Updated 11/18/18. There are lots of items that people miss frequently when packing for Walt Disney World. In this Walt Disney World Packing list and checklist, I really tried to sweat the small stuff to make sure you won’t forget to pack anything for your Walt Disney World vacation.
I want to fully answer the question: “What should I bring to Walt Disney World?”
Walt Disney World Packing List
Let’s dive into our huge Walt Disney World packing list with…
What to Wear to Walt Disney World
When making your Walt Disney World packing list of clothes, think about what you would wear during a city vacation to be comfortable walking for miles. However, remember that you will be taking pictures that you will have forever, so you should pick a look you like.
Check the weather for the dates of your Walt Disney World vacation. In general it will be hot and humid. And there is always potential for rain!
Two pairs of comfortable walking shoes: Bring at least two pairs of broken in shoes so you can switch back and forth between them.
And I do mean broken in. Make sure that you have at least two pairs and that you test out the shoes in the weeks before your trip. If your feet hurt even a tiny bit, pick a new pair to bring to Walt Disney World.
One more thing on the shoes…
Don’t be like Sofia Vergara’s character on “Modern Family” and wear high heels to the park. The only remedy to high heels is to buy squishy bright yellow Minnie Mouse shoes like she did (the video is pretty funny). She ignored our Walt Disney World packing list…
Extra Layers: Florida weather is known for hot sunny days but also frequent humidity and rain showers. Wear layers and bring a rain poncho!
Dress up clothes: The only places in the parks with a dress code are the signature dining restaurants. Their dress code states, “The dress code for Signature Dining restaurants is Resort casual. Not permitted in dining room: tank tops, swimsuits or swimsuit cover-ups, hats for gentlemen, cutoffs, torn clothing of any kind or T-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics.”
Even if you don’t plan on dining in a signature dining restaurant, it’s still nice to have one nice outfit for dinner and other special events.
Large hat and sunglasses: A hat will help keep the sun off your face and prevent sunburn. Sunglasses are just a good thing to have anytime you’re spending an entire day outdoors!
One of my favorite sunglass companies is Blenders Eyewear. Created as a durable option for surfers, they are a startup based in La Jolla, California that creates stylish inexpensive sunglasses. Shop for sunglasses here.
Stick a pair of Croakies on the sunglasses so that you don’t have to put the sunglasses away before experiencing every attraction. You can just let the glasses hang around your neck.
Be sure to bring a hat that is large enough to cover your face, but can be scrunched up to fit into a backpack. This is an important addition to your Walt Disney World packing list.
Bathing suit: For those traveling during summer days, there is nothing better than taking a break and swimming in the hotel pool. Be sure to bring a bathing suit and flip flops so that you can enjoy a dip in your Walt Disney World hotel pool.
Beyond these Walt Disney World packing list items, the clothing you choose to wear to Walt Disney World really depends on personal preference. When you are deciding what to pack for Walt Disney World, keep these simple packing guidelines in mind.
- While these will seem like common sense, make sure to follow the rules on the Walt Disney World official dress page. In essence, wear shoes at all times, do not show clothing or tattoos with inappropriate content, and do not wear any clothing that drags on the ground.
- Make sure you are extremely comfortable in whatever you are wearing. You will be walking around Walt Disney World all day long and don’t want to be wearing anything that doesn’t fit well or isn’t comfortable to wear in extremely hot weather. Avoid clothing that is too tight or itchy. You will likely wear the same Walt Disney World outfit from 7am to midnight.
- Wear layers to the parks everyday. The evenings and mornings can be chilly, especially if you are following my Walt Disney World FastPass tips and getting to the parks right when they open and staying late into the night. Bring a sweatshirt that is easy to stuff in a backpack or tie around your waist.
- You will probably be seen by at least 25,000 people and you will be taking your own photographs all day. Don’t confuse being comfortable with looking sloppy. Remember that you will have photographs from your trip for the rest of your life.
- You are going to Walt Disney World, so don’t forget to wear some Disney stuff. As I outlined in our Walt Disney World souvenirs article (ie hat, sweatshirt, Mickey Mouse ears) can serve as a way to make your Walt Disney World vacation even more magical. Bring a vintage Walt Disney World item from your own closet or purchase something on the first day of your visit. You will then always associate this item with your trip to the parks.
Walt Disney World Packing List and Walt Disney World Preparation
Below I have compiled a list of all the extra items you wouldn’t necessarily think to bring with you to Walt Disney World. These are the “hack” items that we discovered to improve our trips after years of visiting Walt Disney World. Mix and match the advice to come up with your own Disney packing list.
I also try to answer what to bring to Walt Disney World with kids and and what to bring to Walt Disney World with toddlers.
