I’m Going To Disney World & I Have No Idea What To Pack!

February 16, 2013

going to disney world


I have been procrastinating a bit on my Walt Disney World trip. While I’ve been lurking on Pinterest and the Disney Parks blog, I’ve been limiting the giddyness in order to get through the workweek and actually have the focus needed to get things done in a timely manner.  I leave in the wee-morning hours of Tuesday the 19th, and I haven’t even considered what to pack.

I’m going to be staying at the fancy pants Saratoga Springs at Walt Disney World and celebrating a belated Valentine’s Day with the boyfriend..not sure if we have anything too fancy planned (it’s a surprise!) but I want to look nice for pictures and dinners, but practical for warm Florida days.

We’re running the Royal Family 5k and the Princess Half Marathon but beyond the running gear, I have no idea what to pack and what to bring.  Running half marathons is now getting to be a practical and predictable endeavor in terms of packing, but the rest of it has me scratching my head.


I’m not only completely baffled on what to pack, but I’d also like some advice on things to do at Walt Disney World and some overrated stuff I should avoid.


My boyfriend has been to WDW several times, I have never been.    I have budgeted $650 (which seems like so much in “real world” and “nothing” in terms of a Disney vacation) for food, fun and miscellaneous shennanigans.

So, I need your advice-  

What should I pack?  Can I make it on a $650 budget? 

What are Walt Disney World MUSTS to do/see and what attractions should I avoid?  

18 comments so far.

18 responses to “I’m Going To Disney World & I Have No Idea What To Pack!”

  1. Hey S! 😀

    I love WDW! You will have a great time and I just wanted to offer a few tips for your packing:

    – For outfits for parks/restaurants/resort wear this time of year, think layers and interchangeable items…it can range from cool and comfortable to hot and sticky within a single day so keep that in mind! If you like to wear dresses, those are good options (casual ones) that travel easily (don’t wrinkle) that can be dressed up or down for a park day.
    – Carry a purse that can hold at least a water bottle and maybe a light jacket. I tend to get really cold in restaurants and this is helpful.
    – Wear comfortable shoes. Whatever that means to you, stick with it, whether that’s tennis shoes, sandals or flats. Don’t wear new shoes 🙂

    Also, I didn’t see how long you were staying in WDW, but $650 sounds like a very reasonable budget – but just one question: did you already buy park tickets? Is it part of your vacation package? Those can represent a big part of a budget.

    • Shannyn says:

      Hey Krissy!
      Those are great tips- I’ve heard that temps in Florida can fluctuate rapidly but needed a reminder…I get cold super easy too!

      As for the budget, yes, I already bought the park tix and we will be there for 4-5 days (I’m not sure if I should count the last day since we’re flying out). I have my tickets and my hotel paid for, the $650 covers food, fun and momentos… it seems like so much money but nothing at the same time!

      • Krissy hit the nail on the head in regards to dressing in layers – expect 50s morning but to feel like 80s by mid afternoon this time of year. A cardi or light jacket is a good thing to have on hand. Next week will be somewhat warmer. Dresses with a pair of run/bike shorts would be perfect (since you may want to ride on the rides) for the parks.

        Downtown Disney is a fun little place to visit if you are in the area. The seafood restaurant (Fulton’s) there is pretty fun, but pricey experience – It’s an actual ferry boat 🙂 They also have Cirque shows if you are interested.

        $650 is absolutely enough for misc expenses as long as you don’t go overboard on park food. When you arrive, hit up a grocery and pack a few granola bars or easy snacks in your purse. They are allowed in the park 😉

    • nancy fiorenza says:

      I would just pack comfortable clothes like jeans and tees and bring a jacket . Maybe a swimsuit or two depending on how warm it is there

  2. I’m trying to figure out what to pack too since the weather keeps changing. Right now it’s mostly capris and some shorts. I have a ton of Disney shirts that will probably be packed as well. Will bring some maybe not so casual clothes in case we hit Jelly Rolls or Downtown Disney one night. Will mostly be comfy. Sanuks and Yoga Mat Flip Flops (for after the half probably) and my boots.

