“Google, what should I bring to Disney World?” I scoured the internet soaking up everything about Disney World…and Disney cruises- but I’ll post about our cruise later. You don’t want to forget anything and risk a soured trip- especially when you have kids in tow. I wanted to be super ultra prepared because not only would we have just our little family, but my parents and siblings and their families as well. I will admit that Disney World was on the back burner as I was more concerned with getting acquainted with the happenings on the Disney Cruise.
I may have annoyed my husband with the stuff we “had” to bring but after 10 years of marriage, I don’t care. 97% of the time we end up using everything. And then our trips are much more pleasant because I am not running around like a mad woman looking for stuff to tame the wild children.
We only had one day at Disney so we really had to make the best of it and try to see as much as we could without going crazy. For my family of 6: 2 adults, 4 kids including an infant this is what we brought/should have brought:
- Backpack: To carry all the things. I actually brought a different backpack but should have brought this one because it has thicker straps. And it’s roomy! With lots of compartments to better organize all our stuff.
- Water bottles + snacks: We are water buffaloes so bringing our own water bottle to refill whenever as opposed to buying water bottles is more cost effective for us. I read somewhere that you aren’t allowed to bring snacks, so we didn’t except for cheerios for the baby. However, I saw a lot of people that brought snacks. I’d say just two snacks suffice since in between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner.
- Sunblock/for lips too: I forget how sunny other parts of the country are. You’ll burn if you don’t put on some sun screen and don’t forget the lips! We put sunscreen on the kids while we rode the ferry to the Magic Kingdom. Time efficiency is key when you are only there for one day.
- Sweater/jacket at night- it gets cold in November! When I think of Florida I just think hot and humid. I’ve only ever been there in the summer time so I wasn’t sure how cold it would get in the winter. The days are pleasant- I wore a sun dress, however the nights get chilly. I’d even wear pants and a t-shirt and carry a light jacket. By the night my legs were cold and I had gotten chilled.
- Stroller/ Baby Carrier: There are options to rent strollers but we needed ours for traveling throughout Florida and at the airport so we just brought ours. Our kids napped in it and were comfortable as we were able to lay both seats back. We left the car seat in the car and just brought the 2 seat attachments. It is a little bit of a beast to maneuver in crowds but it is worth it. It is also annoying to break down when you ride the trolley back to the parking lot. You do not have to break it down on the ferry or the tram. We also took Madeleine out of the stroller a few times and put her in the MiaMily baby carrier. However, since we were going in and out of rides it became more cumbersome to take her out and put her back in the carrier than just in the stroller.
- Camera: I bought a camera during this trip. I had my D40 for 10 years and it didn’t have video capability. I was due for a camera so we took advantage of Black Friday and snagged up the Nikon D5500. I ended up returning it because I didn’t like the touch screen. However, you can just bring your phone- if it has enough memory! Iphone pics are just fine, but I really love that I can manipulate the camera how I want it to using a DSLR, so that was my choice. You will want to take pictures of your kids meeting their favorite character for the first time. OR- you can just get the Photo Pass and have the photographers there take care of it. I think it is worth it if you are at the park for several days. The only qualm with that for me was that the pictures aren’t anything special- it is just a standard picture without any depth or artsy factor. That is fine for some people. I did like it for the night shots because they have an awesome flash. We did end up getting the photo pass because it was easier for us to get group shots and we were all able to access the pictures as a group- no waiting for the others to send you pictures of the trip. And then you get special moments like these:
- Lanyard badge holders (if you don’t have magic bands): We brought these on the cruise but not to Disney World which we should have! We didn’t get the magic bands (that hold all your credit card info, ticket info) because we were there for a day. Keeping track of the passes was annoying because we split up a few times and trading the kids passes back and forth, reading the names, etc. was just annoying. With the badge, each kid could just wear their pass and the colors make it easy to know whose was whose. You CAN buy the bands at the park but they cost about $13 each and we didn’t think it was worth it for just one day.
- Costume for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and/or Mouse Ears: If your little princess is going to see her Fairy Godmother on this trip I would suggest bringing your own dress. I am actually writing a post about our experience there and why you should bring your own dress later. But in short, it was more cost effective. The last time we went to Disneyland, we bought our boys mouse ears and had their names embroidered. We brought those so they could wear them and have some cute pictures taken. Well, my boys didn’t end up wearing them, but my girls used the ones we bought there. I do love the classic ears but I knew Adelle wanted the Elsa/Anna Frozen one and Adelle thought Madeleine would like the Little Mermaid one with pearls. The ears just make for some cute pictures but don’t shade from the sun. Unless you get the Goofy hat!
- Autograph book + pen: We bought these from home because they are pricey at the park. Plus it is another trap to buy more stuff! Ha! I read we should buy specific pens- and I did- but honestly, it didn’t matter. The pens got traded and there is always a person to help the character with the pens. Any pen will do. Sure if you want to save a second then buy the clicky pens or markers. But not sharpies because they will bleed through the paper.
- Sunglasses/hat: Even in November it was still pretty dang sunny. Protect yo’self.
- Comfy shoes: You will be walking. A lot. I just wore my Steve Madden faux birkenstock sandals and I was fine for most of the day but by 11 my feet were dead.
- Santizer: So many people. Kids touching everything. You need just a little bottle to keep germs at bay.
- Wipes: You’ll probably get stick from your ice cream or Dole Whip or delicious turkey leg so it is easier to have wipes on hand than find a bathroom. The wipes we use do not leave a sticky film on your hands so we bring them everywhere.
- Stuff for baby: Bottles, Diapers, etc.: Some things are specifically for baby and you can’t find them easily. Our baby can’t drink out of a cup yet so we had to bring her a bottle. Also, they didn’t have whole milk on hand in the Magic Kingdom which was a bummer because she did not like that skim milk nonsense. I bet you could bring in a ice pack with milk in it for your baby.
- Phone: So you can download My Disney Experience App: This app is clutch. It tells you when the parades are and where, character greetings, fast pass info, wait times and has a gps map so you can’t get lost. We booked our fast pass tickets from the app and navigated the rides based on wait time. Also so you can communicate with your party, right?
Going on a trip to Disney World can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. While we wanted to get in as much as we could, it was much better enjoyed when we gave into the idea that we would not get everything done. The Magic Kingdom is a huge park. We caught the tail end of the parades because that wasn’t our priority. We didn’t seek out every character- only the ones our kids liked. We picked our favorite rides and went on those. Everything else we did on top of that was just gravy. It gives us a reason to go back- we missed entire parks that we’d love to explore! Did we have times where we were a little stressed- yes. It wasn’t perfect and we could have communicated as a group better but we had a lot of fun together- that was the whole point.
I wish I would have recorded more of our trip but I guess I was too busy keeping up with my crew haha!