Packing a day bag or backpack for Disney shouldn’t be another dreaded task on your to-do list. There is an easy way to prepare you backpack with all the gear you will need for a successful and fun day with the Mouse. After six trips in ten years, I have perfected my packing list to save money, save time, and save any mishaps that that might threaten to ruin a day at the happiest place on earth. There’s a few unexpected items on the list and a few expected items used in unexpected ways. Read on, my Disney bound friends.
1.Re-fillable Water Bottle. Water is a must in the sweaty Florida heat, but there is no need to buy bottled water. Bring along a refillable container and any counter service restaurant will fill it with ice and water free of charge.
2.Extra Batteries. Here’s the scene: You’ve been waiting for 3.52 hours in the sweaty swamp for a picture and autograph from the Mouse. Just as you round the corner, you switch on your camera and nothing happens. Not a click, not a whirr. Nothing. If there is time and manpower, you can send someone to leverage your mortgage to pay for batteries marked up at 200%, but you may not have that luxury. Save yourself the last minute panic, and the exorbitant fee and take extra batteries for your camera.
~Glow Stick on the Stroller Saves Tons of Pitch Black Searching~
3.Glow Sticks and Bracelets. When night falls, the lights come out at Disney. Not just the sparkling fireworks and Electric Parade, but those crazy expensive light up toys line the street. Again, practicality wins out and I pick up tons of glow sticks and bracelets before we ever get to Disney. The kids are just as happy to sport the cheapo versions and it makes them easier to find in the crowd. The bracelets also work as a great tool for finding your stroller at night. Here are some more tips for finding your stroller in the daunting “sea of strollers.”
4.One Extra Poncho. Unless this is your first Disney rodeo, you know that you have to have some kind of rain gear for those flash Florida rainfalls. Okay, so you’ve got one for each member of your family, so you are ready for any weather, right? WRONG! If you are planning to use a stroller, you will need one extra poncho for your stroller. Yep, that’s right. Whenever you leave your stroller, cover it with the extra poncho. I know it seems lame right now, but it’s even worse to come off of a ride after a quick storm and find your stroller soaked from the passing storm.
5.Sack Lunch. Technically, Disney doesn’t allow outside food to be brought into the park. Of course, snacks have always been fair game, but you can easily bring an entire sack lunch and nobody is going to even give you the side eye. It’s the happiest place on Earth. They want you to be happy. As long as you don’t bring in a cooler, it will be a-okay. It has been our Disney habit to bring our lunch in our bag and plan to eat it while waiting for a show to start. While I pass out the lunches, Dad grabs some drinks from a snack stand. By the time lunch is over, the show is ready to start and we have front row seat and full tummies. No time wasted. No money spent. That’s what I call happy.
6.Giant Lollipops. My kids are actually pretty awesome when it comes to souvenirs. They resist most of the kitschy nonsense, but they cannot resist a lollipop the size of their head (who can resist that really?) Like most of the treats at Disney, the premium is high. Instead of paying full park price, I stock up on ginormous lollipops at the dollar store before we leave. At the end of the day, when the stickiness is covered with equal parts backpack lint and park grime, I have no trouble tossing it in the trash, knowing I only invested a dollar in the treat.
7.Cheap(er) Souvenirs. I know I am starting to sound like a scrooge, but I am what I am. I would much rather pinch my pennies on the things that don’t really matter (yes, I am talking about you giant stuffed Eeyore) to have a little extra for the things that do matter (hello Character Breakfast.) Souvenirs can be ordered ahead of time or even purchased at the Walmart in Florida to save tons of cash.
~Characer Breakfasts at Disney World. Definitely worth the Splurge~
8.Moleskin. Blisters. Need I say more.
9.Extra Socks. Into every life a little rain must fall, and at Disney World, it’s almost a guarantee. Not only are there the pop-up afternoon storms, but there are the water rides. Socks will be soaked. Bring an extra pair and save yourself the soggy three hours of trudging around in pee warm, squishy shoes.
10.Clickable Permanent Marker. If you are going to take the plunge into the Disney autograph insanity, purchase a clickable permanent marker rather than one with a lid. Most of the time you will lose the lid faster than you can say Jiminy Cricket. A clickable marker will save you the hassle of a Sharpee stained pocket.
Need More Disney Planning? Here's what happens (from horrifying personal experience) when you lose a child at Disney. On a happier note, get all the tips for boosting your score on Buzzlight Year's Space Ranger Spin.
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