What to Pack for Disney World for Your Whole Family

Little boy at Disney's Hollywood Studios

If there’s one thing I have down pat, it’s that I know exactly what to pack for Disney World. (So you’ve definitely come to the right place for a Disney packing list!)

Why you ask? Well, I’ve been there more times than I can count! But I don’t live near Disney…which means I need to pack for each and every Disney World trip I take. (I can’t just pop over to the parks on a surprise day off work…but a girl can dream.)

Now, my ultimate Disney packing list might look a little different than some of them that you’ve seen out there. And that’s because I’m a HUGE believer in not over-packing.

You know what doesn’t sound fun to me on vacation? Lugging around a bunch of stuff while trying to wrangle my 3 crazy kids. We’re a family of 5 (which includes 3 young boys) so that alone adds up to a LOT of stuff. No way I’m adding stuff just for the heck of it!

I have fine-tuned my Disney packing checklist, and now I want to share it with you so you don’t have to go through the trial and error phase.

In this article, you’ll have access to my ultimate Disney packing list, my best Disney World packing tips, and what I deem are packing essentials for Disney World, what is optional, and what you really don’t need.

Plus, by the end of this, you won’t only feel super confident about what to pack, but you’ll also be able to grab yourself a free printable Disney packing checklist.

Not traveling to Disney with kids? Just ignore any kid stuff listed here and you’re good to go! Ok, let’s get packing…

Disclosure: You may see affiliate links throughout this post, which means these are the things I handpicked! If you purchase something through these links, I will get a small commission at absolutely no extra charge to you. And that sure means a lot to me, so thank you in advance! See the privacy policy for more information.

Suitcase and Lion King popcorn bucket, what to pack for Disney World, Free printable Disney packing checklist

What to Bring to Disney World

Disney World Essentials

Park Bag/Backpack

Can you bring a bag or backpack into Disney World? Absolutely! It just needs to be smaller than 24″ in length, 15″ in width, and 18″ in height. Check out this post to see everything you’re allowed to bring into the Disney parks.

But, do you need a bag or backpack at Disney World? Well, this answer is totally up to you.

I’ve gone to the parks with the absolute minimum amount of stuff before (I’m talking just my phone, MagicBand, and ID), which makes it really easy to get around. But it also means I don’t necessarily have what I need in the parks, which can result in me spending more money than I planned.

If you feel like you’ll have loose items you’d like to bring with you, I highly recommend bringing a small bag or backpack. I’m a sucker for a cute Loungefly backpack.

Portable Charger

If you’re like me, you’ll end up taking a ton of photos and videos with your phone. That alone can drain your battery.

But even if photos aren’t your thing, you’ll be using your phone so much throughout your time at Walt Disney World that you will definitely want a portable charger.

Think about everything you’ll need on your My Disney Experience app for a day at the parks: checking ride wait times, accessing the park map, booking your Lightning Lanes if you purchased Genie+, placing mobile food orders…the list goes on and on. And using that app all day can definitely drain your phone battery.

This is my absolute favorite portable charger:

check it out

Anker Magnetic Battery with PopSocket

Reusable Water Bottles

Staying hydrated in the hot Florida sun is MUST. Bring along a reusable water bottle (it’s a bonus that this one, in particular, can hang from our stroller hook!) to save yourself from buying overpriced bottled water at the Disney parks.

There are plenty of areas around the theme parks, including quick-service restaurants, where you can refill your water bottle throughout the day for free.

Sun Protection

Speaking of that hot sun, getting a sunburn is the perfect way to make yourself uncomfortable for the rest of your trip! Make sure to add sunscreen and chapstick with SPF to your Disney packing list.

I always add aerosol sunscreen to my grocery order that I place to be delivered on our arrival day. (Grocery order, you say?! … I promise I’ll get there!)

For my boys, here are my go-to sunscreens. And yes, I use all 3 of these on them every day, multiple times per day on our Disney trips. Welcome to the world of having fair-skinned kids!

You’re also not going to want to forget sunglasses. Disney does sell sunglasses, and while they’re cute on your Disney vacation, they’re not always the ones that you’ll want to wear on a daily basis back at home. So, save money and bring you’re own!

Having sunglasses also helps you avoid photos like this (ha!):

Family squinting and smiling in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom, what to pack for Disney World? Sunglasses!

Apple AirTag or Tile

I always stick an Apple AirTag or Tile in my bag for a few reasons.

  1. If we were to accidentally leave our bag somewhere in the midst of the excitement that is Disney, we’d be able to quickly find it. You can never be too careful when it comes to your belongings.
  2. We often leave our bag with our stroller…and the Cast Members at Disney will move the strollers to make room for new ones coming into the parking area. Having the Apple AirTag all set up brings down my anxiety when I can’t find our stroller right away.

