A trip to Disney World is so exciting—we have visited four times with our family and absolutely love it! If you’re a little overwhelmed about planning your family’s visit, I’ve got you covered! This post is all about 5 Must Bring Items to Disney World —items you definitely should bring, but you may not think of.
So on to the list! Happy Planning, Packing, and Disney Dreaming!!
1) Bring Your Own Stroller!
We have both rented and brought our own strollers—hands down, bring your own! And here’s why (so many reasons)…You will be tired of standing in lines! The last thing you’ll want to deal with is getting in line for a stroller –and then returning the stroller when you are exhausted and just want to leave.
Additionally, there is a lot of walking just getting in and out of the parks! Outside of the park gates, you will be walking to monorails and buses (or your car)—these are not just short little jaunts! You’ll want to be able to push your tired babies and toddlers (probably anyone under age 5)…You may even need to run to catch one of the monorails or buses (yes, we are the family of 8 literally running with our strollers to catch the bus)! Stroller rentals are only available within the parks—so you will be hoofing it with all your little people (and all their stuff) to your transportation!
Besides the inconvenience, renting a stroller is expensive. Currently, single strollers can be rented for $15 per day, doubles are $31 per day (strollers may also be rented in Disney Springs with $100 deposit).
And if you’re like me—you will feel like the rented stroller is a germ factory. I’m sure they are cleaned and disinfected—I just have issues. Plus—they all look the same…You will be parking your stroller in an ocean of other strollers throughout the day at the parks. It’s really nice to be able to quickly identify your own stroller.
Now, I’m not necessarily advocating bringing your most luxurious stroller with all the bells and whistles. In fact, I’m definitely not advocating that. Keep things simple! (Unless you are bringing a baby—then you may want to consider bringing a nicer stroller.) My advice is to get something lightweight and small—easy to fold up on any transportation you may use. Cosco makes affordable umbrella strollers—some with Disney designs! Purchasing an umbrella stroller for the trip will pay for itself in two days!
2) Bring Rain Ponchos!
Every time we’ve visited Disney World, we get poured on at some point during the trip. In fact, I think it has rained on most of our Florida vacation days—but the showers are usually very short lived. Sometimes they aren’t more than a few refreshing sprinkles. But some days the rain comes down, and it is SOAKING! People will flood into all the gift shops and begin purchasing Disney rain ponchos—which are very nice. However, they are also about $10 each…and you are left with a wet poncho to fold back up and carry around—yuck!
I decided to start bringing our own—just cheap, emergency, disposable ponchos that don’t take up any space in your bag. This is a huge cost savings—emergency rain ponchos can be purchased for under $2 each. I bought 3 rain ponchos for everyone in our family and figured we probably wouldn’t need all of them, but I’d have them. When I packed my bag for the parks each day, I threw in 8 packages of rain ponchos (the emergency one’s are very thin and portable)—right along with our diapers and wipes. We only needed to use them one day out of our six in the parks—I ended up returning the ponchos I didn’t use (but they would also be great to keep in the car).
3) Bring Hand-Held Misting Fans!
Florida is HOT—especially if you go in the summer! Disney knows this and sells misting fans at the parks. You will see your poor child’s hot, flushed, red cheeks and decide this is something you need in your life. But like all things sold in the parks—they are pricey! The fans cost about $20—yikes. I have made that purchase in the past—but on our last trip, I came prepared with my own fans. We brought two and shared them among the eight of us—they were a huge hit! They don’t come with a strap—but there is a place to tie a ribbon, which is what we did to make the fans easier to cart around with us. Here’s a link to our fan:
4) Bring Good Shoes!
Obviously, you will be doing a lot of walking! Make sure everyone is packing comfy shoes! I like sandals in the summer—that’s just more my style, and they dry out easily from any rain or water rides. My daughters and I are huge fans of Reef sandals and flip flops. I bought my first pair of Reefs (Sandy) in San Fransisco (because my feet were killing me after walking around the city). Those miraculous shoes have lived on for ten years! Finally, our puppy got a hold of them (but we still didn’t throw them away—that’s how much we love them…my daughters and I are like “what’s a little nibble out of the shoe…?”).
We do have some self-respect and wanted to be a little more presentable at Disney…like not walking around in our chewed up shoes (plus we’d all be fighting over the one pair)! Thankfully, I share shoes with both of my teenage daughters—so I grabbed 3 different colors, and we were set for Disney!
Here we are–Reefs saving our feet!
If you are thinking of giving Reefs a try, I would say that our new flip flops seem to run a little small (we are size 6-6 &1/2—but a 7 fit us perfectly), so you may want to size up. Here’s a link to get our favorite, most comfortable style:
5) Bring a Good Bag!
Bring a good bag—but one that you are totally okay about getting wet, dirty, and smashed! I needed a bag that zipped and would hold diapers/wipes for the twins, hand sanitizer, wallets, cell phones, sun-tan lotion, medicine (BRING IBUPROFEN or Tylenol),and even my misting fans (plus extra batteries)! In our family—we basically put everything into one bag for the entire family.
Every time you enter the parks, you will have to get in a security line for your bag. I would always make a bee-line for that table, and the rest of my family could just go through regular security. Only having one bag for our large family was definitely a time saver! I say one bag—but one of my teens brought a small, cross-body purse to carry around her phone. So she had to get that checked, but it’s so small the check was very quick. Truthfully—that child is my Disney fanatic, and really just wanted to bring her adorable Snow White purse (which she got tons of compliments on)!
I’m a Disney fanatic too—so I wanted to get a bag that was festive and fun for the trip. I decide on an Alice in Wonderland backpack by Loungefly. They have lots of backpacks, purses, and bags with different Disney characters to choose from—it was hard to decide on one! Here are links to my bag and the Snow White crossbody my daughter picked out…
Have Such a GREAT Trip!
I’m so excited for you—you’re going to have a great trip! And if it puts your mind at ease—Disney sells EVERYTHING…so if you should happen to forget something or have an unexpected need arise, you will be just fine (we’ve had kids get sick and need medicine and medical help from their first aid stations—Disney is amazing!).
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below! And if you’ve already been to Disney, what items do you feel make the trip a little easier or cheaper? Do you have any “must-haves?”
P.S. Don’t miss my post: How to Plan Your Disney Vacation! It’s filled with lots of details and strategies to help you plan a very special trip!