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Unpack the Stress of Packing: Tips and Must Have Items for Every Disney Trip

Our partner, Sarah Reinhart with Hi Ho Vacations has experienced what it’s like to travel and visit Disney parks with young children first hand. Her children began visiting Disney World as infants! Sarah has experience with Disney travel at all price points and can help families find what’s best for them! Bloomington Moms Blog invited Sarah to share her advice, tips and tricks for planning a memorable and magical Disney vacation.

Packing for a family vacation can be stressful for the most experienced traveler, but packing for a Disney Vacation seems to panic parents more than an indoor play park during cold season! I often hear parents say things like, “We can’t wait for the trip but I hate the packing!” and “I always forget (fill in the blank with anything from shoes to the baby’s pacifier).”

What Kind of Packer are You?

Most families have a “designated packer,” the one person who ensures all things are in order and ready to go. In my family, I am this person. I have also been the Overpacker, the LastMinutepacker, and the Stressedpacker.  

  • The Overpacker will take every last item their family might need, even gloves to Florida in April.…. (I have done this. What if the morning is chilly!?)?
  • The LastMinutepacker is throwing their toddler’s favorite Disney Princess dress into a suitcase with mac ‘n’ cheese crusted on the front while her husband is kindly reminding her that “the flight WILL leave without us.”
  • The Stressedpacker may or may not have packed one child with eight t-shirts and no underwear while forgetting the swimsuits and goggles, resulting in a massive poolside meltdown.

But, here’s the thing! Packing does not need to suck the fun and excitement out of your magical vacation! Driving vs flying, ages of travelers, and time of year will play a major factor in your packing needs, and I work with each of my clients to customize a packing plan.

Packing Tips to Help Keep Your Sanity

  • Begin one to two weeks before your travel date.
  • Plan a prep space. Identify a spot on the floor/table/spare bed and add packing items to the pile. Remember to grab sunscreen at Target. Throw it in the pile.
  • Clear the photos on your Phone! This is huge. You will need the free space to capture all of your magical moments.
  • Check the 10-day forecast and pack accordingly.
  • Check your luggage. Was it damaged during last use? Do you need more?
  • The weekend before you travel be sure your shopping is finished and laundry is washed. You don’t want to meet Rapunzel with a mac n cheese covered princess dress!  

After you have packed your basics, (clothing, swimsuits, good walking shoes, and flipflops) follow the list below. 

15 Must-Have Items to Pack for Disney (or really anywhere)

  • A backpack for day trips to the Disney Parks
  • Baby carrier and/or stroller for little ones
  • Ponchos: small and lightweight so they are easy to pack (the Dollar Tree usually has some)
  • Ziplock baggies for wet clothes, phones, and snacks
  • Water bottles for the entire family
  • USB hub/wall charger and a portable phone charger. Your phone will die fast while exploring the parks and you don’t want to miss any magical moments.
  • Laundry pods and a few dryer sheets: Disney has onsite laundry facilities
  • Hats, Sunglasses, Sunscreen for the hot and intense Florida sun.
  • Ribbon or Bandana to help you identify your stroller in a sea of black strollers
  • Autograph book/Large Sharpie; a must-have when you meet characters
  • ID bracelets for kids that includes your name and contact number
  • Small Flashlight. This is great for a child that may be frightened of the dark. Let them hold it when waiting in some of the dark lines.
  • Wet Wipes/Hand sanitizer and small first 1st aid kit
  • One lovie per child for comfort. My little lady always tries to pack her collection from BuildaBear, but one is enough.
  • Copies of your Resort confirmations, Tickets, Fastpasses, dining reservations; bring it all. It’s always good to have a backup!

Plan Ahead for Memories that Last a Lifetime

Disney travel is fun, magical and exciting! You will most certainly make memories to last a lifetime. As a Travel Planner with Hi Ho Vacations, I can assist you in all of your Disney needs.

When you are ready to visit the Mouse, give me a call!  ….I’m all Ears!

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Sarah Reinhart is a graduate of Disney’s College of Knowledge and is able to assist families in planning their dream vacation to all of the Disney destinations. Having traveled to Disney World and Disneyland, she has experience on both coasts!

Sarah and her husband have three children ages 12, 9, and 8. She has experienced what it’s like to travel and visit Disney Parks with young children first hand. Her children began visiting Disney World as infants! Based on her experiences, she is able to provide unique assistance to families traveling with children.

Sarah’s favorite Disney memory is opening the Magic Kingdom on Mother’s Day with her family, Mickey and the Gang. Sarah’s goal is to help everyone fall in love with the magic of Disney, just as she has, over and over again.

Connect with Sarah to learn more at [email protected]!

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