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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What Not To Pack. . .

Preparing for any vacation involves packing, especially a Disney vacation.  Given the number of times we have been to Walt Disney World or taken a Disney Cruise, we have learned what not to pack.

Beach Towels—whether you are visiting Walt Disney World or taking a Disney Cruise vacation, you will not need to pack beach towels.  Towels are plentiful at the Disney resorts and are available pool side at both themed pools and “quiet” pools.  Just look for the portable towel container.  Clean towels are on the shelves on top and towels needing washed are placed in the compartment at the bottom.  Towels can be found in the cupboards near the pools marked “towels” or in crates as you exit the ship at Castaway Cay.  You can take towels off the ship for excursions. . . just return them to the ship.  There are towel return containers at various locations on Castaway Cay and just before entering the ship.

Now, having said that, a beach towel can come in handy to sit on during parades or to dry you, your family, or a stroller after rain when touring the theme parks, but only if you are willing to carry it around with you.  It is not something we do, but we have seen it done by others.

Shampoo, Soap, and possibly lotion—Disney resorts have their own brand of shampoo/conditioner combo and soap available to guests.  Disney ships have shampoo, body scrub, lotion, and depending on the category of stateroom—solar relief gel.  All of these products are of high quality and they are replenished daily, so quantity is not a problem.  We bring extras home! 

I am so used to not packing these items, that during one of our “pre-trip” hotel stays, I was left to wash my hair using body wash, as the motel did not supply tiny bottles of shampoo.  Turns out body wash does just as good a job as shampoo.

Uncomfortable Shoes—You know what I’m talking about.  I have said out loud that I am too old to wear uncomfortable shoes, but this applies to all ages when traveling to Walt Disney World.  We have seen people in high heels, boots, etc.  I overheard a lady in a hot tub one night complaining that even wearing her flimsy flip flops that she had gotten blisters.  Duh!  Comfortable and sturdy shoes or sandals.  We even apply this rule when packing for a Disney Cruise.  I don’t want to be perched on high heels while trying to navigate a moving ship.

Pillows—This is a sensitive topic, as I have seen and heard people traveling with and packing their pillows.  We have found that pillows and bedding in general at both the Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line to be quite comfy.  We do, though, pack a pillow case for the boy.  We put it on his pillow and it gives him the smell and texture of home to help him drift off to sleep in an unfamiliar setting.  And, it takes up much less space!

Non-Disney apparel or items—The husband astutely pointed out that we don’t pack any “competition” items, such as Universal, when taking a Disney vacation.  I’m a bit of a purest when it comes to this issue.  We’ve all seen the “Thing 1” etc. shirts when visiting Disney parks and I feel those deserve to worn at the respective theme park.  We didn’t wear Disney apparel when we visited Universal.  Again, something I feel strongly about, but to each his own.

Bottles of Water—Okay, I have heard the complaints about the taste of Orlando tap water, yet personally, I have not been effected.  We have seen people carrying, packing, and purchasing cases of water to drink while on the ship or at the parks.  And, yet, water throughout the parks is FREE!  Guests can at any time go to a counter service location and ask for a water.  There will be a register transaction, just so the computer can register the order and the person behind the counter can prepare the order, but there will be no exchange of money.  And, soon, you will be holding a large glass of ice water with a lid so that you can get a straw.  Simple as that!  No trying to figure out how to keep bottles of water cold.  No lugging around water bottles.  On the ship, water is available 24 hours a day at the beverage station on Deck 9 or 11, depending on your ship.

We usually have at least one bottle of water that we have grabbed somewhere on our trip.  Then, we refill it and reuse it throughout our trip.  We may refill it at night in our resort room and put it in the fridge so it is cold by morning.  Or we refill it at water fountains in the parks—as they have very cold water!  And, yes, we share.  We’re family!  But we are toting just one bottle, that is empty most of the time, at least until we refill it.

On the ship, we have purchased bottled water to take with us on an excursion.  We bought a six pack of water for our day in Nassau, as food and drinks weren’t included with the excursion.  It was the first time in many excursions that refreshments weren’t included, so check about your excursion before making the purchase.  It was much more economical than purchasing an entire case.

There you have it.  Our what not to pack list.  Interestingly, our what to pack list is much longer!  Yet, for me, half the fun of planning a trip is planning for the packing.  It’s pretty easy to then pack and cross items off the list.


  1. rue the water tip true for off property guests too? What a great tip!!

  2. FREE Water for all guests. Just ask!

  3. Wow!! I hauled tons of water! No more!

  4. Great info- BUT I'm hearing so much about what not yo bring... I need info on what shouldn't be forgotten- what's especially helpful to have. I have to put together welcome bags for guests at my Disney cruise wedding but I want to give useful items not things that will just take up space in a suitcase. Thoughts/Insights?? Thanks!!

  5. DisneyCruisin 2014,
    Excellent question and congratulations on your upcoming Disney cruise wedding! Something we would not cruise without are waterproof watches. We all have them and you can find inexpensive ones at Rumbatime.com. (about $10 each) and what a great wedding guest gift--useful on the high seas and when returning home! We also would not leave home without a power strip for all of our electronics. Staterooms have limited plugins so a power strip only takes one plug in but can handle multiple items. To round out the suggestions would be a disposable or one time use water proof camera. Imagine the shots your guests could get by the pools, during shore excursions, and at Castaway Cay using the disposable cameras (I would buy them on Amazon.com for the best price.) Add these items to a great set of Mickey ears and you are all set!