I love packing for trips, but I'll admit, when I set out to packing for our first trip to Disney World, I was stumped. What are the "must haves" for a trip to the Disney parks? What should I be sure to bring to look nice and feel comfortable for all of that walking?
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Packing for a trip to Disney World?
How do you make sure you've brought all the right clothes for every eventuality? Check out these tips and tricks, and you'll be perfectly dressed, no matter the season!
Naturally, that can make packing all the more difficult. Though you'll certainly spend your days logging 20,000 steps, you'll likely spend your evening sampling Disney's luxurious dining options and relaxing by the pool or at your hotel.
Finding best shoes for Disney World
Beyond a doubt, bringing the right shoes to Disney World should be - by far - the most important item on your list. Shoes are certainly where you should spend the most time and money, as a mistake on the shoe front will come back to haunt you for your entire vacation.
Before we get into the specifics, a couple over-arching tips. First, you must break in your shoes long before your trip. A few wears is just not enough. These need to be shoes that you have worn for full days and been completely comfortable. Preferably, they should be shoes you have worn on another vacation. And second, bring more shoes than you think you'll need so you can rotate. Even the most comfortable shoes will start to hurt after several days in a row.
Disney World Shoe Packing List:
Dressing in layers for Disney World in winter
Depending on the time of year, don't forget your layers. Ignore this section if you're visiting June-August when it'll be hotter than anything.
Something that surprises visitors is learning that it is not boiling hot in Orlando all year 'round. Our last two visits have been in January/February, and on both visits, we definitely needed light jackets. On one trip, I actually wore my Barbour coat. The "locals" will always says it's "abnormally chilly," but it's really not - that's just their way of apologizing for the fact you can't go to the pool every day.
The weather fluctuates - depending on what time you hit the parks, if it's winter, it could be in the 40's/50's and you might want a small jacket...with the knowledge that it may be in the 70's when you return. I'd recommend either a light cardigan that you can easily jam in your purse, or a windbreaker, depending on the time of year.
Rain gear for Disney World
The unfortunate reality of any trip is that it might rain, even in the happiest place on earth. And you are definitely not going to spend your entire day in the hotel just because of a bit of rain. While you can certainly rock the indelible...Disney poncho, why not just bring an umbrella and some rain-proof shoes (such as the aforementioned topsiders and windbreaker)?
I would highly recommend not wearing pool flip flops to the parks in the rain, as your feet will be covered in whatever sort of germs are on the ground in Disney World, and I think we'd all rather not think about that. Additionally, walking a long distance in wet shoes will definitely cause serious rubbing. Ouch!
What to wear for dinner in Disney World
Dinner at Disney is one of the gems of the experience - don't forget to bring clothes for it!!! So many people think only of the parks and forget to pack for the other events on the Disney docket. That said, many of your dinners won't be terribly formal - you'll want more relaxed, Florida attire.
Most restaurants around Disney don't have strict dress codes, particularly the locations in the parks, as many guests just go straight to dinner from a solid day on the rides. But, be sure to check, especially if you're hitting a fancier location, such as the higher end restaurants in the resorts. For me, I don't think you can go wrong with a good Lilly Pulitzer dress, during the warmer months! Classic Florida attire if there ever was some!
The best purses for Disney World
You are allowed to bring a purse into the parks, as long as they meet the size requirements - I had been curious about this recently, given the restrictions at sports stadiums. But, with so many people having kids in tow, it just wouldn't be reasonable not to.
If you can avoid bringing a purse, I would definitely leave it in the hotel room. Though Disney is purse-friendly, it's always more of a hassle to have one than not. And if you're going to be using Magic Bands, you won't be needing your credit cards/cash anyway!
However, for various reasons there are times we all need purses! On the slower rides, such as Peter Pan, Small World, Haunted Mansion, Pooh Bear, etc., you are allowed to bring your purse on with you and just hold onto it. Not sure why, but that surprises me.
Don't forget the sunscreen and bathing suit,
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my favorite item in the world (found by the Husband, so all props to him!), packing cubes.
They keep my suitcase neat and organized and make packing and unpacking easy as can be.
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