This post was originally published in August of 2018 and has been updated for 2020.
Walt Disney World is known as the happiest place on earth for good reason. There are so many fun rides and attractions, awesome food and snacks, and all your favorite characters wandering around. But given the heat, long days, and crowds, Disney World can also be stressful.
Planning ahead and making sure you have certain items can help ease some of the stressors. Here are five must haves to bring with you on your next Disney vacation to make your trip the best.
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1. Comfortable Shoes
If you don’t pay attention to anything else in this post, pay attention to this. WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. Find the most comfortable shoes known to man and then maybe throw some super comfy inserts in for good measure. Seriously.
The shoes I brought to Disney had memory foam liners, so it should have been like walking on a pillow or a cloud or something. But it wasn’t. You’re probably going to be out and about at the parks for long periods at a time and most of that will be spent on your feet. Also, you’ll mostly be walking on concrete, so obviously not a great surface for your feet.
Make sure test several pairs of shoes before committing to bring them to Disney, and also break them in before you step foot in Florida. If you can, bring more than one pair of shoes, as each is going to wear differently on your feet.
Bonus item: I’ve found these blister pads work wonders if you start to have sore spots on your feet. The packaging actually says you can leave them on for multiple days. They are super sticky so I think that’s probably true.
2. Swimming Gear
I know, you’re going to be out running around the parks all day and will barely be at your resort. Rope drop to fireworks! All four parks in one day! Okay, maybe you can make it through a crazy day like that once on your trip, but in reality, you’re probably going to want some chill out time.
The Disney resorts have fantastic pools. Chances are if you don’t bring any swimming gear, you’ll be longing for some pool time. Even if you don’t end up swimming, bathing suits take up so little space in your suitcase, that you may as well have it just in case.
Bonus item: Don’t forget your sunscreen! Florida is the sunshine state after all. Nothing ruins fun times quite like a sunburn, so make sure you prevent it!
3. A Portable Fan
Florida is hot. It’s going to be hot most of the year there. If you are planning a long park day it might be a good idea to bring a portable fan. Parks like Epcot and Hollywood Studios don’t have a lot of shade coverage. Animal Kingdom has a lot of trees (Yay shade!) but it causes a greenhouse effect so the park feels hotter than it really is. And even though Magic Kingdom has a lot of places to duck into, you’re still going to be outside a lot. It may be a little bit of a hassle to carry a fan, but it will help you to avoid a (literal) meltdown.
4. Poncho or Fold-up Rain Jacket
One of the downsides to a beautiful, lush, humid environment like Florida, is rain. Chances are you’ll get caught in the rain at some point in your trip (I have to say, we have been really lucky during our trips, and if it did rain it was late at night or early in the morning -this isn’t common). There are a lot of great rain coats out there that fold up super small and are easy to pack in a day bag. People often times opt for ponchos too because they are small and cheap. Some people even like to wear ponchos on rides like Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids, to have the fun experience but avoid getting totally soaked.
5. Portable Phone Charger
One great thing Walt Disney World offers is the My Disney Experience app. I used the app so much during my trip because it will give you directions to anywhere in the parks! Plus you can set up fast passes and check wait times on rides. You’ll probably also be using your phone to take photos and get in touch with others in your group if you would decide to split up for a while. Your battery is going to drain, so having a portable charger is a must to help your phone going on a long day. Most portable chargers don’t take up a lot of space, so you’ll easily be able to carry one in you pocket or a small bag.
Don’t forget a USB cord with your charger!
Those are my must have items to make your Disney vacations more comfortable, and therefore more fun!
Do you have any essentials that make your Disney trips even better? I’d love to hear them!
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