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It's time to pack!

This question is asked a lot by my clients so I thought we'd go into a bit of detail today.

Before we talk about what to pack, I'd like to talk about Disney's Magical Express. This is a FREE service offered by Walt Disney World to take you to and from the airport.  Remember that Magical Express can be time consuming but it's also FREE and CONVENIENT!!

Honestly, Magical Express is an awesome service and works really well so don't hesitate to save yourself some money and use this free service!!  Don't forget prior to departure to attach your Magical Express tags onto your luggage!

If you don't have these tags in time, it's ok! Just show the Magical Express Cast Members your airline baggage
claim ticket and they'll still grab your bags for you!

If you haven't been to Orlando before, once your plane arrives you'll get to experience your first bit of magic.  The airport monorail...OOHHHH!! AAAAHHH!! 

This will take you to the main terminal where you will skip baggage claim proceed to the Disney's Magical Express Welcome Center in the Main Terminal Building, B side, Level 1.

Don't worry about your luggage, Disney's Magical Express service will collect your luggage and deliver it directly to your Walt Disney World hotel room 3-5 hours after you check in at the resort.  You are welcome to grab your own luggage if you prefer, or let Disney grab it so you can head right to the parks after you

Once you are downstairs, you'll quickly see the signs directing you to Magical Express You'll be greeted every step of the way. There are various numbered lines, each corresponding with a resort.  Depending on the time of year you are traveling, you may have a bit of a wait in this line before boarding your bus. Alternatively, if you are going during a slower time of year, you may be waiting on the bus a bit as they like to get them filled before leaving.

Since you won't be getting your luggage for a few hours, be sure to pack anything you will need in a carry-on bag. This includes:

-Any medications
-Swim Suits
-Resort and dining confirmations
-Formula or baby food if you are traveling with infants (diapers too)
-If you are arriving late, be sure to pack pj's for the kids as the luggage may take a little while

If you decide to drive, don't forget quarters for the toll road that takes you to Disney!!! Most Car Rentals companies now
offer some sort of SunPass but this can be pricey as there is often a minimum charge to your credit card that may be MORE than the tolls!

Now let's move on to general packing. You can google packing lists and find dozens of variations. I think a lot of it is kind of excessive so I'm trying to break down the must have items.

Check the weather before you go. I like to look at because I can scope out the forecast a month in advance.

If you are traveling during the cooler months be sure to pack at least a pair of jeans/pants and a sweatshirt or light jacket. It can get down right chilly during certain times of the year. Of course bring t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, cropped pants...etc. Whatever you bring, be comfy!!

Did you know that on average you can walk up to 10 miles per day while at Walt Disney World...yes 10 MILES!!  A comfy pair of shoes is a must. Personally I bring two pairs of shoes.  One pair of Crocs sandals and one pair of sneakers.  Now it might be obvious but this is NOT the time to bring new shoes. Bring at least one pair of shoes that are well broken in and have good support. I personally love my Crocs but I also need the support of a good sneaker.

I know many people think Crocs are ugly, but I don't mind mine! They are one of the comfiest pairs of shoes I own! I also bring a good pair of walking/running shoes and alternate every day.

Of course with toiletries there are the obvious, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, etc.  Don't forget to pack both the sunscreen and aloe (just in case!).  I would also recommend bringing things like Tylenol, allergy medicine, cold medicine or similar items can be extremely pricey in any of the gift shops on property.

Bandaids are another must have but I also like to bring the bandaids made especially for blisters.  There is also a glide on product out now that is supposed to help prevent blisters. For the warmer months,  you might also consider packing some type of talcum powder.

I would also recommend brining hand sanitizer or wipes.  Shout wipes or a Tide pen are always a good idea too!  Baby wipes or moist toilettes are also good to have while you are out touring the parks!

We always chose to bring some type of backpack with us.  We don't bring anything too large, but just something that will fit our park maps, bottled water, camera and other item. For those traveling with infants, obviously a diaper bag will probably be necessary.

Don't forget that all the parks have a security check point where all bags must be inspected. If you are on your way to a dining reservation, please allow time. Usually they are pretty quick to get through but during the busier months it could delay you by a few minutes.

Of course everyone always hopes it doesn't rain on their vacation but in Florida it's a possibility. Be sure to pack rain ponchos and umbrellas...also very pricey items to buy at the last minute!

CHARGERS!! Don't forget to bring your charger! Also remember there are places IN the park to charge your phone too! A great handy little device is a lipstick charger. These can easily charge your phone while in your bag! Check Amazon for reviews of the best ones!

If you have a smart phone there are a variety of apps you can download before your trip. My Disney Experience App is the best all in one to have. It will have all your resort information but all dining, fastpasses, maps (with bathroom locations), wait times and even more!

While everything is loaded into this app, I always recommend taking screen shots of your Fastpass+ and dining reservations JUST IN CASE the system goes down. This is also a great way to save your cell battery as you can turn wifi and data off and just look at your photos for a reminder of where you have to be!

What is your MUST HAVE item to pack?

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