Tag Archives: packing list
I have some time-saving tips I would love to share with you. Whether you are a frequent visitor to “the World” or if you are planning your first magical visit, I hope you will find this information helpful. Up on the top shelf of my closet, I have what I refer to as my Disney Trunk. The contents of this oversized plastic bin have been very important to me over our last eleven years of traveling to Walt Disney World, as it keeps all of our necessities in one place, which makes packing time easy.
I am happy to share with you the list of reusable items I keep inside. Since we are a family of 5, you might guess that there are five of each item inside the box:
We each have a backpack made of lightweight but strong prolypropylene with a drawstring closure and straps. They weigh less than an ounce when empty and are 15” high by 13” wide. Each person carries one loaded with the items below which are needed for a day in the parks.
If you were to look inside my luggage for our Walt Disney World vacation, you may think I have gone bonkers. Why would a sane person pack empty paper towel rolls on a Disney vacation? Stockings? Surely I don’t plan to wear those, right?
You’re very right, I have a much more useful plan for those. Just wait and be amazed.
- Panty Hose or Knee High Stockings. Do you have a little girl who will be treated to Disney’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique? Would you like to conserve that bun for the next day? Put some stockings over it and wrap the length around the bun to help protect it through the night. Touch it up with some spritz the next morning!
- Empty Paper Towel Roll(s). If you plan to enjoy a session at the Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you may want to keep your artwork. An empty paper towel roll will keep your drawings together and protected from being damaged on the way home.
- Gallon Freezer Bags. These can have multiple uses. They’re a great way to protect your expensive digital camera on water rides like Splash Mountain where you can leave it on your neck strap, but need something to make it water proof. A zippered freezer bag can do just that. Also, I love to use them to separate each person clothes. With a larger family, this can conserve space in luggage as well as make rope drop mornings much easier.
- Post-it Notes. Some parents may not realize that their toddler could potentially find something very harmless extremely frightening. It’s not an attraction or character, it’s the toilets. All across Walt Disney World, automatic flushing toilets are the norm. Some young children find them frightening. You can prevent the toilet from prematurely flushing, which can happen all too often when little ones are the occupants of the throne, simply place a Post-It Note™ over the sensor. Problem solved and disaster averted!
- Bright Colored Fabric Strip or Ribbon. If you plan on using a stroller, whether it’s your personal one or a rented one, then be prepared. There is something I like to call the “Sea of Strollers” at attractions like “Soarin”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “Kilimanjaro Safaris”, and “Toy Story Midway Mania”. You may park your stroller in one location, only to return to find it has been moved. I like to use a bright colored ribbon or piece of fabric tied around the handle to easily spot our stroller amongst all the others. It’s great for rentals as well, because it can be easily removed and reused each day.
These are just a few random things that I have found extremely useful in the parks and easy to just toss in the luggage. What are yours? What is the weirdest thing you have ever packed for vacation that has been extremely useful?
Lisa writes here at Chip & Co. as well as her blog Adventures in Mousedom. As a local to Disney World, she offers a different insight into visiting the parks. If you’re super cool like Chip, you should check it out. Okay, even if you’re not super cool like Chip, you should check it out. Trust me. What’s the worst that could happen?
- Disney World Quick Tips – Miscellaneous Tips I have learned (chipandco.com)
- Learn to Draw a Character at the Animation Academy in Hollywood Studios (meetthemagic.com)
Whether you are a frequent visitor to Disney World or if you are planning your first magical visit, I hope you will find this Packing Tip helpful.
Up on the top shelf of my closet, I have what I refer to as my Disney Trunk. The contents of this oversized plastic bin have been very important to me over our last eleven years of traveling to Walt Disney World, as it keeps all of our necessities in one place, which makes packing time easy.
I am happy to share with you the list of reusable items I keep inside. Since we are a family of 5, you might guess that there are five of each item inside the box:
We each have a backpack made of lightweight but strong polypropylene with a drawstring closure and straps. They weigh less than an ounce when empty and are 15” high by 13” wide. Each person carries one loaded with the items below which are needed for a day in the parks.
Insulated Lunch Bags
When we are penny-pinching (like when gas is near $4.00 a gallon, for instance) and when we are not taking advantage of a free dining offer, we pack our lunch in the mornings on the days we will eat in the parks. We usually pack a juice box, sandwich, bag of chips, fruit, snacks such as nuts, fruit rollups, etc. and maybe even a surprise special treat that I pull out in the morning. Whenever everyone decides they are ready to eat lunch, we can pick a couple of benches and people-watch while we have our lunch. An alternative would be to rent a locker and put all the lunchbags in it and then go to the front of the park when you are ready, but we like to just stop and drop.