Bandaids/Blister Prevention

On average, you’ll walk 7-10 miles PER DAY on your Disney World vacation. Whew!

With that being said, there has been a time or two when I’ve developed a blister. And that makes all remaining days of your trip pretty dang miserable when you’re doing that much walking.

So, I never go on a Disney vacation without bandaids or moleskin patches with me just in case. I’ve also heard others rave about the Body Glide anti-chafe stick (which can come in handy for blister prevention and chafing…two for one!).

Just a note: Disney will provide you with a bandaid if needed! I just find it easier to have some with me, so I can take care of it on my own time and not have to stop at a desk somewhere.

MagicBand/Park Tickets

Well, this may seem obvious, but I had to add it to my essentials list because…well, it’s essential!

You’ll use your Magic Band or park ticket to enter the park and scan into the Lightning Lane queue if you purchase Genie+ or an Individual Lightning Lane. (If those words sound like I’m speaking jibberish, make sure to click here to read my post all about Genie+!)

You can also link a credit card to your MagicBand to avoid having to get your credit card out to pay for items and food in the park.

Now, if you don’t have a MagicBand or your physical park ticket, there is a way to access your ticket on your phone. But in the instance that the app or your phone is acting up, it’s much more convenient to actually have the band or card on you.

Don’t forget: In order to use your MagicBand or cell phone to access your park ticket, your ticket must be linked to your My Disney Experience account.

Slinky Dog Dash at Hollywood Studios in Disney World

Copy of Your Itinerary

If you go through all the effort to plan out your Disney vacation prior to getting there, don’t let all of that hard work go to waste!

Most important reservations will show up in your My Disney Experience app. But what about the priority rides and experiences you’ve been wanting to do?

I recommend filling out a daily planner and then snapping a photo of it, so you always have it with you. There’s also a way to add notes on My Disney Experience, so you have everything in one place.

Just log onto your My Disney Experience account online, go to the “My Plans” section, click “Add More Plans,” then click “Notes.”

Planning a day at the Disney World parks can be overwhelming! But it doesn’t need to be.

Check out my FREE daily Disney World park planner to help prioritize and organize your day, so you can have the vacation you’re dreaming of.

Stroller

A stroller is an absolute essential on a Disney trip with young kids. Between navigating through crowds and just the fact that you walk SO DANG MUCH at Disney World, you’ll be happy to have a stroller for your little ones.

We personally bring this single stroller and this double stroller on all of our Disney trips (I like having it at the airport, and the boys are comfortable in the stroller they’re used to), but you can also rent a stroller from various companies in the Orlando area.

Just make sure your stroller is smaller than 31″ in width and 52″ in length per Disney’s stroller policy.

If you’re looking for a full guide on how to pack your stroller for a day at the Disney parks, you can’t miss this post.

Baby/Toddler Carrier

Depending on the age of your child, a baby/toddler carrier could be essential at the Disney parks, so I’m sticking it in this part of the Disney World packing list.

When my boys were tiny, we brought along a baby carrier, which definitely had its perks! You can baby wear on the rides at Disney World, which makes things super easy. And this carrier was nice because it provided my little one with some airflow.

As my boys got older, the carrier mostly comes in handy when waiting in lines or being held during a show, parade, or fireworks. Since I don’t want to deal with bringing a full-on toddler carrier for those situations, we’ve come to love our Gooseket sling!

check it out

Gooseket Toddler Sling

Weather-Dependent Disney World Essentials

The weather can vary at Disney World. Believe it or not, it’s not always crazy hot at Disney. Depending on the time of the year you visit, your Disney packing list might look a little different.

It’s super important to check the weather forecast leading up to your vacation to know what to expect during your time there.

Rain Gear for Disney World

While the rainy season at Disney World tends to be from June through September, a rain shower can pop up at any time.

It’s a running joke in our family that if we don’t pack rain gear, there will probably be a surprise rain shower that wasn’t in the forecast. So, with that being said, we ALWAYS pack rain gear for Disney.

A lot of Disney packing lists recommend bringing an umbrella (which you can totally do…umbrellas are allowed in Disney World!), but we opt for ponchos.

Pushing a stroller and holding an umbrella isn’t necessarily the easiest thing in the world! Plus they take about just about no room when packing up.

And definitely don’t forget the stroller rain cover.

Trust me on this one…I may or may not have learned the hard way after our stroller got soaked, we had boys complaining about sitting in the wet stroller, and we spent the evening trying to dry the seat with a hairdryer. Ha!

