When I visited Disney World for my bachelorette party, the thing I looked forward to the most on the day of our arrival was unpacking and setting everything up at our resort. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed packing and preparing for vacation. I don’t know if it’s the anticipation or because I finally got an excuse to use the luggage I purchased on Shop Disney, but regardless, it’s something I always look forward to doing.
Unfortunately, because of this shared excitement and the errands you’re running trying to get all your ducks in a row before you leave, it can be very easy to overlook items you need to bring with you on your Disney World vacation. That’s why I’ve put together the ultimate Disney World packing list for you to print out and check off. But first, let’s go over some simple travel hacks you should be incorporating.
Pack With Space in Mind
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when packing your suitcase is folding things the way you would if they were going in your dresser. This takes up way too much space and doesn’t leave a lot of room for souvenirs, dirty clothes, and other essentials. It also can cost you more money by having to pay for an additional bag at the airport.
My aunt taught me this: when packing your clothes, always roll them. This will help prevent wrinkles and take up less valuable room in your suitcase.
Pack A Few Days Before (But Make a List of Items You Still Need to Use the Day Of)
Your bathing suit, sunscreen, and extra set of flip-flops can be packed however early you’d like because chances are you’re not going to use them before your trip. But, things like your toothbrush, hairbrush, contact lenses, retainers…they’re all things you’re going to be using up until the day you leave. Because of this, it can be incredibly easy to forget to pack them, especially if everything else is already stored away.
I always make a list of everything I need and cross them off or check them off, leaving what I need to pack the morning of out on the counter. But even so, because I’m running around, sometimes I’ll forget to look at that list.
So what do I do? I make a reminder in my phone to check the list. It might seem like a lot, but if you’re like me and tend to get a little bit scatterbrained the morning of a trip, you can never be too cautious.
After all, buying amenities like toothpaste, deodorant, and sunscreen at your resort can be rather pricey….and wouldn’t you rather spend your money on something else?
Check the Weather Beforehand
When I was a teenager, my family had to buy brand-new sneakers, long pants, and jackets for our entire family because the weather was in the mid-30s and everything we packed was ideal for warmer, Florida weather.
Not only were our suitcases filled with the summer clothes we had already packed with us, but now we were trying to stuff an additional week’s worth of clothing on top of it.
Remember, the weather in Florida is warm but can also be incredibly unpredictable. It rains most days of the year (even if for an hour) and can get rather cold during the later months of the year. Check the weather beforehand and bring ponchos if it’s calling for rain and items that will keep you comfortable during your stay.
Find Out What’s Permitted in the Parks
Before you pack, you should find out if what you’re trying to bring with you is even allowed in the parks. Selfie sticks, for example, are banned from the property, and coolers over 24”x15” in size are not permitted.
Taking time to make sure what’s permitted in the parks can help you save luggage space. For a complete list of what’s prohibited in the parks, click here.
Be Realistic About What You Actually Need (And Will Wear)
While you may want to wear the 10 pairs of Minnie Ears you want to bring with you on vacation, you’re probably not going to.
Likewise, high heels (unless you have specific reservations for California Grill, Victoria & Albert’s, etc) are a waste of space because you’re not going to wear them (although sometimes I do see people wearing them at the parks, and ouch).
The same goes for umbrellas, floppy hats, multiple pairs of sunglasses, multiple stuffed animals, toys, or purses.
Remember, a Disney World vacation is not really all that relaxing. You’ll be standing in line the majority of the day, with the hot, Florida sun bearing down on you. You’ll be walking long distances and be exhausted by the time you get to your resort. The last thing you want is to be carrying ANYTHING on you that you don’t have to, nor do you want to be uncomfortable while doing them.
