Monday, April 17, 2017

Vacations Unpacked-Disney World

Hey, Hey Everyone!

I hope you had a great Easter weekend.

Shay and I are back at it today with our series, Vacations Unpacked.  We've been vacation-planning fools over at Mix and Match Travel Agency and we get asked frequently about what to pack for certain destinations.  We're trying our best to make some great packing lists for those of you headed out of town.   Last month, we shared what to pack on a ski vacation and what to pack on a city vacation.

Today, I'm sharing some packing ideas for DISNEY WORLD.  When compiling this list, I reached out to some clients who had recently traveled to Disney World just to make sure we were thinking of everything.  

*Clothes-Depending on when you go to Disney World, you might need layers, warm jackets, or all the tank tops.  Make sure to check the weather before you go so you'll have all the appropriate clothes you need.

*Autograph book/Pen-I would say about half our clients are into getting autographs and the other half aren't.  But-if you think your kiddos will be on board, I'd go ahead and pack a cute Disney autograph book and a pen.  Amazon has lots of options.


*Stroller/Carrier-Even if your kiddo does not typically use a stroller, they will be tired and will use a stroller at Disney World.  The storage space underneath is a little bonus.  {And-I'd be sure to tie something that stands out on your stroller for quick identification.  There are tons of strollers at Disney World and if you have a yellow polka dot ribbon on yours-it'll be easier to spot.}  If you have an infant who enjoys using a carrier, I'd pack it for Disney.

*Portable Phone Charger-These cute pictures won't happen if your phone dies.  And isn't that an awful feeling?!  At Disney all day, you will use your phone to check ride times, take pictures, and text the grandparents updates.  You will need to charge it up way before the fireworks appear.  Don't forget to pack this!

*Hand Sanitizer-Need I say more?  ;)


*Suckers/Snacks-I highly recommend taking some snacks for longer wait times.  And suckers with toddlers will end in a sticky mess but will usually buy you some time.  Fruit pouches, cutie oranges, apples, bananas, and crackers can easily be packed, baggied {if needed}, and eaten in line.

*Baby Wipes-Remember those suckers I mentioned earlier?  The wipes will come in handy right after the suckers.  I don't have a baby in my house and still use wipes-to clean faces, messy hands, or spills.


*Princess Dresses-If you have a daughter who's really into princesses, don't forget to pack a few dresses for her.  I have a client who vacuum sealed several of her daughter's princess dresses in baggies and then when it was time to meet Cinderella, she grabbed her Cinderella dress...genius!  


*Comfy Shoes-I know this is a given but so important at Disney World that it must be added to the list.  A few suggestions-tennis shoes, Skechers Go Walks, Natives for kids.


*Extra Clothes-You never know what will happen when you're at a theme park all day.  From spills to water rides to accidents, there's no telling!  With that said, a change of clothes for the kiddos is always a great idea.


*Sunscreen-Outdoors all day.  You'll need this no matter what time of year you plan to travel.


*Water Bottles-I'd recommend big, easy to fill bottles.  You can throw these in a suitcase, they don't take up much space, but they'll save you a lot of money!

*Cute Disney Shirts-Our clients continually surprise us with their cute, color-coordinated Disney shirts.  Etsy is the place to go if you're looking for personalized Disney shirts.


*Sunglasses-Just like sunscreen-being outdoors all day, no matter what season you'll want the sunglasses.  I always wear inexpensive glasses because I cannot keep up with them.  I don't feel so bad about losing my $12 pair.  On vacations, I pack a back-up {because of my sunglasses track record}.  There are a ton of options for sunglasses under $15.


*Rain Poncho/Umbrella/Rain Gear-I feel like this is something if you pack it, you won't need it.  But if you forget it, you'll need it.  Know what I mean?  You can find super inexpensive ponchos at Wal-Mart, Target, or even the dollar store.


*Small Backpack-It's too bad fanny packs are frowned upon, because now as a mom I can see how functional those things really are!  Right?  For the most part you don't need a lot of important things at Disney, but you do need a place to put your phones and such when you're riding a ride.  I'd recommend a small cinch bag.  They can hold quite a bit but they lay flat and take up hardly any space. 

These client pictures have me wanting to go back to Disney World ASAP.  If you're planning a trip to Disney World and would like some help, please e-mail us at mixandmatchtravelagency@yahoo.com.  We absolutely love helping families with Disney World vacations.

And please let me know what YOU pack for Disney World trips?  Happy Monday!  XO

43 comments:

Mix and Match Mama said...

So many good tips, but I think the portable charger tip was my fave. Those darn iPhones will run out (especially with all of the picture taking!), so that tip is a MUST!

Julie Mills said...

Great list Erika! As a Disney vet, I always pack glow bracelets/toys from the dollar store for my kids to have in the park at night. It saves a ton! I also pack clothespins, they come in handy as many of the showers have a built in clothesline. Also, I bring a pop up hamper to corral our dirty clothes. It lays flat in the car and then makes it easy to transport the clothes to the laundry facilities. Lastly, I bring a step stool so my small kids can reach the sink to wash their hands and brush their teeth. Oh and liquid hand soap because we hate using bar soap all week to wash our hands!

Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said...

I've never worn one. However, I do think a fanny pack would be incredibly functional. :)

Liz said...

I came over here from Shay's blog. WDW veteran and mum of three, and the biggest fight I recall getting into with my first husband was, sadly, over how much stuff we lugged around at the parks.

See, I used to plan for every emergency. If you had a blister, vomited, and then needed a sandwich, I was your person with a moleskin, pepto, and PB&J.

Over the years I learned that stuff want necessary for park days. I bring the basics because I didn't end up using 80 percent of what I had for "just in case" scenarios and kept fighting with the bag on rides.

We use Fuel Rods at the park. It's $30 to buy a portable charger for your phone, and when the charger is dead, you trade it in for a new one.

Ponchos, ponchos, ponchos. I wised up and stopped buying the ponchos that were $1. The Disney ponchos are definitely more heavy duty and are replaceable for free at parks if they rip or tear. We were there during Hurricane Matthew and the Disney ponchos actually stayed down and kept us dry with the wind and rain, while other people looked kind of like George W at the inauguration. I only buy them if we need them, and when we have needed them, I find uses for them in and around our house post-vacay. (Two are stuffed in our cars in the event of breakdowns or road-side emergencies, camping, picnics and not having to sit on wet benches, under wet bums after swimming, sports games when we forget an umbrella, etc. Nice memory of our trips annnnnd they stash well in the car.)

I used to take the cheapest, jankiest umbrella stroller I could find, but (as a 6' tall person) was never able to stand up tall when pushing a kiddo around. My kids are too old now, but I would take our stroller for airport travel, and rent one for the parks. Kids can and will make a mess in strollers, and nice strollers can be "taken" by others at the parks. Like you mentioned Erika, I attached something to identify it as ours. I know friends that put those GPS chips on theirs so they can always find their rental, even when a stroller attendant has moved it.

We each start the day with a full water bottle, and refill it with ice water from the quick service stations. It tastes better than water from a bubbler and is refreshing on a hot day.

We each pack two pairs of shoes, and double the amount of moisture wicking socks than days we will be there. One of the pairs of shoes is something like a Keen, that is a waterproof shoe. No one likes to be caught in a Disney downpour and then find their shoe is still wet the next day. We change socks when back in the room (unless we're wearing Keens) and find that dry, non-sweaty feet help keep blisters away.

Let's see. Now that I have teenagers, we rarely stop for the day parade, but a small towel or blanket is handy for hot pavement if the kiddos want to sit. Ditto, don't let your teen wear super cute and thin shoes, because the Florida sun will make her feet miserable.

When it all comes down to it, I now pack a small cross body bag. I carry band aids, ID, two ponchos, a phone and Fuel Rod, and a clip on the side for the water bottle. That's it. I'm less stressed, getting through security is a breeze, and i enjoy the rides more without having a family argument over why I'm the pack mule. :)

Lindsay F. said...

We brought along our own glow sticks, glow necklaces etc. for the Electric parade night. Our kids were too young to realize (but probably wouldn't have cared otherwise) that we didn't buy them there. They just knew I had theirs out and ready to go when the parade started and neither me or my husband waited an hour in the glow necklace line! This also saved us big $$! Side note: Downtown Disney (now another name....) is a somewhat hidden gem. We got in a day earlier than our park passes started. D.D. filled up the time and our family had a great time-- best of all it's free except for the food and a few rides here and there!

Lauren Darrell said...

Love this! My husband and I are taking our baby next January and some of these tips will be super helpful. I can't believe I had never thought to pack our own water bottles before-- genius! Everything is so much more expensive at the park!

Meagan @ The Clanahan Fam said...

Gah, that last picture makes me want to go back, too! Good times! I will say this last trip I saved myself a ton of stress by individually packing each kiddos clothes for each day in gallon ziplocs. With not tons of space in the closets and such, it made it so much easier to throw the kids their baggie for the day, complete with t-shirt, shorts, socks, hairbow, etc instead of having them ransack their suitcase looking for something particular. Ohhhh, and pack gum! It sounds so strange but since WDW is a gum-free zone, if you are a gum chewer, you'll need to bring a couple of packs with you :) {I learned this the hard way!}

Bailey Bryant said...

And don't forget your swimsuit! Those Disney pools are pretty neat. :)

Narci Dreffs said...

Oh, this is so fun!! I want to go back stat! Great tips, girl! Thank you so much for planning our Disney trip! We had an amazing time!

The White Family said...

