Disney World Planning 101 – Doing Laundry versus Packing a Full Suitcase

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Disney World Planning 101 - Doing Laundry versus Packing a Full SuitcaseWhen it is time to get ready for your trip to Disney World, many of us gather our latest packing list and get ready to get down to the business of packing!  But here is one thought I have never had when going to pack, should I bring a full suitcase or a smaller suitcase with plans to wash clothes during the vacation.  All of the resorts at Walt Disney World house a laundry facility.  Most of the facilities are located close to the pool area.  As such, many people combine their hours of laundry duty with a bit of swimming fun!  When doing laundry in one of these facilities, the costs are as follows:  Washer $2 per regular sized load, $2 per drying cycle (sometimes it takes more than one cycle to get the laundry dry depending on the dryer and the load type).  If you do not bring your own laundry detergent, you can purchase a box of single use laundry detergent for $1.  The machines work on quarters and each facility has a change machine.

There are a few reasons why you may want to bring a smaller suitcase and do laundry during your vacation:  1) less to keep up with, load, and carry on your day of travel, 2) less room taken up by your items in your room, 3) you only own 3 Disney shirts and that is all you want to wear the entire trip! 4) you want to save the money you would otherwise spend on checking in bags with your airline (if flying).  Many of the airlines now charge a checked bag fee.  The fees for many of the airlines is $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second bag for bags under 50 pounds.  For a family of four, the cost of the checked baggage would be $100 ($25 per person X 4 people) if each person checked only one bag.  Of course, this does not consider that the bags would also need to be checked on the flight home as well.  With this in mind, that same family of 4 would spend $200 on checking in baggage!

Of course, if you decide to do laundry while on vacation, you will need to be sure to set aside the time needed to wash and dry the loads of laundry.  If you are already planning on returning to the resort to swim or rest, doing a load of laundry should not be difficult to accomplish.  However, if you are a open-to-close theme park goer, doing a load or two of laundry could be difficult to squeeze in to to the beginning or end of a long day at Disney World.

So what do you do to save money AND not have to do laundry while on vacation?  Perhaps plan on only brining a carry-on bag.  According to regulations, these bags can be approximately 22″ x 14″ x 9″. The FAA mandates that all carry-on items have to fit under a seat or in an enclosed storage compartment.  Here are a few tips to help you in your quest for only bringing a carry-on bag:  1) Bring along clothes that are thinner and take up less space.  2)  Wear the clothes that take up the most amount of space.  For example, if you are bringing along flip flops and tennis shoes wear the tennis shoes when flying since they take up far more room in the suitcase than the flip flops.  Along those same lines if you are bringing a jacket, wear it on the plane.  3)  Look at the clothes you are bringing and see if you cannot reduce what clothes are needed by matching shirts with shorts or pants that can be worn more than one day during your vacation.  4) Fly Southwest Airlines where checking on baggage is free!  With these tips, you should be able to save yourself some time and some money!

When not contemplating the baggage costs, Natalie can be found at Meet the Magic where she regularly writes articles on ways to save money before and while traveling to Disney.  Check out these for more money savings strategies!

  • Learning to “Let Go” With Disney’s Magical Express (theaffordablemouse.com)
  • Affordable Disney Vacations: Saving Time AND Money with Disney’s Magical Express (chipandco.com)
Disney World Planning 101 - Doing Laundry versus Packing a Full Suitcase


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2 thoughts on “Disney World Planning 101 – Doing Laundry versus Packing a Full Suitcase

  1. We have DVC so we have a washer & dryer in the room. During the summer, you really can’t wear items more than once anyway, so I always pack to wash. I always pack dark & light neutral colors to only have 2 sortings to wash. I also LOVE our zip-off leg pants (adult sizes from Bass Pro or Cabela, kids’ sizes from JC Penney), so no heavy jeans or sweats, even when the weather is cooler. And, I slip a Ziploc of Purex 3-in-1 laundry sheets into the suitcase – they take up almost zero space, they smell awesome & they are totally FABULOUS!!!

  2. I do laundry when I am at the resorts for 2 reasons: to pack less and to have less to do when I get home. When we were at the Contemporary Resort in November, I had brought my rolls of quarters but did not need them. The machines are now equipped with a card reader instead, so you just swipe your room key and it goes on your bill. I thought it was very convenient. Thanks for the article, Natalie!

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