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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Starting to Pack

Yes, I realize that I'm packing a tad early, but that's the beauty of going on vacation to a summery place when its fall/winter back at home! I can pack the shorts, t-shirts, and bathing suits without missing a beat.

If you haven't looked, there are about twelve million websites dedicated to Disney planning, booking, packing, and vacationing, so I'm not going to reinvent the wheel here. What I can do is post the links and tips that I've found to be the most helpful thus far.

Here are my favorite tips I've found around the internet about packing for Disney.
  •  For kids who will have lots of extra clothes, pack outfits together in quart size zip top bags. Socks, hair accessories, etc. included. I was able to fit 14 outfits and 2 costumes in one side of this carry on size suitcase for Ginny!
  • Bring your own souvenirs. I actually got this idea from my sister - whenever they bring my nephew somewhere that she knows will sell those carts full of light up toys for $20 a piece, she makes sure to bring some fun light up toy, even just glow sticks, in her purse. It has saved her a small fortune, I'm sure.
  • Make spreadsheets. No one needed to tell me this one - I make spreadsheets for everything. It is a good tip, none the less. I have an excel spread sheet with our travel information, packing lists, and to do lists.
  • Pack your tickets, Magic Bands, medication, travel documents, and other important items in your carry on. Your bags may take a little bit to arrive at the resort and you don't want to be stuck waiting around!
  • Download your apps. There are several apps worth looking into before you head to Disney. The My Disney Experience app links with your reservations and FastPass+ meaning you can make changes on the go in addition to checking wait times, keeping tabs on character meet and greets, and looking at maps. Another handy app is the GPS Transportation Wizard by Our Laughing Place. Just plug in where you are and where you want to go and it will tell you the most efficient combination of transportation (boat, bus, monorail, walking, etc.) across the vast Disney property. And let's be honest - its Florida. Having the app is probably a smart idea too. ;-)
  • Speaking of rain, being prepared is important. We got caught in many quick down pours last time we went. An umbrella, ponchos, and a clear shower curtain to cover the stroller (from the dollar store) will keep you dry!
  • Our party consists of two kids and three adults. Correction, one teething infant, one stubborn toddler, and three adults.We're bringing ear plugs and taking turns wearing them so at least most of us are guaranteed uninterrupted sleep. 
  • It sounds like overkill, but we're bringing a small pop up hamper. With all of the anticipated clothing changes, if anything it'll keep things organized.
  • We plan on gate checking our double stroller and while we can hope and pray, there is always a chance it could be damaged in flight. To minimize the chance of damage, we are removing every part that we possibly can (kid tray, canopies, seat padding, and parent tray) and safely packing them in luggage. It makes the stroller much smaller and less likely to catch on something. 

Here is a Google doc of our entire packing list for 8 days in Disney. It looks like a lot, but everything is either a sample size or brought in a much smaller container (i.e. dish soap, laundry detergent) and really, I'd rather bring more things to make the week easier than have to find something last minute!

Another packing tip is to choose your airline carefully. Southwest happened to have the cheapest fairs, but as a bonus, bags (two per ticket) fly free! This was a HUGE cost savings to us with all of the stuff we're needing to bring. We'll be checking four pieces of luggage, which would have cost us $200 on another airline. Ouch!

Here's to not forgetting anything! Back to packing I go.


  1. Have a great trip. You are definitely well prepared! :)

  2. Thank you! I really liked your packing list! Hope you had a great trip!

  3. Question- Why did you have the birth certificate listed as an item to bring for your younger child?

    1. When we traveled for this trip, my daughter was only 7 months old. We didn't have a ticket for her as she was a "lap child." When you travel with a baby, some airlines request you bring a copy of their birth certificate for verification. We flew SouthWest and they requested it. When you fly, ask your airline how they prefer to identify lap children. Hope that helps!

  4. We have the same stroller. Does it go through security easily with everything removed?

  5. Did you find this stroller good for Disney or would it be better to bring two umbrella strollers? Thinking about getting on all the transportation with a big stroller is stressful to me.