A First Timer’s Guide To Walt Disney World – Packing For Disney

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Ok – so you’ve chosen which Walt Disney World Resort to stay at, you’ve made your Advanced Dining Reservations, and you’ve made your trip itinerary – so now all that’s left to do before you head off on your Walt Disney World vacation is PACK! A daunting task, for sure – because who likes to pack? It’s a pain, and there’s always stuff you can’t pack until the VERY last-minute, and then there’s the fear of forgetting something…eek!

While I can’t make sure you pack your contact lenses, I CAN help you with some important items/tips on what to bring along to Walt Disney World:

Don’t Overdress: Disney is NOT a fancy place. You can get away with shorts and t-shirts pretty much anywhere you go, and while it may seem tempting to pack cute dresses and strappy sandals for dinners or evenings out, trust me when I say it REALLY isn’t necessary. There are a few restaurants that require a fancier dress code, but for the most part, I stick with the “dress for comfort!” motto, and you should do the same!

Keep Your Feet Happy: Personally I only wear sneakers while touring the Parks – and not brand new ones either – comfortable, broken in (but not old and falling apart) sneakers, with nice breathable socks – and I HIGHLY recommend you do the same. Some people swear by crocs, but I haven’t had any luck with them myself, and as for flip-flops or other sandals – don’t even try it. Your feet will hate you. As much as it sucks putting on socks AND sneakers on a 90 degree day, it’s worth it – you will be doing a LOT of walking and you want your feet to be comfortable, and for me and my family – that means packing my trusty sneakers

Pack For The (Unpredictable) Florida Weather: One minute it’s raining, the next minute it’s sunny, then muggy, then raining, then sun again…needless to say, you’ll want to be prepared for ALL the possibilities when it comes to weather at Walt Disney World. Pack ponchos for everyone in your party (cheap disposable ones can be found at dollar stores, and nicer ones can be purchased at stores like Target/Wal-Mart), Ziploc baggies in assorted sizes (to protect your wallet/cell phone/camera etc when that rain hits), sunscreen – and LOTS of it, and a hat too (even if you put sunscreen on your head – that relentless Florida sun can still burn your scalp!)

Save Money On Snacks/Drinks: Bring your own refillable water bottles from home – because not only is it super important to stay hydrated in such a hot place where you’re doing a ton of walking, but also because no one wants to pay $3 for a bottle of water. Pack some snacks for the Parks and the plane rides/layovers too – granola bars, trail mix, nuts, fruit snacks – all of these are small and portable and will save you a ton of money – as the same thing at a Disney Park will cost 2-3 times as much!

Organize Your Suitcase: Resist the urge to just throw it all into the bag and jam it shut – because no one wants to wear wrinkly clothes all week, right? Fold your clothes. Organize the piles – shirts, shorts, pants, etc. This may seem like common sense (aka something you don’t need to do) – but trust me, it can really save you time when you’re getting ready for the Parks in the morning. For the kids, you can pack entire outfits in big Ziploc baggies: pants/top/hair accessories/socks/underwear – put it all together to avoid mis-matching and save time getting everyone out the door in time for the Extra Magic Hour!

Still not sure what should go in your suitcase? Then check out the items on my Disney Survival Kit for more “Must Pack” items


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Catie Hiltz is an avid Walt Disney World lover who has been vacationing there since she was tall enough to ride Space Mountain. She believes there is something for everyone at WDW-and especially writing about the benefits of vacationing there as an adult
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