It is important for me to make a list of everything I want or need to bring on every vacation several weeks in advance so I can try to avoid forgetting anything! Being organized is my specialty. I figure if I allow enough time, my mind may spontaneously remember an important item to add to the list while I’m not thinking about it. The brain can be so weird like that. We’re only human and we are not perfect, which allows me to give you the top items we often forget to pack.
We tend to focus our pre-planning dining reservations and our days at the parks. We tend to forget about the time we MIGHT spend at the resort pools. While you may not plan on going to a water park or going in the resort pool, plans change. People get tired and parks may get too crowded.
The Florida heat may be too much for your vacation party. Everyone may want to go back to the resort to rest poolside and/or swim to cool off. You could wait in line at a water ride, but so are a few hundred people. Plus, there is no guarantee you will get wet! Bathing suits do not add much room to your suitcase. It is better to have them and not need them than to not have them and wish you did.
Yes, I know, it is Florida, but depending on the time of year, you may need a jacket or a sweatshirt. They are mostly needed at night, but there have been times where the day time temps will be cooler than expected in November through March. Plus, the air conditioning is running so high in the restaurants in the summer that it may be too cool for a few of you while you eat.
Temporary AC blasts in stores and hallways are no big deal, because you can control how long you stay there, but dining is a different story. Mornings can start out very cool, also, depending on the season. Check the weather channel for a local forecast a couple days before you go to Walt Disney World.
I know you are wondering how I came up with this one. It is actually the strategy of how you carry credit cards versus forgetting them altogether. Most couples carry joint credit cards all the time, but if someone’s wallet is lost or stolen, both cards are closed. So, what do you have left to use if all of your joint cards are closed? Either have one of you carry their own personal cards or have each one of you carry different joint cards.
Example: My husband and I carry our joint Disney credit cards, but his other two back-up cards are US Bank and BOA. My back-up cards are Citibank and Barclays Bank. If my purse is stolen, we still have US Bank and BOA to use without any problems.
Most first time visitors think they will wear one outfit per day, but 9 times out of 10, you change. You want fresh clothes after you go swimming. You probably want fresh clothes after playing in a hot theme park all day. At a minimum, extra socks and underwear are highly recommended.
If you like getting Disney dollars, like me, or points/dollars on whatever card you use, we use the credit card for as much as possible. However, there are times when cash is needed. Because we use our Disney card so much, I can only think of a couple times I needed cash. You need them for tips and coins for the pressed penny machines.
If you think of the tips you would need as soon as you step out of your house to leave for Walt Disney World, you will come up with several instances where cash for tips is needed. Click here for tipping on your Disney vacation. To name a few places where you will need cash for tipping: Special airport assistance, Valet, Flight attendant tip for alcohol drinks, Concierge, Bell Services, etc.
Nothing worse than not having sunscreen and spend your vacation like a cooked lobster. You can pay an astronomical amount of money on a bottle when you get there to Disney. I do not like either of those options. Be sure to pack enough for the whole family to apply at least twice per day.
Extra Camera Memory
I can tell you, through experience, how awful it is to see your camera tell you that you do not have enough memory to take anymore pictures. My camera takes video, also. Video takes up so much more memory than pictures. Once again, do you want to pay the astronomical Disney prices for another SD card? Buy an extra one before you leave home.
Ponchos or Rain Jackets
Central Florida is prone to rain showers. Especially in the summer. Yes, you can purchase very cheap ponchos at a local store at home and they can be thrown away. On the flip side, the Disney ponchos are of higher quality and can be reused. You could bring ponchos or rain jackets with you, but I opted to buy Disney ponchos the first time we needed them. We keep them for future trips. You will pay a premium price, but if you do not already own ponchos, think about waiting until you need them at the parks.
Buy them at Disney, if you need them and save them to bring with you on future trips. You will have the classic Disney characters on them and a nice keepsake for all ages to be used many times over the years. (Except, the little kids will need an upgrade as they grow out of their poncho.) If you plan on going to Disney more than once, in the long run, buying the Disney poncho is more cost effective. Out of the dozens of times I have been to Disney, I needed a poncho twice.
Oooh, for the love of Mickey! I do not usually wear sunglasses at home so I tend to forget them every. single. TIME!!
Camera–Extra Batteries/Charging Cords
Camera—CHECK! But, what about a charging cord or extra batteries? If you want to save yourself some money at Walt Disney World, be sure to bring extra batteries or your charging cord. No matter where you go in the US, the price of charging your phone at your vacation location will be very expensive. You know why? Because they can charge those insane prices! They know you will not put the camera away and stop taking pictures. It is not like you forgot a bathing suit and will just skip swimming. Your camera is the most important item next to your flight ticket, credit card, driver’s license/passport and MagicBands.
It is so important to remember you are going on vacation. There is so much to do and so much you want to cover in a short period of time that the stress of it all can take over. You say now “It is ok. That is not me. We will be fine.” But, trust me, when the crowds are high and the weather temps/humidity are taking a toll on you, it will test you. With all of that walking and the long lines at every attraction are wearing on your nerves, you need to remember to breathe. Stop, reset, have patience and remember that it is supposed to be a vacation.