So, you think you’re ready for a trip to Disney, eh? Think again. There are a lot of items that you may not have considered and possibly even a few that you’re forgotten. Don’t worry. I feel your pain. In fact, I’m vacationing at Walt Disney World as you read this. Please allow me to speak from recent experience about the last minute items you should pack in order to ensure that you have everything you need when you reach your destination: the Happiest Place on Earth.
1. Magic Bands/Magic Express Tags
Let’s order the items you’ll need in order to when you’re most likely to need them. Believe it or not,Magic Bands come into play before almost anything else. Once you arrive in Orlando, your Magic Band is already activated. You can use it at the airport and thereby bypass a lot of aggravation if you’re staying at a Disney resort.
Your Magic Band provides access to a Magic Express bus, which means that you head directly to a Disney entity directly from the airport with no other stops, exactly as the company intended. It guarantees that they have no competition for your vacation dollars. For your part, it provides one-step convenience for your trip. You place the Magic Express tags on your luggage prior to departure then never have to worry about it again. Assuming the airplane company doesn’t lose anything, it will arrive at your hotel within hours of when you do.
Meanwhile, your Magic Band provides you with the ability to head to your resort via the bus and then skip off to your favorite park soon afterward. Plus, you’re going to need your Magic Band once you’re at Walt Disney World, and you don’t want to waste valuable vacation time having to get one onsite.
In recent years, the Walt Disney Company has done a wonderful job in providing access to all of your account information online. My Disney Experience functions well as both as a website and an app. Whether you bring a laptop or use your cellphone or tablet on your trip, you probably believe that you don’t need physical printouts of anything. That’s a mistake.
Sometimes, reservations get lost. Be Our Guest is notorious for dropping them at lunch, as an example. What happens if you show up somewhere and they don’t have your reservation? You presume that you’ll pull out your smart device and pull up the information that way. The problem is that cell phones get lost during vacations. You’re putting all your eggs in one basket by relying on technology alone.
The old-fashioned way still works. It’s also the best fail-safe available. A few days before you leave, take ten minutes to print out all of your confirmation numbers for restaurants, hotel reservations, flight itinerary, Memory Maker, and the like. Also, you should copy all of your FastPass+ selections in case you have any issues with your Magic Band. Keep a copy of the sheet of paper or index card with you at all times, and end your reliance upon technology.
3. Broken-in Tennis Shoes
Note that I’m not saying new tennis shoes. This is a rookie mistake that a lot of people make. They want to look their best on vacation, so they buy new gear. Alas, amusement parks are a harsh mistress. You’ll walk enough to qualify for a half-marathon when you spend a full day park-hopping at Disney. Even if you have less ambitious plans, new shoes are a huge no-no. Since you haven’t broken them in, your shoes are unforgiving, which means your feet will hurt and possibly blister. Instead of buying new shoes, pick your favorite pair of old ones for your trip. If you want to look nice for certain occasions, pack both but only wear the new pair for said occasions. It’s also nice to have that back-up pair if you enjoy water rides since your shoes may get wet.
There are a lot of discounts available at Walt Disney World and the surrounding area, which is one giant, well cultivated tourist trap. Businesses want you to think that you will get discounts; unless you press them, however, they are not inclined to provide the discounts, though. Expect to show your identification whenever you’re entitled to such special offers. As such, you’ll want to pack proof of your Annual Pass membership, DVC ownership, AAA tourist benefits, Tables in Wonderland discount, and the like. Keep this information in the same place as your reservation information for optimal convenience.