun outside the Disney theme parks, but you cannot bring these things to any of the Orlando amusement parks:
- Roller tennis shoes
- Skateboards, rollerskates, bicycles, and scooters (not the kind you use if you break your leg – those are obviously allowed)
- Remote control toys
- Folding chairs
- Pets (unless they are service animals)
- Suitcases, coolers, or backpacks larger than 24″ long x 15″ wide x 18″ high (If you need a cooler for some medication, you can leave it at the park’s guest relations.
- Knives, pocket knives, scissors, and other sharp items
- Guns of any kind, including toy guns (water guns, nerfs, it doesn’t matter)
- Alcoholic beverages (Disney sells these now!)
- Glass containers (perfume, baby food, and baby bottles are allowed)
- Wrapped gifts (they will need to open them to inspect them)
- Selfie sticks
- Tripods larger than a backpack
- Clothing with swear words or offensive gestures, that imitates police, firefighters, or any other emergency service… so follow the dress code
- Food that requires refrigeration or heating
- Picnic baskets
There are a lot more items that are not allowed at Disney World, so be sure to check this link for the entire list before leaving on your Disney trip.
Do you have other tips for packing for your Disney vacation? Find me on Instagram at @ChristinaAllDay and let me know what I should add to this ultimate Disney packing list.