Wondering how to pack for Disney World? You’re in the right place! I love packing for vacations (I know, it’s my weirdest trait) and consider packing to be an art form and a science.
I’m here to share a few of my best packing tips for Disney World, so you aren’t cramming things into your suitcase the night before.
I can’t say anything about things you need to bring to Disney World without mentioning my favorite guide to Disney World, the Unofficial Guide. I read it cover to cover before we went and was so glad I did. (Not everyone is that over the top, but hey.)
Note – I’ve never traveled to Disney World with children! I have been a child going to Disney World but have never packed for one. Keep that in mind while reading my tips.
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1. Make a list.
I wrote a little bit more on how I packed for a long trip to Greece (we were gone for two weeks!) back in the fall, but I recommend making a very thorough packing list for any trip you take. Most of all, a trip to Disney World!
My packing lists are a beautiful thing, in my personal opinion. I recommend planning your items by the day and matching those days to your itinerary.
For example, my packing list for a day during our December’s trip might look like this:
- Animal Kingdom. Dinner at Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
- Something about the weather.
- Parks: Leopard print Minnie t-shirt. Rose gold ears. Denim shorts. Tan Keds.
- Dinner: Olive dress. Grey sweater. Tan keds OR leopard Rothy’s.
This means I never bring too much or too little, or end up at a fancy dinner without nice clothes, because when making my packing list I address what I will need!
2. Leave room or bring an extra tote bag.
If you’re driving, you have the luxury of extra space (especially if it’s only two people in the car, like my mom and my last trip!) and don’t need to worry about room for souvenirs.
But if you’re flying, choose your luggage wisely. Even if you go to Disney World often, you will bring something back with you, and I do feel like dirty clothes tend to expand.
3. Pack your park bag in advance.
If you have the luxury of space, pack your park bag in advance and stow it in your checked luggage or in your car. Don’t try to combine your plane’s personal item (or your purse or backpack for regular travels) with your park bag.
I have a few reasons for this:
- If you arrive at the park in the morning and want to hit the parks right away, it will be a hassle to try and prep your park bag before you go. That’s wasted park time!
- You might not be able to check into your room, so this could result in you lugging unwanted things around the parks or trying to do a shuffle in your hotel lobby.
- If you pack it in advance, you will be less likely to forget things.
I do have lots of thoughts on what you should pack in your park bag, too.
4. Bring extras – but do it wisely.
If you’re one of those people that brings an extra everything, you’re on the right track for Disney World, but you can pull back in a few areas. Don’t forget that most resorts do have laundry facilities.
I don’t think you can ever go wrong bringing extra socks, undergarments and t-shirts, but I recommend shorts or pants that can be re-worn. Don’t feel like you need multiple sets of nicer clothes, either, unless you have a few Signature Dining reservations. You can also get away with one coat.
5. Resealable plastic bags are your best friend.
Get a box of gallon-sized resealable plastic bags and get to work! I fully recommend, especially if traveling with children, packaging each day’s clothes in a resealable bag and squeezing the air out.
This will keep your suitcase organized and minimize space, too! If you’re a custom t-shirt kind of person (my mom and I are!), then you can make sure you have your outfits planned out for each park.
6. Be kind to your ears.
Pack your ears in your personal item or carry-on. Don’t check them!
7. Coordinate with the other members of your traveling party.
If you’re a family of four going to Disney World, this will be less applicable, but if you’re traveling with other families, friends or just your mom (that’s me!), make sure to coordinate your packing lists with each other.
This meant that Mom and I didn’t both bring full-sized toiletries or skincare (we usually use the same things) and could share things like sunscreen, tylenol, etc. It saved money, too.