Have you ever arrived in the parks just to realize that you forgot something you really needed? Maybe you were so tired from the day before that you forgot to pack your bag for the next day, and you left the phone charger on the night stand or walked out of your room without your Mouse Ears.
Use the checklist below so you never forget the simple bare necessities again.
As soon as you land at the Orlando Airport and before you even get off the plane, put your MagicBand on. Don’t take it off until you arrive back at the airport to head home. This innocent looking bracelet is your key to everything in Disney World. You’ll need it to board the Magical Express, check into your hotel, enter your room, use your FastPasses, and access your dining reservations. You can even use it to make purchases anywhere in Disney World. Basically, don’t go anywhere without this essential Disney Swag.
Stash anything not included on your MagicBand in your wallet including your license or some form of photo identification. This is especially important if you plan to use any kind of discounts like service-member pricing on tickets. You might also want cash, credit cards, and insurance information.
If you have an iPhone or Android smart phone, download the My Disney Experience app, which is connected to your MagicBand. With this app, you can find your itinerary, make or change dining reservations or FastPass+ reservations, check wait times, look up restaurant menus, or even find the closest restroom or ATM.
Don’t forget the other phone essentials like a wall charger or an external battery charger since My Disney Experience tends to eat up battery power pretty quickly. Here’s a helpful hint: putting your phone on airplane mode while plugged into the charger will charge it twice as fast. This is especially helpful if you are charging in a counter-service restaurant during a quick lunch.
Disney World has photo ops around every corner. Never miss the perfect shot that will make your memories last forever. Don’t forget that memory card with lots of storage space. You’re going to need it!
If your phone has a nice camera, consider using it so you don’t have to carry so many things. Be sure to remove any unnecessary pics before leave you home so you have plenty of space for more photos!
5. Sun Protection
The Florida sun can get intense, and you need to protect your skin especially if you’re not a native used to the strong rays. Pack sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, and lip balm and use it regularly. You might also want some pain reliever in case you do get a little burnt. It’s also good for easing achy joints from walking all day.
6. All-weather Gear
Yes, the heat can be overwhelming in the middle of the day, but mornings and evenings can get quite cool and you never know when you might be surprised with a rain shower. Bring a sweatshirt or a light jacket and a rain poncho or a small umbrella to protect you from the elements.
Don’t forget to bring some ponchos for your technological devices, too, in the form of Ziploc bags. Placing a phone, camera, or other items that can’t get wet in a Ziploc bag can not only protect them from rain but also from water rides like Splash Mountain.
7. Personal Items
Things happen even in Disney World. It’s nice to have things like band-aids, facial tissue, wet wipes, stain sticks, and hand sanitizer. Many of these things come in travel or keychain form, so they are small and easy to throw in a bag.
8. Reusable Bottle
Although you can purchase water bottles and even get free cups of water from any counter-service restaurant in Disney World, it’s helpful to have something to carry with you. We never leave our hotel room without a water bottle! Consider picking up one with a filter so you can fill it up anywhere. We’ve discovered that the tap water isn’t very tasty, but the water from the ice machines tastes very fresh. Since you’ll only have access to ice machines in the resorts (and you have to wait for the ice to melt to drink it), the filters will help clean out any impurities leaving you with fresh-tasting, refreshing water!
You’ll probably splurge on a Mickey ice cream, but it’s nice to have some snacks in your bag for when the hunger hits. Pack light items like energy bars, dried fruit, or crackers.
10. Touristy items
Last but not least, you’ll need some touristy items.
If you’re traveling with a child or you’re a child at heart, bring an autograph book from home. This can be something elaborate that you made, a fancy Disney-themed book, or a simple notebook from the Dollar Store. Just remember that you’ll have to carry it with you, so don’t make it too big. Don’t forget something for the characters to sign with. A large pen works best since many characters have big hands- or paws.
You might also want some guide maps, which you can pick up at the entrance of the parks. These guides make great (free) souvenirs, and they’ll help you find your way around the parks. Near the guide maps, you’ll find a times guide showing the times of all the shows. These things can also be found on the My Disney Experience app in case you’re not the paper-carrying kind of person.
Guidebooks like Hidden Mickeys by Steven M. Barrett and the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World can also be fun additions if you’re into learning more about the locations you’re visiting. These books are good for killing time in the queues, too!
Don’t forget your Disney gear! Break out the mouse ears, Mickey Mouse t-shirts, and the Olaf scarf. There’s no better place to show off your Disney Side than in Disney World!
Finally, we also have pennies (preferably the shiny ones) and some quarters with us at all times. Souvenirs don’t have to be expensive, and pressed pennies are probably the least expensive souvenir you can find in Disney World. The machines are placed just about everywhere throughout the parks including at the end of some of the bigger and more popular rides. Most machines will have several designs to choose from; try collecting them all!