So you’ve booked a Disney vacation, secured your dining reservations, and snagged some theme park reservations. Now it’s time to decide what to pack for Disney World!
Don’t just throw some clothes in a suitcase and call it a day. That can definitely lead to regret or misery (not to be negative, but it’s kind of true) once you’re there.
You don’t want to get stuck at Disney Springs wasting your souvenir money on something you forgot at home or buying a new pair of shoes because the ones you packed are leaving blisters all over your feet.
Keep reading for my tips on what to pack for Walt Disney World, as well as what to wear.
To top it all off, you can download a free printable packing list for Disney World if you sign up for my email list later in the post. Happy packing!
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Disney World packing list essentials
I've been to Disney World at all times of the year, so I've got a good idea on what to pack - especially when it comes to your park bag.
Keep reading for the top items to add to your packing list for Disney World.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.
Packing a good power bank is more important than ever for your Disney World trip, given the growing reliance on the My Disney Experience app.
The app is used to manage Genie+, lightning lanes, mobile orders, and mobile checkout at gift shops, so expect to constantly be using your phone throughout your day at the park - aside from taking photos, that is!
I love the iWalk portable chargers because it's super small and lightweight, plus you don't have to remember to pack a cord since it plugs right into your phone.
Even before 2020, I always brought hand sanitizer with me to the parks to help keep icky germs away in case I can't get to a sink to wash my hands right away. Nothing's worse than getting sick while on vacation!
I like Touchland hand sanitizer spray. Many hand sanitizers are too harsh on my skin and create a lot of redness and irritation. This brand doesn't do any of that!
It also comes in a ton of fun scents and has accessories that make it easy to carry with you everywhere, like keychain attachments.
Lastly, it's only 1 fl. oz, so it's TSA-compliant for those flying into the Orlando area.
Last, but not least, bring a small first aid kit with bandages, over-the-counter pain reliever, Tums or Pepto-Bismol tablets, and alcohol swabs, at minimum.
Worse comes to worse, you can head to the first aid office at the park you're visiting, but these items will either tide you over til you get there or help you avoid needing to backtrack there, wasting your time.
What you pack for your hair is totally up to personal preference.
If you have long hair, I recommend stashing a hair tie or 2 in your bag. Sometimes it gets so hot that you'll want to get your hair off your neck or it might get in the way on rides. Trust me on this one!
I usually have a claw clip, too, but find that they often get in the way on a lot of rides.
A hat might be a good idea too. It's great for sun coverage, protecting your scalp from sunburn, and covering messy hair from sweating.
Last up - this wouldn't be a blog post about what to pack for Disney World if I didn't mention the iconic Minnie ears!
This accessory is not only a ton of fun, they're a great way to keep your hair out of your eyes, too.
If you don't have a pair and don't get around to purchasing them ahead of your trip, pretty much every gift shop at the Disney resorts and theme parks sells them, so they're easy to find at Disney World too.
If you've never been to Florida, you might think it's constantly sunny year round - until you visit for the first time.
Florida is actually super humid and it rains a lot. Orlando is prone to quick afternoon showers nearly every day, particularly in the Summer and early Fall months (aka "Hurricane Season").
Don't let these sun showers ruin your day - bring a rain poncho! They'll keep you dry - at least from head to shin - so you can keep having fun at the parks despite the rain.
You can buy a multi-pack of disposable ponchos at places like Amazon, Dick's Sporting Goods, or REI.
They fold down into a tiny bundle and weigh next to nothing, so they won't take up much space in your park bag. On the flip side, they are flimsy, stick to your skin if it's wet or sweaty, and don't breathe well.
It'll do in a pinch, but for a few bucks more, you can get a reusable poncho that can be reused on future trips (even at non-Disney locations!) and aren't as frustrating to use.
This cute reusable poncho folds down flat and can slip into your Loungefly backpack or purse without taking up too much space. I always have one on me, no matter what time of year I'm visiting!
A visit to Disney World involves a ton of walking. Get ahead of the game and protect your feet from blister with some anti blister balm.
This is the exact brand that I use and it has never failed me! Even if I'm wearing shoes that don't ordinarily bother me, I use it at Disney just in case. I've never had a blister when I remember to use this!
Just apply to high friction areas for the shoes you're planning to wear, such as under straps, the sides of your big and pinky toes, and wherever else you feel is needed.
Ordinarily I’d keep my smartphone tucked away at all times when on vacation, but as mentioned earlier in this post, smartphones are a key tool for managing your day at Disney World.
