Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Packing for a Walt Disney World Trip

One of the questions I’ve been asked by friends and family a lot is now that I’m going to WDW, what do I pack?  That can sometimes be a very daunting thought.  I figured I’d spend a little time going over what we packed for a trip to the World. 
For the interest of organization, I will break this down into the different category lists that we use.  These categories are Clothes, Non-Clothes, Electronics, Park Items,

Clothes are the first and toughest.  Everyone of course has their own tastes, I'll try to be general.  When going from March to October its pretty consistent in the sunshine state…hot.  From October to April though it could be anything.  That’s why the 10-day forecast for Orlando before your trip is a must.  Even so you can get surprised.  A couple of years ago we went for a week in December.  The forecast for 30’s at night and 50’s in the day.  Well, the week started out that way but by the end of the week it shot up n the 70’s and we were swimming.  We were lucky we still packed swim sutis even though the forecast. You never know. 

The amount of things to pack can be an issue also.  If we stay 5 days or less, we can usually pack enough clothes to cover it.  Over 5 days you either have to pack more, which is tough as far as planes go or look for a washing machine.  All of the Disney Hotels have washing machines, some more than others.  Before you go, you can check a map for your hotel and see where all the washing machine rooms are.  In our experience it seems the are usually close to a pool area.  There is a great post by Erin over on the TouringPlans Blog about keeping your clothes clean.  It is her picture here. 

As far as what clothes to pack, that’s up to you, pack for the time of year and forecast.  In addition to what you would normally pack, two pairs of walking sneakers would be good to bring in case one pair gets wet.  (Shoe drying trick: stuff pages of a newspaper into the shoes/sneakers and leave them over-night.)  There are a couple of Table Service restaurants that have a dress code, make sure about where your ressies are.  In truth, with the exception of Victoria and Albert's, you can wear almost anything to WDW restaurants.  Bring hats, but not your most favorite hats.  I've lost a couple on rides over the years. 

Non-Clothes category is just what it sounds like.  These are the items we pack that don't fall into the other categories.  We always take extra ziploc bags, big and small.  They always come in handy.  We've experimented with food and have pretty much stopped taking things from home.  If we haev a car, we hit the Walmart ASAP to stock up on the room and park snacks/drinks.  If we did not have a vehicle, we might revist shipping a "Care Package" to ourselves.  We did it when we stayed at the Grand Floridian.  I sent the package and ha it arrive the day before we were to arrive.  It worked out very well.  There was about 3-4 lbs of snacks and light sticks and stuff for the parks. 
Electronics:  Wow, this is the most changed category over time you’ll find in this post today.  Even from 5 or 6 years ago we take a ton of electronic stuff now.  For the ride down or on the plane the kids take their Nintendo DS’s.  In place of the DVD player we have an Itouch and my Iphone.  The kids have their phones to use if we split up anywhere.  We also bring a computer.  With all of these devices you need to bring the chargers and any other accessories needed to work.  We have a separate bag, kind of a cross between a soft sided cooler and a small toolbox.  This is our Electronics bag.  This makes finding the right charger or adapter easier.  On top of these items, we also have the cameras.  A Point and shoot and water proof video camera and both sets of batteries and such.  Bring a utility strip.  It is a must.

Park Items.  As it says, things to take to the park.  If we’re flying this stuff gets packed anywhere there is room and then re-assembled at the hotel.  If we’re driving we’ll just pack everything in the bag we take into the park.  I've gone from basically carrying nothing in the parks up through college.  Once we went with the kids and were able to carry stuff in the stroller we kind of got greedy and took all sorts of things into the parks with us.  Now, we have one good knapsack or shoulder bag and a camera bag between the 3-4 of us.  If I go alone, it's only the camera bag.  When we go into the parks for a day, we take an aluminum water bottle, a couple of protein bars, an small umbrella and ponchos, first aid kit, small flashlight, lanyards and trading pins, autograpgh books and pens and any touring plans, Glide and Moleskin and any info for that day.  

So those are some of the things we pack to get to and survive a trip to WDW.  I'm sure I left off a couple of things, send us an email at and let us know what it is.

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