You can use a delivery service like Garden Grocer for all your shopping needs!
We have lanyards to use during Extra Magic Hours (EMH), which is a special privilege for all Disney resort guests. Our lanyards each have a top-seal card holder attached for our key to the world (room key) which you must show at each ride during EMH. This saves us the time and trouble of taking out our key at each ride. We have even graduated to extra special ones with blinking lights so I always know where my family is if we accidentally get separated during nighttime EMH.
I purchase these at my local Dollar store a few weeks before our trip but always have extras in the box because we have been blessed with great weather during most of our trips. They are sold two for $1.00 and I usually buy 2 packs for each person. Since most of the time, we may have to use only 1, or at the most 2, we usually have some left over. We keep 2 ponchos in each backpack – one just in case the other breaks.
We use ziptop bags for a couple of reasons and every day we place two in each backpack. One holds our cell phone, camera and anything else we want to keep dry. The second is carried as an extra to put a wet poncho in, if necessary. We can also use the spare if we have any leftover chocolate anything from a meal so we can take it with us for a snack later. If you know me, you know I NEVER waste anything chocolate.
Cell phone pouches
Every person in my family has a cell phone, which I am sure you can understand since my kids range in age from 17 to 25. They can easily get dropped and broken if carried loose in a backpack, so each person has a soft cover pouch. These pouches keep them from getting damaged hopping onto and off of rides all day. The only time we use these pouches is at Disney World so when we return home they get put right back into the trunk.
We have a carabiner with a water bottle holder ring for each person. Each of us carries a bottle of water in addition to the drink in our lunch kit. We refill them throughout the day with the FREE ice water Disney offers to every guest at the quick service locations at any of the parks. We hook the carabiner to the drawstring cord at the top of our backpack.
I always take a spray can of air freshener with us. I am sure you can understand why. Five people (3 males and 2 females) sharing one bathroom — need I say more? Since we are there for only ten days, we usually have enough in the can for the next visit. I replenish this item as needed.
I have an over-the-door shoe organizer I like to use for the bathroom. The organizer has 6 rows of 4 “shoe” slots each. So, for five of us, each person gets a row. That is 4 large slots each to use for our personal bathroom necessities: deodorant, toothbrush, hair gel, hairspray, makeup, face cleanser, etc. It has been very handy to keep us organized since the resort bathroom areas are usually not equipped to handle such a large number of items and, especially, since I don’t want anyone to have to live out of a suitcase for 10 days. The rows are assigned by height, so my youngest at 6’3” gets the top row and so on down to the next to the bottom row. I use the bottom row for other items such as bandaids, pain and fever reducer, lotion, etc.
I always take a powerstrip with us on the trip. We have 5 cell phones, Ipods, and other electronic devices to charge and there never seems to be enough plugs in the room. Having a powerstrip with many plug-in slots has been a lifesaver for us. We never leave home without it.
Waterproof Map Holder
If you have read my other posts, you have probably gathered that I am old school. I have a smartphone and I really love it but I still like doing things on paper. I prepare a one-page, color-coded Excel spreadsheet for every trip which has my itinerary, ADR confirmation numbers, park times, parade times, fireworks schedule, etc. on the one sheet. When I fold it in thirds horizontally it is the perfect size to fit into my waterproof map holder. Now, when I am having a blast on Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids, or if I am stuck in the rain, I know that my trip bible is safe and sound and protected from the elements.
Body Glide/Monistat Soothing Care
These products are used to prevent and combat chafing (like on the inner thigh area). When my kids were young I went ahead and put it on them to keep them from having any discomfort from walking all day, getting wet on rides then taking a while to dry out, etc. We now take them just as a precaution but if we need it, we have it.
Germ-X, sunscreen, lipbalm
We have been carrying Germ-X with us for years, long before Disney installed the antibacterial soap dispensers. We still each carry one out of habit, as well as necessity. I know it is not necessary since the Disney installation but I am a moderate germaphobe so I will not even go there. I also keep sunscreen in my backpack as well as a lipbalm for each person, just in case.
It sounds hilarious that I still carry lipbalm for each of the kids, especially when I think of my oldest son who now has his own mortgage, but the thing is that we can’t turn off “the mom thing” and I have been doing it this way for so long that it’s just natural. Believe me, I don’t pack their suitcases for them and I don’t hold their hand on the way to the bus stop (even though I would really like to).
