Home » 7 Things You Should NEVER Bring on a Walt Disney World Vacation

    7 Things You Should NEVER Bring on a Walt Disney World Vacation

    Packing for a vacation is always something of a production. While I can’t promise you a stress-free experience getting your things together, I can offer some smart tips for lightening your load. There are plenty of things you’ll want to include in your bag for your next theme park trip, but here are a few inclusions that you can probably leave out.

    1. New shoes

    Bright white sneakers are one of the most obvious signs of a first time visitor at Walt Disney World. If your sneakers are so worn you can’t possible walk comfortably in them on vacation, buy a new pair several months before you leave so they’re good and scuffed by the time you get here. You do not want to be breaking in new shoes when you’re walking for hours on end in what will probably be hot, wet weather. Save yourself the blisters and choose your most beloved pair of well-worn shoes instead.

    2. Walkie talkies

    With the prominence of cell phones you would think these would be extinct, but you’ll still see them around the parks. And the people attached to them are usually shouting, straining to hear, and looking distinctly frustrated. You’re as likely to pick up on another radio frequency as you are to communicate efficiently with the rest of your party with most walkie talkies.

    If you’re worried about using too many minutes on your cell phone plan, it’s worth it to consider the alternatives before you commit to walkie talkies. Texting is often more efficient than calling since you don’t have to worry about finding a quiet spot to talk, so if you have unlimited texting you should be fine. If you’re outside your coverage area, many providers will let you extend your coverage for just the month, offering another option to consider.

    3. Expensive Disney apps

    Image: Disney

    There are plenty of apps out there that will ask you to spend money for Disney park guides, but none have the usability and features of the real Disney apps. The official My Disney Experience app is completely free and it will give you everything you need to plan your vacation. Sync it with your account and you’ll even be able to manage your FastPass+ and dining reservations. Wait times and other information is more accurate here than on any other app, so stick with what’s free and save your money.

    4. Huge bags (if you don’t have children)

    Sure, children require a whole different level of packing to get through a theme park vacation. If you’re travelling with adults, however, there’s no need to lug around a huge backpack all day. Take sunscreen, your wallet, and maybe a few snacks if you have the willpower to resist the Dole Whips, cream cheese pretzels, and Mickey bars that will be calling to you in the parks, but don’t weigh yourself down with supplies for every possible contingency. There’s a first aid in every park that will supply you with single doses of medication should you need something unpredictable. Even water is readily available for free. Stop by any food and beverage location with a soda fountain and get an ice cold cup if you’re not a fan of the water fountains.

    5. Five kinds of technology

    Walt Disney World has free WiFi, so at first glance it might seem like great fun to take your smartphone, tablet, e-reader, laptop, and anything else you can think to connect to it. In reality, your smartphone can probably do everything you’ll really need it to during your vacation. For most people, that extra technology ends up being just one more thing to try and fit in your bag and protect from the rain. If you absolutely must take it, make sure you have a quality protective case on it because theme parks can be rough, and there’s nothing magical about a shattered screen.

    It’s worth noting that Disney’s Wi-Fi is also pretty unreliable due to the sheer volume of guests that connect to it on a daily basis, so don’t expect to be able to stream Neflix on your tablet while waiting in that 180 minute line for Toy Story Midway Mania. 

    6. Dress shoes

    Unless you have reservations at one of the few restaurants on property with a dress code, like Victoria and Alberts, there’s no need to pack multiple pairs of shoes. Take something comfortable for the parks and a pair of flip flops for the pool and you’re set. In Florida, you can go just about anywhere in flip flops and fit in like a local. This includes a lot of fine dining locations. In the parks you’ll find sweaty families in shorts and tank tops everywhere you go anyway, so you don’t need to make yourself uncomfortable just to make the occasion feel special.

    7. A detailed itinerary

    I’m a big fan of guests educating themselves about everything Disney has to offer before they get to the parks, but if you have a minute-by-minute plan of how you want to spend the day, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure. Down times are unpredictable and often unavoidable. By all means have an idea of your top three or five rides, but also come to the parks with a healthy flexibility.

    Don’t hang all your hopes on a single attraction and you won’t feel that your whole trip was wasted if you can’t get on it. Accept the possibility – and even likelihood – of rainy afternoons, thunderstorms, closed attractions, moody teenagers, and more than a few guests pushing past you in line because they couldn’t stay with their party. Then shrug it off and “just keep swimming” and you’ll find you can have a magical time regardless.