Definitely pack kids clothes by day in ziplock bags! Saves so much space and makes it easy to hand kids their bags of clothes in he morning. I also had a bag for each child in the backpack with an extra outfit.

Megan @ Letting In The Light Blog said...

You were so wonderful to work with for our Disney trip last fall!!!! I shared a bit about our packing must-haves for Disney here:
http://www.lettinginthelightblog.com/disney-packing-must-haves-to-add-to-your-christmas-list/

Emily Williams said...

All quick service restaurants will give you a cup of ice water for free. No need to buy food.

Emily Williams said...

We do this saves so much time!!!

Robin said...

We rented a double stroller from a company in Orlando. It was so handy to have it ready and waiting at our hotel and we didn't have to worry about transporting it. Also, if you have a toddler who loves popcorn, buy the refillable container. It was so worth the money and it saved us many times while waiting in line or for our food!

Natalie Tucker said...

Instead of lugging around water bottles we just get free ice water at quick service restaurants, I buy travel size sunscreen for my park bag. We have a big bottle in our room but use smaller ones in the park. I buy Disney shirts hats etc...at the Disney store before we go. They have good sales and it saves money. I also got some Disney pins to trade on eBay.

Nicole said...

Portable charger all the way! That is my number one thing to pack now. And a hat because the Florida sun is intense.

Anna Hall said...

Thanks for the tips! We are leaving Wed morning for Walt Disney World and it hadn't crossed my mind about an autograph book! Just ordered one from Amazon, so the day has been saved!

Sara said...

I am seriously wanting the fanny pack to make a comeback SO bad! As a teen/20-something, I couldn't believe people were lame enough to wear one. Now as a 30-something mom...give me all the hands free!

Barbara Ann said...

Hit the Target dollar section and dollar tree store before your trip to buy the glow sticks, pop up hamper, clothes pins, travel first aid supplies, Kleenex, wet naps and to fins those cute lightweight handle bags with disney characters on them. And yes to ziploc bags of all sizes, We buy raincoats at Walmart in the camping section - they give great water protection but are light weight and dry quickly. Everything in the backpack goes in ziplock bags which makes going through security a breeze and if it rains there is more protection for electronics. Raincoats are always with us in the parks in a ziplock bag in a backpack along with that lightweight character dollar bag. After it rains, we take off the raincoat and fold it up and put it in the dollar bag which we clip to our backpack. Backpack stays dry and if it rains again we have quick access to raincoats. People would stop us to ask where they could get the bags! The bags also come in handy at resort from the pool to the food court and even laundry. We were there during a tropical storm and having 2 pairs of Keene shoes, crocs and waterproof shoes were key. Sneakers do not dry quickly in humid weather even with a blow dryer assist. Highly recommend getting the photo pass that lets you get unlimited photos taken by disney photographers. If you buy it before you leave on vacation it is $20 less for $149. You don't have to worry about phone battery level and you get to have everyone in the family photo. We also search for Disney headgear and Disney pins on eBay to pack - saves a ton of money when pin trading for fun at the parks. Last tip- if you are not renting a car and dependent on Disney transportation. We have amazon prime and used the amazon pantry to send water and food to our resort. Cost is 5.99 per box which was cheaper than a grocery delivery service. One. Box contained mini waters, cereal bars and water flavor packets. box was waiting for us at our resort and delivered to our room upon arrival. Love Disney for family fun!

Karen said...

Great tips! On our last Disney trip, we had autograph books. It was great fun for my boys to get autographs but now that we are at home, the books sit in the closet unseen. I saw someone with a hardcover Disney character book getting autographs on the page about each character. That's what we'll do next time, so when we read the book our boys can see the autograph and remember the fun Disney times!

Jill B said...

What a great idea!

Alayna said...

LOVED THE FUEL RODS:)))))) And you can keep for recharging or just swap out at the parks. We don't have kids, but I also took a few small bags of trail mix which was nice.

Whitney Pegram said...

Great tips!! Can't wait to do Disney with my people! :)

Amanda @ That Inspired Chick said...

We can't wait to start planning our trip! (November 2018). But I'm already so excited!! I'll definitely need yall's help!! Happy Monday!!

That Inspired Chick

AKS Monograms said...

Love all these tips! We are leaving in a month for a week at Disney. Do you have any comfortable sandal suggestions for adults? I can't wear shoes with backs on them for long periods of time, and prefer shoes I can easily slip on and off. I will be about about 18 weeks pregnant while we are there too.

AKS Monograms said...
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Ani said...

Color coordinating - red shirts one day, yellow nect, etc. Makes it easy to keep tabs on our crew :)

Jayme Bender said...

I froze a half a case of water bottles and used them to keep our ice chest cold, then threw a few in the bottom of our stroller/backpacks. By the time the were needed they were melted enough to drink! But we drove to Disneyland so an ice chest may not work for those flying.

