While I'm covered in Pixie dust, I asked Terri from WDW Hints to take over my blog for a day! Welcome, Terri!
Everyone has their own way of touring the Disney parks, as well as their own opinions on what they want to bring into the parks. There's the usual: wallet, camera, sunscreen, water bottle, TICKETS!, snacks and autograph book. But here's a few things you may not have thought of, that you might find helpful:
Ziplock Bags - both big and small!
- Use large ziplock bags to place a child's dirty outfit in.
- Large ziplock bags are great for grouping items together - such as diapers, wipes and a changing mat or a small first aid kit - it makes everything easy to find and pull out all at once.
- Small ziplock bags work well for any food "left overs" that your child didn't finish but may want just 15 minute later!
- Small ziplocks will keep items dry that could potentially get wet on a water ride - such as cameras or cell phones.
- Some people like to freeze a wash cloth overnight (folded into quarters), place it in a small ziplock bag, and pull it out throughout the day to help cool off.
- Perhaps you were smart enough to buy a poncho from a dollar store before your trip, and maybe you got lucky enough to wear it in the Florida rain! Put the wet poncho into a ziplock bag before sticking it back into your park bag.
- Don't bring your entire wallet into the parks! Only bring the items that are essential: Picture ID, Admission Ticket/KTTW Card, Photopass card, a few small bills, health ins. card/Medical Alert card, and Disney Gift Cards.
- TIP: If you're staying on property, utilize the "room charging privileges" on your Key to the World Card. If you lose this card, stop by any guest relations office or resort check-in desk and they will deactivate your KTTW card immediately, and reissue you a new one - simple one easy-step cancellation. If you lose your wallet, you're stuck with possible lost cash, a missing drivers license and making all the phone calls for canceling credit cards. You're better off charging items to your room key, and leaving your wallet locked in the room safe. If you're uncomfortable with making charges to your KTTW card, consider buying Disney Gift Cards - they work at all food & souvenir shops, and can help you stay within a budget if you only want to spend a certain amount!
Camera - Well, that's a given! But consider taking pictures of these items...
- If you're issued a "paper ticket," take a picture of the back of it. Should you lose your ticket, you can show guest relations your ticket # and they can cancel the lost ticket and reissue you a new ticket with the correct amount of remaining days.
- Take a picture of the back of your Photopass Card. Going along the same lines of a lost ticket, with your Photopass # "saved" you can still pull up your pictures online after your vacation if you have misplaced the physical Photopass card.
- First thing each morning, take a picture of your kids! Kids can wander, and if you lose sight of them, you may "lose your mind" briefly and forget what they are even wearing! Having a picture on your camera can help jog your memory and you can show other cast members who you're looking for.
- Use a carabiner clip to fasten bags (diaper bags, shopping bags, etc.) to stroller handles.
- Carabiner clips work well for the guys too! When they try to hand you their hats or cameras to put in your purse before getting on a wild ride, hand them a carabiner clip instead. They can clip their own "baggage" to their belt-loops, keeping your bag less cluttered.
- Having a plan makes all the difference! Study the park maps before you get to Walt Disney World to familiarize yourself with each park. Some people will put their itinerary on an index card, others (like me) will make a chart. Keeping your plans to just 1 sheet of paper is best. That way you can hand out several copies to your family members, and they can fold them up and slip them into their pocket or bag.
- Not sure where to start? Feel free to use my FREE Disney Itinerary Planning Chart. It's accessible through Google docs. Once you've opened it go to File>Make Copy, give it a new name and you'll be able to edit it to your liking. Be sure to put your confirmation numbers in it as well!
- Just because you've made an itinerary doesn't mean you have to stick to it. The best laid plans are ones that are flexible. You can read more about itinerary planning here.
I hope you find these few simple ideas as a way to gain more organization, lighten your load and give you peace of mind when touring a Disney Park (or other theme park, or day trip you might take).
Terri is the writer and owner of the newly created Walt Disney World Hints. She enjoys researching all things Disney, finding deals and sharing with others how to make their next Disney trip affordable and well-planned out.