If you’re like me, packing for Walt Disney World can be a process that takes place over a few months, weeks, and then down to the final days. After many trips to “the World”, I’ve realized some things are better to just buy before you go to the parks. No worries, I like to shop on my vacation, too, but I’d rather spend my money on fun souvenirs than the items on the list below. If you are on the lookout for these items, months or weeks before your trip, you can get them at the store and stash them away, that way, you aren’t caught in a pinch while at the parks. You’re prepared, and these items will more than likely be cheaper at home than they are in the parks.
- Ponchos. I never realized the importance, or expense, of ponchos until the uber-rainy trip we took in 2012. I know, it rains in Florida everyday. But when you are stuck in the World of Disney for 25 minutes because the weather is so severe and they aren’t letting people out, that’s a different kind of rain. And when your two year old spends more time in her poncho than in that super cute dress she was going to wear to meet the princesses, that’s a different kind of rain. But, I digress. Anyway, buy ponchos before you leave home. The ones at Disney are SO expensive, and you don’t want to have to buy them on a whim. Grab some at the dollar store, and toss them in your touring bag. You’ll be glad you did.
- Sunscreen. Another “must pack” for the Florida sun. Sunscreen at the resorts or shops will cost you at least $12 or up. You’ll need it anyway, as we all know the Florida sun can be intense.
- Spray Bottles with Fans. They do sell these in the parks, and we do have one. But we’ve used it for a few trips now, and I know that when it’s time to replace it, I’ll buy one from Target or something and cut out a Mickey head or something out of vinyl to “Disney” it up. I will say, these are very useful, and my kids love them. They can bring relief, and it’s something that we use when we are in the parks.
- Disney T-shirts. The Disney store will often have their t-shirts on sale throughout the year. We stop by ours, or order online, to get some before going to the parks. Or, like this past trip, I made some for the kids. We only wear them for character meals, so we don’t buy a lot of them. But, if the Disney store has them on sale, I tend to get a few here and there. That way, when we are in the parks, we can concentrate on getting other souvenirs or satisfying that craving for a Mickey ice cream bar.
- Glow Sticks, Wands, Swords, etc. If you’ve ever been to the Main Street Electrical Parade, Wishes, or Illuminations, you’ll see that all the cool kids have fun glowing toys. And yes, our kids have one straight from the streets of Main Street USA. However, I like to pick up a few glow sticks, etc., from the Dollar Tree before we go. They fit so much nicer in our touring bag, and the kids love to deck themselves out in glowing attire for the night shows and parades.
- Liquid Hand Soap. The Disney Resorts provide bar soap, along with the normal hotel toiletries, for their guests. But, liquid hand soap is so much nicer because it doesn’t slip out of your hands. And, if you wear contacts, liquid hand soap rinses away much cleaner, and you could use it to wash your resort mugs, etc. if you are in a pinch.
- Brita Water Bottles. The Disney Parks are sweet enough to offer free iced water to guests at any QSD or food kiosk. However, the water doesn’t exactly taste filtered. Buy the Brita Water Bottles, as they come with a filter in the cap. Then, ask for your free water, transfer it to the Brita one, and voila. Your water is better than if you had drank it directly out of the cup.
So, what will you be adding to your packing list? Do these sound reasonable? I’ll be sharing what you should buy at the Disney Parks soon!
Have a magical day!