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I am a travel consultant specializing in Disney Destinations with Academy Travel, a Platinum Earmarked Agency. Let me help you take the stress out of planning your Disney vacation. My services are always FREE.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What To Pack and What to Skip When Packing for Disney World

The Internet is full of packing lists for Disney World and many of them list must take items.  Some of these items I agree are must haves but some of them really aren't worth giving up room in your suitcase for.  Here's the list of what I think is worth packing and what I think is worth skipping.

Absolute Musts

Comfortable Shoes - this can not be stressed enough.  And be sure to test drive them before you go.  I took a pair of brand new walking shoes with me to Disney World and hadn't bothered wearing them before we left.  By the end of day the shoes had rubbed blisters on my feet and I ended up buying a pair of Mickey Mouse crocs in the gift shop.  Well two days later those had rubbed a different set of blisters on my feet and I ended up wearing my daughter's tennis shoes for the rest of the stay.  My husband and kids wore tennis shoes that they had been wearing before the trip and they didn't have a single blister.

Blister Pads - These are a must for the blisters that you will most likely get if you are going to be staying at Disney for a few days.

Costumes - Many little girls love visiting the parks in Disney Princess costumes.  We looked at some of the beautiful costumes that Disney sold in the parks and they were at least $65 or more.  If you have any inkling that your daughter will want to wear a princess dress your best bet is to bring a costume from home.  The Disney Store is a great place for purchasing these.  If you do decide to dress your little ones in a costume for the day be sure to bring a change of clothes because the costumes get itchy and hot so if they are stuck in a costume all day there might be a melt down.

Extra Set of Contacts - If you are a contact wearer bring an extra set of contacts along.  You might have trouble getting a spare pair of contacts while you are out of town and you won't want to leave the park to get a replacement set either.

Magic Bands - If you are staying on Disney Property more than likely your Magic Bands will get mailed to your house before your trip.  Be sure to take these with you and pack them where you can get to them easily when you arrive to check-in at your resort.

Sunscreen - This is often overlooked but a must and sunscreen is ridiculously overpriced in the park.

Camera, Batteries, and an Extra SD Card - While packing a camera and batteries seems like a no-brainer, an extra SD card is something that you might not think about.  It was something that I didn't think about.  Let's just say if you are going to be staying in the park for several days and will be taking a lot of pictures you will possibly max out an SD card in no time.  The cheapest SD card that could be bought at Disney World was $35.

Pennies and Quarters for Pressing - My daughter loves pressed pennies and collects them from every place we visit.  We knew going to Disney that they had a TON and I mean a TON of penny press machines.  Luckily we had brought quarters and pennies from home for her so that we weren't having to run get change so that she could use these machines.

A Backpack for the Park - Even if your kids are older or you don't think you will need a backpack take one anyhow.  We used our backpack daily and it was a lifesaver.  However be sure to pack only what you need in it because if you over pack it will get too heavy by the end of the day and your shoulders will be killing you.

Bubbles, Glow Sticks, and Light Up Spinners - Bubbles are everywhere at Disney World and your little one is sure to yell they want some of their own when they see other kids with them.  Skip the overpriced Disney bubbles and bring bottles of bubbles from home.  You might also want to pick up an inexpensive bubble gun to blow the bubbles while you are at it.  As the sun begins to set the cast members start bringing out glow sticks and light up spinners.  Again, save yourself some money and bring these items from home.

What to Skip

Refillable Water Bottles - Everybody suggested taking refillable water bottles and we bought expensive ones to take.  On the first day we loaded these into the backpack and lugged them to the park.  We never used them.  We drink a lot of water but we prefer extremely cold water, so when it came time to drink water we purchased ice cold water.  In my opinion, the refillable water bottles are worth skipping.

Quarters for the Laundry Machine - Halfway through the trip I decided to take an afternoon break and wash up some of our clothes in the resort laundry room.  They were renovating the laundry room closest to us and the result ended up being my one bad moment of the trip.  Long story short, part of the reason for the renovation was that they are switching over laundry machines and those machines require you to use a credit or debit card to pay for your laundry instead of quarters.  So if you are staying on Disney property you won't be needing quarters for the laundry machine.

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