Everything You Should Bring to Disney
Now that we got those packing hacks out of the way, let’s take a look at everything you should bring with you to Disney World. We’ve broken them up into categories to make it easier:
- Boarding passes
- Park tickets
- Copy of itinerary/reservation numbers
- Magic Bands
- Driver’s license/passport/other identification cards
- Cash for tips
- Credit/debit cards
- Copy of important phone numbers (car rental place, emergency contacts, etc)
- Luggage tags
- Headphone adapter
- Cell phone
- Phone charger
- Laptop charger
- Face masks
- Travel pillow
- Eye mask
- Travel blanket
- Disinfectant wipes
- Wall charger
Clothes to Pack
- Outfits for each day at the parks (including extra pair of clothes for children)
- Travel day outfits
- Comfortable shoes and/or sneakers
- Flip flops
- Light jacket/sweatshirt (seasonal)
- Bathing suit/swim trunks
- Nice outfit for dinner
- Pool cover-ups
- Minnie ears
- Mickey hats
- Fanny pack
- Pin trading lanyard
- Hair ties
- Bobby pins/hair clips
- Hair gel
- Hair spray
- Face wash
- Shaving cream
- Body wash
- Feminine products
- Hand sanitizer
- Makeup brushes
- Makeup wipes/remover
- Nail clippers/infant nail clippers
- Lip balm/moisturizer
- Styling tools (hair curler, straightener, etc)
- Bandaids/anti-bacterial creams
- First-aid kit
- Breath mints/gum
- Contacts/contact solution
- Cotton swabs
- List of medications
- Prescription medications
- Birth control
- Allergy medication
- Pain relievers
- Cough drops
- Anti-gas relief
- Anti-diarrhea relief
- Eye drops
- Diaper cream
- Formula/baby food
- Bottles/sippy cups
- Favorite toy/stuffed animal
- Car seat
- Changing pad
- Extra change of clothes
- Extra change of pajamas
- Swim diapers
- Diaper bag
- Baby sling/carrier
- Baby blankets
- Infant aspirin
- Infant utensils
- Monitor (if they’re sleeping in a different room)
- Outlet covers
- Breast pump
If you do forget anything, each of the parks have Baby Care Centers, which can help. These centers are open every day and offer parents:
- Private nursing rooms
- Changing rooms
- Feeding areas
- A complimentary kitchen area equipped with a microwave and sink
- An on-site shop that sells over-the-counter medicine, clothing, juice, formula, baby food, wipes, sunscreen, and diapers.
- Reusable plastic water bottle
- Gummy snacks
- Granola bars
- Reusable straws
- Waterproof bags
- Large Ziploc bags (for soiled/wet/dirty clothing)
- Pennies for pressing
- Autograph book
- Extra batteries
- Mini sewing kit
- Mini eyeglass repair kit
- Disney small shop items (for brand reps, shop owners)
- Misting fan
- Cooling towel/rag
- Portable phone charger
- Car/house keys (for when you return home)
Things to NOT Pack for Disney World
Bringing the items mentioned above can make your trip to Disney World more enjoyable, affordable, and convenient. But what about the things you shouldn’t bring? Are there things to NOT pack for Disney World? You betcha, pal.
Let’s get the most obvious ones out of the way…
It goes without saying that you should not bring any firearms or weapons or any toys that appear to be weapons onto Disney World property.
First and foremost, it goes against Disney’s policies anyway, and you will be denied entry to the parks, resorts, as well as Disney Springs if you bring one. In addition to firearms, prohibited items also include knives and ammunition. Basically, if it can cause bodily harm to someone else, it’s NOT allowed at the Disney parks.
Again, this is another obvious entry but with marijuana being legalized in more places around the country, it’s worth mentioning. Drugs, including marijuana, pre-rolls, gummies, or other infused products, are not allowed in the parks. This applies to all illegal substances.
Even though it’s hard to avoid the influx of influencers and content creators walking around the Disney parks, you may be surprised to find out that one item they (and you) aren’t allowed to bring into the parks is a selfie stick.
These have been banned from the parks for a few years now due to the obstruction it causes on rides, but also how dangerous they can be. Before they were outlawed at the parks, I once went on Tower of Terror with someone who had a selfie stick and he basically blocked out the face of a guest when we looked at the end-of-ride photo. As such, you won’t see any selfie sticks or extension poles around the parks. And, if you attempt to bring one, security won’t let you in.
Similarly to selfie sticks, tripods are becoming a real problem inside the Disney parks, Disney Springs, and around the resorts. As such, tripods that are over 6’ are not allowed in the parks.
If you must bring one with you, make sure it fits in a standard backpack, otherwise, you’ll be denied entry into the parks.