Good bag or backpack to carry with you in the park: Make sure you don’t carry a drawstring with lots of stuff as the straps really start to dig into your shoulders by the end of the day. Bring a medium sized backpack that fits all of your stuff. Try not to bring too big of a bag, as you want to be able to fit it comfortably between your feet on the more intense attractions. Some people prefer to carry fanny packs.
Water Bottle: The hot Florida days combined with all your walking at Walt Disney World will have you dehydrated quickly. Be sure to bring a water bottle with you into the parks everyday. I like the Hydro Flask or Swell Bottles because they are double layered will not “sweat” as the ice melts, which avoids getting items in your backpack wet.
Camera: Decide whether you will be using your phone camera or bringing a camera with you to the parks. Be sure to test out the camera before just throwing it in your bag for Walt Disney World. During a recent trip, we ended up with a camera that would sometimes take 20 random photo bursts rather than just one photo. Learn your camera settings and learn how to turn off the flash. Remember to turn off the flash and focus light if you intend on taking any photos inside an attraction.
Device Battery Packs: When you are out of the room for such a long time, your devices will start to run low on power. We have used a variety of battery packs in the parks with us.
One of the highest recommended battery packs is the KMASHI battery pack. This pack holds 3-4 phone charges. You can charge any device that uses a USB plug. I highly recommend adding a battery pack to your Walt Disney World packing list as it will allow you to avoid a dead battery.
Also, be sure to bring an extra camera SD card and battery if you intend on snapping pictures all day.
Ziploc bags of all sizes: Bring varying sizes of ziploc bags for leftover food, things you don’t want to get wet on water rides, trading pins, and anything else you want to keep separate from the rest of your bag. These are a critical part of our Walt Disney World packing list. You never know when you will need a bag.
Your own ponchos: One common thing in Florida: rain, rain, rain! And you can use the poncho to avoid getting overly soaked on the water rides. You can order these on Amazon.
If rain is forecast, DO NOT bring an umbrella. Follow our Walt Disney World packing list and stick with a poncho so that you are not stuck carrying an umbrella around Walt Disney World when you go inside or if the rain stops. See more info in our guide to what to do when it rains at Walt Disney World.
Lanyards: These work well to hold trading pins or any loose paper items like hotel key cards and Walt Disney World entrance tickets. Bring a thicker lanyard if you intend on putting pins on it.
Sunscreen: Make sure you are prepared for a sunny Florida day when you are in the parks. Bring a small tube to carry with you in your park bag.
Aloe Vera: Hopefully you will have worn enough sunscreen in Walt Disney World, but adding Aloe Vera to your packing list is definitely a good idea. Time can pass quickly and it’s easy to forget to reapply sunscreen.
Aquaphor ointment: Walt Disney World is filled with germs, thus you should be washing your hands or sanitizing them frequently. This keeps you germ free, however this, along with the drier Los Angeles weather chaps your hand quite quickly. I use Aquaphor on my hands to keep them feeling soft and moisturized. You can order this on Amazon.
Gold Bond Powder: With all the walking you do during the day, you can really start to chafe between your legs. If you know this could be a problem for you, I suggest putting on the dry Gold Bond Powder (better than Baby Powder!) in the morning before leaving for the park. This was a recent recommendation from a friend and it works wonders!
Chapstick or lip balm: Just like your hands, your lips can get chapped if you don’t drink enough water. Bring chapstick or lip balm. Get the ones infused with sunscreen to avoid burns on your lips. Buy chapstick here.
Small pack of Kleenex: The tissues and toilet paper in the restrooms around Walt Disney World are very scratchy on the nose. Be sure to bring your own small pack of Kleenex if you think you will be using some throughout your trip. Buy Kleenex travel packs here.
Anti-bacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer: My sister swears by using hand sanitizer before we eat and has it on her Walt Disney World packing list perpetually. I always find a bathroom and wash my hands because I don’t like the smell that stays on my hands after using the anti-bacterial gel. Buy travel hand sanitizer here.
Moleskin or band aids for blisters: With the amount that you are walking in a day at Walt Disney World, blisters can develop in just one day. Moleskin can provide good coverage to prevent hurting during the rest of your trip.
Pain reliever of your choice: Be sure to bring along a pain reliever such as Advil in case something hurts after a long day of touring. We also throw this on the Walt Disney World packing list even if no one really needs them. They are great to have with you in Walt Disney World just in case!
Tums or Pepto Bismol: If any of the food you have a Walt Disney World disagrees with you stomach, you will be happy you packed these upset stomach relievers.
Ear plugs: In the tight confines of a hotel room, it is difficult for one person to stay up later than any other member of the group. Occasionally one of us will put in earplugs and go to sleep while the rest of the group watches TV.
Power strip: If you are traveling with a large family, bring a power strip to add more plugs in your hotel room. It seems every hotel room I stay in has few outlets and I always seem to have more that I need to plug in. If each person is plugging in a phone and an extra battery pack, the amount of plugs needed adds up quickly.
