Planning a Disney vacation can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing, however, once the plans are set and the excitement is mounting, deciding what to pack can be just as overwhelming. That is why I have for you The Ultimate Disney Packing List.
This list will help you to remember all of the items you need as well as make sure that none of the essentials needed for your trip are forgotten. I also have on the list a few items that are sometimes not thought of, that we always bring along.
We have visited Disney at least 25 times and every year I have to sit down and remember what it is we need to pack. I have written notes to myself after many of our trips. I have these notes all over the place and have to dig them up each year and still I tend to forget at least 10 things.
One of the things I hate to do on a vacation is spending an hour or so in a big box store because I forget the items someone cannot live without. And believe me, I have forgotten some of the basic things on some of our trips. This then requires a trip to the big box store, disrupting our vacation, and spending hours getting all the things I have forgotten.
Believe it or not, one year I packed my son’s trip for a Disney beach vacation and forgot his swimsuit. Talk about wasting time finding a store trying on suites, it was a very frustrating afternoon out of our vacation.
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Packing Options for Different Travel and Budgets
In the Disney packing list, I have tried to include items that we always took along with babies and items that we make sure are packed for adult children. But use this list as a guide, as each family is different and has special needs. Packing will also be different if this is a road trip to Disney or going by air.
Our first 15 or so trips to Disney we took the two-day road trip from Ohio to Florida. We drove all that way and stayed with family as were on a tight budget.
When traveling by car I always packed a cooler with drinks, snacks, and a packed meal for the first meal of the trip. In our family peanut butter and graham crackers were always in the snack bag. And our favorite indulgence snacks are Pringles and M & Ms.
On a road trip or by air with little ones we always had a bag of games. I learned early as a mom that any travel game had to be self-contained. All games had to have their own carrying case to keep all of the parts together.
Here are some of our favorites: Rush Hour Trafic Jam, Magnetic Travel Chess Set, Guess Who, we also had a boat traffic game that we all loved. I have hunted far and wide for any game that is self-contained and quiet ones are best.
And like most families, our second van had a TV with a DVD player. As the kids got older we traveled with handheld electronic games and computers. Each year it becomes more and more complicated getting power for everyone, and then the internet.
The Present Bag
On Disney vacation with very little ones, toddlers, and beyond, we always packed what we called “The Present Bag”. This was a specific sturdy tote with a zippered top that I brought wrapped presents for each of the kids.
As the road trip started to get boring and the kids got restless I would take out a present, beautifully wrapped, from the present bag. Babies and toddlers love to open up packages, and each present could keep them occupied for 30 to 60 minutes.
The presents were nothing special, sometimes a box of raisins, a granola bar or a mini pack of M&Ms. For the very little ones, a new rattle, small stuffed animal, or a board book. As they became toddlers, handheld games, picture books, coloring books, and crayons.
As my girls got older they would always ask “do we still get the present bag?”. I would then pack Disney games, toys, hats, and tee shirts.
Items at Disney Parks as you know can be really expensive. So make sure to search out your big box stores, and Disney online, for items you know the kids will want once they see them in the parks.
Some items would be in the present bag and some, like the hats and tee shirts I would put in the room when we arrive and unpack. Places I get the little presents at the Dollar Store, Drugstore, Amazone, and Disney online.
Wrapping the Presents
The present bag started when our two girls were babies. At first, I wrapped each present as you would a birthday gift. A few years late I just wrapped them in colored tissue paper. As they became elementary kids, I bought colorful lunch bags.
It never mattered how they were packaged. The present bag quickly became a family tradition that made the long trip to Florida more fun. When the girls’ little brother came along, the excitement started all over again as they loved seeing all his items in his packages and loved to help me make each trip special for him.
Items You Might Not Think You Need But are a Must
- A Small Portable Fan. The fan helps keep the air moving in the room and makes a soothing sound to get kids to sleep.
- A Night Light: A night light will help sleepers find the bathroom at night without having a big light on.
- An Umbrella Stroller: Keep the big stroller at home. Do not struggle in the airport or on trams with a big stroller.
- A Load Colored Scarf: This way you can find your stroller quickly in the stroller parking lot.
- A Permanent Marker: You will need to put names on like items you buy, like the hotel Disney mugs.
Our family like many others are Disney fanatics. We go as many times as we can and have started to take shorter tips ourselves now that the kids are older. I like to spend my time planning out the adventure and not worrying if I have forgotten something. I hope that after you download this list and make it your own. I want to make sure that you spend your time in the most magical place on earth, and not at a big box store.