Over the past 10 years, we’ve been to Walt Disney World 5 times, and these trips have give us a chance to use our experiences to refine some of the things we do (or don’t do!). One thing that has changed countless times over the years is what we pack to take with us on holiday. The more trips we do the more we figure out what we need to take with us, and what really isn’t as necessary as we initially thought. The best part about working out which holiday essentials aren’t really essential is that it leaves more room in your suitcase for all the wonderful items you’ll want to bring home!
Here are 8 things we no longer take with us to Walt Disney World; I hope this helps you trim your own packing to save room for souvenirs.
I always used to bring one or two pairs of heels to wear out in the evenings. As each trip went on I discovered these heels were rarely used. After walking miles around the parks all day the last thing your poor feet will want to do it be put into heels! I would recommend a few pairs of comfy trainers and flip flops. For any evenings out that you know trainers won’t be acceptable, a pair of dainty flip flops or sandals will be perfect and will save your feet.
Most people bring a rucksack or backpack with them so they can carry anything and everything they may need around the Theme Parks with them. However, with your MagicBand catering for all your needs, there it is very little you’ll ned to pack into a backpack; and the last thing you’ll want is a sore back from carrying it around. Try and limit what you carry round the parks to a small bag (baby changing bags being the exception of course!), and consider renting a locker for larger items; or leave them in your car if you’ve chosen to hire one!
We’ve taken young children to Walt Disney World twice now, and both times we’ve packed our pram; it is probably the most essential item young families will need for Florida. However, it can be awkward to cart through the airport and there’s always the risk of it being damaged in the hold during the flight. For our next trip, we have chosen to hire a stroller to save us having to pack one. Hiring a pram saves a lot of hassle, and also allows us to hire a double, as we only have a single. With the amount of walking and long days spent in the parks, it is worthwhile considering a stroller for older kids who you wouldn’t necessarily use one for at home.
If you’re planning your trip to Walt Disney World outside of the summer months, it is recommended to bring some layers. While cold weather isn’t common, you can get a chilly evening or two, and having a jumper to pull on can be handy. However, on practically every trip we’ve taken, we’ve ended up buying a new jumper out there; sometimes a designer one from the outlets, sometimes a mouse-theme one from the parks. I don’t pack jumpers anymore as I know some of our spending money will be used to buy ones out there. Unless you’re 100% certain you won’t be shopping for new clothes when away, I would unpack the hoodie and buy yourself a new one.
Using suncream is a non-negiotable when in Florida. Even in winter you’ll still need protection from the strength of the suns rays. We no longer pack suncream and bring it with us because there’s such a variety and choice out in Florida that we now buy ours out there on the evening we arrive. This prevents any unfortunate exploding bottle issues, but also allows us to buy higher factor suncream than we can get at home in the UK & Ireland. With 2 fair boys, buying and using factor 110 seems sensible! You can also buy more as necessary and this will mean you won’t have a number of extra bottles to pack for going home.
Wearing a hat is always good advice if you plan to spend most of your day out in the sun. However, I have found that you either are a hat person or you’re not; those who aren’t will struggle to keep a hat on all day. If you really detest wearing hats, don’t bother packing one simply because you’ve read it’s advisable to keep your head covered as chances are you’ll have it off your head more often than on! If you are a hat person, then (just like a jumper) you may want to consider budgeting some spending money to buy some new hats our there. There is such a wide range and variety you probably won’t be able to resist a new hat purchase! The only hats that we pack are one for each son, just in case there’s none to their liking.
First Aid Kit
A lot of people will pack a small first aid kit for any holiday, generally including basic paracetamol, immodium, plasters and antiseptic cream. On our first few trips, our own small kit was one of the first things packed at the bottom of our case; and it was never used. Each Theme Park has a first aid area providing basic essentials for minor injuries in the parks, and every Walt Disney World hotel has a small pharmacy area stocking basic first aid supplies. You can simply buy any items that you may (unfortunately) find you need; with many brands, such as immodium, being the same, and all information being in English, this could save a good bit of space in your suitcase. The only thing you really need to bring are essential prescription medications!
Everyone wants lots of brilliant pictures of their Walt Disney World Holiday, and you really can capture some magical moments on camera. We still continue to pack a camera for each trip, but we tend to find we bring it into the parks with us less and less. We both have very good cameras on our phones, which capture any moments perfectly for us, and Disney’s PhotoPass+ and MemoryMaker capture the rest. Our camera only tends to come into the parks with us a few times during our holiday. If you don’t already have a camera, it really isn’t necessary to rush out and buy one just for your holiday. Of course, if you’re a keen photographer, there’s no way you’ll leave yours at home!
Everyone is different, and so you may find some of the items we see as non-essential are more of a necessity to you. Similarly, there may be things I see as essential (my toiletries!) that you may decide you don’t need to bring (Walt Disney Resort Hotel’s complimentary toiletries are great and perfect for most people – I’m just fussy!) When you’re packing for your holiday, it is simply important to remember that not everything may be as needed as you first think. With a little research, some planning, and advice from people who have been to Florida before, you could save a lot of space – leaving room to bring a lot more home with you!