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The Essential Disney World Vacation Packing List

When school is out for the summer many people get ready for their summer vacations and the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida is one of the top destinations.  The one question that always comes up is: What should I pack?  That is why the editors of Only WDWorld have put together the Essential Disney World Vacation Packing List.  Take advantages of multitudes of Disney World Vacation experiences to help craft a list of the essential items to bring.

The Essential Disney World Vacation Packing List
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes - At the top of the list are comfortable walking shoes.  During a Disney World Vacation you will walk several miles per day, so you need to wear shoes that are comfortable to walk in.  The brand and style is up to you, but it is best to use a pair or pairs of shoes that are broken in and known to be comfortable to walk in.  You do not want to be developing blisters on your feet during the beginning of your vacation and suffer for the duration.
  • Sun Screen - The Florida sun is hot and you will get burned.  Even if you have tanned prior to coming, you will want to wear sunscreen at least during the days that you are touring the parks.  Like blisters on your feet, a bad sunburn can ruin your Disney World Vacation, so make sure to bring a good sweat proof sunscreen and apply it each day before your head out into the parks.
  • Compact Umbrellas and/or Rain Ponchos - We cannot tell you how many people have had to leave the parks early after getting drenched during the typical summer Florida rainstorms.  They are usually brief, but happen almost every afternoon during the summer.  By carrying a compact umbrella you can stay dry and continue enjoying your day at the park.  It is also a major cost savings to purchase your umbrellas/ponchos prior to your arrival at Disney World.
  • Non-Cotton Clothing - Did we mention that it gets hot in central Florida during the Summer?  One way to help beat the heat is to wear non-cotton, quick drying clothing.  Many athletic brands (Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, Reebok, etc) sell shirts with this quick drying material.  Actually, this material is much more common these days and can be found in a wide variety of clothing beyond just athletic apparel.  The non-cotton material "breathes" and doesn't trap moisture, allowing you to shed heat and cool off more quickly.  They also help dry off quickly after riding one of the many water based Disney World Attractions.  By choosing comfortable clothing with this fast drying material, you will have a much more enjoyable time in the hot Florida heat.
  • Swim Suit - Each Disney World Resort has pools and most Disney World guests enjoy a break from the parks to enjoy a relaxing time in the pools or an invigorating trip to one of the two Disney World Water Parks: Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon.
  • Camera - You can NEVER take enough pictures at Disney World during your vacations.  After taking thousands of pictures there are still pictures that weren't taken that we wish we had.  There isn't a much more photogenic background than Disney World.  With the advent of digital pictures there is no excuse to not take a lot of pictures.

    Remember that the Disney PhotoPass Photographers will take a picture on your camera in addition to taking one of you on their camera.  Don't be afraid to ask.  Actually most Disney Cast Members will take a picture of your family or group on your camera if you ask them nicely.
  • Small Backpack with Drinks and Snacks - You are allowed to bring in small backpacks with drinks in non-glass containers and food into Disney World Theme Parks.  You can save a lot of money and keep young children happy by having a supply of snacks available.  Cheap refillable water bottles also work well and can be re-filled at water fountains during the day.  In the hot Florida sun you need to make sure that you prevent dehydration by getting enough fluids to drink during the day.  These backpacks will also hold other small items like autograph books, and Disney Pins for trading.

    Disney World Tip: At Quick Service locations that have fountain soft drinks you can order ice water for FREE.
  • Hat & Sunglasses - Another great way to protect yourself form the Florida sun is to wear a hat and/or sunglasses.  By shielding your head and eyes from the intense sun you will be able to spend more time outside without being worn down.  This is especially important for people who wear contact lenses.
  •  Compact Umbrella Stroller - If you have young children you should definitely consider bringing a cheap umbrella stroller.  These are great even for children who have outgrown a stroller at home.  The long days of walking really wear out the kids and they welcome the chance to take a ride later in the day.  The umbrella strollers are cheap and collapse easily for transportation throughout Disney World.  You can save a small fortune versus renting stroller each day at the parks.  Definitely a good investment and a must have.
  • Print Off List Of Dining Reservations - You spent a lot of time planning for your Disney World Vacation, don't forget to bring copies of your Hotel and Dining Reservations with you.  You won't believe how often we have been in the parks asking ourselves what time do we have reservations for dinner tonight.  Either bring a printed copy or save the reservations with confirmation numbers on your smartphone so yo will have it with you.
  • Copy Backs Of Tickets - The best way to get lost Disney World Tickets replaced if lost is to either copy or take pictures of the back of the tickets and save your original receipts from purchasing them.  If you have this information, take it to Disney Guest Services location at each of the 4 theme parks to get replacement tickets.  By having this information the process will be much easier.
  • Cell Phones Or Walkie Talkies - Disney World is crowded.  It is easy to separated from your group so it is important to have a way to meet or communicate if you get separated.  Give to or literally write on your children your cell phone number and teach them how to locate a Disney Cast Member.  No matter how careful you are, there are opportunities to get separated, so it is best to have a plan to locate each other.  You will be glad that you planned ahead and had a meeting place or way to get in touch.
  • Label Everything You Value - Disney World has the best Lost & Found we have ever seen.  The family friendly environment lends itself to people wanting to turn in lost items that they discover.  Do not be surprised if you are able to recover lost items at Disney's Lost & Found in each Theme Park.  You will increase your chances to locate lost items if they are labeled with your name and cell phone number.  Once you have discovered that an item is lost, return to the area where you last knew you had the item first and then check the Lost & Found for the park.

3 comments to "The Essential Disney World Vacation Packing List"

  1. Valerie says:

    On our trip to WDW from May 26-June 1, we each utilized the Platypus foldable water bottles (available at REI or a similar sorting goods store). These collapsible, environmentally-friendly bottles fold up to nearly ZERO space in your bag, can go through airport security when empty, and even when they have water in them, you can suck out the air to still only take up very little room in your bag. These were the best purchases for the trip!

  2. DU says:

    This was great advice--we are going to Disney for the first time, and I didn't know we could bring small backpacks in the parks or about the free ice water!

  3. It is terribly informative journal.
    Sip Phone

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