What to pack for Disney World: the ultimate guide

An open suitcase filled with vacation things including clothes, a tablet, and sun cream

Packing is one of the most exciting parts of planning a trip and packing for Disney World is no exception. Knowing what to bring and what to leave at home can be really tricky, especially if you’re traveling with young kids or older family members.

We’re here to make sure your pre-trip preparations run smoothly. Just follow these simple packing for Disney tips for a stress-free trip – and a lighter-than-usual suitcase.

Essential things to pack for Disney World

  • Passport: If you’re visiting from abroad, this should be at the top of your packing list.
  • Dollars: Bringing US dollars from home isn’t strictly necessary, as you can always withdraw cash from an ATM on arrival. But for added peace of mind, or if you don’t want to delay getting to your transfers, you might want to get some dollars before you fly.
  • Accommodation details: Make sure you have the directions to your villa with you, as well as all your booking details. If you’ve arranged a private transfer with our Guest Experience team, you won’t need to worry about finding your way, but it is always handy to have your details to hand so you know where you’re going and what to expect. If you still haven’t booked your vacation home, you can browse our full selection of Orlando villa rentals here.
  • Headphones: Even though most airlines supply headphones, we’d recommend bringing a pair of your own. They’ll fit more comfortably and might even help to block out some plane noise.
  • Travel insurance documents: You should always take out comprehensive travel insurance for your trip. A good policy will not only protect your personal belongings but also help to cover your costs in the event of illness, an accident, or a delayed flight.
  • Other travel documents: Remember to sort your ESTA or visa well in advance, have your flight tickets packed away in a safe place, as well as pack all your other travel documents such as a negative Covid test result. Restrictions can change at short notice, so check regularly to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Plug adapter: Electrical appliances in Florida use flat-pin plugs. If you’re visiting from overseas, you’ll need to bring a plug adapter with you to charge your devices. On that note…
  • Mobile phone and charging cable: Make sure you have your mobile phone with you before you set off, as well as everything you need to charge it throughout your stay.
  • Clothing: Disney World is a wonderful place to express yourself through your outfits, but there are few things to bear in mind when picking out your clothes. For example, what you wear during your park visits hugely depends on the time of year and level of expected rainfall. Check out our guide on What To Wear To Disney World for helpful tips and tricks. 
  • Medicines: Remember to bring all of your prescription medicines, as well as any first aid items you might like to have handy throughout your journey and beyond, such as painkillers, antiseptic wipes, and plasters for any cuts or scrapes.
  • Toiletries: To help keep you feeling ready and prepared for the day, make sure to bring all your normal toiletries, including your toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, moisturiser and shower gel.
  • Snacks: Especially if you have little ones, keeping snacks on hand to satisfy any rumbling tummies throughout your journey is very useful indeed.
  • Camera: Disney World is jam-packed full of photo opportunities, so it is a great idea of bringing your camera if you aren’t using your phone for photographs.

What to bring to Disney World

There’s no point in bringing your whole suitcase to Disney World, but a small backpack or handbag can be useful for carrying a few essential supplies. For an unforgettable experience, you’ll want to protect yourself from the sun and stay hydrated throughout the day.

  • Camera: Pictures are the best way to capture all of the heartwarming and thrilling moments at Disney World. Taking your camera or phone along with you will allow you to keep snapping all day long. To keep your camera safe on rides, it’s best to store it in your bag. There’s usually a safe spot to keep it locked away. If the ride is quite tame, you can wear it on a strap or simply hold onto it.
  • Hands-free bag or backpack: A trip to Disney World consists of a lot of walking and standing, so you want to bring the most practical and comfortable bag possible. You could opt for a backpack, which also has plenty of capacity for everything you need to bring for the day, or a hands-free bag that can clip around your body.
  • Rain poncho: Even though Orlando is known for its year-round sunshine, downpours do occur – especially in hurricane season. We’d recommend bringing a poncho with you, not only for the odd outbreak of bad weather, but also for some of the big splash rides. Disney sells its own ponchos for around $10, but they’re much cheaper in regular shops outside of the theme parks.
  • Sunscreen: The sun in Orlando is strong and it’s easy to get burnt, even on overcast days. We’d recommend packing a high-factor sunscreen, especially for younger travelers. If you don’t want to carry big bottles of sunscreen around, most local drugstores sell travel-sized versions or sprayable bottles.
  • Mobile phone and phone charger or battery booster: Long days full of photos and phone calls can quickly drain batteries. If you bring a charger with you, you’ll be able to give your batteries a quick boost at anytime. You could also invest in a portable battery pack.
  • Attraction tickets: Keep these on hand in order to get into the parks, along with your park reservations. If you haven’t already purchased your attraction tickets, our Guest Experience team is on hand to arrange them for you.
  • Cash: Make sure you bring some cash for your tips.
  • Debit card: Keep your debit or credit card handy, but make sure you check what your provider’s fees are for use abroad. You could consider using a prepaid currency card like Fair FX.
  • Comfortable shoes: You’ll be doing lots of walking, so make sure you have comfortable, waterproof shoes.
  • Face Masks: Make sure you bring your face masks in case you need to use one in an indoor location, or riding Disney transport. They are available for sale in Disney in the merchandise shops, though these tend to be very far and few between.
  • ID: It is always a good idea to have ID to hand when you are traveling. Also, your ID may need to be checked in the Disney World parks if you are hoping to purchase any alcoholic beverages.
  • First-aid kit: First-aid stations are dotted around each Disney park. However, it’s useful to pack your own supply in case of a trip or fall. Band-aids, pain relief and antiseptic wipes are always handy to carry around for children.