You will also be denied entry if you attempt to bring in glass bottles and/or containers into the Disney parks. This means no glass water bottles or storage containers. The only exception to this rule is if you have baby food, which typically comes in a glass jar.
Like weapons, glass bottles aren’t allowed in the parks because of the hazard they bring with them. If something breaks, someone could obviously get hurt by it and Disney wants to mitigate all risks of harm as much as possible.
And speaking of glass bottles, you will not be allowed to bring alcohol into the Disney theme parks, even if it’s something you bought at your Disney World resort. The only exception to this is Disney Springs, as BYOB is available at select restaurants.
Though alcohol is now being served in Magic Kingdom (I can only imagine what Walt would think of this), you won’t be able to BYOB to any restaurant. This is for your safety and the guests around you.
Want to grab the attention of Princess Tiana as she makes her way down Main Street, U.S.A. in the Festival of Fantasy parade? If so, practice your wave because you won’t be allowed to grab her attention through the use of any type of noise maker.
Noisemakers, including horns, megaphones, and whistles, are strictly prohibited in the parks. While these items aren’t the most common thing people pack to Disney, people may want to bring them in for the situations mentioned above or to celebrate a bachelorette/birthday party. If you pack them and try to bring them into the parks, you’ll be turned away.
If you’re active in the Disney community, you probably heard of the viral “hack” that was going around on TikTok where guests were purposely wearing inappropriate tops so that they could get a free t-shirt or Spirit Jersey.
For starters, don’t do this. And second, always remember that Disney is a theme park designed for families. Far too often I see a lot of Disney dads wearing those t-shirts that say, “She wants the D,” with the D being in the style of Walt’s last name. Little kids may not understand the reference, but it’s not an appropriate shirt to wear to the parks – and it’s just one of many you’ve probably seen yourself more times than you can count.
Per Disney’s website, “[They] reserve the right to deny admission to or remove any person wearing attire that we consider inappropriate or attire that could detract from the experience of other Guests.” This includes clothing that drags on the ground (although this is hit or miss, as many prominent influencers seem to get away with this), clothing that has offensive language or designs on it, or anything that is deemed inappropriate such as scantily clad outfits that don’t really leave a lot to the imagination.
This policy also extends to offensive tattoos that may be visible. While you obviously can’t remove a tattoo to visit the parks, just know that Disney may ask you to cover it up while you’re visiting to preserve the image for the rest of the guests.
Simply put, don’t pack anything that you have second thoughts about. It’s better to err on the side of caution and make sure your travel wardrobe is appropriate to wear around families.
Select Recreational Items
Chances are, you probably wouldn’t think of bringing these items anyway, but just in case, do not bring scooters, skateboards, bicycles, inline skates, remote-control toys, or drones into the Disney parks or your Walt Disney World hotel. These items are not allowed, nor would they be feasible to even use while visiting the parks.
If you want to engage in any sort of recreational activity, keep in mind that there are plenty of options available at your resort, such as renting a bike, going fishing, enjoying one of the walking/running trails, or roasting marshmallows near the campfire.
Other Items That Aren’t Worth Bringing to Walt Disney World
Now that we’ve gotten the big ones out of the way, here’s a list of all the items you shouldn’t pack for a trip to Walt Disney World:
- Towels – Every water park and resort supplies them, so unless you’re promoting a collaboration with a specific towel brand, it’s best to leave these at home.
- Soap and shampoo – Likewise, these will be supplied at your Disney World resort, so unless you need something specific, these will just take up room in your suitcase.
- First aid products – Of course, this is up to personal preference, but there are first aid stations at every park, so leave the box of bandaids at home…you won’t need them.
- Stroller – Again, this is a personal preference as the strollers at Disney cost $15 to rent for the day. However, it can be a pain lugging around a giant stroller from your resort onto the bus or other methods of transportation and throughout the parks. Plus, since many strollers look the same, you could risk someone accidentally walking off with yours by mistake. If you can make do without bringing your own stroller, opt for one of the park rentals. They really come in handy!
- Bug repellant – How many times have you gotten stung by a bee at your Disney resort? How many times have you actually SEEN a bee or mosquito at your resort or the parks? Enough said.
