Disney can be a magical place where lifelong memories are created. Being prepared for your visit to Disney is crucial. Here, Traveling Mom Danielle Faust recalls her experience from a recent visit and shares a list of items for you to consider bringing to Disney, including a few you might never have thought to bring.
What to Bring to Disney
Since I am always thinking about future travel, I am already in planning mode for my family’s next trip to Disney. My husband, John, and I started looking at the pictures from our son Rohan’s fourth birthday trip to Disney World and got a little misty-eyed. It was such a fun long weekend. It was also Rohan, our daughter Kaya, and John’s first time to Disney EVER, and my first visit in about 20 years.
Disney has changed a lot since the 90s, in a great way. I was excited to see how high-tech the parks are now. Even though the trip was super fun and memorable, there are a few things I wish I had during that trip that I will be sure to put on my what to bring to Disney list the next time we head to Disney world:
Do you remember the Modern Family episode where Gloria wore heels to Disney? She suffered all day then finally broke down and wore slippers and was in heaven. I wore my favorite Chuck Taylors last time. By the end of the day, my feet were aching something fierce! In sneakers? I didn’t expect that. Everywhere I turned I saw families all wearing Crocs. I stopped a few moms to ask how comfortable they were and they all gushed about it. I was sure to ask a few people later in the day too just to see how their piggies were holding up. All reviews were positive, so I know what our family will be packing for Disney on our next visit.
2. Water Spray Fan
We saw water bottles with battery operated fans attached to them at almost every vending area within Disney. When I tell you it was sweltering hot under that Orlando sun, I’m doing the heat no justice. We ended up purchasing one of the bottles the following day at a nearby attraction, but I realize we needed it for Disney World for sure. At least we are prepared the next trip! The kids enjoyed spraying themselves and staying cool, and we could just refill as needed at one of the water fountains. I was surprised at how powerful those little fans were. You can buy them on Amazon or at sporting goods stores before your trip for $10-15!
3. Pre-Purchased Tickets
When we last visited, I knew nothing about magic bands. Had I known what a horror that ticket counter line would be, I would’ve been sure to buy our tickets well ahead of time and have our magic bands on our wrists to walk into the park with zero waiting. We waited in the ticketing line for over an hour to get our tickets and with two excited preschoolers in tow, that’s not the most fun way to spend time. I certainly know better for future vacations.
4. Cooler Bag
On our recent visit, we used frozen water bottles in John’s backpack as our “cooler” since we read that rolling coolers are not permitted in the parks. Overall the fresh fruits (bagged up grapes and apple slices) and snacks (string cheese, Gogurt, Gogo Squeeze) held up well and were cold for the kids. Unfortunately, those bottles of ice were heavy and turned my poor husband into a pack mule. Add that to the heat I mentioned above. We will take a cooler bag on our future trip so no heavy ice bottles will be needed. There are insulated carriers in various sizes from lunchbox to backpack or messenger bag.
5. Wide Brimmed Hat
I have learned my lesson. Function over fashion! No cute mini ears for me ever again. Nope. Big sunglasses are not good enough. All four of us will be wearing wide brimmed hats to Disney from now on. Bonus if I can find one that has the flap in the back to protect our necks. My husband has one of these for when he’s working in the yard. He wore it while we enjoyed Mickey ears and was the smartest out of all of us. So, I will get the same type for the kids to protect their necks too.
6. Bigger Double Stroller
We have so many strollers in our garage it’s ridiculous. I want a bigger double tandem stroller to haul these kids around when we travel. The double umbrella stroller we had held up well, but wasn’t as comfortable for the kids to sit in, and the handles are too short for John’s tall self to comfortably push so I end up doing most of the pushing. We will most likely just rent one of the strollers available at Disney to save ourselves the hassle and the money.
7. Kids Camera
Part of the joy of doing Disney as a mom is seeing things through my children’s eyes. This would be even more special in photo form. I want to see what they want to take photos of and what memories they save. My children already run around the house taking photos of everything from their toys to an ant on the patio, with their kiddie tablets, so I know they’ll make use of a camera as we explore Disney. I found a few children’s cameras online that looked decent and ranging from $40-80 each. Unfortunately, I know I’ll have to purchase two to avoid epic meltdowns.
8. Grownup Camera
I am trying to vlog and make more videos, so I want a camera to take high quality photos and videos. I have my huge DSLR camera but I don’t want to lug that around the parks. My phone’s camera worked on this trip to Disney but I need to find something in between phone and DSLR to comfortably travel with and still get great images.
I wanted a selfie stick so I can get great wide angle shots when I do use my phone, but I recently learned we can’t take them in to the Disney parks. If you bring them on vacation with you, leave them in the car or hotel so they don’t get confiscated. (They are welcome at Disney Springs, though.)
9. More time
Come on. Who doesn’t want more time at Disney World?! This is an obvious one. We spent a full day there and it was long, hot and tiring and somehow still awesome! We can’t do it in one day ever again. We’ll plan for at least 3 so we can see a few parks and have comfortable downtime. We loved coming home to the rental house and hopping in the pool that night. It would be nice to space attractions out better.