Some of us plan ahead every detail of our Disney World vacation. We make schedules and spreadsheets and we plan out dining reservations for every meal. Others of us like to wing it, and see what catches our eye when we show up.
Whether you are a planner or a free spirit, however, there will come a time when you need to pack your bags before you head to the car or the airport. Here are some suggestions on things to be sure to pack for your Disney vacation.
Unless you are traveling in the hottest summer months, you can expect that the temperatures will vary throughout the day. Even in the coldest part of the winter the middle of the day can be quite warm. But the mornings and evenings can get downright chilly – at least by Florida standards. Be prepared for the Florida weather. Make sure that you bring layers of clothing so that you can bundle up in the mornings and evenings, but still be comfortable during the day.
Be sure to pack the essentials, but don’t worry too much – you are on vacation!
This one is debatable, but many people bring along some snacks. We all know that dining at Disney World can be quite expensive. If you bring granola bars or other packaged treats, you can often avoid purchasing and breakfast at the theme park. You may also want to bring along snacks for between meals. These can especially helpful for cranky kids in cranky adults, especially those who have to wait in lines just a bit longer than they prefer.
Aside from a few of the winter months, it is very common to experience short but intense for rain showers in Central Florida. Don’t worry. The showers typically lasts less than half hour and then the sun comes out and you would never know it had rained. Decide if you want to bring a poncho or an umbrella. Yes, it is something that you have to carry around with you. But it will save you the expense of purchasing the very expensive Mickey Mouse ponchos, and allow you to continue moving around the parks while others are huddled inside gift shops avoiding the rain.
Because Central Florida is so far south, the sun is especially intense. Your skin can burn even on overcast or cool days. And a sunburn can not only make you uncomfortable, but it can be downright dangerous. Bring along a wide brimmed hat and your favorite sun block. Yes, there are plenty of places where you can purchase sun block in the Parks and the stores around Disney World. However, it is quite expensive and you will pay more if you wait to purchase it.
This is the most important tip for making sure you are prepared for your time at Disney World. Some people report that the average visitor walks 13 miles during a typical day at Disney World. That is just like walking half of a marathon! This is much more distance than people typically cover in a day, so you want your feet to be ready for it. This is the place where you should completely abandon fashion sense and focus strictly on utility. Find your most comfortable shoes that will cushion your feet and protect them as you walk from place to place to place.
These are our ideas on some of the most important things you need to pack. There are certainly other items that could have been on the list. If you take medications, be sure that you have an ample supply that has you covered even if your trip is unexpectedly extended. If you have a baby, consider what special supplies you need which may not be so easy to get in a gift shop. And many people swear by taking fanny packs, backpacks, or special strollers that sort of look like all terrain vehicles.
The key point is not to stress too much about packing. Yes, you want to be prepared. But you are not traveling to the untamed jungle. Anything you don’t have that you might need you will certainly be able to pick up in the course of your vacation.