So, yeah. It doesn’t take up much room in the basket under the stroller…just stick it in there. You’ll be happy that you had it if you need to use it!

Couple wearing ponchos due to rain at Disney World

Cooling Gear

Summer in Disney World is HOT! (Actually, there are lots of times throughout the year that it’s hot there.)

We always bring along a rechargeable stroller fan. And if we’ll be visiting during a time with really high temperatures, we pack cooling towels.

Clothing Layers

On the opposite side of the spectrum, it can also be downright cold at Disney World (not that this is the norm by any means, but it can legit get down into the 30s at times). Or you’ll find that the mornings or evenings can get a bit chilly even if it’s warm in the middle of the day.

Depending on the time of year you visit Disney World, think about bringing layers…a sweatshirt, jacket, etc. If you forget to pack layers, you can also spend entirely too much on a Disney Sweatshirt (not that I’ve done this in the past or anything!).

What to Wear to Disney World

I have my full list of clothing items that I bring to Walt Disney World in my free printable Disney packing list below, but I wanted to point out a couple of things in this section that you can’t forget.

Outfits for Disney World

Outfits for a Disney World vacation are a big thing for some people! Some families like to get matching t-shirts..other people like to have themed outfits based on the parks they’re visiting.

Me? I personally wear casual and comfortable outfits that I’d wear any other day. That usually consists of shorts and a tank top if it’s going to be hot outside.

Comfort is a priority for me when I’ll be walking around all day. If we have dinner reservations at a nicer restaurant, I’ll bring a special outfit for that, but otherwise, you’ll see me looking pretty casual at the parks.

But I’m not everyone! That’s the fun part of going to Disney…you can make your vacation YOURS. If you want to go all out with your outfit choices, go for it!

If your kid is under 14 years old and they want to wear a costume for a day at the parks, then dress them up in a costume.

While I haven’t dressed my boys in costumes for the parks, I do tend to pack Disney t-shirts or t-shirts based on which park we’re heading to. For example, their Animal Kingdom outfits almost always revolve around the Lion King.

If you’re 14 years old or older, though, you won’t be allowed to wear a costume (unless you’re at a special event that allows costumes for all ages, such as Mickey’s Not-Sot-Scary Halloween party).

A popular thing to do if you want to wear a costume but you’re 14 or older is to go “Disney Bounding.” Disney Bounding is when you dress in clothes that are inspired by a Disney character…like wearing a black shirt and a red and white polka dot skirt with Minnie ears.

Shoes at Disney World

Comfort is KEY! Remember that stat about how much walking you’ll do at Disney? You know, the one where you’ll walk an average of 7-10 miles per day during a Disney World vacation?

Well, because of that, you can guarantee I’m packing a comfortable pair of tennis shoes. A basic pair of white Adidas tennis shoes have been my go-to in recent years.

If you have certain sandals that you’re comfortable walking miles in (and you know for a fact that you can walk miles in them without them causing discomfort or blisters…Disney is not the time to experiment with new footwear!), feel free to wear those to the Disney parks. But I’d save the flip-flops for your pool day.

If you are going to Disney World during an especially rainy time, you might want to consider bringing an extra pair of park shoes in case your go-to pair get wet.

Unique Things to Pack for Disney World (AKA the Optional Stuff)

Are any of these things a must for your Disney World packing list? Nope, but they’re things to think about as you’re counting down your days until Disney.

Every family’s Disney vacation will look different and consist of different priorities. So, you might think, “Yes! I totally need to bring this!” when it comes to some of the items I’m about to list. And other items, you might want to skip over.

Disney Pins for Pin Trading

If you don’t know what pin trading is at Disney, it’s a little hobby in which you can trade Disney-specific pins with Cast Members (and fellow guests, too, if you’d like).

It can be an expensive hobby to get involved in though, so enter at your own risk! You can buy pins at Walt Disney World or even on Amazon. Also make sure that you have somewhere to put your pins, such as a lanyard.

Reusable Straws

You’ll pretty much only find paper straws at Disney. So, if your kiddo doesn’t do well with paper straws, consider bringing reusable straws.

Bubble Wand or Other Disney Souvenirs

Will your kid beg for a bubble wand when they see a bunch of other kids with one? There’s a high chance.

If you want to save money, buy a Disney bubble wand (or any other souvenir you think your kiddo might like) ahead of time to avoid paying park prices.

Two boys with bubble wands at night at Disney World

Glow Sticks

Whether having a glow stick on a dark ride would make your little one feel better or just having a glow stick for fun while you’re waiting for the fireworks, it’s an easy thing to pack to bring a smile to your kid’s face.

