In this post we’re going to explore packing for Disneyland, as well as my new quest to pack light when we head on any family vacation. Disneyland has a few unique tips, but anyone can learn to pack light for their family!
Guys, you just never know if there’s going to be a snowstorm, a monsoon or maybe snakes will drop from the sky. I’ll need snow gear army-grade ponchos and obviously anti-venom kits with me. Right? Sure, the snakes might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I sometimes feel like I am packing for ANYTHING when we head out on vacation. As if there isn’t a store within a mile where I can buy anything my heart desires.
Packing for Disneyland can be tough. You don’t want to waste walking time by having to head to the store for something, and you’re out in the elements all the time, so you do need a good amount of preparation, but I am REALLY working to slow my flow on all the stuff I bring.
Looking for more Disneyland tips — don’t miss this page with ALL of the great tips I’ve found on all our trips!
Why is it smart to pack light?
It is SO much easier when we get home. When I plan for every eventuality it leaves me putting away a TON of stuff when we get home. Whereas, if it’s just mainly dirty clothes and stuff we actually used, I don’t get so bogged down in the clean-up.
Packing for Disneyland:
Our rule is one shirt/day plus one pair of pants for every 2 days. I just feel SO dirty when I am done with Disney. Also, include the pants that you wore there. One pair of undies (two if you’re new to potty training, and put extra pants and pull-ups in your bag, I once had a kid wet his pants 4 times in one day) and socks/day and you’re done.
Try to pick clothes that hide dirt well. You’ll be sitting on a lot of surfaces and eating sticky foods. This isn’t a time for white pants or shirts.
One pair of pajamas should be sufficient.
I also always include a rain jacket, and a sweatshirt in a separate bag. Even though it’s southern CA the nights can be chilly and even thought CA doesn’t get much rain — it might just happen while you’re there. These items can ward off whining!
If it’s going to be warm, I would throw in swim suits (although we are always way too tired to swim — I would feel badly if a kid wanted to swim and it was my fault they couldn’t).
Packing light for clothes tips — I am really trying to remind kids that unless clothes are VISIBLY dirty or smelly, you don’t have to wash them. Yes, at home we do because it’s convenient, but when you’re on vacation there is no reason not to re-wear.
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Everyone should bring at least 2 pairs of sturdy walking shoes, in case there is a catastrophic shoe failure. The key is good walking shoes, you’ll just hate yourself if you don’t. This isn’t a time for fashion.
I absolutely love these shoes for walking around Disneyland. I’d had my last pair about 7 years and I think they’ve finally died. They’re actually on my wish list right now! Somehow the rolling action really helps my arches!
Packing light tip for shoes — most often you won’t see your shoes in any photos. Be sure to pack shoes that “go” with every outfit. I tend to go straight for sneakers for Disneyland. But, in the rest of my life I try to bring browns and golds. And if a shoe isn’t comfortable, just don’t bring it. The end.
Try to bring things that work for the whole family. We can all use the same body wash and shampoo. Don’t go wild on makeup. Just the bare essentials that make you feel alright about how you look.
Be sure to bring sunscreen (that one’s my favorite, I don’t put anything else on my face) and chapstick with sunscreen (I have found that brand to be the best to work and not wear off after an hour). Be sure those land in your Disney bag too!
This is the one that’s a killer. All the misc.
Each of my kids pack their own entertainment bag. I try to make sure 3 or 4 books go in there. But, either way I’m not putting that away so I don’t care. Our drive is about 6 hours, so not crazy long – but long enough that they get fairly bored.
We have finally created a “car bin” that has the basic necessities. A flashlight, extension cord, rope. It’s a fairly small rubbermaid tote and since it’s limited on space I only put necessities in there. It did come in handy last time when we were somehow low on transmission fluid. The headlamps were super helpful. My husband also takes this on scout trips.
I also throw a few snacks in that, in addition to the ones we’re bringing into Disneyland.
In general — my misc. stuff is all included in my “what to bring to Disneyland” post and then the stuff that I’m suing to refill it.
Since you spend the vast majority of waking hours at the park, that seems to be what you need. That post is awesome, and it will make your backpack lighter as you enjoy the parks. Don’t miss that what to bring to Disneyland. It has what to bring INTO the parks to make your day extra magical!
Of course, if you have a baby you’re going to need a whole lot more. But that’s beyond the scope of this post.
Packing light is my new holy grail. My natural tendancy is to put our entire home into the car and that’s just not necessary. We can make do with a lot of things.
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