Jessica said...

I second the stroller rental from a local place down there. We rented a house and stopped by to pick it up but they will deliver to the hotel or house. And it was so reasonable on price. $100 for the week for a double and it looked brand new...and it was one of the nice City Mini Doubles.

ebk248 said...

Which kind of portable charger do you have? Thank in advance! 😉

Mary Tyson Bradshaw said...

The modern-day fanny pack: the Kavu rope sling bag. Look it up and buy one...perfect for a day at the park!!!

Casey said...

We have been to Disney so many times in the last 8 years. My suggestions are some form of identification bracelet for your kiddos. It's so crowded and you think you won't get separated but that always makes me feel better that they have that on in case one does become separated from us. Another suggestion is to bring food in. Food is expensive at Disney so we always eat breakfast before heading out and then either eat lunch or dinner at a restaurant and then the other we eat a protein bar, fruit, p-nut and jelly sandwich, etc. Also, lots of snacks. And then we have always done the signature book until our last trip when we had the characters sign a picture mat. Then we put a picture of the kids with Mickey and Minnie and the mat in a frame and it is such a cute momento from the trip!

Tanya said...

These are such great tips.

We just went to Disney over spring break, and I posted some helpful hints here:
https://txtanya.blogspot.com/2017/04/travel-tuesday-disney-tips.html

ANG said...

Most resorts will let you mail a package up to two weeks before you arrive, I have sent a box with juice boxes, small bottles of water and packaged snacks and breakfast bars. Cost about 5$ to send the whole box, which is what one bottle of water cost in Disney. The Disney resort will hold the box until you arrive and either put it in your room or give it to you at check in.

Kelsey Schwartz said...

I didn't read through all of the comments so maybe someone already shared this. At Disney and all theme/amusement parks (I think), you can go to any food stand and ask for a cup of water and they have to give it to you. Sometimes they don't include the lid but it's a free way to get water!

Thomas Lovin' said...

Hey!! Just a tip with a baby. Disney has baby care centers and always life savers for us. It has rocking chairs, feeding rooms and changing tables.

Eileen said...

We go to Disney every year and your packing tips are great!
* Definitely bring inexpensive ponchos (buy a bunch because reusing a poncho is a pain - if you don't use them, return them when you get home or save them for the next trip!)

* Before your trip, print out a paper copy of your itinerary, or take screen shots from the Disney app. These are especially handy to have if the app goes down, which it sometimes does.

* Bring a sharpie for autograph books. It's much easier for characters to hold them.

* Extra gallon-size Ziploc bags. I kept my phone inside one in my pocket on a rainy Disney day to make sure it didn't get wet. Also handy when going on water rides.

* I always dress my kids in the same bright color. It makes it easier for me to keep track of them and in case of an emergency, it's easier to remember what they were wearing.

* Bring glow sticks from home. My kids love wearing them to the parks at night and don't ask for the expensive light-up toys in the park.

You can read all about my favorite Disney tips here: http://mcculloughfive.blogspot.com/2017/01/disney-favorites-tips-and-tricks.html

Elaine Welte said...

Robin, can you please let me know where you rented the stroller from? We have a double but it is so large! I prefer to not fly with it!

Lacey Khiev said...

What great tips! We have never been to WDW but we are veteran Disneyland folks! We live about an hour away so we always travel there by car and bring our own stroller but if I were to visit WDW I would certainly rent one rather than travel with one. Also like mentioned above the Baby Care Centers are fantastic! They always have a movie playing and you can change your littles clothes, diapers, nurse and they even have toddler sized toilets! Also you can buy formula, baby snacks, etc. Another thing is Disneyland (and WDW does too) has a first aid building, which gives you FREE OTC medication (Advil, Tums, band aids etc). This is a great resource! Another thing is we dont get the rain like Florida does but the BEST time to visit is during a rain storm. Bring your ponchos but the parks clear out and it is great! Also just dont stress it, realistically if you forget something, you can buy it. They have everything there and yes you may spend a little more on something but sometimes it may be better to just buy than to have to lug around all the "what-ifs". Happy travels!

JenB said...

We always take a cooler bag and pack our lunch since food is so expensive. We rent a locker for about $15 a day so we don't have to carry it around and it's so worth it! Also a backpack with waters and snacks since my kids seem to be hungry every few hrs. I feel like this has saved us tons of money.

brookerichardson said...

I'm going to refer back to this! I just need to convince Tyler that we should be going back to Disney by the end of the year. I'm having major withdrawals.

Erica said...

Kingdom Strollers is a good one! :)

Robin said...

Yes, it was Kingdom Strollers! And we saw a lot of strollers in the park rented from there, we were glad we had brought a bright colored ribbon to make ours stand out. I thought the rental price was pretty reasonable as well.