I really like this power strip that includes both plugs and USB ports for using in your room. Not only is this outlet light weight, but it has built in USB ports so that you don’t have to carry the Apple chord boxes.
Autograph book: Bring a book for your kids to collect autographs when they meet characters. Rather than paying for the overpriced book in the parks, you can pick up a discounted one from the Disney website before you leave. Also, bring a fat pen so that the characters can grip it more easily and their signature can be more legible.
Your own glow sticks: Before all of the nighttime parades and spectaculars, Cast Members circulate selling glow in the dark toys. Popping out a glow stick or necklace to give to your child right when they see the toys can be a good way to avoid this higher end purchase. You can order these here.
Pennies and quarters: If you plan on collecting pressed pennies during your trip at Walt Disney World. Bring along shiny pennies and quarters to operate the machines in the parks. Each machines costs 50 cents to press a penny.
Pins for trading: As we outline in the souvenir guide, you should purchase pins for trading before arriving at Walt Disney World. These other pins are a fraction of the price and are just as worthy for trading.
Stroller: If your child needs a stroller during the day, I highly recommend either bringing your own or renting one from a third party. Disney’s prices are higher and you may not bring the stroller back to your hotel. Check out the stroller selection and be sure to purchase one that is easy to travel with.
Anything you need to make your child comfortable: Make sure to access the sleeping situation of your children before leaving home. Do they sleep with a night light? Do they need their favorite stuffed animal? Even the littlest thing to improve the amount or quality of sleep is valuable.
Cash or credit card: There are ATMs throughout the Walt Disney World Resort where you can withdraw cash, but you shouldn’t need it for any reason if you have a credit or debit card. If you are staying at Walt Disney World on property hotel, you can make charges to your room anywhere on Walt Disney World Resort property.
Travel documents: Make sure to pack all of the critical travel documents like your driver’s license or identification, proof car-insurance (if you are renting a car), health insurance card, confirmation of Walt Disney World tickets, confirmation of your hotel near Walt Disney World, confirmation of plane tickets, and written emergency contacts.
Extra room in your suitcase: As I shared in our guide to Walt Disney World souvenirs, you could end up buying quite a bit of stuff during your Walt Disney World vacation. Make sure you have a suitcase that has extra room in it to carry back your purchases.
Food to Bring to Walt Disney World
I highly recommend bringing your own snacks to the parks with you each day.
Snacks: Some of my favorite snacks for the parks are the various assortments of trek mixes, dried fruit, and granola bars from Trader Joe’s. These really sustain me throughout the trip and keep me full between breakfast and lunch. You can order these on Amazon and have them sent directly to your hotel to be waiting for you.
Breakfast: Depending on where you are staying at Walt Disney World, you may have breakfast provided at your hotel. If you do not have breakfast provided with your hotel room, I suggest buying breakfast food and eating something in your room before leaving for the day. Then, if you are still hungry, stop for a snack after spending a couple of hours in the park. Do not, I repeat, do not go out to breakfast and be late to the rope drop opening of Walt Disney World. You need the morning to get on attractions and get Walt Disney World FastPass tickets.
Case of water: Consider picking up a jug of water or a case of water bottles. I have never had a problem with the taste of the in-park water, but never liked the water that comes out of the faucet in the hotel room.
Chewing gum: Walt Disney World does not sell gum anywhere in the resort. If you need to chew gum, be sure to bring your own.
Via Powdered Starbucks Coffee: To avoid spending money on coffee at Walt Disney World, you can bring your own powdered coffee with you. Get hot water from your hotel or ask for a free cup of hot water from any counter service restaurant in Walt Disney World. You can order this on Amazon.
What to Bring to Walt Disney World
Below is a complete list of Walt Disney World items to bring with you into the parks everyday.
- Your park tickets (purchase your discount Walt Disney World tickets)
- Backpack (see our description of the best Walt Disney World backpack in the section above)
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, and hat
- Jacket and poncho
- Trading pins (click here for our ultimate Disney pin trading guide)
- Snacks: Granola bars, fruit, trail mix. Something to tide you over to your next snack or meal.
- Phone charger and phone battery pack (see phone and charger recommendation in packing list above)
- Water Bottle (see water bottle recommendations in Disney checklist above)
- Optional: The worst thing to get wet on a water ride are your socks. They never seem to dry. You could throw an extra pair in your backpack if it’s a colder day and want to enjoy the water rides.
More Walt Disney World Packing Planning Tips
You can save a lot of money on your Walt Disney World vacation by subscribing to our Walt Disney World Mickey Visit discounts newsletter and through the information in other Walt Disney World planning articles throughout the website. You can discover more about planning your trip from these links: