So, you booked your dream vacation to Walt Disney World and your vacation date is quickly approaching. You have booked your tickets, secured Park reservations, and even nailed down advanced dining reservations for some yummy restaurants.
Now it’s time to pack. From must-have items to Park bag guides and Disney World packing lists — we have lots of advice when it comes to packing for a Disney vacation. As a Disney fan with decades of vacation packing experience, these are the things that I always do when packing for a Disney vacation.
Inventory for a Walt Disney World vacation? Yep, taking a look at what items you may need to purchase is a great first step in packing for a Disney vacation. You may find that those sandals that you don’t often wear are not quite sturdy enough for a day of walking in EPCOT. Upon further inspection, you may learn you need cooler clothing options with built-in sun protection for your upcoming day at Animal Kingdom.
Is your bag sturdy and reliable, or does your suitcase have some intense damage that might keep it from making it to Orlando? If you need to buy new clothes or shoes, inventorying your suitcase is a great way to ensure you have plenty of time to obtain what you need.
Expiration Date Check
Check expiration dates on sunscreen, bug spray, and over-the-counter medication you are packing. You may be surprised to learn you need to replace all your spray-on sunscreen or need to update your medicine bag with replacement medications.
Some medicines and sunscreen become less effective over time, so be sure you are protecting your family by checking those expiration dates and adding them to your vacation shopping list if needed.
Pack a small cosmetic case of over-the-counter medication as a “what-if” supply. True, you can run down to the Disney Resort gift shop to purchase a (more expensive and smaller) bottle of meds if needed. But do you really want to dash downstairs while taking care of a sick family member? Packing medicine like pain relief, antibiotic ointment, stomach medication, allergy medications, nausea medication, children’s medications, and bandages can be a huge time saver.
My favorite trick to reduce the bulk of these items is to remove them from boxes and stash the blister packaged meds in a cosmetic case. As long as you can clearly see the medication name and dosage, you are good to go. Snap a photo of the medication dosage instructions and warning labels on the medication box and add it to an album on your phone. If needed, you can easily reference the medication dosage instructions without holding on to a bulky medicine box.
Try On Park Outfits
I know, I know this sounds silly, but I always try on Park outfits when packing. Any seasoned Walt Disney World traveler will tell you that shoes and clothes that feel comfy at home might not be such a great choice after a few hours in the heat and after a few thousand steps.
Try on your Park outfits prior to packing, to make sure shorts are the right length, shoes don’t rub blisters, and that you have the right undergarments for every outfit. You may find that a fun summer outfit you love at home is too sweaty of an option for Park hopping, or that a favorite ensemble is too tight and itchy for a Park day.
Trying on your outfits before packing them will ensure you aren’t left with any preventable wardrobe malfunctions or uncomfortable clothes on vacation.
Get Serious About Shoes
Shoe comfort on a Disney vacation is non-negotiable. You will be walking many miles at Walt Disney World Resort, so packing at least two pairs of reliable and comfortable shoes is a must.
Ensuring shoes are broken in and that you have plenty of clean socks is so important. I pack three pairs of shoes for a Disney vacation and always check each pair before packing to ensure there are no surprise damages or wear.
After you know comfy shoes and outfit choices have been planned for each Park day, consider what fun accessories you want to add. This may mean color-coordinating Minnie Ears or finding the perfect fanny pack for hitting the Magic Kingdom. This is definitely not a must-do, but it does make getting dressed on vacation a little more magical.
Roll Those Clothes
Did you know that you can fit more clothes in a smaller bag and arrive with less wrinkled clothing if you roll your clothes? That’s right, roll instead of fold, to pack more into less space.
Bonus points if you roll your clothes into packing cubes. You can conveniently organize outfits or separate them into packing cubes, making it easy to unpack when you arrive at Walt Disney World.
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No one likes wearing a damp swimsuit, so you should pack two! With such beautiful Florida sunshine and such awesome pools at Disney Resorts, most Disney Guests end up hitting the pool more often than they would anticipate. Pack two swimsuits, so you can rotate them out and ensure you never have to wear a damp swimsuit.
Even if you are not an individual that has ever used friction block, I would suggest you snag some for vacation. Sweat coupled with miles of walking day after day means that shoe rubbing, thigh chaffing, and underarm rash may happen to those not expecting it. Friction block is a theme Park must-have.
While sunscreen or over-the-counter medications are items you can snag from the gift shop in a pinch, I have never found friction block on the Disney property or at nearby grocery or convenience stores.
Chaffing can make for a miserable day, so go ahead and secure some friction block from Target, Amazon or from an athletic store before your vacation. If you don’t need it, no big deal but if you do need it you’ll be so thankful you thought ahead!
Take it from a Disney fanatic, you want to dedicate some time and attention to packing for your magical Disney World vacation. Start early, don’t forget your MagicBand or your fanny pack, and use packing as a way to get excited for your vacation to come. Happy packing friends!