June 24, 2012

Ten (less thought of) Items for Your Packing List

I love planning trips to Disney World. My husband and I (somewhat obsessively) look at every hotel on property to choose the best fit for our family and then map out every day of our trip. I also start my packing list as soon as we start planning. Any time I think of something to bring, I add it to the list. Then when it’s actually time to pack, I don’t need to worry about forgetting anything.


I’ve found some great packing lists for Disney vacations online, and I’ve also thought of some unique items to bring during my time planning. Here are 10 things to bring to Disney that you might not have thought of, but that you’ll love having!

1. Glow sticks – I’ve found glow sticks and glow wands helpful on many occasions at Walt Disney World. I handed them over to my toddler when he got scared in the Haunted Mansion and he spent the rest of the ride happily playing with his new toy. They’re also great in the evenings when kids are getting tired and need something to help perk them up a bit. Granted, you can buy glow items in the parks, but I’d rather get them in the dollar section at my local superstore.

2. Giant lollipops – See my note above! Why spend a fortune on a lollipop in the park when you can easily bring them from home and pull them out when a parade starts or you want to surprise your child with a sweet?


3. Address labels (filled out) for postcards – We always send postcards from Disney World and we usually send a lot! We send them to my kid’s classes, their cousins, neighbors, etc. But, I don’t want to waste a minute at Disney, writing out all of those addresses takes up precious time! So, I pre-print them before I leave home. The addresses are all ready to go and I don’t need to worry about forgetting anyone.

4. Night Lights – If you’re traveling with kids who are used to a night light in their room, you most likely won’t find one in your room at Disney World. We always bring one or two with us to make them feel more at home.

5. Zip Lock Bags – Bring lots of sizes! You’ll use them for unfinished snacks, to hold wet clothes or to carry sunscreen bottles to the parks.

6. Plush Characters – You’ve got a plush Mickey Mouse at home, right? Well, they sell thousands of cute Mickeys all over the "World." I find that if we don’t bring a Mickey with us, then we end up with 1 or 2 new ones before heading home. So, Mickey comes with us to Disney! The same goes for Mickey ears - don’t get news ones every trip! Bring them from home on repeat visits.

 (Don't let this happen to you!)

7. Art Supplies – There is, believe it or not, down time at Disney World - In the car…on a plane…at a restaurant.  It can’t hurt to bring something along to entertain the kids during these times. I especially love sticker books since crayons can melt in the Florida heat!

8. Travel Size Hand Wipes – Go to the travel section at your local drug store and get a few packs of the travel size wipes. You won’t regret it. We use them before snacks, after snacks, after playing on playgrounds… you name it!

 9. Autograph Books – Picture this... it’s your first day in the parks. You walk in and see Pinocchio! But, you don't have an autograph book!! Run! Go buy one before he’s gone. But, you know he’ll be gone... OK, it’s probably unlikely that this will happen, but you will probably want an autograph book shortly after you arrive. I pre-order them from the Disney Store. It’s just one less thing to worry about after we arrive. Plus, we’ve told our kids about trips by handing them new books, which is a lot of fun.


10. Mini Fan – It is HOT in Florida! Before our last trip, I stopped at a drug store and got mini hand held fans for about $1 each. They fit in my backpack and we all loved having them during the trip.

I hope you find these hints helpful on your next Disney trip. What do you bring with you to Disney that makes your vacation easier and a bit more magical?

22 comments:

  1. Great tips! Save yourself alot of money.

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  2. clothesline and some clothespins to hang wet clothes! Band-aids and first aid kit (including stomach and headache and allergy meds!) and a during, because Disney has an awful excuse for real coffee over most of their property!

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  3. Good thing I'm not a coffee drinker. I've heard the coffee is horrible

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  4. This is a great tips on how to pack your things while playing
    with your son. You know If I am in your possession I think I can’t do that
    because that was so hard to do.

    www.howtoship.com

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  5. If possible, bring your own water! We know a couple of specific water fountains in Mickey World where the Florida water is palatable and we refill our bottles at those places.

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  6. Also good idea to bring your own character costume from home. It is very tempting to buy one and dress up while you're there.

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  7. For sure! I have boys, so I didn't think of that one!

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  8. I would think your boys might like to be pirates when they are there!

