The Ultimate Disney Packing List
Everything You Need to Pack for a Family Vacation at Disney
Packing for a family trip to Disney can be quite overwhelming. We recommend a Disney packing list. You do not want to be carrying heavy bags all day, but you also do not want to be unprepared. We have included the essentials to set you up for a successful day at the parks. We also included a section with a few items that you should leave at home.
Be Protected From the Sun
Since you will be spending a ton of time outdoors, it is important to protect your skin. Bring an eco-friendly sunscreen that works for the whole family. You will not want to be carrying multiple bottles, as toiletries quickly make your bag heavy.
In addition to protecting your skin, you will definitely want to protect your eyes and face. This is where sunglasses come in handy. Make sure to not bring your most expensive pair as they tend to get lost in the park. You may even want to bring extra pairs for your crew for that reason. A hat with a brim is also nice for keeping the sun off of your face and giving it that extra bit of protection. Again, do not bring a hat you will be super bummed to lose.
Ever since we had our first child, we try to never leave the house without baby wipes. You will want an easy option to clean up the kids (and you) from any messes you might encounter. For that matter, throw some hand sanitizer in your bag too. You can easily prep little hands for a snack after they have been touching park surfaces.
Staying hydrated is key to enjoying the day. Disney has taken care of this by having free drinking water all throughout the park. Have everyone in your family bring a re-usable water bottle so that you can easily stay hydrated. This also cuts back on plastic. Do note that Disney has banned glass items (including water bottles, but excluding baby food jars). Even though we recommend you bring a reusable water bottle for your visit, a stainless steel bottle is the best option.
Needles to say, you will be walking a lot, so good footwear is key. You should pack comfortable walking shoes for each family member and also consider packing an additional pair. You will want the option to change into a different pair of shoes after hours of walking.
Phone Charger and Power Bank
It is likely that you may run your phone battery down quickly with all the photos taking and you will not want to have to hunt down an outlet, or spend time sitting near a plug while you wait for your phone to charge. Stick a handy power bank in your bag. Many will charge multiple devices at once and can hold multiple charges so you will never have to worry about missing the perfect photo due to a dead phone.
Wearable Neck Wallet or Fanny Pack
Okay, so this may be far too touristy for your taste, but you will need some easy ways to keep your valuables safe. We opt for the wearable neck wallet these days as opposed to the fanny pack that featured so heavily in our childhoods. Fanny packs are coming back and they are actually pretty helpful. Tuck your phone, credit cards and money into it and you will minimize your risk of losing your valuables or having them stolen.
Pin Sash and Autograph Book
If your kids are the type that like to collect trinkets and souvenirs, then a sash for Disney pin collecting and a small notebook to collect autographs of the characters they meet are a must. If you have a little one who loves to dress up, bringing a few costumes along can also make for some magical moments in the park. Do note though that guests over age 14 are not allowed to wear costumes when visiting Disney parks.
In case you are not so lucky with the weather, it is handy to have a few lightweight rain ponchos. Umbrellas are certainly too bulky to tote around, but you do not want to be stuck with no rain gear at all and have to splurge on an overpriced Mickey Mouse poncho in the gift shop.
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While there are some awesome food options inside Disney, packing a few snacks is certainly well worth it, especially if you are traveling with little kids who seem to be hungry at the most inconvenient times. Disney no longer allows guests to bring in coolers with loose ice, but frozen ice packs and frozen water bottles are welcomed options for keeping things cool.
If you are travelling with a baby, we know you would not dream of leaving home without the baby essentials and you will certainly want to bring them to Disney as well. So, load up that diaper bag with plenty of diapers, some extra clothes and anything else that your baby might need to be happy and comfortable during your visit.
Things to Not Pack for a Disney Family Vacation
Even though it can seem like you need to pack everything but the kitchen sink to Disney, there are a few items you will want to avoid either because they are unnecessary or because they are banned. Check the Disney World website for a full list of banned items, some of them are obvious, but others may surprise you.
Since you are heading to Florida, you may assume you will need bug spray, but this is not so. As a part of their mosquito prevention policies, Disney offers free mosquito repellant throughout the park. Just ask a cast member if you find yourself in need of it. Basic first aid items are also unnecessary, as the park supplies these at various First Aid centers around the park.
Keep in mind that large tripods and selfie sticks are banned in Disney Parks (although very small tripods are allowed) so you will want to leave them at home. Instead, plan to take photos on your smart phone or ask someone at the park to take some for you. There are plenty of photo ops inside and professional photographers stand ready to help document your memories. You will not be wanting to carry the heavy camera equipment all day anyway.