Disney Packing List & What I Wish I’d Known Before Our Trip (printable!)

When a Disney family vacation is in the works, there’s normally one awesome woman that’s doing the Disney packing list and planning all the things (and secretly trying to fight the overwhelm). She’s thinking… Where will we stay? Do we need Disney transportation? What Disney activities should we do with our older kiddo? When is the best time to go to Disney World? How many days do we really need in the Disney Parks?  

It doesn’t help that you see all the color-coordinated families in front of Cinderella’s Castle, looking as if they are “Disney planning ninjas” – making YOU even more overwhelmed! As a travel writer, even I was intimidated by our recent Disney vacation planning because we had not been in so long. I pray that my love for sharing details will streamline your planning to a minimum and make it fun.  Today, you’re getting Disney packing list advice, what to pack & what not to pack, and a free Printable Packing Checklist!


This Disney packing list post is part #1 in my Walt Disney World series.  There is so much I want to share that I can’t contain myself!  Yep, that’s what the Disney magic does to you.  I’ll be answering the questions that YOU have been asking via my inbox, Facebook, and Instagram.

  • All the questions in the first paragraph.
  • Are those Magic Bands worth the hype?
  • How should we dress for Disney Park days?
  • Which Disney splurges are worth the money?
  • How can we save money on food while at Disney?
  • Should we stay at a Disney Resort or off property?
  • Is Disney Springs worth the time and effort to visit?
  • Can we really enjoy just one day in the Disney Parks?
  • How can I avoid extra expenses like Disney Resort parking?
It doesn't help that you see all the color-coordinated families in front of Cinderella's Castle, looking as if they are 'Disney planning ninjas' - making YOU even more overwhelmed!Click To Tweet


I would highly suggest bringing bottled water and snack foods along. If your hotel does not have continental breakfast, break convenience breakfast foods along too. Our resort did not have free breakfast and we saved tons of time and money eating pop tarts before heading out to Disney activities.  It didn’t kill us, Y’all, I promise!  😉

Besides the obvious items like outfits and toiletries, here are a few things not miss for your Walt Disney pack list:

A Raincoat and poncho for every person ~ Florida is known for its unpredictable weather.  In the summer especially, it rains for a short while most days.  Taking raincoats and ponchos on your Florida vacation is a necessity any time of the year.  I’d pack raincoats for rambling outside of Disney Parks, and save the ponchos for when you go into the Disney Parks.  Ponchos also come in handy to keep you dry while riding wet rides like Splash Mountain.

Splash Mountain
This family pack of rain ponchos will fit men, women, and kids and they won’t take up much room.  These things seriously weigh almost nothing and are tiny!  They are cheap enough to be disposable after use and made well enough to reuse if you choose.

Cheap Rain Ponchos for the whole family
More than one pair of shoes for every person ~ In order to keep blisters and sore feet to a minimum, every person needs at least two good pairs of walking shoes.

Cash, credit cards & travel receipts ~ Of course, you know to bring your money, but I also take receipts for reservations and all things Disney that was bought in advance.  I know it sounds old school but you never know if technology messes up and you need to prove a transaction that you made before the trip.

Sunscreen & Water Bottles ~ Inside all Disney water parks, counter service restaurants will give you a free cup of water when it’s hot or a free cup of hot water when it’s chilly.  For the cold months, take packets of hot chocolate.  When it’s warm, you can drink the water plain or you can bring electrolyte packets to ensure that no one gets dehydrated. You can also take these collapsible, pocket-sized water bottles.

Preventative and post-walking bandaids ~ Any time we will be walking for long distances, I bring these high-quality blister guards.  We also take this moleskin wrap in case someone does get a blister but there’s more walking to do.

Magic bands ~ We’ll talk more about all the hoopla surrounding magic bands if you don’t know.  If you already have them or are planning to get them, place them in your suitcase as soon as they arrive in the mail.

