I know I can’t be the only person who wakes up in a cold sweat every night for 2 weeks prior to my Disney vacation because I had a nightmare about forgetting some necessary item for my vacation. I’ve said it before, it is not like I am traveling to a deserted island or going on the Oregon Trail and have to take everything with me to survive, but for some reason I have that panic moment of “what did I forget?” My dreams are most often that I forget my camera, and that actually happened on a recent trip—luckily I was close enough to turn around and get it. So, what is on my list to NOT forget on your vacation?
Yes, you can buy it at Disney, but it is going to cost you an arm and a leg. Even if you are going in the dead of winter the Florida sun can be brutal—save your skin and don’t go out without your sunscreen.
11. To Secure Your Home
Before you leave make sure you take any precautions to guarantee a happy return home: stop your mail & newspaper, put your work email to an away message, turn off your water, adjust your thermostat, lock your doors and set your security system.
10. A Bathing Suit
Even in the winter take one just in case. You know you need it in the summer, and the pools are heated year round. Winter weather can be fickle in Florida, so you may be bundled up in a heavy coat one day and swimming the next—I’ve done it.
9. To Check-in for my Flights
24 hours prior to your departure you can go online and check-in for your flights. I also recommend checking periodically to make sure the flight is on time.
8. Jackets & Ponchos
It rains in Florida—sometimes a lot. You can buy a poncho at Walt Disney World (& I actually think they are good quality), but you can also purchase them at a local store to save money. If you’ve purchased a Disney poncho in the past, by all means bring it back! You may also want a jacket, even in summer. I find that the air condition is very chilly in a lot of locations in the heat of the summer including restaurants. The coldest places to me are the hallways in my resort (and the room itself when we first arrive).
7. Phone Chargers
Don’t forget your phone chargers—both for the room and a portable charger to take to the parks (that My Disney Experience app really drains your battery). I have two models that I like to use for travel. I use this portable charger—it is a little large, but it packs a powerful charge and I can charge two phones at once using it. I can charge 5 USB devices at one time. I still bring a power strip, but this simplifies and contains most of my charging needs.
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6. Small Bills
You will need $1s and $5s for tips. Although you can charge tips for food wait service to your room, you will need bills on hand to tip other positions like bell services, valet and mousekeeping.
5. Comfortable Shoes
I always marvel at some of the shoes I see people, particularly women, wearing around the parks. You can walk miles and miles in a day at a Disney park. Get a good pair of supportive, comfortable, well-fitting athletic shoes to wear in the parks. And be sure they are broken in before you travel. Sometimes I wear flip flops too, but only when we are going to be in the park for a short time. Sore feet & blisters do not make for magical vacations.
4. A Water Bottle
You need to stay hydrated, especially in the hot months, and buying water at Disney can add up. I like a good insulated stainless steel bottle, like a HydroFlask (http://www.hydroflask.com/) With this you can take your own water and if it started out cold it will stay cold all day (add a few ice cubes to chill further)—you have it with you when you need it and it doesn’t money cost every time.
3. Camera, Battery, Charger & Memory Card
Cue the nightmare! Your camera may be easier to remember, but if you have an extra battery and memory card bring them with you and keep them in your park bag. My phone and camera battery died last year at the second float in the Festival of Fantasy parade—major bummer! And don’t forget to pack the battery charger to use nightly and keep your camera ready for memories.
2. Tickets, Travel Documents, & Magic Bands
You definitely don’t want to leave home without your travel information. If you have a Magic Your Way Package from Disney you will have a booklet of travel documents containing information on your package, insurance, Memory Maker and Disney’s Magical Express (if you are using the last three). It also has coupon vouchers, so you don’t want to forget it. If you are not on a package you want to make sure you have a printed copy of your hotel confirmation. Any tickets you may have that are separate from you Magic Bands—pack those in a safe place. And don’t forget your Magic Bands! If you are flying put them in your carry-on luggage so you can use them to check in for Magical Express.
1. Magical Attitude
It is easy to get caught up in all of the planning and the stress of making sure you have everything just right. Just don’t forget to step back and let yourself experience the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation. Relax and let your vacation happen!
What is on your “Can’t Forget List” for your Walt Disney World Vacation?