A lot goes into planning a trip to Walt Disney World. Generally speaking it’s something you’ve probably been saving for, for a while and you’ve probably have at least a loose itinerary of your days. Just like any trip you need to pack, and packing for Disney could bring on some specialized needs. I’ve touched on some of these things before in my tips for planning a stress-free Disney trip and must haves to bring with you, but I thought I would create more of a do’s and don’ts list to help you get ready for your trip!
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Do check the weather frequently
I went to Disney in February, and if you didn’t already know, I’m from the midwest. Now I didn’t expect winter weather by any means in Florida, but I expected temps similar to a Midwest spring or fall. Well I was wrong. Apparently the week that we were in Florida it was a bit more unseasonably warm than usual. It was about 85 degrees and sunny pretty much every day. Great, right? Except I didn’t pack the best. I had a couple of pairs of pants, a denim jacket that I never touched, and no shorts. Luckily I brought a couple of dresses and a skirt. Anyway had I paid better attention to the forecast I probably would have packed more appropriate clothes, so I would advise keeping tabs on Orlando weather up to the day you leave.
Don’t forget your swim gear
You can maybe nix this if your trip is in January, but as I mentioned, unseasonably warm weeks do happen. I regretted not bringing a swimsuit on my trip. I figured I would be too busy at the parks to worry about swimming. And while I was busy, every time I walked by the pool at our resort (which was at least a couple of times a day) I wished I could swim.
Even if you think it’s going to be too cold to swim, bring it anyway. Florida weather can surprise you.
Do bring multiple pairs of shoes
You’re probably going to walk much more each day than what you’re used to. Plus pretty much all of Disney World is concrete. Having comfortable shoes is an absolute must, and really you should have at least a couple of pairs. It’s good to switch up your shoes day to day, or even throughout the day, in order to keep your feet comfortable.
Make sure your shoes are broken in, but not worn out. No one wants a surprise blister while on vacation.
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Don’t bring flip flops (unless it’s for around the pool)
Flip flops just won’t be anywhere near as supportive as you need your shoes to be. Plus Disney is crowded. You don’t want someone to accidentally step on your bare toes!
Do bring rain gear
It rains in Florida a lot. Having a poncho or light rain jacket (these are Disney themed!) is important. Ponchos are available in the parks, but they’re expensive! Bring your own and save some cash. Also I wouldn’t recommend an umbrella. They’re bulky and don’t work that well anyway.
Do bring a bag that works for YOU
A lot of people will tell you to bring a backpack for a park bag. Others will tell you not to bring a bag at all if you can avoid it so you get through security faster. My advice is to think about what you normally carry, and what you think you’ll want in the parks, and go from there. So what if you’ve never been to Disney before? How do you know what to bring?
You’re probably going to need some of the things you normally have on you: money, phone, keys. Having a portable phone charger is a good idea. I used my phone so much to take pictures and access the my Disney experience app, so I was glad I had a way to charge my phone while I was out of my hotel room.
You may have an additional camera (besides your phone) that you want to bring. I brought my Instax camera which was fun and fit in the bag that I had to buy at Disney – I had only brought a backpack, which I hated carrying after the first night and a very tiny bag that I planned to only use at Disney Springs. If you have a DSLR, you’ll need to consider what kind of space you need for it.
It’s also probably a good idea to bring sunscreen. Apply it before you leave your room and then bring some with you for touch ups throughout the day.
The rest depends on your situation: a family with kids is going to have very different needs then say I would being in the parks with my mom or friends.
Hopefully this helps give you some ideas for packing for Walt Disney World. I plan on creating a PDF packing list to help even more, but if you have any packing questions in the meantime, don’t hesitate to ask. And if you are heading to Disney soon, I’m envious! Have a great trip!