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Since Emily was born, in December 2014, we’ve gone to Walt Disney World with her 4 times. (I know she is one lucky little girl.) My husband and I have been to Walt Disney World 5 times together, as a couple. And then a few more times through the years before that, with family and friends. So to say that we are starting to become “pros” at traveling to Walt Disney World might be a reasonable assumption. I can at least say that we know what we’re doing … so far.
Now we always bring the essentials: clothes, changes of clothes, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, etc. The general things that you need on a vacation. Having gone to Walt Disney World so many times with a toddler, I’ve made a list of things that I think you should definitely bring to Walt Disney World when you bring a toddler along. So learn from my experience …
#1. Comfortable stroller … I know that some people will rent strollers; there are many companies who make money off of renting strollers to people. Most airlines, at least the ones I’ve been on, will courtesy gate check a stroller. So, we always bring ours with us. There is ample parking for strollers in the parks. That being said, make sure you have a good one. We bring our jogging stroller with us. It’s roomie and comfortable, so our daughter can be comfortable while she’s in it. She even falls asleep in it. We’ll sometimes get a good nap out of her, just lounging in the stroller. So comfort is key.
#2. Stroller fans … On our first trip with Emily, we saw a couple with a stroller fan. We thought, this is genius! Why hadn’t we thought of that??? So we made sure to get one for our next trip. Now, we never leave on a Disney trip without them. Emily can lounge and keep as cool as possible. Let’s face it, it’s Florida. It gets hot … most of the time. So keeping little ones cool is a necessity. You can usually find these at a Babies-R-Us or on Amazon. Just Google “stroller fans” and many options will come up.
Which brings me to my next item …
#3. Water bottles … We bring our own refillable/reusable water bottles to the parks. You can go up to any quick service or snack booth, with fountain drinks, and get cold water. Ask for a cup of ice water and they’ll give you one. FREE OF CHARGE. So we usually get a few and then fill our bottles. My husband and I bring individual Crystal Light packets as well. Sometimes you want a lemonade or iced tea instead of just ice water. But hey, feel free to just bring the water bottle and get the water for free. We used the Contigo Autospout bottles on our last trip, and they worked great. I highly recommend them.
#4. Sunscreen … Like I said before, it’s Florida … and it gets HOT. Which means you’re getting lots of the sun’s rays. So make sure to slather on the sunscreen. We make sure we have really good ones, so I suggest you do the same. We bring Blue Lizard, as well as Babyganics.
#5. Hand sanitizer … I’m not sure about other kids, but my daughter will sometimes have a problem with washing her hands in public places. She doesn’t like me lifting her up and propping her against the sink to wash her hands. So … I always make sure to bring hand sanitizer with me. Babyganics makes a great sanitizer that is alcohol free, so it’s not so harsh for little ones.
#6. Wipes … I always bring wipes of all kinds. I bring Huggies wipes, for almost any kind of need. Wiping hands. Wiping her face. Wiping her nose. Wiping anything. I also bring Boogie Wipes; in case she starts to get a runny nose. If I can get them, I bring a travel size Lysol or Clorox wipes. You never know when you’re going to need to wipe something down … can’t be too careful.
#7. Stroller rain cover … If it isn’t sunny and hot in Florida, chances are it’s raining. So bringing ponchos for adults, and stroller covers for anyone in a stroller is key. We always brought ours with us, but never used it until our last time there. It helped a lot. Emily wasn’t THRILLED with it, but she knew it kept the rain off of her. Make sure you always have it in your backpack/bag when you’re going to the parks. You may never need it, but you never know when there will be a sudden rain storm.
#8. Crayola Color Wonder … We buy Color Wonder products specifically for when we travel. (We now also use them all the time, but that’s beside the point.) That way Emily can only use the markers on special paper … no mess on other things. We don’t have to worry about her getting marker on the beds or chairs or table or floors. [These are for when she needs to keep busy; on the airplane, waiting in a restaurant, or waiting on her father and I in the resort room.]
#9. Electronics … We bring our daughter’s Leapfrog Epic with us, so she can play games and watch “movies” on it. Usually the games and movies you have on a Leapfrog are going to be educational. My daughter loves them. We also bring our own tablets/iPads with us, which have Disney movies on them. We also bring headphones, so our electronics do not inconvenience anyone else.
***Now, I know people are going to say … “You shouldn’t bring electronics with you to Disney World. They’re in Disney, why do they need something like that? That’s just bad parenting.” … Have you ever been in the midst of a cranky toddler tantrum? Well for our daughter, sometimes having the electronics can give her the distraction she needs until we can get her a snack or get onto a ride. I make no apologies for doing what we need to do as parents.***
#10. This one is if you aren’t on a dining plan or have a VERY picky eater … Snacks … Walt Disney World will let you bring food into the parks … so bring snacks that you know your kid will eat. We used to bring Goldfish crackers, Gerber puffs, Motts applesauce pouches, and more. Now, Emily has gotten less picky with her snacks and will eat snacks that they have in the parks … she and I always split a popcorn at least once.
Now our daughter is 3 years old, so there are some things on our list that might not apply to younger toddlers. There are also things that you might need to bring for younger toddlers that aren’t on my list … diapers, sippy cups, pacifiers, etc.
I hope my list of our must haves has been insightful for you. You don’t have to take my advice, but thank you for taking the time to read it. Most of all, have a great time planning your Walt Disney World trip. I know I love the planning process. Enjoy your trip!