- Water/snacks – I feel weird adding this one here, especially because it’s what I included in my list of things to bring to Disney, but the reality is that you don’t have to bring water or snacks into the parks. Disney offers more snacks than you could ever eat in a week and water is available for purchase. If you want to save money, ask for a cup of water at local kiosks, as this will be free for you.
- Disney shirts – This a weird entry, but you don’t need to buy Disney-themed t-shirts before your trip and pack them because the parks have ample options for sale. Plus, they’re relatively affordable, too, and offer options you simply won’t find on Amazon or your local retailer.
- Tote bags – Disney bags are supplied anytime you purchase something, so there’s no need to bring in your own personal tote bags/reusable shopping bags.
- Coffee – You will either have access to coffee at your resort’s cafeteria, or in the room itself, so bringing your own coffee isn’t necessary. Plus, the best coffee can be found in the parks anyway!
- Clothing that isn’t weather-appropriate – I know it can be very tempting to want to bring shorts while visiting Disney during the Christmas season, but weather patterns are changing all year long. As mentioned above, always check the weather forecast before you go so you are bringing what’s appropriate and not having to spend more money than you need to while you’re visiting.
Items That Aren’t Allowed Inside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
If you have plans to visit the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Walt Disney World during your visit, then you should know what items aren’t allowed, so you don’t waste your time packing them:
- Folding chairs
- Propane heaters/generators
- Oversized misting fans (the ones Disney sells are okay)
- Flags larger than 3’x5’
- Metal flag poles (poles made of wood, PVC, or plastic are okay)
In regards to the flag poles, though you are able to bring them as long as they’re made of the materials mentioned above, they can’t have sharp ends or be larger than 4’ 2 inches.
When Should You Start Packing for Disney World?
Now that we’ve covered everything you should (and shouldn’t) bring with you to Disney World, let’s take a look at when you should start packing all these items.
If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably eager to pack the day you book your Disney World vacation. But, of course, that isn’t practical.
Generally speaking, you should begin packing no more than a week before you’re scheduled to leave. At this juncture, only pack things you know you’re definitely not going to use over the next seven days, such as Minnie ears, umbrellas, ponchos, or boxes of granola bars.
In the days leading up to the trip, start adding clothes. As briefly mentioned above, you’ll want to wait until the night before or the morning of to pack important things like medications, hair curlers/straighteners, brushes, and anything else you would otherwise need to use in the morning to get ready for your trip.
Best Luggage for Traveling to Disney World
No list about what to pack for Disney is complete without mentioning the best luggage for traveling to Disney World – and there are so many cute ones available! Here are a few of our favorite bags for traveling to Disney World:
American Tourister offers so many adorable Disney designs for both kids and adults that make the perfect accompaniment to your next trip to the Sunshine State.
The two-piece set has 360 wheels, a push-button handle, and offers multiple sizes:
This luggage set retails for X
The LARVENDER luggage set is perfect for families traveling to the Disney parks. This set comes with four suitcases, ranging in size from 14” to 28 inches, making it easy to transport everything from cosmetics and toiletries to clothes for the whole family for a week-long stay.
Plus, there’s so much room, you’ll have no problem bringing some souvenirs back home with you. This suitcase set comes in a variety of colors, including pink, blue, black, and purple. It comes with 360-spinner wheels and a TSA lock.
Prices range from $89.99-$199.99.
A little more on the pricier side, FUL-brand rolling luggage is perfect for the Disney fan who wants to make a statement.
This brand offers so many different Disney styles and characters including Mickey and Minnie, Star Wars, and Disney princesses. Offering a wet-dry storage section, zip pockets, and 360-degree spinning wheels, this bag is perfect for both carrying on and fitting everything you need to and from your visit to the Disney parks.
It is available in 21”, 25”, and 29” styles. Prices vary depending on style, but this one will cost you anywhere between $140 – $151.99.
We didn’t forget about the kids! One of the cutest and most affordable children’s travel sets is from Travelers Club. This piece features 5 pieces, including an 18” suitcase, backpack, travel case, luggage tag, and travel pillow.
This set will cost you $62.99. Best of all, when your vacation is over, these items can be used for school, giving you the most bang for your buck.
