Planning your Disney World vacation is almost as fun as the actual trip (almost!). Which is why we put together a handy Disney World Packing List to add to the fun. But with a little twist. If you’ve seen any of our family YouTube channel videos, you know we fly standby and thus, we pack super duper light. But packing light can apply to anyone and actually makes your life so much easier, especially when traveling with kids. So this is actually a minimalist Disney World packing list. Oh, and one thing to note, these are our Disney packing essentials. This list doesn’t include things like socks. Yay – let’s get started!
Your favorite Disney apparel
If you’ve ever been to Disney World before, you’ve probably noticed a good majority of people walking around in some type of Disney character tee. If it’s your first visit, you may want to consider getting a little Disney swag for your park visit. You can certainly go with the matching t-shirts for the entire fam. Or like we did, choose your favorite character and you can mix and match. The girls wore Jasmine’s kid t-shirt and similar one for mom. And here’s the adult vintage Mickey Mouse t-shirt we got. And Everett matched with a Mickey Mouse onesie (which at the time of writing this is also totally on sale). Of course, you can always get your little princes and princesses a dress up costume to wear in the park.
But ok, we could go on for days about Disney apparel. Which kind of defeats the purpose of a minimalistic Disney World packing list. And honestly, you can find these t-shirts in practically every store out there. So let’s move on.
As you may or may not have already figured out, Disney is full of charming characters just waiting to meet your family and even offer a little autograph. Enter the autograph book. You can find these in the stores at Disney World. But take it from person experience – the stores often get crowded and if you’re trying to maximize your time, maybe just pick this up in advance. We have this one. And Olivia takes it EVERYWHERE. She loves it. But you can also get the official Disney Parks autograph book. You know, to be official.
Next up: Magic Bands. If you haven’t yet heard of this – definitely check out this article on Disney World’s FAQ page. But in a nutshell, Magic Bands allow for an easy way to access your Disney World hotel room (if staying on property. They can function as your ticket into the park. They contain all your fastpasses. And more. They are really, really useful. And we highly recommend them. You’ll get one automatically if you’re staying at a Disney resort. Otherwise, you can purchase a different color or even get a super cool character themed Magic Band. In our opinion, this is probably our favorite and most essential Disney themed item on our Disney World packing list.
At Disney, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be spending some time in the pool. Or someone in the family will get wet and need a change of clothes. Either way, we recommend a wet bag. Sidenote: a ziploc bag would do just fine too, but we LOVE wet bags. So naturally, it’s on our list.
We love the Bumpkins wet bags because they come in all sorts of cool Disney themed designs. And they also make waterproof sandwich bags. These are amazing. And worth it every time. Plus, super slim, which totally fits with a minimalist Disney World packing list.
In Case of Rain
You’ll probably want to bring along a couple items to keep you covered if it rains. Rain can seriously damper your day at the parks and with the money you spend on park tickets, you probably want to make sure everyone has a good time even if it’s raining. We also pack a stroller cover. This is the one we use for an infant car seat and it doubles as a sun cover – which you definitely want in Florida! If you have a stroller for a bigger kid, you can also get full stroller covers.
You may also want to invest in some ponchos for the entire family. It may sound silly, but again, you’re spending a decent amount of money on park tickets. You don’t want anything to get you down – including rain! And all of this rain gear is super compact.
And while on the subject of weather, heat is another consideration. Not minimalistic at all, but if you have the room you may want to consider a fan for the stroller. Florida can get hot. Like really hot. And being out in that heat all day can be dangerous for kids. So we recommend bringing a reusable water bottle (we always fly with one no matter where we’re going so this isn’t anything extra for us) and if you can manage it, a fan that fits on the stroller.
This one may seem a little out there, but stay with us for a second. Disney nighttime parades are notorious for carts full of fancy (and pricey) light-up toys. And they are kid magnets. Seriously, if you think your little ones won’t be fooled by the allure of these things, think again. That’s why we recommend packing a few of your own (much less expensive) glow accessories and whipping them out when nighttime hits and the glow toys come out. Our group wore glow sticks that come with string to make necklaces. You can usually pick these up at your local grocery store or dollar tree too.
Disney World vacations are all about making memories. For this reason, a camera is on of our must have items to take with you. You can of course use your phone. But if you’re looking for a mid-range camera that also takes great video AND is super lightweight, we have the Canon M50. It is an investment so we recommend getting this if you are in the market for a new camera and plan to do a lot of picture taking. But we absolutely LOVE it and it is so amazing when traveling with kids due to it’s small size and light weight.
One of our other favorites is the GoPro. We love GoPros because they are tiny (which totally fits on a minimalist Disney packing list) and you can give them to the kids and if they ding it up, they are resilient. Also, waterproof, which if we haven’t said it enough already, water activities are big at Disney. Don’t forget the chargers!
Random Things to Add to your Disney World Packing List
A few items that we bring that don’t really need a ton of explanation.
- Sunscreen – it’s a must. Don’t leave home without it. Or purchase it right when you get there.
- Stroller – we have a few that we’ve accumulated over the years with two kids. Two of our favorites are the BOB which is super duper durable. And the GB Pockit (it literally folds to fit under the airline seat!!) a minimalist’s dream and amazingly compact to bring to Disney. Check out our video for more in depth info on the subject of strollers at Disney. We discuss things like size restrictions and stroller rental prices.
- Blanket (for parades!) – Parades are part of the Disney World culture. You can bring your favorite from home. Or you can get one that folds up really compact and takes up basically no room. This one is great because it’s a comfortable jersey material so you can cover up with it while out and about if it gets chilly, it’s great in the car and on the plane, and reusable.
- Bonus: Car/Plane Entertainment – one of our best tips for travel days with kids is to take a new toy (something small) that is a little surprise for the plane or car ride. For our plane ride we took this. Having a small little toy that is also new can entertain kids for hours.
So that’s it! Our complete list of what we have on our Disney World packing list. If it seems like a lot, it’s really not when you pack it all up. We’ve turned this in to kind of a science finding products that are as compact as possible (given we always have to travel carry on only). Many of these things take up little room in your suitcase and we fit these items plus all the essentials into one suitcase for the kids.
We go more in depth to some of these things in our video, so be sure to check that out.