Yay! It’s here! It’s finally here!! You have been busy planning your family vacation to Disney for months. Now the time has come to start packing and the stress and anxiety settle in your mind….
“What do I need to take?”
“What if I forget something?”
Well, after a few personal experiences, we have compiled a list of some Disney park must-haves that we want to share with you. This list is composed of things that you may not necessarily think about taking to the parks.
MY DISNEY EXPERIENCE APP
I cannot stress enough on how important it is to have this app! This is where you can make dining reservations, score fast passes, and navigate the parks. If it wasn’t for this app, I would still be making circles around the Animal Kingdom looking for It’s Tough To Be A Bug (it’s a long story). Now if you do not have a smartphone, you can always grab a map at the main entrance of the parks. These are also great to keep as souvenirs. Also, Disney recently has added several new features to its My Disney Experience App with things like viewing bus wait times, mobile dining ordering, and even unlocking your Disney resort room.
Some of you may be thinking, “Well, Duh!” But let me tell you, I see people walking around and I wonder how they are even surviving. Ask yourself these three things, “Are they comfortable?”, “Are they lightweight?”, and “Will they dry quickly?”. If your answer is no to any of these, then you may want to rethink your choice of shoes. The Sketchers GoWalk shoe is a popular choice for women and the men seem to like the Adidas Ultra Boost, according to my research.
On our last Disney excursion, I used a waterproof sling backpack. It was life changing! Spending hours and hours in the parks can wear you down. The last thing you want to do is carry a large bag around. These backpacks are small enough to carry on the rides with you but large enough to hold all of your essentials. Having water-resistance is ideal for the water rides and the many spontaneous rain showers in Orlando. You can find a few options here.
We all know how expensive Disney parks can be. Taking your own water bottle will save your family so much money and even time! The parks have many water filling stations where you can fill your water bottle for…..get this….. absolutely free. Just ask any Disney cast member at any quick service location and they will give you a cup of water (Tip: Find the Disney sponsored Starbucks within the park you’re in for a nice refreshing fill-up station for your water bottles). Our favorite water bottles (Contigo Autospout Ashland Water Bottle) have built-in clips so you can walk around the parks without constantly carrying something. Simply hook it to your backpack or belt loop. If your bottle does not have a clip, you can find a spring snapping carabiner at most hardware stores, sporting goods stores or here.
Orlando summers are sometimes just 10 degrees shy of feeling like Hades. Nothing is more miserable than getting a sunburn on the first day of a vacation. Sunscreen is an absolute must! You will definitely want a waterproof sunscreen and re-apply it throughout the day.
FIRST AID KIT
You may be wondering why a first aid kit is even needed. Let me play out a scenario for you. You are rushing to your next fast pass before it expires and your child falls and scrapes his knee. The poor thing is bleeding and needs some snuggles and band-aids. Rather than finding a cast member and waiting for the needed supplies, you can take care of business swiftly and Junior will be happy that you made it to the attraction on time. Plus, it never hurts to be prepared. We recommend Coleman All Purpose, Mini Travel Kit.
You will be using your phone a lot at the parks. Taking pictures, videos, and using the My Disney Experience app will eventually drain your battery. You could bring a charging cable with a power adapter inside the park but more than likely you will have a tight schedule with no time to spare for charging your phone. Using the battery pack will make charging on the go effortless. We recommend the Anker PowerCore 20100.
Have you ever gone somewhere and needed a particular item that was crucial but didn’t have it and wondered, “Why didn’t I bring that?” Ziploc bags are on that list. They can be used to keep phones and cameras dry during water rides or rain storms. If you have small children, then there is always a chance for “accidents”. All of you parents know what I’m talking about. Zip those clothes up in a bag (gallon bags) and pretend like nothing ever happened. The uses are endless!
Have I mentioned that Orlando has lots of rain during the summer? You will definitely be glad that you had ponchos handy during these monsoons. And not to mention that ponchos will cost you an arm and a leg and possibly a right kidney if you have to buy four or more inside the parks. Oh yeah! One poncho could cost you up to $9.00. So, if you are a party of five…. well, you can do the math. Needless to say, that money is better spent elsewhere.
For children, I definitely recommend a bucket style hat for summer trips. It is incredibly bright and hot. This style will provide protection for your child’s eyes as well as his face and neck. Be sure to apply sunscreen to their necks if they insist on wearing their Mickey ears.
Here’s a season I haven’t talked about… winter. We spent our honeymoon at Disney World near Christmas time. What better place, right? Well, we were not completely prepared for the weather’s mood swings that week. We watched the Christmas Day Parade at the Magic Kingdom and we both had nice little sunburns. Two days later, we were freezing our buns off. Heed my warning. You’ll want to take warm clothing just in case.
TIP: If you are nervous about leaving something at home don’t worry. Items and even groceries can be ordered and shipped to your resort room in a matter of hours in some cases. Services like Amazon Prime Now can have items to you within 1-2 hours, so don’t fret. Do your own research for a service that would best fit you.