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Top 10 Things to Bring to Disney World
What to pack for Disney World?
Don't get turned upside-down before you even get to Disney World!
There are the obvious things that will make your vacation more enjoyable like sunscreen and hats, and then there are the things you can bring to save you money like your own autograph books. But I've found some other real gems to make my next trip to Disney World extra magical for the kids and adults alike!
Stuff NOT to buy at Disney World
(because we're bringing it with us to save $$$!)
3. Walking Shoes
4. Autograph Books
6. Disney t-shirts, Stuffed Animals and Souvenirs
8. A Pancho (if it rains)
9. Family Photos
10. Something to carry it all in!
Stuff to Bring to Disney World to Make Trip Extra Special
1. Disney World Activity Books
2. Digital Cameras for the Whole Family
Bring refillable water bottles or bottled water
If you don't mind tap water, you can refill at the park water fountains.
Refillable Water Bottles with a Strap
The official Disney park rules for 2012 say that you can't bring drinks into the park - but the rules are not enforced. I went early in the year, and the water and snacks we brought in were just overlooked.
It's important to bring water so you don't get dehydrated. Bottled water will taste best, but it's easy to lose track of them. A refillable water bottle with a strap will stay with you all day, no matter how many rides and exhibits you go on!
Bring a Misty Spray Fan to Keep Cool
They sell these all over the theme parks, and they are AWESOME for cooling off. However, you can save by purchasing them in advance. The only difference between this one and the one at the theme park is the character logos on the front.
Pack Disney World Specific Activity Books! - Even with FastPasses You're sure to need something to pass some time here and there!
These books are the best of the best!!! They were excellent because they had activities for the kids to do while waiting in line, whether it was looking for hidden Mickey's or a crossword puzzle about the area of Disney that they were in. I highly recommend all of these books. The last one is great for someone that likes to know a little bit more about the behind the scenes, and share it with the rest of the family.
I got one of these for each of our three children last year. They have places to write about each thing they do at Disney World (or get a stamp from each of the Epcot kid-stations), as well as get information on what they want to do next. The kids still love reviewing their custom books and reliving the magic of Disney World!
I love this book. There are some great activities that are fun, tied to what you're doing at Disney and educational (incase you're taking your kids out of school for a Disney trip).
UV Umbrellas: Beat the Heat - And don't Forget Sunscreen, Sunglasses and Hats While You're at it!
Bring Sunscreen Spray to Disney World - It's just so easy!!!
Even if it's cloudy you could still get sunburned!!
Pack Comforatable Shoes AND Socks for Disney World - Did you know how important the right socks are for a Disney Trip?
You will be walking a lot on concrete and it will be tough for everyone. Get a good pair of hiking/running shoes or sandals. I'm not going to tell you what kind of shoes to get - everyone has a personal taste for walking long distances. But flip-flops are definitely out!!!
Socks also matter. Since it's almost always hot at Disney World it's important to get socks that won't irritate. Traditional cotton socks are NOT the best for walking at Disney World because they become saturated with moisture and then they start to rub causing blisters. A much better choice are high-tech socks that wick moisture away from your skin. See below for some choices.
Bring Backpacks or Waistpacks for Everyone Going to Disney World
Make sure everyone has one! You can fill them with money, cell phones, trail mix (granola bars or other such snacks), cameras and more! For even more family fun you could even get matching packs so you can spot each other! You don't even have to spend a lot of money on them. Just something that you can carry around with you at the parks.
I like the over the shoulder basic pack, but some people like the security of a waist pack (we won't downgrade it to a fanny-pack here). Perhaps just the person with the money needs the added security of a waist pack but the children could suffice with an over the shoulder drawstring pack. They're cheap enough to buy one for the whole family and in just about any color you can think of.
Buy a Digital Camera for Everyone!
It may seem impractical at first, but you can get a decent 7.0 megapixel camera from Geeks.com from a little over $20. For that much you could easily get a decent digital camera for each child in your family so that you can capture each one of their unique perspectives of the trip. You can also make a game of which family captures the most hidden Mickey's on their camera and make collages when you get home.
We did this on our last Disney trip and it worked out great (especially since one of the three kids lost their camera - but at $20 it wasn't that big of a deal).
Bring Your Own Light Snacks
Officially, Disney asks that no outside food or drink be brought into the theme parks. The official policy reads: "With the exception of food items for Guests with specific dietary restrictions, food or beverage items are not permitted into either of the Disneyland Resort theme parks."
However, the "no outside food" policy is not strictly enforced. Bags are searched, but a few small snacks such as such as crackers, granola bars, juice boxes or bottles of water will be ignored. Just eat your food discreetly, and don't take up any restaurant space that could be used for paying meal eaters.
GPS Phone for Your Kids at Disney World - Useful on vacation and at home too.
This is a bit of an investment. It's a pay as you go phone for kids with a GPS locator which would make it very easy to find your kids.
Bring or Ship Your Own Disney Souvenirs - Buy Your T-Shirts, Stuffed Animals, Mouse-ears Ahead of Time
Chances are, you know what your children will want (for the most part) as souvenirs. Disney allows you to ship items ahead of time (so you don't have to take them in the plan or find room in your luggage). Find some items at your local Disney store or on Amazon.com and ship them to your hotel c/o you (the guest). Then you can have them waiting for you when you get there, or spread them out one gift a morning before breakfast to help curb the wanting to always buy something.
Mickey Mouse Jewelry: Pack and Send to the Room - Or Keep it Hidden and Surprise Someone at a Special Location
This is a little extra credit. I was in my local jewelry store the other day and they had rhinestone Mickey hair clips that were perfect for my girls! So I've been looking to see what other extra special jewelry you could either send to your room ahead of time as a nice surprise or save for a romantic or special family moment. I may just have to nudge my hubby into getting me the Mickey ring next time we go!! How romantic would it be to get that in Cinderella's castle!!!