Essential Disney Travel Accessories for an Unforgettable Vacation

Princess dresses are among the things to buy before a Disney vacation.
On our things to buy before Disney list? Disney princess costumes. Our Disney savings really add up when we pack these! Photo Credit: Nasreen Stump

You’ve taken care of your hotel reservations, park reservations, and even received your magical MagicBand box. But have you prepared your Disney luggage and made a packing list to ensure you have all the essential Disney items?

Buying these items before your trip can result in significant savings. Once you arrive at the magical kingdom, the Disney pixie dust can easily lead to additional spending. When the parade at Magic Kingdom starts and every other kid has a glowing light toy, you can guarantee your toddler will find them fascinating. And the price to buy one at Disney can be mind-boggling.

The solution? Purchase these Disney must-haves at your local dollar store, on shopDisney, or from Amazon to save money and stay within your budget.

Practical Disney Essentials to Buy Before You Go

1. Sunscreen

Disney balloons at Disney World
Save money on purchases at Disney World with an Annual Pass, like must-have balloons. Photo credit: Cathy Bennett Kopf

One thing that can ruin your day at EPCOT is a toddler with a sunburn. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, as it can be quite pricey when purchased in the hotel or at the Disney parks. Look for discounted sunscreen at your local stores or online before your Disney vacation to save around $21.

She BuysTravel Tip: Pack a few Ziploc bags to protect your belongings from accidental sunscreen leakage.

2. Aloe Vera

Even with sunscreen, sunburns can still happen. Be prepared by bringing aloe vera to soothe sore spots. Opt for aloe vera in tubs, as they have less potential for mess.

3. Ponchos

When it rains at Disney, the magical theme park turns into a sea of Mickey ponchos. Instead of spending $10 per poncho at the park, save money by purchasing heavier, reusable ponchos with pouches for as low as $3 (kids) and $4 (adults) at stores like Walmart. Alternatively, consider buying adult ponchos from Amazon, known for their durability.

Savings: $33-45, depending on the quality of ponchos

SheBuysTravel Tip: Carry ponchos even if rain isn’t forecasted, especially for water rides such as Kali River Rapids in Animal Kingdom. You can also wear a poncho on Splash Mountain, depending on your comfort level with getting damp.

Disney Must Haves to Beat the Heat

4. Misting Fans and Cooling Towels

mom wearing Minnie ears and son at Disney
Photo credit: Grisell DeNapoles

Florida, the home of Walt Disney World, is known for its heat. To combat the scorching temperatures, pack misting fans and cooling towels to keep your little ones comfortable during long wait times. Check out all the weather-related Disney essentials you’ll need for a heat-friendly trip.

5. Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is crucial, especially in the heat. Bring a water bottle for each family member to combat dehydration. Take advantage of free ice water refills from any Disney quick-service restaurant, one of the best free things at Disney. If your kids aren’t fond of plain water, bring flavor packets to make it more appealing.

Consider water bottles that can clip onto things for convenience. If you have a stroller, attach a huge carabiner clip to hold all the water bottles. Alternatively, opt for water bottles with built-in straws that come with convenient carrying loops.

Disney Must Haves: Food

6. Snacks

Bringing your own food can result in significant Disney savings. While enjoying the special Disney treats is part of the experience, packing snacks and being selective about dining in the park can save you at least $50 every day. Don’t worry about surviving on granola bars; we’ve got a whole list of varied snack and food ideas to make your Disney-fied snacks even more fun.

She BuysTravel Tip: Print out a packing list to ensure you don’t forget any Disney World essentials.

7. Coffee Options

The in-room coffee choices at the most magical place on earth may not be super magical. Avoid long lines at Starbucks locations in the parks by packing instant coffee packs like Cafe Bustelo or Starbucks Via mixes. These can also be used to make iced coffee on the go. After all, a well-caffeinated parent is a Disney essential!

Disney Must Haves: Clothing Items to Consider

8. Sunglasses & Hats

Pack sunglasses and hats for all family members to protect against the sun. Buying them on-site can be costly, so it’s best to include a few extras in your luggage. Be prepared for unexpected shenanigans that might leave your kids hatless.

9. Disney Pajamas

Score Disney t-shirts and pajamas at steep discounts by keeping an eye out for sales at the Disney Store and outlets. Alternatively, check out shopDisney for discounts on multiple sleepwear items.

Savings: At least $10 per child

10. Disney Hotel Slippers

After a long day at the parks, treat your tired and swollen feet to a cute pair of cozy Disney slippers. They’re perfect for wearing around your hotel room or for a quick trip to the ice machine or lobby.

11. Slide Sandals

Instead of flip flops, opt for high-quality Disney character slides. These can be useful not just at the pool or water park, but also during sudden downpours. Switching to slides when it rains can help keep your kids’ feet dry and prevent whining.

12. Disney Sweatshirt or Jacket for Chilly Nights

Although Disney parks are located in warm-weather states, evenings can get chilly. Save money by ordering your Disney sweatshirt ahead of time and avoid the rush at the stores.

Disney Must Haves: Cell Phone Accessories

13. Portable Charger

Disney can drain your phone battery quickly. Bring a portable charger to avoid searching for a spot to plug in or buying a pricey fuel rod. Opt for a reliable brand like Anker, which offers chargers with an 18-month warranty and sufficient capacity for multiple full phone charges.

