If you are headed to Disney World anytime soon, you absolutely must start with a packing list. A trip to Disney World is not cheap, and you don’t want to make it any more expensive than it has to be. Be sure to check out all the ways you can save on your next trip to Disney World. This is where the Disney packing list becomes essential.
With the Essential Walt Disney World Packing List, you can save time, money and sanity while you prepare to “relax” on your next vacation.
My husband, Brian, and I have been to Disney World five times together, and three of those trips included small children. You can print out our Disney packing list and start checking things off your list, or you can read on to find out why some items were included.
Just because it is on this list does not mean you need to bring it. Your needs and wants may be different than ours. Our Disney packing list printable is a starting point and will hopefully prevent you from forgetting something important and having to purchase it while on vacation.
I break our Disney packing list into categories because that is how my brain works to organize all the stuff we need. There is a checkbox to check once an item is placed in the packing zone. For certain things, especially clothing, I designate how many of each item we need to pack for each person.
Once you are ready to pack everything you need for your trip, be sure to check out the “6 Steps for Vacation Packing Success.”
Obviously, you need to pack clothes for your trip and what you pack depends significantly on what time of year you go to Disney World. We have gone several times at the end of July, which is HOT. On those days we have been known to switch shirts and underwear when we go back to our room for an S afternoon rest.
If you want to pack fewer clothes, you can always pack laundry supplies and do laundry one evening.
For footwear, we always bring each person a pair of sandals or crocs for the pool or waterpark days and two pairs of tennis shoes for all of the walking. This is important if you get caught in one of the many afternoon rain showers. It takes awhile for wet tennis shoes to dry (put newspaper in them, it helps), and no one wants to wear wet shoes. The one exception would be a little child who will most likely be in the stroller for the walking portions of the day.
I like to be prepared with basic medicine and first aid that we may need while at Disney World.
After having kids, we always take pain medicine and a thermometer with us, because we can stay on top of fevers that way. I make sure that we bring children’s melatonin (a natural supplement) for those nights when the excitement level is so high, and the kids can’t shut their brains off. This helps them to unwind and settle down for sleep. Melatonin for the whole family is a great idea the night before your trip. Inevitably everyone will be so excited it will be hard to fall asleep.
There are lots of things that we do not bring because I don’t want to overpack. Plus I figure if we desperately needed something we could get it with the help of the Disney staff.
In fact, on our last trip to Disney World, we did need some items we didn’t have. I fell and sprained my ankle while getting onto a Disney transportation boat. The paramedics came and wrapped my ankle with an ace bandage and ice pack. Then Disney provided more ice packs in my room.
This is your everything that doesn’t fit into one of the other categories stuff. Of course, I have also left an “Other” category for you to add more items to as well. Be sure to pack batteries for any items that you are taking with you that require batteries (i.e., handheld fans, cameras, electronics, reading lights, etc.).
Speaking of handheld fans, if you are going in the summer months, you will want to pack these. You may even find some with a water bottle attached so you can mist yourself with water as well. They are a great way to cool yourself off or sleeping children in a stroller. Some mini-fans have an attachment to clip onto the stroller. This is a great way to keep the inside of a stroller cool during those hot summer days at Disney World.
Don’t forget those ponchos or raincoats. It is very common for it to rain every afternoon in the summer months. You do not want to pay Disney prices for a poncho. Just one more way to save money on your trip to Disney World: buy your ponchose at Menards when they are on rebate.
Pack a bag to carry at the parks as your day bag.
We choose specifically to buy a pack with a water reservoir (i.e., camelbak). This is yet another way we save money while at Disney World. Whether you use a backpack, purse, camelpack or fanny back (yes, they are coming back) you need something to carry at least minimal supplies for the parks. This bag would be great to use as your carry-on if you are flying as well, so you have it ready to go on your first day in the parks.
If you plan to do pin trading at Disney World, you will want to be sure you have pins ready to trade or at least the lanyard to wear them once you buy them.
A portable hamper is a trick we learned several trips ago and we use it on every single vacation we go on now. I will say that portable hampers are not the most durable, so we are now on our second hamper purchase in 7 years. I think that’s a pretty good return on investment though. The hamper folds up small for ease of packing. Whenever we unpack to start our vacation, we pop up the hamper. Whenever we have dirty clothes, we throw them in the hamper.
This eliminates a considerable amount of mess in a room, house, or cabin, especially when it’s a small space for all members of your family. We also like to put the hamper out of the way so stinky clothes aren’t smelling up the whole room.
