The next post in the WHERE and HOW series focuses on an overnight trip to Disney World in early December. This was our third trip to Disney this fall, but only the second one we have written about. Since the last post focused on what we packed, the goal of this post is to focus more on how to pack for Disney World. We always seem to over-pack for Disney trips; probably because we are traveling by car and plan for a lot of activities. So when we packed for this trip, we really considered each item to see how minimal we could pack. So what were our essentials? Read on to find out!
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A Few Notes on Gear:
- Joovy Double stroller – We find that a double stroller is essential for Disney, even though we rarely use it outside of theme parks. We find it extremely useful in this environment to keep the kids contained in such a busy place.
- Boba – We don’t use a baby carrier as much anymore, but it is especially useful for our family when at Disney because it gives us the flexibility to stay up later at the parks because it is another place to put our daughter “to bed” when she is ready.
- Mommy hook on the stroller – A hook on the stroller is especially useful to hang things quickly, and be able to grab many items at once when going in and out of rides and/or the car/hotel.
- Kelty 32L backpack – This backpack held our clothing and other items that we packed but didn’t bring in the parks. We love this backpack; it is comfortable to wear for both mom and dad, has wonderfully placed pockets (sides, front, and top), and a very generous main pocket that can hold 2 of our compression sacs stuffed full with room to spare at the top for the kids lovies.
- Small backpack – We used a small Longchamp backpack to hold our “diaper bag” essentials which included diapers, wipes, a change of clothing for each child (with long pants as it was expected to get cool at night), a small first aid kit, snacks, a few lollipops, Ziploc bags for leftover food, water bottles for the kids, and Mom’s wallet and phone. We also kept an extra-large water bottle with “refill” water in the stroller.
- Small compression sacs – We only needed one of these this trip to fit all of our clothing as we only packed the sleep sheet, pajamas, an outfit for the next day, and an extra change of clothing for our daughter. The day bag contained another extra outfit for each child, so each adult had two outfits each, our son had 3 outfits, and daughter had four outfits (including what we each wore on the first day of the trip). A tip that is obvious to the parents reading this post, but we have experienced that the need to have an extra change of clothing decreases with age, so as the reasoning to not bring extra outfits for the adults, only one extra for our oldest, and two for our youngest.
Boy (4 years old): pajamas, sunglasses, 3 outfits, 3 underwear, 2 socks, sneakers, fleece jacket (fleece is easy to clean on the go), Elmo lovie.
Girl (16 months old): pajamas, 4 outfits, 2 socks, sneakers, ~14 diapers, pack of wipes, fleece jacket, lovie.
Mom: jeans/tank top (day 1 outfit), capris/tank top (day 2 outfit), light jacket, Toms shoes, socks, undergarments, leggings/sleep shirt (pajamas), sleep sheet, sunglasses/glasses/case, iPhone/charger, wallet.
Dad: jeans/tee-shirt (day 1 outfit), shorts/tee-shirt (day 2 outfit), socks, sneakers, undergarments, hat, sunglasses, gym shorts (pajamas), iPhone, wallet.
Toiletries (all travel sized): sunscreen, mini container of shampoo/body wash (all-in-one that we all use at home too), first aid kit in wet pouch with children’s Tylenol and diaper cream, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, ear plugs, razor, hair elastics, hand sanitizer, makeup (mascara, chap stick, cover-up).
Food/Water: We packed two 12oz Kleen Kanteen water bottles for the kids and a large Kleen Kanteen water bottle for “refill” water. We drink out of stainless steel cups at home and “on the road” in an effort to decrease our use of plastic and, we have a tendency to break any glass we come in contact with. For food, we only packed a few tea bags, snacks for the kids, and lunch for the kids for the first day to have in the car. We also always have lollipops with us, and Ziploc bags on hand for leftover food/snacks.
Other: Besides the gear mentioned in the first category above, we kept raincoats/umbrellas in our car in case of rain and we packed our Disney specific items (Disney Vacation Club (DVC) cards, Magic Bands, and annual passes). We also packed “Snowy”, who is our family mascot when we travel to Disney World over the holiday season.
Stay tuned as we evolve in our travels! Please comment with your tips and experiences so we can all learn together.
Happy (and Light) Travels!
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