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  9. Florida summer = afternoon rain showers. We always bring dollar store ponchos.

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  10. Disney will give you free cups of ice water if you ask at any restaurant or snack station. This is how we refill our bottles!

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  11. The last two trips my kids brought their pillow pets. They're great for the plane and are something familiar for bedtime at the hotel. I also found Disney ponchos at my local Target for $4 on sale. I bought several because we always bring them with us, they're too expensive at the parks ($8-$12.)

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  12. We bring quarters and shiny pennies for the penny presses! Keep them in a separate baggie so you don't have to root around for change. Also, we bring back our lanyards for our tickets and fast passes!

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  13. I don't know if this is an accepted practice, but I am going to refer you to another Disney Fan site http://tagrel.com/APP/CMCards.shtml . A couple of years ago I ran across this site researching our family's visit and made up a few sheets of these cards, I took it to the next level and used business card lamination and laminated a couple of dozen of them. It was the best feeling in the world to as we called it, "to out Disney, Disney." My wife and me both felt overwhelmed after seeing the unexpected joy the card help provide to the Disney Cast Members who went out of their way to provide us with exceptional service. Every day I would make sure I had 3-4 of them in one of my pockets and we would hand them out. We left one for our Mousekeeper at the hotel, along with a tip, and on the envelope she wrote us back. "In 11 years of working here, I've never gotten anything like this--Thanks" another lady in the gift shop in the Contemporary Resort, after she helped out 8 year-old-son trade one of his first pin's we gave her a card. her reaction of being stunned brought me and my wife to the point of tears (of joy for doing a good deed and the positive influence we had on her day). Yes making and keeping up with the card took some effort but we felt truly blessed and really found out that it is indeed much better to give than to receive. If for some reason the above link dose not work, then search "Disney Cast Member Thank-You Cards" and something should come up. I think it shows some though on your part to do something in advance, and when in the park it just took seconds to grab a card and hand it to the Cast Member, not having good intentions of doing something for someone and not following up on it is not hanging over your head or weeks later you are not haunted by thinking, "I need to write up a good follow-up for this or that." or "I keep meaning to do that" plus you got to see the reaction of person who got the thank-you yourself. From now on, this will always be a must do for out family.

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  14. This year on our family trip, my two girls are dressing up as Wendy and Tink and my two boys as Peter Pan and Hook. We also have Buzz, Jessie and Woody costumes as well, and of course the Princess dresses. My kids love dressing up in the parks! Makes for great photo ops and Cast Memebers and Characters really dig it.

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  15. Okay, when I was 9 my parents took me to Disney for the first time. None of us had ever been before and had no idea about autograph books.... So It was my first day at Disney, I walk in and see Pinocchio but I didn't have an autograph book (something we picked up on as soon as we saw people handing him a book to sign) so my parents took me to the nearest shop to buy one, but he was gone by the time I came back....Sound familiar? (cough cough 9 cough cough) I had to comment because that was EXACTLY what happened. These tips are awesome and will be used next time I go! Thanks

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  16. Those giant pens you find in the $1 section are great for the characters to hold.Almost every character we had sign commented on how great they were. They're so easy for them to hold. We even found several in Disney themes.

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  17. Bubbles! If there's a long line to have to wait in, you can entertain your little ones by blowing bubbles!

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  18. Great idea! We bring glow sticks too

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  19. Quarters also fit perfectly in those Mini M&M tubes. Nice and compact.

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  20. Ponchos. We've bought them when we needed them in the past, so now we bring them back.

    Bubbles I've blown them in line (away from people).

    Food...cereal for breakfasts, granola bars, fruit snacks, water flavoring packets (have you tried Disney's water - yuck). Then there's room in the suitcase for souvenirs.

    Carabiners - great to clip a water bottle on your bag or stroller. Also useful for clipping bags to strollers.

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  21. A power strip to charge all the electronics. There are never enough outlets.

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  22. I make my own autograph book (have sold a few too), and instead of a pen..magic marker...the autograph lasts longer. Because I am a scrapbooker I have also just used a small clipboard and precut squares of paper for the autographs.
    A pop up laundry hamper. I put dirty clothes in there and then do a load (or 2) at the resort on a down night.

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