I’m a week away from our short trip to Disney World for the Dark Side Challenge. It may be for only four days, but the same packing strategies I use for longer vacations still apply.
Headed to Disney World – Time to Pack!
- Magic Bands, IDs, money (gift cards, credit cards, small amount of cash), medical insurance card, DVC membership card, and Tables in Wonderland card. (Note: I would never choose gray for a Magic Band color.)
- Phone & chargers (both plug-in and on-the-go varieties)
- Rain Poncho, cap and/or visor, and sunglasses
- One outfit per day and as few pairs of shoes as possible (I’m a reformed vacation shoe over-packer).
- Sweater or light jacket (I tend to get cold during sit-down meals)
- Sunscreen, hair and makeup bare necessities
- Running outfits for runDisney events & armband or waist carrier for my phone
- Mini first aid kit (Tylenol, antacid, Band-Aids)
- Carry-on and park bag
- Disney pins for trading
Things I’d Like to Have
- 2-3 Extra shirts & an extra pair of shorts or pants – Sometimes it’s nice to have a fresh outfit to put on if we get back to our resort before going to dinner. Especially if we’re eating someplace nice.
- Swimsuit & Cover-up – We almost never swim, but it’s nice to be ready just in case.
- Extra park bag(s) – I can make do with one, but having a couple of different sizes to choose from is better.
- Snacks and/or Pre-race fuel – If I can bring Cliff bars or granola bars, I’m going to be much happier on race day(s) without the stress of trying to find something to eat that I’m sure won’t bother my stomach. If I’m not going for a runDisney event, it’s nice to have snacks or breakfast items along to minimize the possibility of becoming “hangry”.
- Flat iron – I don’t use one every day at home, but with the way my hair behaves in Florida, it’s certainly nice to have.
If There’s Room
- Disney Exchange Podcast tees and pins to give away – I love meeting listeners and having something handy to give them.
- Book and/or magazine – Nice at the airport and on the plane, but not a necessity. I can always listen to music on my phone.
- Extra cap(s) – I like choices and I like to color coordinate if I can.
- My own hairdryer – Silly, but I’m used to it and get better results with my own versus the one supplied by the resort.
- Laptop – I don’t have to have it, but it sure is nice if I want to whip up a blog post while I’m in the Disney Bubble.
- Extra space for souvenirs – Yep, I’d like a little unused room. There’s nothing worse than wanting to do some shopping and realizing you’ve got no way to carry anything home. Sure, Disney will ship, but that adds a lot to the price.
That’s it. On each and every Disney trip we take, I use this strategy and almost always come home with only one or two things I didn’t use or wear. In the winter I pack a couple of extra layers and more pants, fewer shorts. I refuse to pay for overweight luggage so I weigh my bag at home before we leave just to make sure. Honestly, if I could get by with only a carry-on this trip, I’d be thrilled, but I doubt even the minimalist-packing me could pull it off.
What’s your Disney vacation packing strategy?