Looking for the absolute BEST Disney World Essentials you should pack for your upcoming trip? These tried-and-true Disney essentials are the items you will *actually* use during your Disney World vacation.
There’s a lot that goes into planning a Disney World vacation—from navigating which parks you’re visiting when, to planning out meals, to crafting the perfect Genie+ strategy that includes your must-do rides.
But what exactly will you need to accomplish your dream Disney World plans? Because, let’s be honest. There’s a lot more that goes into a day at Disney World than pixie dust and perfectly crafted itineraries. It’s the things you pack that will keep you dry during the inevitable afternoon shower, cool in the Florida sun, and sleeping sound after a long, loooong park day.
I am breaking down my 11 must-have items that I bring on EVERY Disney trip. That way you know ~exactly~ what is a Disney essential and what can be left behind like Woody when Andy goes off to Cowboy Camp.
This post is all about disney world essentials.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a small commission if you decide to purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.
Disney World Essentials: Park Bag
1. Rechargeable Fan
There is a reason Florida is called the “Sunshine State”. The average year-round temperature in Orlando is in the upper 70’s but, if you’re visiting during the summer months you can expect temps to reach over 100°. And when you’re waiting in outdoor lines, like Slinky Dog Dash, it feels even hotter.
These ~adorable~ Mickey fans are an absolute Disney World essential to combat the Florida heat.
They’re rechargeable, so you won’t have to worry about lugging around batteries. And they’re slim enough to pop into every park bag—yes, even the Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag!
I’ve purchased other handheld fans before, but these are my absolute favorite. They pack the same punch when it comes to fan speed as the bulkier ones, but with these, I don’t risk crushing them on rides. Plus the light-up feature is a big hit with my kiddos!
2. Rain Gear
Okay, before you say “I’ll never wear that in public” here me out. Ponchos are
- Compact enough to fit in all sized park bags.
- Large enough to keep both you AND your park bag dry.
- Fairly inexpensive so you don’t have to feel guilty about tossing them if something happens to it.
Plus they come in bulk so you can have one for each park day. Meaning you won’t have to worry about storing a wet plastic bag in your hotel room each night.
I’ve used these poncho‘s on several Disney World trips and I highly recommend them—and so do over 13,000 other people on Amazon.
P.S. If you’d rather a more eco-friendly option, you should definitely consider the Disney World ponchos sold inside the parks. They’re made of a thick material that’s super durable. I can make one of those last across several trips—as long as I remember to hang it dry each night.
Now I get poncho’s aren’t for everyone. If they’re not your thing, no worries. Pack a rain jacket like this one instead!
It’s lightweight enough for the Florida heat and isn’t heavy enough to weigh down your park bag. Plus it includes a coordinating storage baggie to keep the wet jacket separate from everything else that’s dry in your park bag.
3. Portable Phone Charger
If there’s one essential item ~every~ park bag needs, it’s a portable battery pack.
You’ll use your phone for nearly everything in Disney World, from seeing ride wait times, to checking in for dining reservations, to booking Genie+ lightning lanes. But most importantly, your phone is needed to capture all the core memories made during your trip.
Without getting too techy, this one is perfect because it charges your phone faster than Lightning McQueen and allows you to charge multiple things at a time!
So, instead of having to choose between charging your cell phone or portable fan, you can charge both! It’s even strong enough to charge your phone and ipad at the same time—ideal for the flight home when both you and the kiddos need entertainment.
And, because it’s so high-quality you’ll be able to use it multiple days before it needs to be recharged—ensuring you’re never left with a dead phone battery.
4. Reusable Water Bottle
Stanley lovers, I hear you! Nothing is more magical than a Stanley cup covered with the cutest Disney stickers.
But, what you won’t love is having the exposed straw just hanging out there for any kid to touch while you’re off riding Dumbo with your littles.
- Top that’s actually leak proof
- Concealed Straw
- Holds 30oz
- Rotating handle that can easily be clipped to a carabiner
And, because it’s leakproof and doesn’t have a giant straw sticking out, you’ll be able to take it in line with you without having to worry about your autograph book getting wet. Making it the perfect Disney World essential!
5. Fanny Pack
This is hands down the BEST Fanny Pack for Walt Disney World.
It’s large enough to hold ~all~ your Disney World Essentials but not too big to where you feel like you’re going to bump the guest in line behind you.
It is an essential to keeping your wallet close at the Epcot Festival Booths and for keeping you hands-free while enjoying your eats and drinks.
Seriously, don’t even consider going to Epcot without a fanny pack during their festivals. You’ll need one large enough to hold your wallet and cell phone to keep you hands free while you walk around World Showcase nomming on festival eats and drinks. And this is the absolute best of the best for this exact situation.
If you’re a mom, this fanny pack is large enough to hold your essentials (diapers, wipes, cream, snacks) without having to run back to your stroller every time you need to grab something. And it easily slides and adjusts around your body so it doesn’t get in the way while you’re holding babe up to see the parade floats.
The material is so easy to clean too! Just dab it with a wet paper towel and you’re good to go.
It truly is the perrrrfect park bag for Disney World. And I won’t be taking any questions—unless you need help picking a color 😉 .
6. Magic Bands
MagicBands are an absolute Disney World essential.
They allow you to do ~everything~ from checking into the parks, scanning in for Virtual Queue’s and Genie+ Lightning Lanes, to unlocking your resort room door, and even paying for your Minnie Mouse ears and spirit jerseys. They’re also the best way to secure you get your on-ride photos for every attraction from The Haunted Mansion to TRON Lightcycle Run.
Plus they make for the perfect souvenir after your trip!
ESSENTIAL MAGICBAND FEATURES
- Park Ticket
- Check in for Virtual Queues and Genie+ Lightning Lanes
- Disney Resort Hotel Room Key
- Attach to Disney PhotoPass and on-ride photos
- Contactless Payment at Gift Shops and Food Locations
- Attaches to Disney Dining Plan
- Last for 2+ years
If you’re staying at an official Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, you’ll have the option to purchase MagicBands at a discounted rate before your trip! Disney doesn’t often give discounts so definitely take advantage of this perk while you can!
Don’t worry if you’re staying off-site, you can use most of the above MagicBand features too! You just won’t be able to use them as your hotel key or as a form of contactless payment.
If you’re feeling fancy, you can opt for the new MagicBand+ that lights and vibrates at different points throughout the parks. The kicker with these is although their MagicBand features work without a charge, you’ll have to remember to charge them each night if you want to enjoy the special effects.
You don’t have to opt for the most expensive MagicBand+ version (and I almost don’t think they’re worth the upcharge for most guests) to enjoy the benefits of having a MagicBand. The solid colored traditional MagicBand versions will do just fine, trust me!
If you’re on the fence of whether a MagicBand is essential for your next Disney World vacation, I want you to picture this…
You scored Genie+ Lightning Lanes for Peter Pan’s Flight for you and your whole crew! Instead of having everyone in your party scan through on their own, you’re left fumbling with everyone’s park tickets scanning each person through one at a time while you’re trying to match who belongs to what park ticket. And even if you trust your older kiddos to scan themselves in, you risk them losing their park ticket and opening a whole nother series of headaches trying to get it replaced.
So, whether you choose the new interactive MagicBand+ (shown above) or the classic MagicBands, they’re a must-have for your upcoming trip.
7. Minnie Ears
Although Minnie Mouse ears don’t technically go in your park bag, they’re still a Disney World Essential!
Minnie Mouse ears aren’t just an accessory, they’re a Disney World rite of passage.
Imagine yourself standing in Magic Kingdom, flaunting a pair of Minnie Mouse ears that perfectly match your outfit. It’s a top-of-the-bucket-list, Instagram-worthy moment you’ve dreamed about while planning your Disney vacation.
Whether you choose a budget-friendly pair from Amazon, go for a customized set on Etsy, or wait until you’re inside Disney World to select the perfect ears for your trip, Minnie Mouse ears are an iconic part of your vacation.
Minnie Mouse Ears are the perfect addition to every Disney outfit and are made for the tiniest of princesses up to the fairy Godmother in your life.
So, grab your Minnie Mouse ears and get ready to pose in front of Cinderella Castle. It’s a moment you’ll treasure forever!
Disney World Essentials: Resort Room
1. Travel Sound Machine
Even if you don’t use a sound machine regularly at home, you’ll find they play a key role in keeping everyone rested on vacation – especially if you’re staying at one of Disney’s Value Resorts or Moderate Resorts where the hotel door goes directly to the outside.