Pockets & Waist packs ~ This is my favorite Disney packing hack!  Women have the curse of having to carry so much stuff in the parks – especially if you have littles. Princess and I did not want to lug purses around the Disney parks.  That’s a dilemma because shorts and Capri yoga pants (my outfit) don’t typically have pockets.  We needed to be able to carry cash, phone, GoPro, allergy meds, and an EpiPen.

Oh yeah, and we were being snobs by not wanting to wear a fanny pack.  😉  Two items came through for us that solved our probs and they were game changers:

This specific waist pack was a lifesaver because it fit FLAT across our waists and UNDERNEATH our shirts.  We were able to fit cash, meds, debit card, EpiPen, Disney Pins, etc.  There’s also a place for a water bottle but we didn’t want to sport that look.

These Baleaf yoga pants had two large side pockets big enough for a 5.5″ phone with a case and my GoPro.  Most of the time, I carried my daughter’s large phone as well!

My new favorite yoga pants with POCKETS!

When THIS Amazon order arrived with my travel solutions, I believe that heavens may have let me hear angels singing! 🙂Click To Tweet

Disney Maps ~ Did you know that you can print out Disney maps of each park?  That way, the fam can map out which attractions and restaurants are the non-negotiables.  Just go to the main page HERE and click on the Disney park you wish to print out.  Right under the main image, you see something like, “Magic Kingdom Guide Map.”

Travel activity bag for everyone ~ I would suggest a small travel bag or backpack with everything can keep you and your family entertained in the car.  If flying, this would be everyone’s carry-on bag.  Enjoy!

Devices & accessories ~ Phones and other electronics should go in your travel bag along with chargers, cords, and earbuds.  The one thing that I almost bought and regretted not buying was a tiny rechargeable battery.  I had a fully-charged phone and GoPro, and my phone still died rather quickly by early afternoon.  You always have the option of the $30 rechargeable batteries within the park that you buy from.  But tiny, pre-bought batteries like these make more sense to me.

Souvenir gear ~ If your kiddos enjoy collecting character signatures and/or Disney pressed pennies, don’t forget the books that hold those special souvenirs!
Disney packing list advice, what to pack & what not to pack, and a free Printable Packing Checklist!


Some ideas that you can consider leaving home are things you aren’t sure you’ll need, inexpensive items you can purchase at your destination, and duplicates of anything except undergarments and shoes. Be sure to leave at home clothes that won’t mix and match with all the outfits too.

In my opinion umbrellas are too obtrusive in the parks for you and other guests, but ponchos/raincoats are better.  There are MANY things listed below that is against Disney magic to bring.

Don’t miss the rules below!!!


Walt Disney World has high standards when it comes to what you can and cannot do and wear within the parks and I’m thankful for it.  Here are some paraphrased rules concerning what to wear or what NOT to bring:

You have to wear appropriate clothes and keep on your shoes and shirts at all times, folks. Don’t wear tons of layers or you could be searched.  No one over the age of 14 can wear a costume or mask unless it’s a special event.  There are specifics for wearing costumes for Halloween parties or runDisney.

No drones, remote-controlled cars, skateboards, scooters, or shoes with wheels on them are permitted.  Strollers can’t be bigger than 36″ x 52.” Glass containers are prohibited too like baby food jars. Nothing pulled by a person or wheelchair (like wagons) can come in. No containers of any kind that are larger than 24″ long x 15″ wide x 18″ high.

You and all the stuff you try to carry in will go through screening and security.  Selfie sticks, hand-held camera poles or weapons of any kind are not permitted inside Walt Disney World Parks (even toy or squirt guns and pocket knives).


I have a special gift for you!  Below you can sign up to receive a free Disney packing list “checklist” with all the things we discussed.  If you are already a subscriber, just check your latest email from me for the password to the “free Wifey Printable library” to find yours.

Share with us what I forgot to include in the comments below! Have you printed your Disney packing list yet?


Disney packing list advice, what to pack & what not to pack, and a free Printable Packing Checklist!


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Published on Huffington Post, Okefenokee Living Magazine, her local newspaper and more, Shan Walker is jokingly called the “Guru.” A Travel Journalist, Wife, and Mom who shares daily “how to” enjoy planning and executing EVERY single family vacation AND “how-to” find joy with your family in the cozy haven you’ve created and can’t wait to get home to!



