Once you decide the time of year to visit Walt Disney World, your next step is planning what to pack. My first and foremost important thing is shoes. You will be spending countless hours on your feet and walking several miles a day. Make sure your shoes are comfortable! Better yet, make sure you have 2 pairs that are comfortable. Switching back and forth will give your shoes time to air out and your feet a break. Most people chose tennis shoes as their primary pair, with maybe walking sandals as your back up. Crocs are also popular, but don’t use your trip to wear them for the first time! Both pairs of shoes should be some that are relatively new, but also broke in.
Socks are the next thing! I recommend the type with the built in arch support. In fact I will wear these and another thin cotton pair over them. I know – 2 pairs, yea right! But trust me; they have saved me several times. If your foot moves in your shoes, blisters will happen. Your socks need to be breathable also or the type that will wick moisture away from your foot. Above all keep in mind – if your feet feel good, the rest of you will also.
The next thing I keep in my suitcase is a first aid kit. You will find band-aids and such in the hotel gift shops, but they can be expensive. Pack a small box or zip lock with band-aids, antiseptic cream, witch hazel (for blisters), mole skin, headache medicine, over-counter pain medicine, any of your daily meds & vitamins. Also pack plenty of sunscreen – Florida sun can be much stronger than most of us are used to. Be sure to also include a small tube of aloe, just in case. Depending on your length of stay, small travel sizes should be enough for a 3 day weekend.
Pack a light weight jacket and long pants for the sometimes cool evenings. Even if you don’t usually wear them at home, Florida evenings after dark can seem quite cool since you have been in the intense sun and heat most days. If traveling during winter months, a heavier jacket and sweats will come in handy. I’ve been there in early December and had temps drop to the mid-thirties. Think of layering, so that layers can be shed as needed or added for the late evenings.
The few things I don’t bother with are much jewelry or excess make-up. Both can be quite hot during the day. Most make up will melt away by afternoon, so unless you have some very special dinners planned and will have time to change and freshen up, keep everything minimal. Think about taking products that do double duty, such as face cream with a tint or a light colored lipstick that can double as blush. Chunky jewelry just adds bulk and can catch on backpacks and rides as you load and unload quickly.
Backpack or carry bag for the parks. It needs to be comfortable to carry even when weighted down. Think about what you will need in the parks such as a water bottle, camera, and cell phone. Carrying a smaller 1st aid kit and pain reliever could come in handy also. The bag does need to be small enough to also fit into the compartments on most rides. Nothing is worse than having a bag the size of a suitcase and then having to hold it to ride. You don’t want to turn into the group pack-mule. If there are things you must take – consider a rental locker available in the front of the parks.
Speaking of keeping things minimal; chose clothes that are light weight material, loose and breathable for those extreme temperatures during the day. When temps are in the 80’s, 90’s or higher, having tight clothes will just make you feel warmer. If you plan on riding those rides where you may or will get wet, consider clothing that dries quickly, so you aren’t walking the rest of the day in soggy clothes.
After all the above is packed, the rest can be fun. How about matching t-shirts for everyone in your party. Or plan each day to be a different character day. Give yourself plenty of options, but remember there are laundry facilities available if you plan on longer than a long weekend. That will keep luggage less crowded for more souvenirs.
Debbie and her husband live in Collegedale, TN where her youngest son is going to college. She is a huge Disney fan who dreams of someday retiring and working as a tour guide at Walt Disney World. She has enjoyed many trips to WDW with children, grandchildren and sometimes adults only. It is her ultimate goal to make sure everyone who visits WDW has the same magical time that she enjoys every time she visits.