When it comes time to pack up to go home, we (okay this is Brian’s job- he’s so good at it) take the dirty clothes out and reroll them, so they take up less room when returning home. If space is not an issue, you can certainly throw the whole hamper in the back of your car as is.
Regardless of how you are traveling to the most magical place on earth you still need some items for entertainment. Children and adults alike are going to need a break from Disney at some point or the very least they will have some wait time (waiting for buses, waiting for rides, waiting to eat, etc.).
Packing a few small items to entertain children during these wait times can be a lifesaver. Again a reason why a backpack of some sort is important in the parks. Even without children, Brian and I have packed cards to play while we waited for Illuminations.
We try not to default to electronics and instead our kids have brought small toys to play with while waiting. We have also brought bubbles and books. This tends to work when they are still in the younger ages. I’m sure once they have phones of their own it will be a different story altogether.
A Disney packing list with infants and toddlers requires a bit more planning and a lot more stuff. I know it feels like so much, and it is, but remember someday you won’t have to pack all of this stuff! However, I suggest that everyone pack baby wipes, whether they have children or not. Baby wipes are like magic. They are great for sticky fingers, stains on clothes, and so much more.
We always carry all of the paperwork items in our carry-on bags, so they are with us at all times. You do not need much cash while on a trip to Disney World. The good and bad thing about Disney is they make it easy to spend money. Your Magic Band is set up to your credit card, and you can just scan your Magic Band to pay everywhere in Disney. At the end of your trip, your credit card is charged the amount. We bring cash to pay for tips (mousekeeping, bus drivers, etc.).
If you bought Disney gift cards in advance at a discount like I suggested, you want to be sure to put those on your account at the front desk when you check in. We do keep gift cards the girls received as gifts with us while at the parks. They enjoy using their own money (card) to pay for their items. Plus it is a good lesson for them about managing how much money they have left.
If you plan to send a postcard to anyone while you are at Disney World, be sure to bring those addresses with you. There is a great mailbox the kids can send their cards from on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. A postcard is a great way for a kid to say thank you for a gift card they received for their trip or to say hi to grandma and grandpa back at home.
This list does not have any shocking items on it that you won’t see anywhere else. However, if you want to lighten your load, you can choose not to bring your soap, shampoo, and conditioner. The items stocked in the Disney resorts work just fine. Though Brian loves to stockpile those when we are there to bring home. Then he can use them at home to keep the Disney magic alive a little longer.
I try to keep our list to a minimum to what we use on a daily basis. I do not wear make-up, so that does not appear on our list, nor do I intend to paint my nails or remove nail polish while on our trip. If those are things you plan to do, you will want to include them on your list.
You may want to consider packing the listed items to save money and have on hand in your hotel room. During our most recent trip, we explored ordering groceries to be delivered to our resort. We were delighted with the quality of groceries we received at a reasonable price.
I still packed some items in our suitcase because we knew we could get them cheaper at home and they were easy to pack. We don’t worry about space in our suitcases because we use the items up and then we have room in our luggage for the inevitable souvenirs we will bring home with us.
Our family almost always have breakfast in our hotel room, so we pack the supplies for that. Prepackaged snacks are easy to transport and can save you a lot of money from buying snack after snack for your children while in the parks. To ensure our food is not crushed, I usually put them inside a large tupperware in our suitcase. Typical snacks for us to pack include goldfish, granola bars, protein bars, and squeezable applesauce.
The peanut butter and jelly is for easy sandwiches for the girls as a quick lunch.
As I said before, this is not an exhaustive list and not all items are necessary.
This is the Disney packing list we use as a guide before each of our trips, and it has worked out well for us. We still spend money in the parks, but we are spending it on things we want to buy rather than stuff we forgot to pack.
If you forgot to pack something major and you don’t want to spend a lot of money at Disney on it, consider purchasing through Amazon. On our last trip, Brian did not pack two pairs of shoes (which probably saved us a lot of room in our suitcases, because his shoes are like mini-boats) and his one pair lost the sole. He tried to fix them temporarily (Duct tape doesn’t fix everything), but in the meantime, he quickly ordered a new pair of shoes on Amazon. With our Amazon prime membership, he received them the next day.
Yes, they can and do ship to your resort. Don’t forget to print out the Essential Walt Disney World packing list today.
It’s time to get excited about your trip to Disney World and get packing.
You are headed to the most magical place in the world!
Is there something else you pack that I have forgotten? If so, please share in the comments section below.