I’m headed home from a week-long stay at one of our favorite places. Yep, you guessed it Walt Disney World. We love taking our kids to explore new places, but at the risk of sounding cliche, there really is something magical about spending time at Disney World. I’ve shared this before but my love for Disney started with my grandparents. My granddaddy loved Disney and was there the first year it opened, and each consecutive year after that. He took his kids and then his kids’ kids. We lost him 9 years ago but that didn’t stop the pattern.
So now I take my kids and Lord willing, I’ll take my kids’ kids. In a world that is full of heartbreak and loss, Disney is a place where good always wins, where the impossible is possible, and dreams have no limits.
We’re open to close people. We rarely head back to the hotel during the day, so when I leave in the morning, I take everything with me that I’ll need for the entire day. My kids nap REALLY well in their strollers so we don’t typically head back to the hotel unless something is wrong. If you are go-back-to-the-hotel-for-naps kind of people, you have the luxury of restocking.
Disclaimer: I’m not going for lightweight. I throw mine in the bottom of the stroller and leave it for the day so heaviness really isn’t a factor for me. You can find my current Disney bag here. I also snagged these adorable reusable bags (found here) to hold the snacks and misc small items so they don’t get lost in the bottom of the backpack.
- Snacks. Always snacks. I usually have an arsenal of fruit snacks, granola bars, goldfish, and peanut butter crackers. Ain’t nobody got time to be hangry when you’re at Disney World.
- Typical baby items, your diapers, wipes, and baby food (pouches for the win). Don’t skimp on the wipes, they are perfect for sticky hands and faces after a classic Mickey Bar.
- If you run out of baby items, Disney has a spare for you in their Baby Center (in each park).
- If you don’t breastfeed, bring your bottles empty so you don’t have to worry about keeping the milk cool. I put the formula in the bottles ahead of time and just add water when it was time for them to eat. Now that they are older and take just one bottle before bed, I buy two cartons of milk at the park when it’s time for them to have their bottles.
- Like I mentioned, my kids sleep really well in their stroller. They use the muslin blankets for sleeping, so I throw those in for nap and bedtime. I don’t try to make my kids stay up or skip naps. Tired toddlers are cranky toddlers. You can see more of my general Disney tips for babies and toddlers here.
- Baby spoons and forks (here). My twins are 18 months and just learning how to feed themselves with utensils. They struggle with the size of a standard spoon/fork with their little hands and mouths. I find letting them use smaller utensils makes them more independent at meal time and often keeps their attention longer so the rest of us can eat.
- Portable charger for your phone. Your dining reservations and fast passes are managed by an app. That same app (My Disney Experience) provides you with wait times, restaurant options, and mobile ordering throughout your visit. This seems to be the most common type. I’ve chosen to invest in the apple charging case (found here) which literally allows my phone to last for days without charging.
- Small wallet. I’m talking like change purse here. I throw my credit card and picture ID in. That’s it. Neither of which I’ve had to use since it is all linked on my magic band, but just in case.
- Tylenol. For adults and infants. It’s a long day of walking and standing and lifting kids in a noisy sunny place. The last thing you want to be dealing with is a headache or aching back. When Chase started cutting a tooth in the middle of our Disney trip I was glad I had the baby Tylenol too.
- Sunscreen. Did you know you can get sunburned on an overcast day in Florida? Don’t ask me how I know! Ouch! Put sunscreen on in the hotel when you are getting everyone dressed and then bring a small bottle for reapplication. I love the sticks for applying on faces and my little people (here).
- Small toy for keeping kids occupied during long waits. If you want a good spot for a parade or a show it requires getting a seat at least an hour ahead. Having a few cars, figurines, or the coloring packs (from the dollar section at Target) will help that time pass quickly. Same goes for waiting for food at a restaurant or even a long attraction line.
- Bibs. My color coordinated outfits don’t seem to match as well when one of the twins has ketchup all over him.
- Autograph book and pen for characters to sign. My oldest recently got into the pin trading. So his pin lanyard and extra pin backs have now found their way into my backpack too.
- Camera. This is the only thing that doesn’t stay in my bag. I typically wear this around my neck (strap: here)so I’m ready to snap a pic at any junction. I’m a bit of a photo fanatic. I have a pretty nice camera and don’t want to risk anything happening it to while I’m on a ride. My current camera: here.
- Depending on how little your kids are, a change of clothes is probably a good idea. When the twins were babies I would bring their pajamas so when they fell asleep in the stroller I could transfer them right into their cribs back at the hotel. Now that they are getting older I have an extra pair of bottoms for each of them for the case of a blowout.
What’s not in my Disney bag
- Ponchos unless forecasted. Download the app Dark Skies and you will have an accurate forecast that will let you know if rain is likely. If there is rain forecasted then I would definitely purchase ahead of time to avoid paying Disney’s steep cost on ponchos. The thing about Florida is that it rarely rains ALL day. It will rain for like an hour or so and then the sun usually comes back out.
- Water. Any Disney vendor will give you ice water for free upon request.
- Selfie Stick. Disney does not allow selfie sticks into the park anymore. They will confiscate them at security and you’ll have to claim them at your departure.
I’ve lived in several different places and by now you probably know that my family is pretty spread out too. Disney’s been a constant in all the moves and all the changes of life. There’s something about Disney that just feels like coming home.