Noise-Dampening Headphones

If your kiddo is sensitive to loud noises on rides or during fireworks, I’ve found these headphones work well and are super easy to pack.

Stroller Hook

I fought this idea in my head for the longest time. It just didn’t seem necessary to me. Do you need it? No. But I’ve come to find that a stroller hook is really beneficial at Walt Disney World.

It’s like having a third hand. And I’ve used that thing more times than I can count during our Disney vacations.

I’ve also realized that there’s really no hurt in bringing it along because you just stick it on your stroller, and it’s out of the way (it actually lives on our stroller at all times now…not just at Disney). If you use it, great! If you don’t…well, with this one, at least it adds a little Disney flare to your stroller.

how cute is this?!

Petunia Pickle Bottom Mickey Mouse Stroller Hook

Stroller Identifier

Speaking of adding a little Disney flare to your stroller…

In a sea of black strollers in the stroller parking areas at Disney World, it can be helpful to have some sort of stroller identifier. Especially because the Cast Members can (and will!) move your stroller when you’re away on a ride.

Need ideas for a Disney stroller identifier? We use a colorful luggage tag. It can also be helpful to add fairy lights onto your stroller if you’ll be at the parks at night. I’ve also seen customized signs added to strollers at the parks, as well.

Autograph Book and Marker

If character meet and greets are a must for your family, it’s a lot of fun to have an autograph book with you. Not only does it help the character interactions, but it also leaves you with a fun souvenir to look back on.

For tips for character meet and greets with your little one, check out this post. You’ll also find my favorite autograph books for Disney World in that post!

Oh, and don’t forget to bring a character-friendly marker.

Gum

If you’re a gum chewer, make sure to bring your own gum. In an effort to keep things clean, gum is not sold anywhere on Disney property.

let’s connect!

Looking for allll of my Disney tips? (Because there’s plenty more where this came from.)

Instagram is where it’s at! Check out @ThoseMagicalDays — an extension of Those Johnson Boys, where I let loose on everything Disney to help make your trip stress-free.

What Not to Bring to Disney World

Besides prohibited items (check out the Disney World website for a complete list), there are some things that just aren’t worth bringing along on your Disney trip. Here’s a list of things I never bring to Disney…because again, I hate overpacking and having a ton of extra stuff for no reason.

  • Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. I personally love the ones provided at the Walt Disney World resorts, so I never bring my own. (I do bring children’s bath soap for my kiddos though!)
  • Towels. Bath towels and beach towels are provided at the Disney World resorts. And I don’t bring a towel to the park. If I get wet on a water ride, my clothes will dry eventually!
  • Blanket or chair. First of all, chairs aren’t allowed in the Disney theme parks. And I’m fine with sitting on the ground without a blanket while waiting for a parade or fireworks.
  • Bug spray. Bugs looove me! But I’ve never had an issue with bug bites on a Walt Disney World vacation. Disney has a whole program related to mosquito prevention. And you can actually get complimentary insect repellent at Guest Services if you really need it.
  • First Aid kit. There are plenty of trips we go on where I bring a First Aid kit, but Disney isn’t one of them. If there’s ever an issue, there are First Aid centers at each Disney World theme park and water park, as well as services at the Disney resorts.
  • Life jackets. These are provided in various sizes at each Walt Disney World resort and water park.
  • Stroller wagon. Wagons and stroller wagons are not allowed at the Disney parks.
  • Pack n’ Play. We never bring along our travel crib. The Disney resorts provide pack n’ plays (or cribs) with sheets upon request.
Brothers jumping into pool at Disney's Boardwalk

Tips for Packing for Disney World

Set up grocery delivery to Disney resorts.

When people ask me what my #1 Disney World packing tip is, the answer is easy: set up grocery delivery to your Disney resort on the day of your arrival.

The best part? You don’t even need to be there for your delivery.* If you’re staying at a Disney resort, bell services can take care of your groceries, including refrigerated items. So, you can go enjoy your day, then pick up your groceries when you get back to the resort.

*It’s important to note that if you have alcohol in your grocery delivery, you’ll have to be present for the delivery.

What should you add to your Disney grocery list?

For our Disney grocery list, I basically order anything bulky, perishable, or not allowed on an airplane (we like to stick to carry-ons only if possible!).

The main items on our list are always snacks, milk, diapers, sunscreen, water bottles, and breakfast food.

Eating breakfast in the room and bringing your own snacks to the theme parks are two GREAT ways to save money on a Disney vacation.

Brothers eating breakfast in the room at a Disney World resort after grocery delivery at Disney World
How do you place a grocery order for Disney?