    Planing on bringing my Mickey Hoodie and my two Nutrition Snob shirts just in case it gets cold’ish in the morning or at night.

    Other than that, no clue.

    Can we go yet? So jealous you’ll get an earlier start on the fun. 🙂

    • Shannyn says:

      Suzanne…what is Jelly Rolls??! Whatever it is I am instantly intrigued!

      Okay, I’m going to bring flip flops and will head over to Target for some non-running shoes to wear that are still good for walking around in. I could bring my TOMS but if it rains, those get really slick and don’t have traction!

      I know Suzanne…let’s go NOW. Life? Work? PFT, let’s go to Disney World! 😉

      • Ha! I’m ready! Jellyrolls is a dueling piano bar on the boardwalk. I would love to go dancing somewhere too.

        We have breakfasts scheduled and most dinners. Some character breakfasts. Dinner at Brown Derby, 50’s Primetime, Cinderella’s Castle and can’t remember the others. Lol

        Hope to see you soon.

  3. Heather says:

    I book Disney travel, if you have any specific questions feel free to e mail me runningwithsass@gmail.com or heather@travelwiththemagic.com Hope to see you there!

  4. Stephanie says:

    First things, accept that fact you won’t be able to do everything. WDW is just too big, that’s why people keep going back.
    If you can get in I recommend breakfast at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom, the puffed french toast is amazing. It tends to appear on the kids buffet, so if you can’t find it check there. Prime time 50s at Hollywood Studios is fun, but I’ve never been super impressed by the food. Le Cellier in Epcot lives up to the hype– and I got my reservation just days before I left last time, so check constantly for cancellations.

    I love the Maelstrom is Norway, it’s kind of adorable and I’ve recently discovered you can spend a lot of time just wandering the shops among the world showcase and find some really cool stuff.

    As for attire, plan to layer. It’s the easiest way. Also remember that no matter how much you want to look cute, it’s Disney and comfort will always end up the deciding factor for an outfit.

    Have fun! I’m so jealous!

    • Shannyn says:

      Stephanie, you are awesome..those are all fab suggestions! I want to faint just thinking about all the cool stuff you suggested… I haven’t even heard of Le Cellier but want to go there, stat! Will let the BF know we should try and snag a spot!

      Also- great advice on the layering. Going to Target today to get some capris or shorts since I’m still in “winter mode” thanks doll!

  5. TWINS RUN says:

    We’ve tried various approaches to our runDisney race-cations. Sometimes we overplan, sometimes we don’t plan enough. We’ve had the best times when we pick a couple “must dos” and then go with the flow! Enjoy! 🙂

    • Shannyn says:

      Love it!! I know you’ve done your share of races and Disney races… I bet I won’t get half done that I’d like so I’ll just pick a few and have a blast. Thanks! 😉

  6. Audra O. says:

    One of my most favorite places at Disney World is the Polynesian Resort. ‘Ohana is a really great restaurant, you can get fun tropical drinks at the bar, and the beach behind the pool is an awesome spot to watch the fireworks over Cinderella’s castle without having to be stake out a spot in the middle of a gazillion people. And the smell of flowers when you enter the lobby? One of my favorite smells ever.

  7. Stephanie says:

    I’m doing the Royal Family 5K (my first!), and since we are local and have annual passes, we’ll be bumming around afterwards.

    It’s hard to say what not to miss because everyone has a different idea of what Disney should be, I think. Plus, I don’t know which parks you plan on going to.

    I usually tell first time visitors, or those who haven’t been in a long time, to do the classics. Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, and everything in Fantasyland. That’s classic Disney, and I think it’s bring out the kid is a lot of people. Even if you’ve been to Disneyland, it’s still worthwhile. That said, the wait for Peter Pan’s flight is usually the highest in the park. If you want to do it and the wait is over 20 minutes, get a Fast Pass.

    On that subject, definitely check out New Fantasyland! Journey of the Little Mermaid has a beautiful queue, and Be Our Guest is a huge thing for a lot of people. I haven’t eaten there yet as we couldn’t even get a reservation until April! But if you line up by 2:00 for lunch, I think you’re guaranteed to get in. Something like that.

