While our family is prepping for a summer trip to Walt Disney World, I thought it would be a great idea to share our family’s top 10 favorite items to bring along when visiting the resort. Created from years of theme park travel, this list is predicated on comfortability, saving money and, above all, making your Disney trip as great as possible. And while this Disney checklist is definitely geared toward beating the summer heat, it really applies to any visit throughout the entire season. Let’s get going!
This is a new addition to our list. We were excited to take our Apple AirTags on a first-time trip to the parks last summer. Our interest was primarily in keeping tabs on both our backpack and stroller. After a test run, I can say it definitely took an element of stress out of our day. So much so, that we plan on bringing them along from now on.
Filtered Water Bottles
While our family aren\’t the biggest water drinkers if we’re drinking water, we like to filter it. Just make sure you get one that has a built-in straw, carrying loop, and push-button lid to make it as convenient as possible when filling up at the park. For those of you who can’t get that excited about drinking water, try adding flavored pour-ins to the mix.
External Phone Charger
There’s no better place for draining your phone battery than Walt Disney World where there’s a photo opportunity around every turn. To combat this, we like bringing along a mid-range external battery charger ($20-30) that typically gives you three to four full charges. Alternatives include using Fuel-Rod and charging stations. Disney offers both around the parks.
While a no-brainer in the summer heat, this take-along can be surprisingly tricky to get right. We often find the standard clip-on fan has trouble clamping exactly the way we need it to on the side of the stroller. Instead, we like the flexible tripod fans. While no battery-operated fan of this size will knock you down with power, you can at least get it mounted in a way that will consistently blow in the desired direction.
Along the same lines as the stroller fan, it’s all about getting a consistent breeze from one position. No fan is better at that than a bladeless neck fan. If you don’t have one, Disney sells them in the larger gift shops. As most are USB-C charged, you might also need to consider adding additional chargers to your packing list.
If you’re looking for a simpler way of cooling off, cooling towels may fit the bill. The chill won’t last as long as the neck fan mentioned previously, but they are definitely an option to consider when you need to cool off.
While we love cooling off on Kali River Rapids, it doesn’t necessarily mean we want to take the chance of being drenched. That’s why we always take a pack of disposable ponchos into the park with us. They are an inexpensive way of enjoying water attractions without carrying the water attraction along with you when exiting. The same goes for navigating the parks in occasional rainy weather. While you can always choose the more expensive poncho option, we really think you’re better off using and disposing.
One of the more surprising, but vital carry-along for us is something to prevent the blistering and chafing that sometimes accompanies extensive walking. We’ve found the best way to combat this is something like Gold Bond Friction Defense. My wife absolutely swears by it and it’s really helped with the foot blistering we encountered in our early theme park years.
While we had always brought bottled sunscreen previously, this past trip, we tried using sunscreen packs instead. These took up less room in our backpack and we were able to simply hand them out for each person to apply. Well, except for my 4-year- old. He promptly handed his back and asked for a spray.
If you have littles, you know how much it helps to have their favorite drink/snack/you-name-it on hand. While you can always select a tote-style bag, the backpack option is definitely the more comfortable route for theme park use.
Well, that’s not exactly it. Again, these are just a few of our favorite items on our Disney checklist. In truth, this list is maybe 10% of what we usually take along on Disney visits. We typically have an item to combat nearly any situation – up to and including a meteor strike. But, that’s just us. We actually enjoy trying to upgrade our theme park take-along experience on each visit.
One final item to consider for your Disney checklist is enlisting a free vacation planner. I’ve spent years learning the ins and outs of theme park vacation planning and would love to help you plan your next visit to destinations like Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Universal Orlando. I can also help with non-theme park vacations like Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, and Aulani Resort.
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