20 Things to Buy Before Your Disney Vacation to be prepared for fun & save money in the parks.
I’m so excited to be sharing with you the first of many new Disney posts!
After our 5-day Walt Disney World vacation two weeks ago we headed down to the Florida Keys to spend Tuesday-Sunday with Roger’s family. We have now settled back into life in Birmingham, or at least as best as we can since we are moving out of Birmingham in less than 2 weeks!
Roger graduates this coming weekend, then we have 1 & 1/2 weeks until we move out June 15 & move back to Tennessee & soon after we will close on our first house! I’m a little nervous about moving back to our hometown, but that’s another confession for another day.
For now we will stick with what’s planned, which is this super fun post with tips on 20 Things to Buy Before Your Disney Vacation! Now I know that sounds like a lot, but many of the items are small, you might already have them, & if you buy them beforehand you can save quite a bit of money while in the WDW parks.
And money saved is always a good thing. But if you are like me, money saved just means more money for food… which is my favorite part of every vacation.
Who am I kidding?
It’s my favorite part of every day!
Any who… I’ll be sharing a Disney food post in the next few weeks along with 3-4 more Disney specific posts to help you plan for the best ever Disney World Vacation!
So without further ado, here are 20 Things to Buy Before Your Disney Vacation.
ps. You can Click here to see all of my Disney posts, like 15 Mistakes to Avoid During a Disney Vacation, 10 Things to Do 3 Months Before Your Disney Vacation, & much more!
1. Good Shoes with Support or Inserts
I can’t stress the importance of this one enough, which is why I put it as number one. When we went to Disney World last year for 5 days my feet killed by day 3. Luckily we had a break day after that, but even still, I messed my feet up pretty bad. Even with that break day my feet were hurting on days 4 & 5.
So I decided that this time I was going to go to WDW prepared & with good shoes. I only had enough money to buy one pair of new shoes, but I recommend having at least two pairs of different supportive shoes so that your feet stay comfortable & don’t want to hurt you.
I bought these Ahnu Women’s Karma Flats after seeing their high rating & reading the amazing reviews on Amazon. I wore them for the first time in WDW & they were amazing! By day 3 I was starting to get a couple of blisters on the top of my feet, but remember I was walking an average of 10 miles a day in the same pair of brand new shoes. I don’t blame the shoes for that. I simply put a bandaid on the top of each foot & forgot all about it. My feet did start to hurt by the end of day 3, but I attribute this to when I messed my feet up in Disney last year. I have had off & on feet problems since that first trip, which is why I highly recommend good shoes if you plan on spending all day in the WDW parks.
These Ahnu Women’s Karma Flats are the best pair of shoes that I own. After the wonderful experience I had with my Ahnu Women’s Karma Flats I have become a loyal fan of Ahnu & have started looking into their Women’s Maia Sandal as a second/alternate shoe for our next WDW vacation.
Whatever you wear make sure it has good support. Your feet will thank you later!
2. Sunscreen & Chapstick
A must, especially in the late spring, summer, & early fall. We applied spray sunscreen multiple times throughout the day & never burned.
Oh, & if you are a germephobe (like me) you might want to try one of these sunscreen sticks. They are great for faces!
3. Hand Sanitizer & Travel Wipes
We had two travel hand sanitizers hanging from my bag, & a larger one in my purse for meal time. It’s easy to feel dirty/germy in WDW, but having these things on hand is really helpful!
4. Waterproof Bags or Ziplock Bags
Our first trip to WDW last year I put our phones in ziplock bags in my little back pack every time we went on a water ride. And while I brought a bunch & kept them handy in my backpack, I ended up doing something else to keep our things dry. I used a polyester reusable pouch grocery bag & whenever we went on a wet ride, or it started to rain, I opened my polyester reusable pouch grocery bag & put my backpack inside. It worked great!! Plus no waste of plastic Bags!
5. Band Aids & First Aid Needs (blisters)
Band aids are great to keep on hand for blisters (tip #1)! If you have kids you might want to keep them on hand for scraped knees. Also some sort of antacid might be a good idea with all the snack food & fun rides you’ll be going on in WDW.
6. Carabiner Fan
Carabiner fans & spray fans are a huge blessing to have on hand while standing in long hot lines. We found that while the spray fans were nice for a spritz of water the normal carabiner fans had more power & cooled you down better.
7. Water bottles
One great secret WDW tip for you today is that cups of water at Disney World are free. Yes, FREE!!
This means that you don’t need to buy bottled water or carry around lots of extra water bottles. I do however suggest carrying at least one lightweight reusable water bottle, especially if you are going to Disney in the dead of summer. Since ride lines will be longer you won’t want to spend extra time waiting in line every time you get thirsty.
If you carry a lightweight reusable water bottle then when you grab a snack or lunch ask for 2 cups of water, one to drink & one to refill your water bottle. That way you stay hydrated, the ice in the cup will keep your water cool longer, & you won’t have to be constantly seeking out water snack stands (the ones with fountain drinks) that offer free cups of water.
So many magical moments happen in Disney & you are going to want to capture every single one of them! And while I brought two Canon cameras to Disney & took thousands of pictures & videos, we also purchased the PhotoPass so that we were able to keep all of the magical moments of Disney.
I brought both of my small Canon digital camera & my blogging Canon DSLR camera. I used the digital camera for videos, I love home movies, & my DSLR for stock photos for my blog, these posts, & anything else I wanted a picture of in good quality.