Kensie offers durable suitcases at an affordable rate. Available in a variety of shades including turquoise, pink, and gray, this 20” suitcase has a TSA lock system, 360-degree spinning wheels, and extra components for additional storage capacity.
This eye-catching suitcase will normally cost you $82.00 but is on sale for $67.49.
Do you own any of these luggage brands? Let us know in the comments!
Best Carry On Bags for Your Flight to Disney World
Of course, we can’t forget the best carry-on bags for your flight to Disney World!
While any of the suitcases mentioned above are suitable to carry onto your flight, sometimes you want to bring something smaller that can be easily accessible during your flight – and that’s not any of the previously mentioned entries.
Here are a few of our favorite carry-on bags:
Disney Vera Bradley Bags
Disney has collaborated with Vera Bradley to bring some of their classic characters to life in the prettiest quilted backpacks and duffle bags.
Though the characters in the line change out from time to time, they are usually always available in the Campus Backpack style. This backpack will cost $150 and can comfortably store everything from snacks to a water bottle, books, travel documents, iPad, headphones, and a 15” laptop.
Available for just $22.95, this duffle set is perfect for the kids to bring to the airport. What we love about this duffle is that it also comes with an activity set that includes crayons and stickers to keep them occupied on the flight.
Want that Stoney Clover Lane look but without the Stoney Clover Lane pricetag? Opt for a jumbo fanny pack from YogoRun. These come with a blank design so you can add your own patches. It comes in a variety of colors and only costs $23.99.
Though you won’t be able to carry around a laptop or book, you could easily fit your phone, passport, travel documents, MagicBand, snack, and headphones. So if you’re just looking to close your eyes and listen to some music on your flight, this fanny pack is perfect for keeping things to just the essentials.
BONUS ENTRY: Duffle bags from Stoney Clover Lane. These duffle bags are incredibly stylish, lightweight, and are one of my personal favorite accessories to bring on my flight and to my Disney World resort.
While all their duffles are cute, their collaboration with Disney offers the best styles. There’s something for everyone like this Classic Duffle Bag in Mickey Mouse Fan Club or the adorably pink Sensational 6 Classic Duffle Bag. Though these bags are a bit expensive, they offer monthly payments through Affirm.
What’s Better for a Day at Disney: a Purse or Backpack?
In my opinion, a backpack is definitely more comfortable to bring to the parks. They usually hold more stuff and now that Disney has partnered with Loungefly, there are so many cute styles available to bring with you to the parks.
Of course, it’s a personal preference, but I’ve enjoyed my time in the parks more when I was carrying a backpack over a regular purse or crossbody bag.
Tips for What To Do With Your Dirty Clothes
After sweating in your clothes all day or if your child had an accident or got sick, the last thing you want is to store your soiled clothing loose with all the other items in your suitcase. As we mentioned above, Ziploc bags are a great way to keep these items sorted.
Place all of your soiled laundry in those zip-lock bags and bring an extra backpack or duffel with you to store them when you go home to travel. Some Disney resorts do have on-site laundry services that are completely complimentary, so that’s always an option if you don’t want to bring home smelly clothes.
If you’re traveling with children, bring a few Ziploc bags with you to the parks in case of emergency, as well as an extra set of clothing for them each day.
Download our FREE Disney Packing List
Some people hate packing, but I just love packing for trips. I think it’s the excitement that your vacation is imminent. Below I have put together my free Disney packing list that I use for my Disney trips, plus some extra for all of you traveling with kids out there!
Of course, keep in mind this is meant to be a guideline as everyone’s needs are different. I included your own space to customize the list to your needs. Let us know in the comments below what you think of the free Disney packing list and what you always bring with you on your Disney vacations.
We hope this list comes in handy for your next Walt Disney World vacation. But remember, even if you do forget one or two items on your list, you’ll usually be able to find them at your resort.
Do you have a favorite Disney packing hack? Let us know what it is in the comments.
As a self-proclaimed Mouseketeer, Courtney Dercqu is a fan of all things Disney. Between decorating her desk with souvenirs from the park, to making unique mouse ears and having a dedicated Disney Instagram, Courtney is a true believer in the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation. Having had more than 200 articles published on various content, Courtney’s excited to share her knowledge and experience with everyone! Be sure to follow her on Instagram for all the Disney magic.
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