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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Walt Disney World Vacation Shopping List

How many lists do you have when planning a Walt Disney World vacation?   There’s the “to do” list keeping track of all the must do’s and at various times prior to a trip.  The “packing list” allows for the necessary items to get into suitcases and carry-on bags.  ADR lists, attraction lists, park hour lists, etc.  But what about the shopping list? 

Let me begin with the fact that I don’t enjoy shopping.  Shopping is not a sport for me like some of my kind.  When I find something I like, that fits, and is a good price, I’m likely to purchase multiples in various colors as it saves time later.  Mix in the fact that paying full price for anything physically pains me along with having worked at a “big box” store earlier in my life and watched folks dole out huge amounts of cash on large shopping trips pre-vacation.  I am going to avoid that huge shopping bill like the plague but that being said, there sometimes can be necessary pre-vacation purchases. 

Let’s check the shopping list. . .

  • Clothing:  Depending on when you are traveling to the World, and your child’s most recent growth spurt, there may need to be some purchases, such as shorts or a lightweight jacket.  A friend planning a summer trip said she has two pairs of shorts that she washes and wears throughout the warm months.  This means she will either be doing laundry while at the world or will need more shorts.  I noticed that kids shorts have already been on sale at a “mart” store (think middle of the alphabet) and a bull’s-eye store.  Yes, it is only February, but those traveling during spring break/Easter will most likely want those items, not to mention warmer weather approaching in the southern states.

  • Shoes:  Walt Disney World veterans know that a pair of comfortable and broken in shoes is your best friend while traveling to the magical destination.  The husband’s birthday is coming up and he is getting a new pair of shoes—which gives him enough time to break them in before our trip.

  • Accessories:  This category can include things like park touring bags, umbrellas, ponchos, misting/fan water bottles, trading pins, lanyards, autograph necessities, camera SD cards and batteries, etc.  Spending in this category can add up fast.  To keep costs down, we reuse and re-pack many of the same items we had already purchased.  The same compact umbrellas return trip after trip, along with our stash of ponchos.  A backpack that was our stateroom gift on our Disney cruise will become our park touring backpack, but almost any bag will do.  Did you snag a free backpack during “back to school” time?  If so, re-designate it as your park touring bag.  We also bring our own “glow” items rather than purchase at the parks.  I just purchased some “laser fingers” on Amazon for $0.88 each including shipping!  Those will be fun to play with during the nighttime hours!

  • Toiletries:  Include sunscreen in this category and stock-up.  What I don’t spend money on are travel size toiletries.  Walt Disney World resorts offer guests soap, shampoo/conditioner, and depending on your resort, body wash and/or lotion.  We use those items and pack regular size hair products, deodorant, shave gel, toothpaste, and contact solution—in checked luggage of course.  We also receive many trial size offers in the mail and those are great for packing in your carry-on back if needed.  I grab a multi-pack of toothbrushes at the dollar store to take, use, and throw away.

  • Luxury items:  These items are not necessary yet make a trip a bit more luxurious and comfortable.  One item that we enjoy and appreciate is a minty foot cream to use at night.  I apply and put on a pair of cozy socks before bed leaving my feet to feel refreshed in the morning.  There is a product at a bath shop we use and I just received a gift card to that store and had a discount coupon—the foot product was in my shopping cart!  Our “pocket seats” would be considered another luxury item—click here to read more.  These inflatable cushions come in handy at shows or while watching parades.  Some might pack a robe for the resort or large beach towel—neither item is a necessity.  We also pack a pillow case from home for the boy—another luxury item.

For me, I make the shopping list when making the packing list, as I can immediately see what we have and what we need.  Then, I consider when and where those items might be available and/or on sale.  I then spread out the purchases prior to our trip taking less of a chunk out of the budget rather than one huge pre-vacation purchase.  Also, some of the vacation items might make great gifts between now and your family’s vacation.

Items on my shopping list include new shoes for the husband (a birthday gift), Disney trading pins (would make a great anniversary gift!), and shoes for the boy.  Other than that, I think we are set!

So, what is on your shopping list?

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