When traveling to Disney World with small children, you need lots of stuff. We used two small backpacks and I learned some valuable lessons from our experience. One mistake we made was cramming too many items into their bags. Everything we needed always ended up at the bottom of the bag, so the contents would erupt like a volcano all over Main Street as we frantically searched for that squished granola bar, simultaneously picking size 2T underwear up off the ground.
Aside from diapers and wipes, here are some essential items to pack in your child’s bag.
1. A small tube of sunscreen
2. 1-2 changes of clothing, each outfit rolled up tightly and sealed in a plastic storage bag – no more erupting volcanoes! Remove the clean clothes and place the soiled ones back in the bag.
3. Extra gallon and sandwich sized plastic storage bags – put diapers or anything else in these that you would not want to get soaked in a sudden downpour while you are, for example, standing in line for and riding the Kilimanjaro Safari for an hour as rain pools in the seats of your strollers and then slowly seeps through, drenching your children’s backpacks that were once full of dry clothes and diapers. Yep, that happened.
4. Ponchos – for yourselves and one to throw over each stroller (see number 3).
5. Non-crushable, non-perishable snacks sealed in plastic storage bags (raisins, fruit snacks, nuts if age-appropriate, etc) – the kids will always be hungry because they see food everywhere. Bringing some snacks of your own can stave off hunger, provide energy, and help with unplanned spending. The small bags are also great for saving leftover snacks and meal items that have been purchased in the parks.
6. Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen – you never know when a fever or headache might pop up. And along with that, Band-aids. Excited kids + lots of pavement = skinned knees.
7. Small bottle of hand sanitizer – GERMS are everywhere! Think about how many people touch the railings in a ride queue.
8. Extra pacifier(s)
These items are not necessary, but nice if you have the space:
1. Water/special cup/bottles- Ice water is free in disposable cups all throughout the parks, so we prefer to go that route rather than carrying around bulky items that I would be bummed to lose. And along with this, Bendable straws- these are easier for children to use than the straight straws available in the parks.
2. Small games, notepads, colored pencils, glow sticks, etc for entertainment – We bought at least one small (I’m talking $10 or less on average) souvenir on each of our park days so they always had something new and exciting to hold in line or while strolling through the park.
3. Stain remover wipes/pen
5. Disposable Camera for the kids to use – I haven’t done this but I might next time; it would be fun to see Disney from their perspective.
What else would you add to these lists?
Candice was raised in east Tennessee. While in college, her best friend dragged her to a Walt Disney World College Program recruiting session at the University of Tennessee and the rest is Disney history. In the Fall of 1999, Candice became a quick service food hostess for Sunset Ranch Market and Fantasmic at Disney-MGM Studios – or what is now known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While soaking up her time as a cast member, she met Ryan, a neighbor and a fellow college programmer who worked as a custodial host at Epcot. Four years later, Candice moved to the Midwest and married that boy from across the hall. They now live in Greenwood, Indiana with their two little boys. The Disney-loving foursome took their first family trip to The Happiest Place on Earth in 2013 and Candice is eagerly planning their return. Candice also works full-time at a community mental health center and enjoys taking photographs and blogging at Mommy in the Midwest.