One of my favorite things about Walt Disney World is the immersion. As soon as I get on that Magical Express bus with my family I feel like the outside world is gone and I’m in the “Disney Bubble.” I don’t have to go off-property for anything, and that is just the way I like it.

But the thing is, if you’re not prepared, you may just end up having to take a cab or Uber somewhere because you need to buy something that isn’t available (or is simply way too expensive) in Walt Disney World.

Here are five incredibly helpful things to buy before your next Disney trip.

1 – Radar App for Your Smartphone

As you probably are very well aware, it rains quite a bit in Central Florida (especially in the summer). That’s why the purchase of one of the radar apps that are available for smartphones can be a really smart investment. You’ll know pretty much exactly when the storms are rolling in and you can adjust your schedule around them. Who wants to be stuck in between Fantasyland & Liberty Square for an hour under a roof because the rain is so heavy you can’t possibly take your kids out in it (this is one I learned the hard way!) A quick App Store search will come up with several inexpensive radar apps that will make your trip to the WDW theme parks run a whole lot smoother (and drier!)

2 – Ponchos

Sticking with the rain theme, the ponchos in Walt Disney World are a little on the pricey side and if you don’t have a few from your last trip you will more than likely buy them in the summer. It’s amazing, as soon as those storm clouds roll in, the lines in Disney’s stores are the longest they’ll ever be with guests buying up those Mickey ponchos by the handful. My best advice is to head over to your local dollar store and buy a few to pack in your luggage before heading out for your vacation. They’re really small when folded up and easy to carry in your backpack or purse while you’re walking around the Disney parks. You’ll save a little bit of money and you’ll be prepared (hey, now I feel a Lion King song coming on!)

Save time and money by bringing ponchos from home.

Save time and money by bringing ponchos from home.

3 – Travel Hand Sanitizer

There are a TON of people in Walt Disney World’s theme parks every day, and most of them had planned their vacations for months before getting there. I don’t think a cold, fever, or other more minor illnesses would keep me away from the parks, and I don’t think it will keep others away either. That’s why I always have a travel sized hand sanitizer on hand that I use basically all day! Everything is hands-on in WDW, so thousands of hands have touched everything you touch on an everyday basis while you’re on your trip. It’s so easy to get sick while you’re on your vacation, why not try to cut down on the chances of that happening?

4 – Sunscreen

I know, I know, this seems like such an obvious one, right? But I honestly can’t tell you how many times I’ve totally forgotten to pack sunscreen on a trip to WDW! It’s especially hard to remember when you go during the winter like I often do in January. Sunscreen just slips your mind when you’re digging your car out of two feet of snow once a week! Remember, the sun in Central Florida is not the same kind of sun you’re experiencing at home! Even on the days when it’s not all that warm, the sun is strong and you can get a pretty nasty sunburn! That will make your trip pretty horrible very quickly! And yes, you can of course buy sunscreen at a ton of locations all over Walt Disney World but again, it’s going to be marked up pretty high!

The Florida sun is very intense.

The Florida sun is very intense.

5 – External Phone Charger

Trust me, you are going to be using your smartphone an awful lot while you’re in the theme parks! With the My Disney Experience App, taking pictures, social media sharing, and the general spottiness of Walt Disney World’s wifi service (it is complimentary so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much!), your phone’s battery will probably be almost dead by lunchtime. The external phone charger is a great option to have and some of them will fully charge your phone several times during your day in the park. I use the mophie Powerstation XL (easy to find on amazon.com) and never have to worry about my battery dying in the parks again (except when I forget the charger…which is like almost every day!)

As Scar Says: Be Prepared!

Hopefully these tips will make your next (or first!) trip to Walt Disney World go just a little bit smoother than it would have if you hadn’t read this article. I think I’ve had to learn about each and every one of these items on this list the hard way so please learn from my mistakes! And, as always, if there is something that you think someone absolutely needs to buy before their trip to Walt Disney World, I’d love to hear about it so please let me know! Thank you for reading and I hope your next trip to Walt Disney World is a hassle-free one!

What one thing do you always bring from home for your Disney trip?