We are Disney people, anyone who has been around us the past 5 years you will know we love Disney. The Disney bug bit us almost 4 years ago, we as a large group of 12 (4 generations) to Disney World in June of 2015, this was the first time in a long time that I had been back to Disney. I was a bit nervous about taking kids, we had a 17 month old at the time, but we had a blast and the magic is contagious. Both my husband and I had not been to Disney since we were in high school, lets say a few years. 🙂 Lots has changed, and we were going with kids, what to do, what to pack….and how to make it easy. I read a ton of blogs about what to pack and what to prepare for, but after 4 trips, and packing for another one in April, here are my tips for traveling to Disney with kids. If I can do it, you can do it! Be prepared, and you will have a great trip! Have fun and make some magical memories with your family. Here are my easy packing tips for a Disney trip with kids.
Stroller with Kids is a Must – People are very opinionated on this one, but I have great reasons why I love the stroller. Kids get tired, they get whiny, they need to rest and you need to carry them and all their STUFF. Bring a stroller, I have heard all the cons to this argument, it is hard to get through crowds, you have to keep up with the stroller, it is bulky…. the same could be said about your kids. In my mind and experience the pros of the stroller WAY outweigh the cons, which I have no cons to the stroller. I LOVE A STROLLER. Disney has stroller parking and it is near all the rides, DO NOT leave your valuables on your stroller and don’t be upset if a cast member moves it, they will do this, I like to think of it as valet. Stuff to leave on the stroller – more to come. Our kids don’t love to sit in the stroller at all times, but we can move from ride to ride quicker with the kids in the stroller and we have a place to carry our things. Just imagine walking through the park, your kids walking at their own pace and whining about being tired. Put them in the stroller, hand them a snack, water and put the fan on, then you can move on and the kids get a bit of down time. I also think getting through the crowds is not a big deal. Our stroller is narrow and easy to maneuver, but I love a stroller. I am going to be sad the day we graduate away from the stroller.
Snacks/Drinks – you are allowed to bring food and drinks into the park. This a very little known fact, but a great tip for kids. Our kids get bored and want to snack and if I turn around and buy them a $6.00 snack every time they want it, this trip would get out of control, not to mention the amount of sugar they would consume. We pack a snack bag and leave it on the stroller as well as a small cooler. This sounds like a lot, but it is not with a stroller, see my plug there. 🙂 The cooler goes under the stroller or on the jump seat which attaches on the front, you could also use the diaper bag hooks to hang off the handles of the stroller as well. Each kid and adult has a water bottle that we bring in, when we get thirsty or hungry out comes the drinks and a snack. This makes waiting in lines for shows or rides a lot easier with the kids having something to do. Our kids are 5 and under, so we have a lot of snacks and extra’s to bring, but we usually do buy one snack in the afternoon and share. Disney has great food and snacks, but we also bring our own. Depending on our budget for the trip we have brought lunch as well some days. Sandwiches, fruit, chips….simple lunch items, but still saves money and time. Disney World is in Florida, which is very hot most of the year, we have been at different times, but over all it is hot and you are out in the sun a lot. Water is a must to keep hydrated, all the restaurants and food carts will give you free cups of ice water as well, just to make sure you don’t get dehydrated.
Change of Clothes – we always take an extra set of clothes for our kids and extra shirts for the adults. Spills happen, but you can get wet on on a lot of rides and there are water features through out the parks the kids always love to play in. We keep an extra set of clothes in a zip lock bag to keep dry. If you have room, packing a beach towel or hand towel is also a great item, but not always needed, you can dry off with paper towels in all rest rooms.
Battery Powered Fan – this is a must, we always have one for when the kids fall asleep to keep them cool, or just to keep the air moving. If you have been to Florida before, it gets really hot and fans and water are a must. Our last trip we purchased a rechargeable fan, which was great, no batteries required, just a USB cord and a battery pack. We would recharge each night when we got back to the room. Saves on buying batteries for sure.
Stroller Packing List –
- Ponchos (buy cheap ones for everyone and extras ones for the stroller)
- Change of Clothes for the kids (towel if you have room)
- Diapers (take extra, you may need them) **more on the Mother Rooms later
- Wipes – you will need more than you think, I wipe everything down even the kids when they get dirty
- Hand Sanitizer – this is a must, your kids are touching everything
- Snacks and Drinks – apple sauce pouches, raisins, nuts, goldfish, pretzels, fruit gummies and juice boxes to refill the kids water bottles (we like to freeze the juice boxes ahead of time, then they thaw by the time you need them.
- Cooler – fill with ice and drinks, cheese sticks or yogurt are also great snacks
- Sunscreen- bring lots and apply frequently.
- Medicine/Necessity Pouch – band-aids you will be walking and getting blisters take a lot and keep your feet dry, extra batteries for the fan, Tylenol pills for any headaches, gum.**Disney doesn’t sell gum in their parks, if you like gum, take some in with you.
This list is what we keep on the stroller at all times while at Disney, I use gallon size zip lock bags to keep everything dry and organized. There is nothing worse than your toddler ripping all of this out in the middle of the park. By keeping everything closed up, you limit your items getting wet if it starts to rain and there are lots of squirrels that like to rummage through the strollers when they are parked. Each night when we get back to our room, I take stock of what we have used and repack my bag so we are ready for the next day. Super easy and handy, you are ready for most melt downs through out the day.
Other items we take and keep on our selves:
- Camera – my husband has a nice camera he loves to take and he gets really great pictures.
- Phones – we always keep these on us
- Wallets/Handbag- we always keep these on us, as we walk away from our stroller a lot and don’t think twice about it. If we left our valuables on the stroller, I would not feel as comfortable walking away.
- Sunglasses and a Hat – it is hot and sun is out a lot!
- Camel Back – my husband loves this, he adds ice and a bit of water in the morning and it stays cool all day and then he can drink cold water.
- Cooling Towel – this has been a life saver for us and our kids, you can get wet and put around your neck, keeps you cool!
- My list has not changed in the couple trips we have taken, so I am confident with this set of items you will be prepared. For our first trips, we rarely saw rain, so the ponchos were never used, until our trip last year. It rained EVERYDAY, it was pouring. But we still had a great time and you are at Disney and have to make the best of the trip. Wear your poncho and keep moving.
We are very close to our kids out growing our stroller, but I still can’t imagine going to the parks with kids and not taking one. You can also rent strollers at the park or there are companies that you can rent and they will deliver to your hotel. If you rent in the park you must return before you leave, if you have one delivered to your hotel room you can use all day and after the parks. I can’t speak to renting strollers, as we always take our own, but I have seen the strollers that are rented from Disney and other companies and they are nice. We drive to Disney, so we have the extra luxury of taking our own items. If you fly, I would recommend using a company that will bring the stroller to your hotel, you will need it after a long day at the park to bring back the kids that are asleep and your bags.
Here are some more pictures of our kiddos and our strollers – I can’t tell you how much having a stroller helps with the kids, it is a lot of walking, we range from 8-10 miles a day. One night we were walking out of the park and a mom was sitting in the stroller being pushed out of the park by her husband, her kids were walking next to the stroller, Disney got the best of her that day!
Hope you are planning a trip to Disney soon and these packing tips and tricks make it easier for you. We love taking our kids to Disney, they are at such a great age to soak up the Magic and enjoy the characters. Our kids believe they are real which is sweet and will not last that long. Let me know if these easy packing tips for Disney help you on your next trip!