2023 Walt Disney World Packages are available to book, starting today, June 8! If you’re thinking about a trip or have one planned, read our helpful packing tips to stay ahead of the game!
Stephanie Weiss is a dream vacation maker with LBAC Travel and Pixie Dust Planners, contact Stephanie here for questions and to learn more about planning your next Disney Trip!
A Walt Disney World vacation should be magical experience full of joy and wonder, so if the stress of packing for a trip to Mickey’s house has ever left you feeling Mad as the Hatter after a ride in the Teacups read on for some tips to help make getting ready for Disney as easy as Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boo!
The first and most obvious thing to pack is of course clothing. When planning your outfits for a trip to Disney World an important thing to keep in mind is that Florida weather is famously changeable. Depending on the time of year it can be cool in the morning, hot and sunny in the afternoon, and chilly in the evening; at other times, like the summer high season, it may be hot and humid all day with surprise showers – add in constant moving in and out of air conditioning though the day and you will start to understand while the #1 clothing related tip is LAYERS! By planning for light easy to carry layers (including a waterproof layer like a poncho or raincoat) you can be sure to stay comfortable from morning rope drop to evening fireworks. Additional clothing tips include bringing at least 2 pairs of well-worn COMFORTABLE shoes (yes, you do need that back up pair in case one gets wet and no you don’t want the blisters that can come from trying to break in new shoes while walking miles a day through the parks!), wearing matching or coordinating shirts/outfits for fun photo ops, or even trying “Disney bounding” a trend where rather than a true costume (which are not allowed for adults at Disney) you use your clothing choices to emulate the outfit or style of a character if you want. Don’t forget a pair of iconic ears for a finishing touch or wait until you arrive and find a new pair that calls to you in the moment.
Beyond wardrobe let’s talk park bags and accessories. When it comes to Disney there are some small things that can make a big difference in your day. While some may be fearless and head into the parks with nothing more than they can fit in their pockets, a good many Disney visitors choose to carry a small bag with essentials. When selecting a bag to use you will want to select one that is small and light weight to maximize your comfort and convenience. Loungefly mini backpacks are the trendy choice for many and are available in the parks, but my family personally loves to use the Disney Cruise Line cross body bag that you get as a cabin gift for being a Silver Castaway member (and hey if you feel like you need a Disney Cruise Line bag of your own I know some amazing Travel Advisors who can help make that happen!) Whatever bag you choose you will want to make sure to carry in it a portable battery pack and cable for recharging on the go so you always have access to your My Disney Experience App for tickets, reservations, maps, and more; sunscreen and spf lip balm to make sure you keep your skin protected and the unintentional Sebastian impersonations to a minimum; and any RX or emergency medical supplies (you can save space and skip the basic care items like Tylenol and band aids if you prefer as they are available at the First Aid Stations in each Park). Optional good to have items are magic bands or lanyards to carry your Key to the World card for easy access, a water bottle (although you can always get cups of complimentary ice water at locations that sell fountain beverages), some packaged snacks (not to replace all those yummy treats like Dole Whip, popcorn, and Mickey Bars but just to have some quick and easy eats to banish bouncing blood sugar and those sneaking Hangry attacks), and personal fans or cooling towels.
Lastly, lets focus on some items for the kids and the young at heart. Disney World is known as ‘The Most Magical Place on Earth” for a reason and there are lots of ways you can enhance the magic of your visit with what you pack. While costumes are not allowed for adults, for children under 14 years of age costumes (no masks) can be worn in the parks. Maybe you have plans to go all out with a reservation at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique which is a memorable experience for kids and their loved ones alike, but if your budget doesn’t allow or your child perhaps isn’t comfortable getting fussed over you can still plan ahead and create a similar moment by packing a costume from home (we love the ones from Little Adventures – they’re soft, light weight, and fold tiny for packing!) and some fun accessories like hair clips, wands, or stuffed animal sidekicks. Another fun activity enjoyed by kids of all ages is collecting autographs from the characters. If this is on your to-do list be sure to add a book with blank pages (or check Pinterest for some fun alternatives like photo mats and Character guidebooks) and some pens or markers to your suitcase. While at the parks you may also notice Pin trading going on and if your kids (or adults!) are anything like mine the lure of collecting things is irresistible and the fact that they are Disney themed makes it doubly so. Lanyards and pins are for sale in the parks, but this is another easy one to plan ahead for if you choose. Grab some fun lanyards online or at a local party store to pack and you can even purchase some pins online ahead of time so that they will have ones ready to trade, just be sure any pins you purchase are tradeable with Disney stamped on the back and they need to have the official mickey head rubber backs. The final packing tip for today may seem a bit extra but brings so much joy to my kids when we visit. From a very young age my kids have been obsessed with Tinkerbell. They love to watch her fly each night during the Magic Kingdom fireworks show and visit her at Town Hall for photos. She truly embodies the magic of Disney to them which led to our Disney tradition based on her motto of Faith, Trust, and PIXIE DUST. For those not familiar with the Disney Lexicon, Pixie Dust/Pixie Dusting refers to small gifts, surprises, or random acts of kindness given at Disney by cast members or guests that add magic to someone’s day. We incorporate Pixie Dust to our trips in two ways. First is a secret, I pack small Disney items and notes from Tinkerbell to leave out each night of our trip for them to find in the morning. These can be anything, but we usually stick with small inexpensive items that I collected on sale leading up to the trip – maybe a themed candy, trading pins, stickers, or small stuffies. We find that not only does this add to the excitement of each day and make the trip feel even more special for them, but it tends to cut down the asking for random souvenirs in the parks every other minute. Second, we will often bring items to Pixie Dust to others, this gives the kids the chance to focus outward and experience the joy of making someone else’s day a little brighter just because. Things like stickers, glow sticks, small snacks, or even little homemade items like keychains or bracelets are fun to share and enjoyed by kids, adults, and even cast members who love to feel appreciated for all their hard work.
So, to wrap it all up, the most important part of packing for a Disney trip is to make it your own! Take what advice you found here that makes sense for you and your family and run with it. Whether you are super organized and want to do it all or are more laid back and plan to just wing it you will have a magical vacation with memories you will treasure always.
Contact Stephanie here for questions and to learn more about planning your next Disney Trip!