Saturday, January 11, 2014

Packing for Disney | save time & money

If prepping for a Disney trip is part of the fun for you & saving time & money is your thing, this post is for you! I prefer to do our saving money in the real world before our trip. We pay for the luxury of on-site resort & dining plan and hardly spend much extra while we are in the Disney World.
This is a list of extras that we bring, but it's not necessary as most everything you need is available for purchase on site. (Except for gum; no gum for purchase at Disney World!)

Save cash for park-exclusive experiences and items by buying essentials before you leave.
Chances are you've read about how dollar stores can be a great resource for ponchos and pop-up laundry hampers. This week the $1 spot at Target was screaming: pack it for Disney!
under $5 grabs for your Disney trip:
Glow sticks: nightly parades
Healthy snacks: The Dining Plan offers plenty, but I like to pack nutrient-rich bars like Larabar & Kind bars along with crackers & fruit pouches for the kids.
Refillable water bottles: water is free in the parks (resorts give you a refillable mug for refills at resorts only & they aren't spill-proof enough for park days)
Dish soap: washing refillable mugs at the resort
Stain wipes (& laundry soap, if you're the type)
Facial wipes
Baby wipes: small pouches make the load light each day
First aid: pain reliever, band aids, alcohol wipes, antibiotic ointment
Moleskin (for blisters) pre-cut it or pack a small Swiss Army knife in your checked luggage.
BodyGlide anti-chafing balm
Ponchos: 1 per person, per park day is safest (at $1 each, toss after use).
Handheld fan: nice option on hot days or for kid entertainment
Pop-up hamper: nice option in the tight quarters that are resort rooms
Retractable Sharpie markers for autographs (many characters have big paws or gloves so the thicker pens are easier to grip)
Hand Sanitizer
Sanitizing wipes. Wipe at least the phone & remote in your room. The last thing you want is sickness on vacation.
*If you're bringing a toddler/baby

You may want to grab a few things for entertainment during travel.
Glow wands & disposable cameras are big hits in the parks & cost a pretty penny if you buy them there. Check Target's $1 spot & end cap with under $5 grabs, Dollar Tree & $1 spot at Toys R Us for coloring & activity books, & other small toys with Disney theme (Star Wars & Marvel count for the big boys!). Now don't go nutty on trinkets, just a couple to occupy en route or waiting for shows & rides is enough.

Disney Apparel:
It won't take long before your family is wrapped up in Disney spirit & there is no short supply of apparel to buy anywhere you go in the World. It is common for little princesses to wear a costume-to character meals, especially. Collect apparel ahead of time & let your kids show their spirit while not adding to your suitcase or your bill by buying it in the park.
(Tip: Pack glittery garments in ziptop bags to contain the sparkle.)
The Disney Store sells quality pjs & swimwear from my experience. JCPenney has a mini-Disney store inside with similar apparel, including costumes (better quality than Target & WalMart).

costume, nightdress, tee: JCPenney | swimsuit & sunglasses: Disney Store
all: Disney Store
Trading Pins are a fun way to interact with castmembers (required to trade) & even other guests. We've purchased a sampling ahead of time online: try Amazon & eBay, but be sure to read reviews & verify they are official pins.
*Don't forget:
  • Bring each person 2 pair of shoes to avoid hotspots. (moleskin or liquid bandage help too)
  • Use Prime Now to have items delivered to bell services at your resort or a local grocery delivery service like Garden Grocer. WDW resorts will accept shipped packages (Prime, UPS, USPS, etc.) but they now charge $5/package. 
  • CASH for TIPS your Magic Express driver ($1 per bag he handles) & Mousekeeping ($1 per person in your room) & ROUND UP, people. Also tips aren't included in the Dining Plan, but can be charged to your room or another card, if preferred. 
  • Autograph books can be purchased at Disney Store ahead of time
  • SUNSCREEN! Sunglasses & sun hat  
  • Space enough for souvenirs either in your luggage or a packable duffle like this one.
  • Bring a cross-body bag (or small backpack) for keeping valuables with you on rides/etc. 

    Check out my complete guide for Disney World with a Baby/Toddler
    (including a packing list, and many tips & tricks)


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