Stuart S. (NDD#47) (44 Posts)

Stuart is the DDL resident Geek Dad and claims New York as his birthplace. Currently, though, he resides in New Jersey and is a husband and father of two as well as a huge Disney World, Springsteen, Yankee, and NY Ranger fan. He wakes up and goes to sleep thinking about Disney World. He listens to Disney podcasts to and from work and at night before sleep. He drives his family nuts talking about Disney and is always planning their next Disney World trip. In addition, he is known to always volunteer to help extended family and friends plan their next trip. Stuart's personal blog is He can also be found on twitter by following @disneygeekdad.

You are soon leaving on your vacation to Walt Disney World and the time has come to put together a list of what you plan on bringing with you. Well, the first two things on my list are my iPod and laptop. My iPod is essential for the trip down as it is filled with my favorite Disney podcasts. Over the last year my laptop has become indispensable as it allows me to keep in touch with the Disney online community no matter where I am and now I’ll be able to write about my experiences while they are fresh on my mind. My wife and kids will really enjoy that. While they’re trying to sleep I’ll be transferring my notes to a word doc or tweeting.

When it comes to packing clothes everyone in my family seems to pack just the right amount except my daughter. She would bring her entire wardrobe if we allowed it. If you are driving back and forth to Disney World you can do that as long as you can fit everything into your car. However, if you’re flying you likely won’t have that luxury. I can’t tell you how many people I know pack two to three outfits for each day of their vacation. If you’re one of those people I have something important to tell you. Disney has actual washing machines and dryers at each of their resorts. They’re even available for guests to use. What a concept! I’m trying to say you don’t need to completely fill your suitcase with clothes. Actually, I recommend you leave some room in each of your suitcases for purchases and gifts that you may accumulate during your stay at Disney.

Something I would never do is put valuables in a suitcase especially when flying. Unfortunately things do happen and valuables go missing. Also, if anyone in your traveling party takes prescription medicine I would suggest putting it in your carry on bag. Why risk a problem of needing to take medication and not having access to your suitcase. I would also recommend taking a couple of extra day’s worth of the medication just in case your plans unexpectedly change.

Taking Disney’s Magical Express service from the airport to your Disney resort is a great way to begin your magical journey. Just remember if you arrive at your resort early your room may not be ready and you’re likely to arrive before your luggage does. So, I would pack an extra set of clothes, a bathing suit, and any other items you might need right away in one of your family’s carryon bags.

Since we can no longer fly with liquids in our carryon bags I have another suggestion that my family used on our last trip to Disney World. We bought storage containers at our local dollar store. We put our shampoo, tooth paste, sun screen, and other liquids in a zip lock bag then we placed them in the storage containers. After making sure the lids were on securely we taped the storage containers to help prevent the lids from coming off in our suitcase. When we unpacked we found the storage containers in perfect condition not even a little dent. At the end of our vacation we throw out what ever is left of our shampoo and toothpaste so we don’t need all the dollar store bought containers which do take up space in your luggage but, think about all the room you’ll have for souvenirs and gifts. Another alternative is to use the containers to store some of the items you bought while on vacation.

Although you can buy pretty much anything on property it can be quite expensive compared to the costs in your own hometown. We always pack, but hope we never have the need to use, antacids, Tylenol, Advil, and sinus and allergy medicine. If you’re bringing a camera take along enough extra batteries to last through your vacation and always keep extra batteries with you in the parks. Also, we always buy our rain ponchos at the dollar store which is a lot less expensive then buying them on property.

Protecting yourself with sun screen is so important when you’re spending a good part of your day exposed to the harmful sun-rays. Rather than buy a large bottle or two of sun screen we buy a handful of smaller bottles as this is an item we always take into the parks. The large bottles take up too much room and with everything else we’re carrying the extra weight of a large bottle becomes something we can do without.

Going to Disney isn’t about making a fashion statement especially when you’ll be walking miles and miles each day in the blistering heat and sun. What you don’t want to do is bring a new pair of sneakers or sandals to Disney to break in during your vacation. Always make sure whatever you’re wearing on your feet is completely broken in before you arrive at Disney World. I would also recommend bringing bandages and other products for treatment and prevention of blisters. Believe it or not, one way to prevent blisters is to stay hydrated.

I hope these hints have been of some help and whenever you get to the parks next, have a magical stay!

Contributed by: Stuart S. (NDD #47).  Stuart is our resident Disney geek and creator of Disney Geek Dad.


  1. What great suggestions! I will definitely be using a few on our next trip. Especially liked the idea of the liquids in the storage container in your suitcase….I think a few souvenirs would fit in there very nicely for the trip home.

  2. On a bang-for-the-buck basis, the thing our family always makes sure to bring from off-property is bottled water. It's heavy to carry around, but we literally save $50 a day versus what we would need to stay hydrated on park-priced drinks alone. The first night we get to Disneyland, either my wife or I will make a trip to Costco (literally 5 mins away right on Harbor Blvd) with the express purpose of getting a flat of water plus some backpack snacks like cashews and dried fruit.

    If you don't have a rental car or another effective way to get off property, you can do almost as well by buying one bottle per family member and then refilling it at drinking fountains. I'd rather drink swimming pool water than the OC tap water, so I just tough out the heavy backpack 🙂

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