14. Longer Phone Charging Cord

Having a longer phone charging cord is beneficial, as plugs at Disney parks can sometimes be hidden. Invest in a pack of six cords for convenience, and keep the extras as backups for when your kids “borrow” your cords or claim they can’t find theirs. Cord management is made easy with cord ties or cord organizing cases.

15. PopSocket

Selfie sticks may not be allowed at Disney, but you can still take creative pictures with a PopSocket. Pop it out, lean your phone, and capture amazing group shots, including yourself. Choose a PopSocket with a built-in phone wallet for convenience, allowing you to carry essentials like your ID.

16. Wireless Headphones Case

For teens who can’t go anywhere without their wireless headphones, ensure their headphones are safe with an adorable and practical headphones case. These cases come with a split key ring and clasp for easy attachment to backpacks or pockets.

Disney Must Haves: Health and Safety Essentials

17. Masks

Although masks are no longer required at Disney, keeping a mask handy is a good idea, especially in crowded areas. Bring mints or gum to maintain a fresh feeling under the mask, as gum is not sold at Disney.

18. Hand Sanitizer

Keep hand sanitizer within reach with adorable hand sanitizers and holders shaped like Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Clip them onto your belt loop or backpack for easy access.

19. Basic First Aid Kit

While Disney parks have First Aid Centers where you can get basic supplies, it’s more convenient and cost-effective to bring your own basic first aid kit. Carry a few Band-Aids and some moleskin in your Disney Park bag to save yourself from limping to the front of the park for supplies.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Break in shoes before your Disney trip to prevent blisters and ensure a comfortable experience. We have great recommendations for comfy shoes for theme parks.

Buy Before Disney: Fun Disney Essentials

20. Glow Sticks/Light Up Toys

pins on a board at Disney for pin trading
Disney pins come in all shapes and characters for trading. Definitely a Disney must-have for kiddos who love the thrill of the hunt. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

As night falls on Disney, glow sticks and spinning light toys appear everywhere. Get a few packs of glow stick bracelets, wands, and necklaces to surprise your kids without breaking the bank. Disney outlets also offer savings on glow wands. If you’re looking for something fancier, head over to shopDisney to find light wands that even blow bubbles.

Savings: Up to $24

21. Disney Must-Have: Costumes for the Kiddos

Create a memorable tradition by surprising your kids with Disney costumes on their first morning at Walt Disney World. Keep an eye on shopDisney for sales and discounts on princess costumes, averaging $23 each. The same costumes found in the park can cost up to $64.95.

Savings: $42

22. Autograph Book

Collecting character autographs is a popular activity for toddlers and kids at Disney. Instead of purchasing autograph books at the park for $15-$20, make your own using dollar store notebooks and Disney princess stickers.

Savings: $12.50+ per child

23. Disney Pins/Lanyard

Engage your kids in pin trading by buying official Disney pins from outlets for $4.95 each. Repurpose conference lanyards to display the pins. Alternatively, purchase a starter set from shopDisney, which includes a lanyard and four pins. While pins aren’t a necessity, they add a fun and interactive element to your trip.

Savings: $15 per child

24. Mouse Ear Headbands

Avoid the indecisiveness of choosing Mouse Ear Headbands at the park by purchasing them in advance from shopDisney. You might even find limited-release designs that are not available in the parks.

25. Bring Change for Pressed Pennies at Disney

Packing pennies and quarters may seem odd, but it’s a Disney must-have that will save you money on souvenirs. There are penny press machines in the parks where kids can press pennies. This inexpensive souvenir only costs 51 cents, but remember to bring the change. Some machines even accept credit cards for multiple pressed coins.

Lock in Your Disney Savings Before Your Disney Vacation

26. Discount Gift Cards

Maximize your Disney budget by purchasing discounted Disney gift cards. Look out for special offers and coupons from retailers like HEB or take advantage of everyday savings by using your Red Card at Target. These gift cards can be used for dining, hotel rooms, and souvenirs throughout the parks.

Savings: 5-20% of the value you buy

She BuysTravel Tip: Print out a packing list to ensure you don’t forget any Disney World essentials.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I buy these Disney essentials at the park?
A: Yes, most of these items can be found at the park, but they often come with a higher price tag. It’s best to buy them beforehand to save money.

Q: What if I forget to buy something before my trip?
A: Don’t worry, you can still purchase these items at the park, but be prepared to pay a little extra.

Q: Are these items necessary for my trip?
A: While they may not be necessary, they can definitely enhance your experience and make your trip more enjoyable.

Q: Can I find these items at other stores besides the ones listed?
A: Yes, you can find these items at other stores. However, make sure to compare prices to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Q: What if I’m on a tight budget?
A: Consider purchasing only the essentials and skipping some of the other items. You can also try to find deals or discounts online to save money.

Discover more Disney savings and make your Disney vacation even more magical by following these essential Disney must-haves. Remember, preparation is key to an unforgettable Disney trip!

To learn more about Ambassadeur Hotel and plan your dream vacation, visit Ambassadeur Hotel.