About 2-3 days prior to my arrival, I’ll place my grocery delivery order.

I personally use Instacart and add the hotel address. I almost always choose Publix as the grocery store because there is a wide variety of items to choose from and the prices are decent.

After I add the items to my cart, I choose an afternoon time on my arrival day. Check-in is at 4:00 PM, so I usually choose that time or a little later. In the case that I’m around for the grocery delivery, I like to be able to just take it right up to the room and unpack it.

Use packing cubes.

If you’re visiting Disney with your entire family, pack up everyone’s stuff in color-coded packing cubes. This will help keep your hotel room organized. And you’ll know exactly who’s stuff is who’s when you’re getting ready for the day.

Check the weather (but be prepared for it to change).

Never go to Disney without checking the weather. While you would normally associate Disney World with hot weather, that’s not always the case.

Plus, central Florida is known to have pop-up rain showers here and there, so even if rain isn’t in the forecast, come prepared to be on the safe side.

Remember to leave room for souvenirs.

If you fill your suitcases to the brim, you’ll have a hard time getting all the fun souvenirs home that you just paid a lot of money for!

Don’t underestimate the power of comfortable shoes.

With all the walking you’ll do each day, comfortable shoes are a must. Your feet will thank me later!

Don’t forget about travel days.

Getting to/from Orlando to enjoy the parks is a whole other thing. Whether you’re traveling by plane or car, you’ll want to have some travel activities for the kids (which doubles as stuff to keep them busy while waiting at restaurants!). Here’s my full guide for a DIY travel activity pack.

Free Printable Disney Packing Checklist

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! Click the button below for a copy of my ultimate Disney packing list.

Want to know EXACTLY what to pack for your upcoming Disney World trip?

Snag a free printable Disney World packing checklist by clicking the button below. (And how do I know it’s EXACTLY what you need? Well, it’s the list I personally use, so it’s been through plenty of trial and error.)

FAQ: What to Pack for Disney World

When should I start packing for Disney World?

Don’t be like me and procrastinate until the last second. Start packing for Disney World a few days prior to your trip to give yourself plenty of time to make sure you have everything you need. And to keep yourself from stressing out last minute.

What outfits are not allowed at Disney?

Any outfits that drag on the ground or cover your face (excluding medical face masks) are not allowed at Disney. Guests with inappropriate clothing or tattoos may be denied entry into the Disney theme parks. Proper attire must be worn at all times, including shirts and shoes. Guests 14 years or older are not allowed to wear costumes unless at a special event, such as the Halloween party.

Should I bring a purse or backpack to Disney?

If you need to bring several loose items (such as sunscreen, water bottles, snacks, portable charger, etc), I highly recommend bringing a purse or backpack to Disney. The bag must be smaller than 24″ in length, 15″ in width, and 18″ in height.

How do I pack my own food for Disney?

Outside food and nonalcoholic beverages are allowed in Disney World theme parks. You can pack snacks in a bag or backpack. If your food needs to be cooled, coolers are allowed as long as they’re smaller than 24″ in length, 15″ in width, and 18″ in height. Loose ice and dry ice are not permitted, so bring ice packs.

What to pack for Disney World in August?

Expect the weather at Disney World in August to be hot and potentially rainy. Bring cooling gear such as a stroller fan or portable fan and cooling towels. And bring rain gear such as ponchos, a small umbrella, and a stroller rain cover.

What to pack for Disney World in December?

In the winter months, it can get chilly at Disney World. When packing for Disney World in December, make sure to bring layers. You might want a sweatshirt or jacket with you, especially during the morning and evening hours.

Do I need to pack towels for Disney World?

No, you do not need to pack towels for Disney World. Bath towels are provided at your Disney resort. And beach towels are provided at all Disney water parks and resort pools.

Do I need to pack life jackets for Disney World?

No, you do not need to pack life jackets for Disney World. Life jackets are provided in various sizes at all Disney water parks and resort pools.

Zoomed out photo of Magic Kingdom at Disney World

Final Thoughts: What to Pack for Disney World

The bottom line when it comes to packing for Disney World: only bring what you need! No need to overpack with a million “what ifs.” I hope this list helped you prioritize what to pack for Disney World.

If this was helpful, make sure to subscribe to my blog to get all the latest blog posts straight to your inbox. And check out all of my other Disney posts.

let’s talk photo editing!

Wondering how I give my photos a bit of an oomph?

Well, let’s just say I’m a little obsessed with the Light & Airy Photographer photo editing presets.

In just one click, your photo goes from, “Aw, that’s cute,” to, “WOW!”

Light & Airy Preset before and after photos of mom and 3 boys

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