**Before you read on, if you haven’t already trekked to the App Store for Walt Disney World apps, you have to do that RIGHT NOW.
They are helpful not only while you are on your trip, but super fun and helpful before your trip. We spent hours daily scoping out all that Disney World had to offer. My suggestion if you don’t have any yet, and my favorite app while there, is the My Disney Experience app. It is your online My Disney Experience made for ipad/iphone. We just got back from an eleven day vacation with the mouse and the app was so useful! It was the perfect tool to have on hand keeping us (me) organized and in the know of all our dining reservations and FP+!
Disney World is amazing, and the memories you will make with your family will literally last a lifetime, but there is a lot of activities and walking to pack for if you want a seamless trip with everyone. My husband and I are avid travelers, with and without our children, and a trip to Disney takes as much planning and prep to pack for as going overseas.. if you can believe that!
Planning to pack depends on each family members needs, but basically ..weather, comfort, duration of trip, where you are staying and what venues you will be going to see, are also factors. Preparing for this can be overwhelming, so I thought to offer up a tips and packing list to give you something to think about and to help you out.
Here are some tips and packing lists for a trip to Walt Disney World …or anywhere really!!
→ Create a Packing List –
Before anything, make a list of everyone’s every day items that cannot be lived without. Creating a packing list helps you keep focus and ensures you won’t forget your essentials!
My second bit of advice is to try your best to be organized. Which is why I am listing my #1 must have item for packing and keeping it together….
→ Gallon Storage Bags! Not a new idea, but I use them for almost everything packed in our luggage.
A gallon bag is perfect to hold most or all of the families toiletries, as you know already. We all use them to keep our luggage dry in case a bottle does explode, but, I love to use them not just within the luggage to stay organized, but for my children in the hotel room ..and for me at Disney; I like them at the parks, too!
Packing our daughters’ entire luggage in storage bags makes getting ready in the room every morning easy, and a focused task for them (they can get distracted way too easily in the AM). A one gallon bag can hold an entire outfit, along with a pair of underwear, an undershirt, a pair of socks and a hair accessory; or a swimsuit, flip-flops, coverup and goggles! Fold the clothes to fit the bag. Add in the matching accessories. Squeeze out all the air before sealing it closed. Label the outside with who it’s for, and, voila! You have a complete, portable outfit for your child to put on without question after a shower..or much question that is! The bags are see through for easy grab and go for each day. Leave them as is in the luggage, or take them out, place in a drawer and… Done. You are unpacked. Then at the end of each day, all you have to do is place that outfit, which has been worn all day and dirty, back into that empty gallon bag, squeeze out the air, seal it up, and bam..dirty clothes are rolled compactly away for laundry back in the luggage.
I like to also use a bag at the parks. It keeps my ‘while at the park’ items dry inside my bag on my favorite water rides; like cells, mini ipad, tissues, camera, autograph books, sunglasses, GUM, etc. Believe me, coming out soaking wet from the Khali Rapids is fun, until you realize your whole life got soaked in your bag inside that feeble bag holder that has three inches of water in it when it is your turn to use it.
Ok, now that we got the storage bags out-of-the-way, here is a run down list that might be helpful when you pack for your big family trip!
Family shared items: – face wash – toner – eye makeup remover – face cream – eye cream – body lotion – shampoo/conditioner – body powder – hair brushes – hair styling products – toothpaste – toothbrushes – mouthwash -floss – body wash – contact solution – shaving cream – razors – nail file, clipper, nail polish remover, and nail polish – feminine products and personal items – deodorants – q-tips -cotton face pads – perfume/cologne
For the children: – kid toothbrushes, toothpaste, flossers and mouthwash – kid body wash, shampoo/conditioner and body lotion – wipes– chapstick
→ PHARMACY/FIRST AID
– Contacts and glasses, along with cases, solutions, etc. (if you can bring an extra pair or two) -ibuprofen, or the like, for headaches – antacids – allergy meds– hand sanitizer –tweezers -mole skins – band aids (Band-aid brand makes adorable Mickey Mouse ones!) – Neosporin mini spray for the parks –vitamins -emergency medications, i.e., inhalers or epipens for carry on (we don’t take any Rx, but if you do don’t forget ’em!)
This is a must have in that hot FL sun anytime of year! I like to pack 2 large bottles to apply in room, and, 1 mini spray-on bottle for the parks. I recommend 30 -50 SPF for everyone. And for those sun seekers, a 15!
There is nothing worse than getting a burn then having no immediate relief in your room. If you can stick a bottle of aloe in your room’s fridge, even better! Personally, I like the lotion types vs. the gel types; and Hawaiian Tropics makes the best in my opinion. It smells great, and can replace your bottle of body lotion if you need it to.
For everyone! If you can bring an extra pair, that’s a good move, too! I like to snag a few cheap pairs in case we are forgetful or break them.