They’re perfect for you if your room is near the resort pool. Disney’s Resorts have loud poolside entertainment and activities throughout the day that can make it tough to get a nap in for your little one (or for yourself, I see you).
I’ve had the older version of this sound machine for many years and absolutely LOVE it. It stays in my daughter’s suitcase and comes along with us ~everywhere~, not just to Disney World.
It has several sounds to choose from. It’s lightweight and compact making it super portable. And, with a timer option available, it doubles as an alarm clock so you don’t oversleep for that Disney dining reservation you made 60 days ago!
Finally, because it can run on batteries you’ll be able to use it in the car as you travel too!
2. Over-the-door Organizer
This is another Disney World essential that lives in my suitcase year-round.
It’s a simple, inexpensive over-the-door organizer with pockets that can be used to organize your hotel room as well as, if not better, than the ladies from The Home Edit.
If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel room for an extended period of time, you know how small they can be. With the limiting counter-space, you’re going to be searching for somewhere to store your essentials, like:
- Hair Accessories
- Extra Ziplock Bags
The organizational options are endless. Think of it as your personal counter extension for optimizing your resort bathroom.
No more digging through every bag in the hotel room searching for medicine at the end of a long park day and no more missing the Disney bus because you couldn’t find which suitcase you packed the sunscreen in.
Bonus Tip Just for Parents: If you’re traveling with a stroller, grab an extra one! Cut it to the length of your stroller before securely attaching it to the handlebar. This will transform your park stroller into an organized hub on wheels.
Although the newly renovated rooms at Walt Disney World offer plenty of outlets, a trusty power strip remains a must-have for your vacation and quite possibly deserves a permanent spot in your suitcase.
What I love about this power strip is that the cord wraps around the charging unit for easy storage and packing.
The real magic happens when you use the power strip to plug all your Disney essentials in one convenient spot. No more wandering around the room to find outlets. It’s a power hub for your portable battery pack, MagicBand+, cell phones, stroller fants, and all those essential park bag gadgets.
Who wants to make extra trips around the room when you can have everything in one spot? Plus, with everything charging in one central location, you won’t accidentally leave anything behind, ensuring you have a practically perfect Disney day!
4. Collapsible Laundry Basket
Are you sitting down? Because I’m about to give you the secret to stress-free travel.
Use collapsible laundry baskets to store dirty laundry throughout your trip. BUT, here’s the ~real~ secret. Instead of unloading the hamper as you are packing to leave, pour it all into one suitcase. Then, after you’ve made it back home, dump the dirty clothes directly from the suitcase into the washer.
For an even smoother transition back to reality, use two hampers – one for the adults and one for the kiddos and dump those into their own suitcases too.
When you’re out of the Disney bubble, all you have to do is dump the suitcase of dirty clothes into the washer, pour a glass of wine, and think about all of the magical moments from your trip while giving yourself a pat on the back for making it all happen.
Just don’t forget to move your clothes over to the dryer afterward!
5. Packing Cubes
If you haven’t invested in these magical organizers yet, what are you waiting for? Not only are they a Disney World essential, but they’re a travel essential that you’ll use every time you reach for your suitcase.
You’ll especially love these packing cubes for Disney World because they they allow you to pack by park day rather than person.
What do I mean by that?
Since you’ve already perfectly coordinated your outfits by what you’re doing each day, stick them all in one packing cube. While you’re in Disney, just grab the packing cube for that park day and simply distribute everyone’s outfits rather than digging through 4 different suitcases hoping you’ve got everyone wearing the correct outfit for that day.
As an added tip, if you’re bringing toddlers along, pack their back-up out fit for each day in the packing cubes too!
Seriously, packing cubes are life saving in general, but especially for Disney World.
- My ~favorite~ packing cubes that I’ve used over and over again.
- Compression Packing Cubes that have made my wishlist for our next trip—they compress everything down to make even more room in your suitcase for souvenirs!
There you have it! 11 super useful Disney World Essentials you can’t forget to pack for your next trip! If you found this post helpful, be sure to save it to pinterest or share with a friend! And I hope YOU have an absolutely magical Disney World vacation!