I have been lucky enough to get to travel to Walt Disney World many times as a kid, and a handful of times as an adult as well, and after all those years of packing (with blunders along the way – overpacking, underpacking, forgetting things) – I have come up with this list of items that I will absolutely not travel to WDW without:
Sunscreen: That Florida sun can be brutal – and even if the sky seems partly cloudy, you could end up with a bad sunburn – which is why I make sure I bring plenty of sunscreen along with me in my suitcase and in my bag I pack for the Parks, too. You can put it on as you’re waiting in line for the bus/monorail/boat to the Parks in the morning, and you’ll want to make sure you reapply every few hours too (every few hours as in every 2 – not every 4-6 – yes, the sun is that strong there). You can purchase sunscreen at the Parks/Resorts of course, but it’s very expensive, and the selection is limited, so I recommend you plan ahead and purchase a few bottles of your preferred brand/SPF to bring along with you
Sneakers: And not just any sneakers, I specifically make sure I bring new-ish sneakers that have been well broken in but that aren’t totally worn out/worn down. Yes, this is oddly specific – and for a good reason – you will do a TON of walking on your Disney vacation – like multiple miles a day. So while those flip flops may seem like a great idea because the temperature is already over 80 before breakfast time, trust me – that is one decision you will regret, as most flip flops/sandals offer little to no support for your feet – which will be poor and aching feet by the end of a day spent in sandals at Disney, for sure. So bring sneakers, ones that are broken in (so that they are comfortable), but ones that are new enough to still offer decent support for all that walking you’ll be doing
Ziploc Baggies: This may seem like a strange one to have on the list, but they come in so handy and have SO many uses. I bring assorted sizes, and use them for storing partially eaten snacks, park maps, autograph books, wet ponchos, batteries, chargers; and I also use them to store my electronics (cell phone, camera, etc) when I go on rides where I might get wet – like Splash Mountain
Water Bottle: With all that walking and the hot sun and temperatures, it can be easy to get dehydrated while at Walt Disney World – so I like to make sure I am drinking a LOT of water. I bring along a big 32 oz water bottle and I fill it with ice and water every morning before I leave for the Parks, and I make sure I refill it frequently throughout the day as well. Not only is staying hydrated super important, but saving money is too –and if you plan to just buy bottled water whenever you need it, you will spend a LOT of money unnecessarily, so bring your own bottle along and you’ll ensure you aren’t passing out from heatstroke, while saving money at the same time!
Ponchos: Of course Disney sells them, but not only are they costly, but I can never seem to find them when I need them – like when it starts pouring. So bring your own along instead – you can buy them at Target/Walmart – they sell nicer ones that run about $9 each, or you can buy smaller disposable ones at the dollar store. Either way – you will be well prepared for the (sometimes very sudden!) rainfall that tends to happen almost daily at Disney World
Hopefully you will include some (or all!) of these items in your suitcase next time you head to WDW – and that you find them as useful/helpful as I do!