→ MAKEUP –Obviously an essential for my makeup divas out there. This is a great carry-on item.
Pack your items in a portable makeup case that has a brush compartment if you can find one. What is inside your makeup bag is totally personal, as is all the other items on this list, but if you need a visual here is what I normally pack:
- This may seem like a lot, but it’s just the basics. Remember, I am also a makeup artist who NEVER can be without her trusty makeup. EVER. I did switch out my loose powder container for a smaller travel one I had. Here is the Makeup Packing List! Foundation with SPF30 – loose face powder – under eye concealor – skin illuminator – 2 blushes (1 pink and 1 plum) – plum lipliner – 2 lipsticks to coordinate (1 pinkish nude, 1 vibrant plum ) – shimmer lip gloss – 1 waterproof black mascara – 2 eyeliners (black and grey) – 4 eye shadows (1 white base, 1 dark blue, 1 grey and 1 taupe shimmer) –eyebrow filler – essential brushes (powder brush, blush brush, shimmer brush, eyeshadow brushes, eyebrow brush, and eyeliner brush)
→ CLOTHES & SHOES
Shoes: You are going to walk A LOT. At least 2 pairs of comfortable sneakers (sturdy and lightweight), 1 pair of flip-flops/sandals, and 1 pair of casual dress shoes. The biggest advice I can offer, and you will read on every site pertaining to travel, is to pack shoes you have already worn or had the chance to break in BEFORE your trip. There really is nothing more upsetting than your feet hurting in any way a band-aid can’t help. For your children: sneakers, flip-flops, or Crocs, are great for switching out daily for comfort.
Clothes: Think seasonally and sensibly; what is essential and comfortable. Don’t pack frivolous items you know you or your family members won’t wear.
Any items you can create interchangeable layered outfits is perfect anywhere you travel. Just remember to keep your eye on the weather apps/channels, and realize that bringing a mix of clothes might be ideal if you see fluctuations in weather.
Wear your heaviest items, like jeans, jacket and sneakers/boots on the plane. This way you have room in your bag and not lugging more weight around.
And, pack one day more in your carry-on in case of issues with baggage.
This is a general clothing list mixed for men and women: -tops (tanks, blouses, collared shirts and tees) – bottoms (shorts, skirts, jeans, leggings and khakis) -Summer dresses (which is ideal layering clothing!) -sweaters/hoodies -lightweight jacket -swimwear and coverups -underwear – undershirts -socks -bras
The kids list mimics above, as they should also have interchangeable/alterable outfits that cover beyond your stay, in case of spills or rips.
→ Accessories/Jewelry (this is another mixed list. carry-on or wear your important jewelry/accessories)
– 2 watches -coordinating earrings, bracelets and necklaces – 2 wide belts and 1 slim belt (for jeans or skirt) -lightweight scarves – 1 cross body bag or small backpack (I love the cross body for its porting capability and to take with me on all rides without issue.) – Hair bands/ accessories like bobby pins, clips, etc. – hats/visors
For the children: -hairbands, belts, clips and hair pins
– Wall chargers for mobile devices – Flat iron/curling iron; most resorts have blow dryers, so leave those home! – safety pins and mini sewing kit -mini travel sized Febreze (cause I hate the smell of anywhere that isn’t my house) -mini travel sized wrinkle releaser (in case you don’t want to iron. I..LOVE to iron -little fact about me.) -travel packs of Shout wipes or Tide pens, and laundry detergent (for spot clean ups or full on washing in your bathroom sink) -items to dazzle your kids (face shimmer, crowns, pirate patches, any swag they need to feel special)
Extras For the Parks!:
– autograph books with markers – Minnie/Mickey mouse ears! – GUM GUM GUM! If you chew gum like I do, then you will have to buy a couple of packs as Disney doesn’t sell any – rain ponchos – Light up accessories/glow sticks for nighttime!! My kids love them, so we are bringing the ones we bought at Disney last trip, and some new ones!
→ Flight Carry-on Items
For the adults: – IDs, credit cards, cash and other wallet/purse items -personal devices/Cameras/video with extra batteries/chargers -headphones – flight/hotel/reservation information at the ready – the new magicbands – those emergency medications- i.e., inhalers or epipens – pocketsized tissues -a sweater -sketchbook with pencils -a book/magazine and anything else entertaining – a snack
For the children: -headphones – coloring books – crayons/markers -a few snacks – stuffed animals – handheld electronics and anything else entertaining
And lastly… DON’T FORGET!
- an address list of family members, friends and classmates you will be writing postcards to! (with stamps!)
- to label your luggage with return address tags!
- to fasten (tightly) a bright ribbon or identifier on your checked bags. You can spot them quicker when you are at the pick up carousels. A lot of people have similar luggage!
- TO HAVE FUN! Packing your bag should be just as much fun as going away (Yes, I am exaggerating, but enjoy every detail of your trip, and relax!).