You’ll no doubt use it to get into the park, check ride wait times, manage Genie+, and take photos throughout the day.
TIP: If you don't have unlimited internet access on your phone, there is free WiFi in the parks and at Disney resorts.
What NOT to put on your packing list for Disney World
What not to pack for a day at Disney World is just as important as what you do pack. Here are a few tips on what to leave at home and why.
A big, bulky, sweaty backpack
Keep your park bag light and breathable. A heavy bag will weigh you down and make you sweat even more than the scorching Florida sun. No one wants that.
A small backpack, nylon bag, or small purse will work just fine as a bag. Check out the section above on what to pack for Disney World for a few good park bag options.
If you’re at the parks with children and need things like diapers, a change of clothes, etc, try to pair down your bag as much as possible.
And if you can get away with a stroller, stash it underneath or ensure it’s light enough to tie onto the handles so you don’t have to carry it on your shoulder or back.
Another guaranteed way to make yourself miserable at the parks is wearing heels or heeled sandals.
If you have a fancy event or dinner planned, feel free to stash them in your luggage. But leave ’em at the hotel for days at the park. Your feet will thank you.
Select camera equipment
Be picky about the camera equipment you bring with you on your trip, as well as to the parks.
99.9% of you will be just fine with a smartphone as a camera, especially with the amazing photography features built into phones these days.
If you want to bring something more into the park, leave the professional equipment out of your park bag. Tripods are not allowed in the parks and you might not be allowed in with extensive professional lenses, either.
Small, handheld stabilizers, like GorillaPods, are allowed. I’ve had no problem bringing mine into the park.
GoPro, mirrorless, and dSLR cameras are also allowed in, but I only recommend taking them into the parks if you truly intend to use them. Otherwise you’ll be stuck lugging around expensive equipment that could easily get damaged.
What to wear to Disney World
Now for the clothes. Keep reading for my tips on what to wear to Disney World in different seasons, how to keep cool, and how to avoid wrecking your feet!
Always check the weather
My absolute top tip to remember when it comes to deciding what to wear to Disney World is to be aware of the weather and pack accordingly.
Florida isn’t warm and sunny every single day. There are definitely cold snaps and rainy days to prepare for.
When you’re packing, check the weather as close to your trip as possible and adjust what’s in your suitcase accordingly.
In general, aim for loose layers and light colors in the Summer and Fall months. Think shorts, casual dresses, and loose pants.
Avoid tight pants as they can lead to the dreaded “Disney Rash,” aka golfer’s rash, as it’ll be harder for your blood to circulate – especially if the hot and humid weather causes you to swell up a bit.
As for tops, aim for a loose layers like t-shirts and tank tops. Of course, if a basic form-fitting layer is usually your thing, you’ll probably do just fine with a form-fitting top layer.
In the Winter and Spring, the weather can be a bit more erratic. You might have “shorts and t-shirt” weather one day and “jeans and a light jacket” the next day.
Layering will be key to dressing comfortably for the parks. For example, you might want to pack a pair of pants and 1-2 jackets or sweatshirts in case there’s an unexpected cold snap.
Some places have a dress code
Aside from the weather, check your dining and show reservations to see if there is a dress code to follow.
Some places won’t allow jeans, for example, so you’ll want to make sure you have appropriate clothing for these activities.
Don’t forget comfy walking shoes
Lastly, pack shoes that you can walk miles and miles in, due to all the walking you’re going to do.
No, seriously. If you haven’t been to Walt Disney World resort before, you might not realize ahead of time how much you’ll end up walking in a day.
By packing the right shoes, you’ll ensure your day isn’t ruined by blisters or sore, sweaty, hot feet.
Most people swear by wearing athletic sneakers for the parks. They provide great support for your entire body and will ensure you aren’t limping at the end of the day.
For me, that’s not the case, unless the temps are cooler. My feet sweat way too much in the hot weather, so I prefer to wear sandals to the parks.
Birkenstock sandals are my go-to, as the cork bed sole forms a custom fit that best supports my feet. If it’s a cooler day, I like Vans ComfyCush sneakers or Vans slip-ons.
Aside from walking shoes, be sure to throw in a pair of flip flops or sandals that are easy to slide on and off for the pool area.
What else is on your packing list for Disney World?
Before you go, be sure to sign up for my e-mail newsletter and get my free printable Disney World packing list to help keep you organized while packing for your vacation to the most magical place on Earth.
My Disney packing list truly helps make packing for Disney World a breeze!
Next up, check out more of our Disney World vacation planning guides: