This post will give some tips on what to pack for a day at Disney with the family, from the essentials to the bits that will save you some money!
Most families, when planning for a day at Walt Disney World, focus more on the fun, rides, and excitement, and planning what to pack to make the most out of their visit. There are a number of things to bring with you, especially if travelling with a family. Some items will help you save money during your visit while others just make good sense or will add to the excitement of the children in the group.
It is important to keep in mind that Disney World is the most popular tourist attraction in Orlando. This means everything within Disney world will cost significantly more than when buying the same items outside the park. No matter what your budget may be for your trip, the expenses quickly add up over the day even when only purchasing small items or snacks.
Regarding clothing, bringing a variety can save you and your family a great deal of suffering if the weather turns while you are in the park. For example, while rain is infrequent, it’s not an impossible occurrence and downpours can happen with little warning. Therefore, including extra clothes in case you need to change into something dry can be important. Be sure to include a change of shoes and socks.
Additionally, although Florida weather is considered to have a Mediterranean climate, even with warm winters and hot summers, the mornings and evenings can be cool so be sure to pack lighter wear for the day and warmer items in case it becomes chilly.
Ensuring you have appropriate clothing options to cover different weather possibilities can prevent the need to buy marked- up Disney gear for the entire family.
Other extras you can pack for the park to save money include:
• Water bottles
• Juice boxes or other packaged drinks
• Diapers, wipes and changing pad
• Toilet seat covers
• Antibacterial products
Snacks And Drinks
While Disney obviously prefers you buy snacks and drinks in the park, you can pack small boxes or zip lock bags filled with snacks and juice boxes or bottled water in diaper bags, stroller bottoms, or in camera or camcorder bags. (Packing liquids in camera or camcorder bags are not recommended, however, as if they somehow open or spill, expensive equipment can easily be ruined.)
To save even more money, consider packing light lunches such as Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches or other options that will not spoil during the course of the day. Lunch for a family of four bought at any establishment in the park can be quite pricey even for simple meals. A great savings tip for repeat visitors with children is to create a Disney Box.
One of the unnecessary expenses of a return trip to Disney world is having to purchase the same souvenirs you’ve previously purchased. Often, the souvenirs that children can’t live without at the park, remain treasured possessions until something newer captures their attention, such as the new, trendy toy or the beginning of the school year.
When your children lose interest in their Disney souvenirs, put them all in a box and save them for your next trip. When it’s time for the next visit, hide the souvenirs in your luggage and don’t tell them you have the items until you’re leaving for the park.
Considering the mark up on Disney items buying the same things several times knowing they will only keep your child’s attention for a limited period of time is a waste of money. Perhaps you can add one new item for each child. (It’s a good idea to give them a price limit so they don’t choose one of the most expensive souvenirs in the park.)
Whether a repeat visitor or not, you can also pack Disney items you purchase at a dollar and wholesale stores before you leave, such as pens, small notepads, children’s jewelry and sunglasses along with many other types of merchandise. Giving these items out during the day when at the park can decrease constant requests for every souvenir your children spot and save you a bundle.
The ability to pack a larger amount will help ensure you have your children’s favorite brands of food, extra clothing, and much-loved toys or stuffed animals. This can be particularly important if your children are younger or tend to refuse to eat or use brands that are unfamiliar.
Thinking ahead of any “must haves” for your children can prevent temper tantrums if their favorites aren’t available in or near the park.
The more you can bring into the park with you, the less you will have to buy while you’re there. Keep in mind, however, while bringing in extra items will save money you should be careful about how much excess weight these items amount to as you’ll be carrying much of it around throughout the day.
General Items to Pack for the Day
Again, remember that while certain items may seem like a great idea to take with you in the morning before you set out, you may not find them such a great idea after carrying them around for several hours.
Also, while your children may insist on taking their favorite toy, stuffed animal or other “must have” items, you’ll likely find yourself carrying these items as well before long. Be sure to think through what you are planning to take with you and evaluate each item in terms of how necessary you feel it is measured against how practical it will be to carry around.
Consider renting a locker to store things you may not need to keep with you throughout the day such as changes of clothing, shoes, and extra “just in case” snacks and drinks.
While you want to be able to have access to potential necessities you don’t want to load yourself down to the point these items become more of a nuisance than a practicality.
If traveling with a baby, be sure to have bottles and any cover-ups you need if you are nursing. Also, bring any special foods your children may require such as baby food or items without ingredients to which they are allergic.
DisneyWorld has a Baby Care Centre where you can bottle feed or nurse as well as change your baby in comfort.Others items to pack to make your day as enjoyable as possible include:
• Autograph Books- Buy each child an autograph book before you leave as the ones at the park are pricey. These can be used to get characters autographs. Also, buy fat markers for characters in costumes that cover their hands so they will be able to sign. You can also make personalized autograph books with your children.
• Camcorder and/or Camera (Don’t forget your memory card) – To capture all those special moments during your trip
• Cash – While most purchases at DisneyWorld take credit cards, some of the kiosks do not.
• Fan with Mister – To use during the heat of the day to cool off
• Hat for Each Family Member – Helps avoid heat exhaustion during the hot months but can also be useful year around
• First Aid Kit – While there are first aid stations, keeping a small kit with you in case of falls or scrapes is a good idea.
• Sunblock/Sunglasses – Make sure to bring these items for additional protection from the sun
• At Least One Pair of Extra Socks – Whether due to rain, excess sweating or water rides, at some point your feet will get wet. Dry socks will prevent blisters and chafe which can make walking around DisneyWorld miserable. (In case you do develop blisters, moleskin is a great product to reduce pain and prevent the blister from becoming worse.)
• Pennies – Kids never get tired of the pressed penny machines scattered around the park so make sure you have a pocket full of change.
Do you have any other things you like to pack? Let us know in the comments below