BTW PhotoPass is totally worth it! And if you purchase it at the beginning you will be sure to get your money’s worth out of it. Although truth be told we didn’t purchase PhotoPass until the last day, we had been scanning our bands all week long after rides & photo ops & by the end of the week we had so many photos we wanted to keep we decided we wanted the PhotoPass. So that evening we went photo crazy & every time we saw someone taking Disney pictures we stopped & asked for a picture.
I know from now on when we go to Disney we are going to get the PhotoPass & take full advantage of the magic!
It’s sunny in Florida. Not only are they great for keep your eyes protected from the sun, but they are great for outdoor rollercoasters too! Especially if you ride in the front row of a fast ride, sunglasses are a must to keep your eyes from drying out!
Just be sure to bring a cheap pair (or two), I’ve heard & read that WDW’s lost & found receives hundreds of pairs of new sunglasses every day. We never lost our $5 sunglasses in WDW, but we did come prepared with an extra pair we left at our resort just in case.
10. Walking Attire & Light Jacket
I wore shorts one time last year in Disney & it rubbed so bad I decided to never wear normal shorts again. Instead I wear running shorts under sundresses. A lot of women wear exercise shorts in the parks, but I noticed a lot of them paired it with t-shirts. Cotton, hot, t-shirts. And while some people prefer that, I really like my cheap lightweight sundresses.
Also, if you are going the the early spring, late fall, or winter you might also want a light jacket to keep you warm in the cool evenings.
11. Small Backpack & Wallet
I have a cute little backpack that I use for trips & vacations & it is extremely handy for our Disney trips. I can easily stuff 2 rain jackets, an umbrella, two cameras, a water bottle, & fill the pockets & small pencil bags with all the little things on this list with no problem.
However if there is more than two of you, aka little people, you will probably have a stroller you can also store things in. Or if you have older children maybe have them carry their own small lightweight backpacks too.
12. Rain Jacket or Poncho
It doesn’t rain often in Disney, but when it does you will wish you had a rain jacket or poncho. Plus it can be nice to have them on the water rides if you don’t want to be soaking wet afterwards.
We brought both this time since there was possible spring storms. We did however make the mistake of buying our rain ponchos from a dollar store, Roger’s tore while he was putting it on. Luckily we had our rain jackets too because the rain ponchos at WDW can be kind of expensive.
13. Disney accessories
Disney ears, hats, ect. can be expensive in the parks, which is why I bought my Minnie ears online before our trip. Headbands give me a headache after awhile so I kept taking them off throughout the day & stuffing it in my bag, so as you can imagine they didn’t survive the whole week.
But they were cheap & they did their job!
Our first trip to Disney last year we brought tons of snack food because we thought the food was going to be crazy expensive & we were only going to eat dinner in the parks. We quickly realized it wasn’t crazy expensive & that it costs about the same as going out to eat. Of course it can become expensive if you eat 3 meals in the park everyday, but I’ll save this whole break down for my food post (coming soon – ps you can sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of this post so you will know as soon as this post goes live!).
So back to snacks. If you, your kids, or your husband are known for getting the munchies or always being hungry it can be a good idea to get snacks from outside of the park to have on hand anytime you get hungry.
15. Mints & Gum
Gum is not for sale in the parks so if you love gum you will want to stock up ahead of time. Just remember, they don’t sell gum in the parks for a reason, so please be sure to deposit your gum in a trash can, especially before going on a ride.
16. Disney Trading Pins
17. Portable Phone Charger
This is a major must, especially if you are going to be using your phone throughout the day to check wait times, book more Fastpass+, check your reservations, take pictures, or just use it like a normal person.
We brought two portable phone chargers & alternated them. But make sure the charging stick works too. My connector broke on the 4th day & then the backup chargers were no good the rest of the day. So then on our last day, I just used my normal charging cord, which actually worked even better because then I could leave the backup charger in my bag & the cord & my phone could charge in the outside pocket which I could then easily access & use as it charged.
18. Kids Toys & Souvenirs
It’s hard to resist all the magical toys in Disney, especially the bubbles, glow sticks, & balloons during the parades & fireworks. But you can plan ahead & save money on these too! For your kids you can tell them that there will be special Disney souvenirs each morning or night & buy less expensive Disney plush toys, Disney autograph book, toys, ect. to have for them that they can take into the parks.
19. Hotel Reservations
These last two are a little more obvious, but they are also two of the most important. I will be sharing a whole post on our stay at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort & all the perks of staying at a WDW resort.
And don’t forget you can sign up for my newsletter (at the bottom of this post) so you will know as soon as this post goes live!
20. Disney Tickets
The most important part of a WDW vacation are your Disney tickets. I wrote about how we bought our tickets online & saved money in my my post 10 Things to Do 3 Months Before Your Disney Vacation.
Of course you don’t have to buy them the same way we did, there are lots of places you can buy Disney tickets online. And of course the safest way to buy them is directly from the official Disney website!
Looking for more Disney tips & advice?
CLICK HERE to see all of my Disney posts, like 15 Mistakes to Avoid During a Disney Vacation, 10 Things to Do 3 Months Before Your Disney Vacation, & much more!
What do you think is the most important thing to purchase before a WDW vacation?
Feel free to comment below, email me, or tweet me on Twitter!
With love, G
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
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