For The Kids:
Busy Bags: Small activities to entertain your child during waits for dinner, buses or when they need some down time. (See my post on “Disney Themed Busy Bags!”) I like to bring small pads of paper, crayons, stickers, pens, small toys etc.
Iphone, Ipad and or Leap Pad Tablet: These are good for waiting in lines at the park. Fill with games and use when necessary!
Small Souvenirs : While I know you cannot escape “The Mouse Trap” by not buying anything by bringing some small souvenirs in advance really helps your budget! I found some nice gifts on clearance in advance: A Princess Tiana Barbie Doll for only $5.00, a Minnie Mouse Plush for .99, and a Buzz Lightyear Action figure for $4.00. I am sure I will pick up a few more small things before our next trip this fall.
Glow Sticks and Light Up Toys: These cost a pretty penny in WDW! You can get glow sticks at your local dollar store, I found wands, 12 pack of bracelets and set of necklaces. I also found some battery operated light up toys at my local chain stores for about $5.00 a piece. I decorated Them with Disney stickers for extra fun!
Retractable Permanent marker and Autograph Book:
A Retractable Permanent marker saves the hassle from fumbling with a cap. (Its one less thing to loose!) An Autograph book can be easily made personalized and bound for half the price in the park.
To Stay Cool:
Carabiner Misting Fan: We are going in September so I consider this a MUST HAVE! Misting Fans sell for a lot in the park and the ones sold at WDW are large and bulky. You usually have no idea where to put it during rides. I like that these are small, powerful and have a carabiner clip! You can clip them on your belt loop, purse, stroller etc. It was safe for my daughter too with the foam blades.
Cooling Collars: This again is A MUST for traveling in July-October. I found mine at the dollar store. All you do is soak them in cold water then wrap around your neck and the small beads inside expand to a gel. They instantly cool you off and are a great refresher in the peak heat of the day!
Sunglasses and Sun Hat! The sun is extreme in Florida and I tend to forget to either wear my sunglasses all day or bring my hat and I always regret it. A fold up sunhat is a luxury in the bright southern sun.
Pack for the Parks:
A Messenger Bag: I personally love the Baggallini Messenger Bag. This by far is the most important purchase you will make. It is your go to bag for all your family’s belongings in a sense YOUR SURVIVAL BAG for the parks. This messenger bag is perfect, it is large enough to hold everything and keep you organized. It has all zippered compartments to keep your belongings safe with many pockets to keep you knowing where everything is. I love the zippered “wallet” on the strap to carry our passes in, they were always at reach when needed. I also enjoy the water bottle holder on the side. The best part was the messenger bag is easy on your shoulders and when you are on a ride you can just swing it forward into your lap and not have to wrestle with a backpack at your feet. Its lightweight yet sturdy and the best travel bag. I have used this as my carry on too!
Large Carabiner Clip with Handle:
You can carry all your shopping bags, purse and with ease have them all together. Clip it on your stroller. These come in handy especially when its time to fold up your stroller to get on a bus or gather your purchases for going into a restaurant etc. It saves time and is very helpful.
Carabiners: As well as my large caribenier clip with handle I carry a smaller one to clip my Hotel Refill Mugs and Water Bottles to. I attach it to my purse, backpack or stroller.
Health and Saftey Kit: In a small makeup bag, I put some bandaids, (Disney themed of course!)mole skin (for blisters) triple antibiotic ointment, q tips (for applying the ointment) wet wipes, headache medicine (adult and child), benadryl (theplastic dose cup too), chapstick, sunblock, hand sanitizer and tums. You can find most these items in the park or at the first aid centers but you will pay much more than bringing it yourself.
Snacks: Small mess free snacks for the family. Fruit, cereal bars, small bags of crackers, fruit snacks etc. I also carry an extra bottle of water.
Quarters and Pennies for the Penny Press Machines: A small M&M Minis container are the perfect size for storing your change! I take off the original label, decorate with Disney stickers and layer them with 2 quarters and a penny for easy access! (This is also a very inexpensive souvenir and lots of fun finding them. I plan on making a charm bracelet with them on my next visit!)
Batteries: Do not forget batteries, they are very expensive in the park. I stock up at my dollar store, you can get an 8 pack of AA for only a buck! They come in handy for your camera, toys and fans.
For The Hotel:
A Back of the Door Shoe Organizer:
This is a great idea to help organize your toiletries. I never have enough room for all the extra stuff and hate packing and unpacking it all each day. Hang it on back of the bathroom door and add all your toiletries, makeup, bath toys etc. It saves so much counter space and keeps my family organized.
Medicines to Pack: I always travel with an array of medicines to ensure a comfortable trip. I use a fold up jewelry or toiletry organizer with lots of small clear pockets
I keep it in my hotel room and pull out what I need for the day. I stock it with everything from Tums, pepto bismal, allergy meds, gas x, cold and cough, visene, ear drops, itch cream, baby powder, tylenol, motrin, q tips, wet wipes, foot powder, aloe vera gel, icy hot and small ice pack! Do not forget to also pack a thermometer.
Small Screw Driver Set:
A pocket sized one works best that you can just tuck into your Tote or purse. You will be surprised how often you will need it for switching batteries in your portable fans and putting batteries in your newly purchased toys!
Shout Stain Stick: I always travel with my Shout Stain Stick on vacation. It makes my life so much easier when it is time to do laundry. If you plan on using laundry on site I suggest a roll of quarters, bring sample sized laundry soap or a ziplock bag measured amounts of laundry soap and a couple drier sheets.
Envelopes for the Housekeeping Staff: I always bring pre decorated envelopes with a folded coloring sheet, small thank you note and a tip. I like to have them dated and stuffed with tip before I go,a few weeks before our trip I make them and pack them. I like to tip daily as opposed to at the end of my trip. I have always been spoiled with extras (toiletries, towels, and extra towel animals.)
For The hotel Pool:
Small Toys : A beach ball, bucket, arm inflatables, water shoes (for better grip when walking) and goggles. They do sell these in the hotel shops at inflated prices but I like to bring my own to save my money for a really nice memento for the family!
So there you have it, my Survival Guide to Walt Disney World! I hopes this helps as you plan your WDW vacation. <3 Amanda