Pack Smart & Save Time
I packed clothes for the kids in two gallon ziplock bags. Each bag was marked with a day of the week. For example, in Friday’s bag, I packed a complete outfit for each child, including socks, underwear, and a Disney princess dress for my daughter to wear over her clothes. This was a huge timesaver in the mornings, because while I was drying my hair or nursing the baby, my husband or one of my sisters could get the kids dressed easily, with very little instruction from me.
What to pack
There are a ton of great Disney packing lists out there, so I won’t reinvent the wheel. Google it! But a few essentials that you might not consider are a camera and extra batteries (which we forgot), a first aid kit that includes moleskin for blisters, and a small backpack.
With our three kids, we had plenty of space for toting around gear because we needed strollers for all of them, so we had huge bags attached to the back of the stroller that my husband’s aunt made. If you’re interested in having a bag like this one made for your Disney trip, you can contact Sew & Tell on Facebook. They made these bags and our matching Disney outfits.
However, I also used a very small backpack for keeping our “no way can we lose this” stuff. Whenever we got on a ride, all I had to do was grab my backpack and the baby. Because it’s Disney World, we knew the rest of our stuff was safe back at the stroller, but I still wasn’t going to leave my wallet, our park passes, or my camera sitting outside of It’s a Small World.
As soon as I learned that we were going to Disney, I started pinning like crazy to get some great ideas for our trip.
That’s where I learned all about autograph books. Evidently, parents pay $15 bucks for a Disney book with white pages inside because kids absolutely love collecting the characters’ autographs. But one pinner had this awesome idea:
Buy a photo mat in whatever size you want and get the characters to autograph it! It saves money and it’s something that you can actually use in the future.
The only challenge is keeping it straight, but again, since we had the big bags on the back of our umbrella strollers, it wasn’t a problem at all.
Prep the Kids too!
Before our trip, I read The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids and learned lots of helpful ideas. One thing the authors pointed out was that children don’t understand what to expect from the characters. My children, for example, knew that they were going to meet Mickey Mouse. But to them, Mickey was the cute little cartoon mouse on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse <cue theme music.> Kids have no idea that Mickey and his friends will be so huge in relation to them.
I took their advice and found some great Mickey Sing Along videos on YouTube. While I was busy cleaning house or packing for the trip, I let my kids watch some of these short videos so that they could see a giant foam Mickey and Friends dancing and singing with kids. The videos really got them excited about our trip, and even my Nervous Nelly, Andrew, was not afraid of the characters at all.
Any great ideas for packing at Disney? What are the essentials? Do your kids love collecting the characters’ autographs? I have to confess that I enjoyed it way more than my kids!