If you are planning to visit any of the Disney theme parks, you’ve surely noticed by now that there’s a plethora of advice and information available. This is the narrowed down version of absolute essentials.
Your time at the theme parks will certainly be magical, but having these items on hand will help make the experience even more exceptional:
Disney Vacation Planning DVD: Visit http://disneyparks.disney.go.com where you will find oodles of information on the parks and a link to order a free Disney Vacation Planning DVD that is chock full of terrific visuals and information.
After watching, you will have a real feel for everything Walt Disney World has to offer.
Disney Maps: Visit http://customizedmaps.disney.go.com/ before or after your visit to Disney to create a free personalized map of the theme parks, highlighting your favorite attractions. The maps are perfect for scrapbooks or for creating a fabulous memory mural to serve as a wonderful visual reminder of the highlights from your trip.
Water-resistant or water-proof backpack or satchel. Most of the Disney theme parks offer water rides or you may just decide to spend an entire day at one of Disney’s fantastic water parks. Either way, you will appreciate having a bag with you that can withstand moisture, keeping your wallet, cell phone, and other important items safe and dry.
Travel wallet. You won’t need your frequent shopper cards, library cards, or sixty percent of the other items you pack into your wallet. Consider investing in a smaller, lighter wallet with a wrist strap that you can easily carry wherever you go, with the simple essentials you will need on your trip.
Walking shoes. Preferably, bring a pair of shoes you have already worn and broken-in that offer good support. The average person walks around 8-10 miles per day in a Disney theme park. Cramped shoes or blisters would be a real bummer that could potential ruin your trip!
Sun support. A sunhat, sunglasses, and pocket sunscreen are necessities for visiting Disney theme parks. Though you may spend a good part of the day inside on rides, watching shows, or dining, you will still spend a significant amount of time outdoors in the sun. Don’t let hazy days fool you, either; harmful rays can still get through.
Notebook and Sharpie. If you plan on getting character autographs (if you have the kiddos with you, be sure to plan for this) pick up a nice notebook with a Disney theme ahead of time. You’ll find them far cheaper at your local retailer than purchasing at the theme parks. Markers work best for most autographs as the characters often have gloves on as part of their costume.
Hand sanitizer. Chances are you will want to grab a snack or a bite to eat and there may not be a convenient restroom nearby. Or you may come into contact with something gooey (think lots of children eating ice cream and cotton candy) while waiting in line for rides. A small bottle of hand sanitizer (or better yet, hand sanitizer wipes,) will be a blessing, when needed.
Aspirin and bandaids. There are first aid stations in all of the Disney theme parks to help with minor mishaps, but you may be on the other side of the park when a headache or blister occurs. Better to have it on hand than to have to struggle to walk another mile to get relief.
Disney Apps: Search iTunes or the Android mall for free apps like Lantek Solutions “WDW- What to Ride.” These apps highlight various theme park attractions and can provide valuable insights for your trip.
Disney’s free “Radio Disney” App is also great fun to have on your smartphone, offering 24/7 Radio Disney programming.
You can also visit http://touringplans.com/disney-world-app to find downloads for Disney World Apps created by Disney to help you with wait times for every attraction and real time data for your visit. There is a subscription fee for this service, but it offers plenty of perks.