Top “Must Pack” Items for a day at Walt Disney World with family!

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There’s a lot to think about when planning your family’s WDW vacation – there’s the big things like when to go, where to eat, what rides and attractions to visit – and then there’s the smaller things – things many of us might not even think much about ahead of time, like “what should I pack when I leave for the Parks in the morning?” Well, here are some “must pack” items that will make your days at the Parks MUCH easier:

Ponchos: The thing about Florida is – it rains. A lot. Like, pretty much daily in the summer and during hurricane season. So be prepared by bringing along your own ponchos. We bought ours for $7 a piece at Target, they are nice and thick and reusable and come with a mesh pouch to store them in – they have seen us through many rainy days at Disney and have paid for themselves for sure! You can also buy single use ones at your local dollar store (ours has them two to a pack for $1!). They won’t keep you as dry as the reusable ones, but for the price and the size (they hardly take up any bag space at all!) – they can’t be beat!

Ziploc Baggies: These have a lot of uses – saving half a snack for later, protecting your wallet/phone/camera from the wetness of a ride or the rain, protecting any documents like park maps, itineraries etc. They really come in handy for a lot of things, and I personally like to bring a few different sizes too – they can really save the day

Water Bottles: I bring one or two larger empty ones along in my suitcase, and fill them with water and ice at my Disney Resort before I leave for the day. It’s really important to stay hydrated, especially in the heat and with the amount of walking you are doing at Disney. Another perk to this is it’s a money saver – if I bought a bottled drink every time someone in my family was thirsty, I would be out $15-20 a day easy, so I definitely prefer to bring along my own water bottle. If you don’t love the taste of Florida water, you can bring along a water bottle with a filter attached

Snacks: You’ll want to make sure you have some granola bars, fruit snacks, trail mix, or other assorted snacks in your bag at all times – just in case you need something to hold you over until it’s time for your next meal – they come in especially handy when you find yourself in a LONGGGG ride line and you’re nowhere near the ride and your little one starts whining that he/she is hungry…that granola bar in your bag just saved you from a toddler meltdown. You’re welcome.

Sunscreen: That Florida heat comes from that big bright thing in the sky – not only does it make us sweat, but it will burn us – badly – if we don’t take the proper precautions. Ideally, long sleeves and hats are best – but getting everyone in your family to agree to that is near impossible, so I recommend you apply sunscreen before leaving in the morning, and bring it along with you so you can reapply as needed (ie – every couple of hours or more often if you get wet/sweat a lot). I like the spray on kind, but any variety will help protect your skin from the harsh Florida sun

Extra Batteries/Power Packs for Your Camera/Phone: Even if you make sure to fully charge all your electronics before leaving for the Parks, you still may find yourself with a dead battery – so make sure you’re prepared with extra batteries for your camera, and bring along a charger case or battery pack for your phone. And if you find yourself stuck and need a plug to charge up your devices, then check out these WDW phone charging locations

Ok – so the question you might be asking yourself after reading all that is – “Wait – can’t I buy this stuff at the Disney Parks? Why do I have to bring it with me?” And the truth is – you don’t HAVE to bring this stuff with you – BUT – it will save you time, money and headaches – and who doesn’t want that?

Packing these items is a “must do” for me and my family because it has been proven (through rigorous testing) that having these items on hand results in less whining and fewer meltdowns – and I hope that by planning ahead and packing your bag with these and other useful items, you can say the same!


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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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4 thoughts on “Top “Must Pack” Items for a day at Walt Disney World with family!

  1. I think a beach hat is invaluable. It keeps the rain out of your eyes when it rains, and the sun when it’s out. Plus, after it gets wet, it will keep you cool for a bit. If you wear light-weight clothes, I don’t think a poncho is necessary. You dry almost instantly when the rain’s over. Plus, sunglasses.

  2. However, most places at Universal only give you water without ice and the water fountains often have room-temp water. I freeze a water bottle to drink and recycle it when finished. Lasts about 1/2 day.

  3. No need to carry heavy water bottles–any counter service restaurant or snack cart that carries fountain drinks will GIVE you a FREE cup of ice water if you ask. Disney doesn’t want you keeling over from heat stroke either! Actually, Sea World will do this as well, so it’s become common here in Orlando. If you really hate the taste of the water (it’s become MUCH better over the past 5 years), bring those little packets of True Lime/Lemon/Orange to share amongst your cups–they add nothing to the weight of your fanny pack!

  4. I always, ALWAYS forget to pack my extra battery for my camera. When I stay at Poly, I’m a monorail ride away from getting it, but when I’m at Pop… So much frustration! LoL!

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