    If you like orange, get a Citrus Swirl. If you like pineapple, go for the Dole Whip.

    Don’t skip the Wedway PeopleMover/Tomorrowland Transit Authority! It never has a line, and it’s a great time to relax, put your feet up, and look around the park. Plus, if you’re a geek like me, you’ll enjoy getting to go through Space Mountain.

    If you do Epcot, of course head for Spaceship Earth. It’s iconic, and you’ve gotta do it. Captain EO is fun if you like kitschy stuff, which I do. Definitely go in all of the little shops in the different country pavilions. Some have little tiny shops way in the back that are amazing. Japan has everything from beauty products to pearls to assorted candies and drinks. Italy has some amazing Venetian Carnival masks.

    Soarin’ will prove to be the longest wait, though since Test Track reopened, it’s giving it a run for its money. Get Fast Passes, but at least do Soarin’. I will say that Journey Into Imagination isn’t worth it. That kills me, because I’m a Disney geek and a huge collector of Figment stuff, but they’ve really ruined the ride. It usually has a short line, so by all means go if you want, but don’t wait for it, and don’t make a special beeline for it. Also, look for Club Cool near the fountain. You can try free samples of Coke products from around the world. Just…watch out for the Beverly. Really.

    At Hollywood Studios, definitely do the Tower of Terror, Rock n’Roller Coaster, and the Great Movie Ride. Don’t push to see Fantasmic! unless you just have to. It’s SO crowded and such a bottleneck. I know a lot of people will disagree, but for me, it wasn’t worthwhile to be stuck in the arena with thousands of other people to watch a stage show. For my time, I’d rather see the Nemo musical at Animal Kingdom. Speaking of…do Expedition Everest and both of the walking trails there.

    As said above, Le Cellier is very good. Some of it can lean salty, and I felt that the cheese soup was overhyped, but the filet mignon is to die for. If you can’t find a reservation online, just keep calling until you’re there. If you still can’t get one, just walk up and ask. Cancellations happen a lot, and you might get lucky. Same goes for most restaurants.

    As far as clothes – layers. We had a cold front come through today, but it will likely be gone by the weekend. The nights may still be a little chilly, but during the day at the parks, you’re going to get hot. This goes double for Animal Kingdom.

    Last bit of advice: skip the coffee at Disney unless it’s in a restaurant or a resort. They’re going to change it soon, but right now it’s still Nescafe. And oh my, it is bad.

  8. Chelsea says:

    Hey! I’m a Floridian and a Disney lover! <3 I would recommend as others have suggested very comfy shoes! It's cold here for us how (high of 50s) but next week is suppose to be in the 80s. I'd bring maybe 2 pairs of jeans, and a jacket but I'd stick to warmer weather clothes.
    I also would make sure to bring a water bottle and pack snacks if you can. Not only does it help save money but eating out all the time makes me feel awful! One thing I would DEFINITELY not pass up is a turkey leg. They are worth the $8! Another great choice is the restaurant across from Haunted Mansion (the name has totally left me) but the clam chowder in the bread bowl is AMAZING!!!
    I think too, the Mickey ice cream bars are a must… but that's just me!
    Enjoy yourself and have a safe trip! I'm jealous! I haven't been since they opened the new Fantasyland and I would love to see it! Hope that helps a bit 😉

  9. Amy Orvin says:

    I am sure you will figure out what to take. If I were I’d pack light. It’s all about having fun not lugging around bags or worring about losing posessions. Just don’t forget your camara!(fb)

  10. Yolanda Flores says:

    If you have everything else paid (all inclusive) then you will probably be spending the $650 on souvenirs and snacks; but that is way too little to have lots of fun at the park; I had an all inclusive package, stayed on the grounds but I took about $1,500 for the family just to blow. Hope you have a great time!

  11. Yolanda Flores says:

    If you have everything else paid (all inclusive) then you will probably be spending the $650 on souvenirs and snacks; but that is way too little to have lots of fun at the park; I had an all inclusive package, stayed on the grounds but I took about $1,500 for the family just to blow. Hope you have a great time! (fb)


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