Extras to take to Disney World if traveling with kids

As you’d expect, Disney is used to welcoming little ones. Therefore, you’ll find most of the supplies you need within the parks. Even so, there are a few things you can bring along to make the day run smoothly.

  • Snacks and water: Most guests aren’t aware that you are allowed to bring food and drink into the parks. Take advantage of this by stocking up on fruit and high-energy snacks before you arrive. It can get really warm in the middle of the day, so it’s important to carry water with you. It’s important to stay hydrated if you’ll be visiting many parks and doing a lot of walking. Water fountains are available throughout the parks. This allows you to fill up your own bottle for free.
  • Strollers: Strollers and pushchairs are available at all of the Disney parks, including Disney Springs. These can be rented day by day, or for several days in a row. There’s also the option to bring your own stroller. Just make sure it’s no larger than 31′ x 52′ in size.
  • Autograph books: The Disney parks are home to lots of movie favourites, from Mickey Mouse to the lovely Disney princesses. No matter how old you are, there’s nothing more remarkable than seeing those characters brought to life. Needless to say, an autograph book is a must-have for the children visiting Disney. They’ll be able to capture and cherish all their favourite characters’ signatures and look back on them in years to come. Unfortunately, you can’t currently get autographs from the characters, so for the time being, you won’t need to bring an autograph book.
  • Ear plugs: Disney puts on incredible firework displays every night. If your child has sensitive ears or doesn’t like loud noises, consider bringing child-sized earplugs.
  • Wet wipes/hand sanitizer: Kids get sticky fingers especially when touching hand rails or eating, so it’s a good idea to carry travel-sized wipes. Also, hand sanitizer is a life saver if you want to clean your hands thoroughly before eating.

What can’t I bring into the Disney World parks? 

There are a few rules on what you can and can’t bring into Disney World. Make sure you leave these items at home.

  • Big bags: There’s no limit on bringing luggage into the Disney parks, but bags must not exceed 24″ x 15″ x 18″. The only other exception is the Animal Kingdom; cooler bags, plastic straws, lids and balloons are prohibited to protect the resident animals. You can take in soft-shelled bags like backpacks. If you’d rather not carry bags around all day, lockers are available in each park.
  • Big strollers: Many people take their own strollers into the parks instead of renting at Disney, simply because it’s cheaper. However, they must not exceed 36″ x 52″ in size. Whether you’re using your own stroller or one from the parks, remember that they are banned in Disney restaurants and ride queues. Use the special parking areas designated for strollers.
  • Alcohol: You can buy alcoholic drinks at Disney but you cannot bring your own.
  • Food that needs heating: Although you can bring your own food to the parks, it’s not recommended to bring anything that needs heating up. By law, restaurants cannot do this.
  • Glass: With the exception of baby food glasses, no glass is allowed to be brought in for the guests’ safety.
  • Selfie sticks: You cannot bring a selfie stick, or any kind of extension pole for your camera or mobile phone. Instead, hold your mobile phone yourself to take photos, or take advantage of the various Disney World photographers located around the park.

Seasonal packing tips for Disney World vacations

The weather changes a lot throughout the year in Orlando, so you’ll need to pack accordingly. Take a look at our Florida climate guide for more details. Disney World’s crowds also ebb and flow, depending on national holidays, one-off events, and things like school breaks. Use our crowd calendar to find quiet times of the year to visit. Then, read the tips below for suggestions on packing for Disney World.

Packing for Disney in Summer

Summer at Disney can be extremely hot, so make sure you pack plenty of summery clothes. You’ll also want to pack some of the following summer extras:

  • Bathing suit: The summer season in Orlando is a real scorcher. So what better way to escape the heat than going to one of Disney’s water parks? Keep a towel and a bathing suit or an extra pair of shorts in your backpack. That way you can change if you decide to make a detour to a water park for a swim. TIP: visit the main parks in the early morning or late afternoon, when it’s quiet. Then, drop by the water parks at midday to cool off.
  • Sunglasses: An essential all year round in Orlando, sunglasses are even more important in the summer months. These will help protect your eyes from harmful rays when walking around or on rides.

Packing for Disney in Spring, fall and winter

There’s a good chance of nice weather right throughout the year in Orlando. For a mixture of nice weather and low crowds, September is a good choice. The weather is still reliably warm and, as the kids are back at school, it’s not quite as busy.

  • Light jackets: In the winter months especially, the air can get quite chilly, so make sure you have a light jacket or cardigan stowed in your bag so it is easy to get to if the temperature takes a turn.
  • Costumes: At Disney World, it’s always fun for younger guests to dress in costume, getting them in the Halloween spirit. Be aware that guests over the age of 14 cannot wear costumes in the parks.

Booking your Orlando vacation home near Disney

If you’re booking an Orlando Disney trip, check out these outstanding vacation homes in Orlando. Our Guest Experience team will be able to arrange car hire, attraction tickets, and any additional services you require for your villa stay.