  1. April 16, 2018 / 10:54 am

    These tips are so helpful! Can’t wait to read more!

  2. Ashley
    April 17, 2018 / 10:55 am

    What a great post – so many great ideas! I would’ve never thought to bring a rain poncho! And yoga pants with pockets were clearly invented by a mom – they’re amazing!

    • April 17, 2018 / 11:47 am

      Thanks, Ashley! Right?! Us girls have to stick together on all of these travel aids. lol 😉


  3. April 17, 2018 / 11:12 am

    This is a great list! I love the yoga pants with pockets idea!

    • April 17, 2018 / 11:46 am

      Thanks, Mel! Those pants are SERIOUSLY my new b.f.f. I have to get the other colors!


  4. April 17, 2018 / 11:53 am

    Never been to Disney, but this advice is great for all trips! Thanks, Disney is definitely on our list.

    • April 18, 2018 / 1:51 pm

      You must visit. It’s one-of-a-kind for sure. 🙂


  5. April 17, 2018 / 11:59 am

    Awesome tips! We are hoping to go next year, so this will be a great resource. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • April 18, 2018 / 11:19 am

      Yay! Heather. That’s exciting. Glad to be helpful.


  6. April 17, 2018 / 12:10 pm

    Yoga pants are a great thing to pack for long days on the go! I always bring mine when travelling, especially when you’re on your feet for the majority of the day, like you’d be at Disney!

  7. April 17, 2018 / 1:58 pm

    Great tips! I will definitely make sure to wear pants with pockets and bring ponchos for the entire family.

  8. April 17, 2018 / 8:25 pm

    These are some great ideas. I remember us having ponchos on our Disney trip. It poured one day! Saved us from getting soaked!

  9. April 17, 2018 / 11:49 pm

    Great ideas! I have a small backpack I usually carry when I take my daughter to amusement parks (she’s still potty training so we need to carry emergency change of clothes). I love the idea of yoga pants with pockets

    • April 18, 2018 / 11:18 am

      Thanks, Maggie!


  10. April 18, 2018 / 12:27 am

    LOL- The poptarts comment, love it! What a great list! Saving this for when we take our kids!

    • April 18, 2018 / 11:18 am

      haha, Raina. Glad you get my humor. Not everyone does. hahaha 🙂


  11. April 18, 2018 / 7:54 am

    This is perfect! I’m pinning this for later, we are planning to do Disney in January!

    • April 18, 2018 / 11:17 am

      Yay, Kelsey! Hope it helps. Be sure to subscribe if you haven’t because there’s an onslaught of helpful posts and videos coming! 🙂


  12. April 18, 2018 / 8:47 am

    I’m gonna have to try this blister bandaids you mentioned!

    • April 18, 2018 / 11:16 am

      They make a difference for me, Amanda. Hope it’s helpful. 😉


  13. April 18, 2018 / 9:27 am

    Poncho’s are a must have when going to Disney. This is such a great list.

    • April 18, 2018 / 10:58 am

      Thanks, Jalisa! A must for sure. 🙂


  14. April 18, 2018 / 1:17 pm

    this list is great! we want to visit disney world so badly!

    • April 18, 2018 / 1:50 pm

      I hear ya, Karen! It’s such a special place. 😉


    • April 18, 2018 / 2:54 pm

      That’s a FABULOUS point, Cristina! I know you were wishing you had some dry clothes! 😉


  15. Becca Wilson
    April 18, 2018 / 8:00 pm

    I went to Disney when I was in high school and I really want to go now that I am a mom. This checklist will definitely come in handy!

  16. April 19, 2018 / 9:07 am

    I live so close and never go! Filing this away for the possibility.

  17. April 20, 2018 / 8:32 am

    This is Awesome!! My family is going to disney in June and everyday I am reading all sorts of tips and tricks! We grew up growing, but its so crazy how much its changed and since we last went a couple years ago! Can’t wait to get our magic bands in the mail 🙂

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