Keeping all of these reusable items organized and in one place throughout the year keeps me from having to fumble around for them when our time finally arrives to go back to Walt Disney World. About five weeks before the trip, I take out the box to see what needs to be replenished.
We have been very thankful for the Free Dining offer, because that means we can go to the parks without having to pack a lunch and sometimes we don’t even need to take the backpacks at all. Free Dining makes everything easy. Come on Disney, make the offer – pretty please!
During the times when free dining is not offered though, we really watch our budget and these items have saved us time, trouble and lots of money. Hope you enjoyed these tips! Share your own tips with us as well!
- Traveling with Infants to Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)
- Starbucks is coming to Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)
The burden of a family vacation can be overwhelming for the person “in charge”. Disney veterans know that timing is everything, dining reservations are a must and you can’t leave home without your itinerary. If you haven’t traveled to Disney, or don’t travel frequently all of the above is overwhelming; and then you still have to pack.
For some people packing is the worst part of vacationing, I have a three-step system to make your life easy and your vacation worry-free: plan it, pack it, post it!
- Plan It - A spreadsheet goes a long way, especially in Disney travel planning. I always keep our itinerary in a chart form that has all the park hours (including extra magical hours) our plans for the day and our dining reservations (with confirmation number of course!) The spreadsheet comes in handy for packing as well, knowing where you are going helps you to decide what you need to get there!
- Pack It - Use your spreadsheet to plan your packing strategy. If you know you are having X number of signature dinners, pack X number of shirts with collars for the men in your family. I like to use Ziploc bags to put outfits in for my 9 year old step-son. It saves time in the morning; all he has to do is find the bag with the date on it and everything he needs is inside. If you have a day at a park with water rides (such as Animal Kingdom’s Kali River Rapids) plan on wearing something you know will dry quickly and won’t be affected by water (eh hem, white shorts are see through when they’re wet!). Shoes take up space, so strategize and minimize. Yes, your wedge sandals might look super cute with an outfit you are bringing, but broken ankles in the Magic Kingdom are not magical. A good pair of tennis shoes (already broken in) will help you cover all that ground in comfort! A multi-purpose pair of flip-flops are always nice for those quick runs to and from the food court, pool or to give your tennis shoes a break. You may swelter in the summer heat at the parks but when you come inside to eat you might get a little chilly (especially children) bring a lightweight sweater or cardigan in your day bag, it doesn’t take up much space and it will keep you comfortable while you dine.
- Post It – No matter how much you plan there is always something you have to throw in the suitcase the minute before it’s zipped up and you’re out the door. This is where Post-it’s come in handy. When my major lists are all checked off I leave a post it note on the inside of my front door (the last thing I see before I leave) that gives me last-minute reminders for things I may have forgotten such as a phone charger, or to do things in the house…like make sure you take the trash to the curb, turn off the coffee pot, etc. I keep the Post-It notes with me while I pack and when I think of something I need but can’t pack at that exact moment I put it on the Post-It then when the countdown is done and you’re out the door you don’t have to worry about “What if I forgot…”
These three easy steps have worked great for all of our Disney vacations, but you can use them to pack-n-go anywhere! Follow the three P’s and your trip will be Pixie Perfect!
- Disney Planning Tips – Dollar To Disney (chipandco.com)
- Disney World Quick Tips – Don’t skip the Advanced Dining Reservations (chipandco.com)
There’s nothing I love more than a trip on Disney Cruise Line but after a few rookie packing mistakes I’ve learned what I can’t live without. Make sure you put these top 5 items on your packing list and you’ll be sailing happy!
1. Highlighters-Grab a pack of multicolored highlighters to mark the events your family doesn’t want to miss in the personal navigator, color code if necessary!
2. A hanging toiletry bag-The split bath is a lifesaver but a hanging toiletry bag will take you even farther. It saves space on the counters, which is limited to begin with and you don’t have to worry about your stuff falling over or where anything is!
3. A day bag-Pack your travel documents (including passports and Disney Cruise Line documents) medications and a bathing suit in a day bag so you can start having fun right away!
*tip: Your “day bag” can double as a useful tote throughout the cruise. Use it for your books, sunglasses, pool essentials or to put clothes in for the Vista Spa!
4. Magnets-Make a statement on your stateroom door with fun Disney magnets. You can make cute affordable magnets at home. It’s a fun project for the kids (and crafty mom’s!)
5. A sweater-Even if your destination is somewhere warm pack a sweater or multi-functional pashmina. The decks get cold at night and the restaurants are usually chilly.