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When thinking about packing for Walt Disney World, it’s easy to find lists of items that should be packed. Common on these lists are various clothing items, frequently used over the counter medications, sunscreen, and even ponchos. But there are some lesser thought of items that can make your stay in the bubble just a little more comfortable. Below are five items that I have learned are necessary when packing for Walt Disney World that I didn’t think of or know about for my first trips.
1.) Soap infused sponges: Many people staying on Disney property have booked a vacation package that includes hotel, park tickets, and dining. In such cases, guests are also entitled to rapid refill mugs for essentially unlimited access to fountain beverages and coffee at resort quick service restaurants. This is a fantastic feature, until you fill a mug with sprite that was previously used for coffee and which, while rinsed, still retains some of that unmistakable coffee taste. To avoid this, bring along some sponges infused with dish soap. Cut one or two sponges into quarters. Wet them and wring them out. Apply a liberal amount of dish soap to the wet sponge sections and allow to air dry. Pack the dried sponge sections in ziploc bags in your luggage and have soapy sponges at hand to clean your mugs after each use! Throw the sponges away when they lose their soapiness!
2.) Toothbrush holder: I admit, this one took me a while to catch on to. There isn’t anywhere to rest your toothbrush after cleaning your teeth each morning and night. We used to set them out on facecloths. On one of our most recent trips, mousekeeping created a “toothbrush holder” for us. It worked fairly well, but it still took some effort to get the heads of the brushes to stay away from each other. It was on that trip that I finally learned that it is well worth it to pick up an inexpensive toothbrush holder and pack it along to put on the vanity in our hotel room. I got one for under $2 at a local retail store and it lives in my Disney packing bucket so it’s always ready to pack into my suitcase.
3.) Drying rack: Each hotel room tub/shower has a retractable clothesline on which you can hang your wet things from swimming, from getting caught in a Florida cloudburst, or after doing a bit of laundry. With more than two people, though, this clothesline is far from sufficient, particularly if everyone wants to shower while there are wet things to be dried. After a recent trip when this was a constant inconvenience – we used the pool a lot more than ever that visit and resorted to using the luggage rack to hang a few things on – I realized that I never knew I needed to pack a compact drying rack. I like this one that you can hang on the shower curtain rod or in your hotel room closet. It costs just around $10 and fits into your suitcase quite neatly. I’ll never travel without one again!
4.) Pop-up Hamper: I am one of those travelers who prefer to do laundry midway through our vacation as well as at the end, so as to return home with no chores on the docket. On our first trip, we utilized one of the suitcases to put the dirty laundry in for transporting to and from the laundry facilities. But this required emptying the suitcase completely, something we don’t always do depending on the size of the room we are occupying or whether we are enjoying a split stay at two different resorts. It occurred to me that it would be easier to both collect and transport the laundry if we used a pop-up hamper. These neat little items fold flat for packing in your luggage and take up very little room inside your hotel closet while keeping everything tidy at the same time. They are affordable, too – I got mine at the local bargain store! It holds just about two loads of laundry and with handles is very easy to carry from place to place.
5.) Chip clip: Most days our family is up early and out at the parks before rope drop or for morning Extra Magic Hour. On those days, we like to be awakened by the sun. But on other days, particularly after enjoying evening extra magic hours or attending a special event like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, we need to sleep in a while and the sun is not a welcome visitor then. That’s when the chip clip comes in handy! The draperies at all WDW resorts are room darkening, but where they come together there is an annoying little crack of light that gets through and wakes everyone up. Use the chip clip to tack those two drapes together and your room will stay dark as night well into the middle of the day! This is also a great idea for those mid-day naps that many families work into their days to take advantage of both early mornings AND late nights in the parks!
I hope you find these tricks as helpful when packing for Walt Disney World as I have!
For help in planning your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation contact a vacation planner at The Magic for Less Travel. Agents there can help you set up a magical resort stay where you can test out these affordable, small, lightweight items and see the difference they make in the comfort and convenience of your resort stay!
What are your favorite things to bring when packing for Walt Disney World that you didn’t know you needed until you after you took your first trip? Share them in the comments.
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I am a New Hampshire wife, mom of two great kids, and full-time obstetric nurse employed by the largest birthing unit in the state of NH. When I'm not busy with my family or work, I enjoy reading, knitting, exercising, and of course spending tons of time planning our next Disney World vacation! My family and I took our first trip to Disney World together in 2010 (it was my 6th visit to a Disney property), and we have gone as often as possible since! We love it more and more each time, and the intervals between visits seems to get shorter and shorter! I love staying on-property, and my favorite resort is Animal Kingdom Lodge. If I'm not in Disney World or at our home in NH, you might find me having a lobster roll and sitting with my feet in the sand at Rye Beach in NH, my other happy place.