Need help packing for Disney World and not sure what to purchase in advance? With the high cost of everything at Disney, there are a number of things to buy before going to Disney World. Anything that you can save money on in advance helps to leave room in the budget for the room and tickets, food and a special souvenir or two. Keep reading for our list of what to buy before Disney World or Disneyland!
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Disney Gift Cards
If you’re wondering how to save money on Disney, buying discounted Disney Gift Cards at Target is one way to get 5% off. at Target can actually get you 5% off? If you have a Target RedCard, you‘re eligible for 5% off all entertainment gift cards, including Disney Gift Cards. For that reason, Disney gift cards are the top of our list of things to buy before Disney World. In addition to using gift cards at the parks, you can also use them to pay for your Disney hotel and tickets in advance. We learned this trick along with other tips to save money on Disney before booking our recent vacation.
You can sign up for a Target RedCard now by going here.
Pro Tip: You can only use one gift card at a time when making payments on your Disney vacation. You’re able to consolidate Disney gift cards up to $1,000, however, using the Disney gift card website. Be aware that Target will some times place restrictions on gift card purchases. If you purchase large amounts of gift cards ($1,500-$2,000+) you may need to wait 24-48 hours before buying more.
Something for Disney Character Autographs
Getting the character’s autographs is one of my fondest memories of Disney World growing up. My kids both LOVE the characters, and getting character signatures at Disney is a special way to get up close to them. If you’re looking for the best autograph book for Disney World, we ordered this Disney autograph book that comes with a pen and stickers.
Looking for another idea for Disney character signatures? On a recent trip, we used a small white purse and fabric markers to get character autographs. Another idea would be to use a light pink Minnie Mouse purse like this one or a mini white backpack. You can see how this unique idea for character signatures went in this reel.
For boys, we also love the idea of using this white Mickey Mouse hat for signatures. Getting a white water bottle signed or a picture frame mat signed are two other fun ideas for getting character signatures at Disney. Just be sure to seal the water bottle with epoxy or something similar afterwards.
Target, Old Navy, Kohls and Amazon all have a great selection of Disney clothing for the whole family. We tend to coordinate with colors and/or a theme (like Star Wars tees for Hollywood Studios) but don’t dress completely in matching family Disney shirts. Our kiddos also wear Disney t-shirts all year round, so it’s not typically something we’re buying just for a family trip.
I’ve linked Disney outfits to each of these stores below. Amazon is great in a pinch, but we tend to find the best deals with Target or Kohl’s and Old Navy when they have sales. For women, Old Navy’s activewear line is great for skorts and dresses with shorts built in. (Not Disney themed, but great for visiting Disney in the summer or when it’s hot!)
- Look for Disney outfits at Target here.
- Search family Disney t-shirts from Old Navy here.
- Find thousands of Disney clothing items on Amazon here.
- Search Disney clothes at Kohls here.
- Gap, Zara and H&M also have cute Disney clothes for kids.
ShopDisney is also great for purchasing items directly from Disney that you can also find in the parks. They tend to have sales about once a month, so be on the lookout for deals on Disney clothing and accessories before your next trip.
Minnie and Mickey Mouse Ears
Minnie and Micky Mouse ears are a great way to get in the Disney spirit without dressing from head to toe Disney. (If that’s not your thing!) We bought these inexpensive Minnie Mouse ears on our first trip to Disney with kids, and you can find several other options for Mickey and Minnie ears here.
Ponchos for Disney
Between the frequent rain forecast in Florida to the water rides, disposable ponchos are great to have for Disney. These are some of the best ponchos for Disney World, since they’re inexpensive and also durable.
If you’re wondering what to pack for Disney in February or March, a lightweight rain coat is always a great option. I have this lightweight women’s raincoat and we also have these raincoats for toddlers.
Be sure to purchase sunscreen in advance and bring it with you to Disney. We learned the hard way on our son’s first trip to Disney World in the winter that sunscreen is always a necessity, regardless of the forecast. Like most things, sunscreen is expensive at Disney World. Our favorite sunscreen for babies and toddlers is Babyganics. These leak proof travel bottles are also great for sunscreen if you’re packing for Disney in a carry-on.
Seasonal Disney Gear
In addition to the items mentioned above, I also recommend purchasing Christmas or Halloween items for Disney in advance of your trip. We love Disney at Christmas and have done it on a separate trip and before a Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise. When trying to figure out how to pack for Disney in December, it’s usually around 70s F the entire time.
With Disney being so festive at Christmas, it’s always a great idea to dress up too. Our son had this Mickey Christmas shirt, and there are some cute Disney Christmas shirts for girls at Target as well. We also saw these Christmas bulb necklaces throughout the Disney stores. They cost so much less on Amazon!
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is another popular time to go to Disney. If you’re packing for Disney in October, I highly recommend bringing Disney Halloween costumes to get extra festive for the holiday. You can also find more Disney Halloween gear here.
Miscellaneous Items to Pack for Disney
Below are a handful of other items to add to your Disney World packing list. We’ve found these especially useful when visiting Disney World with kids.
- Cooling towels, especially if you’re visiting Disney in the summer.
- A re-chargeable stroller fan like this one.
- Refillable water bottle. Brita water bottles are especially great if you’re sensitive to public water in new places.
- Stroller hooks for easy access to backpacks and water bottles.
- A rain cover for your stroller to keep the kiddos and your stroller dry.
Are there any other things you’d recommend buying before your trip to Disney World? I’d love to hear in the comments.
- How to Prepare for One Day at Disney World
- 10 Tips for the Best Day in Disney with a Toddler
- The Best Rides for Toddlers in Magic Kingdom
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