When contemplating the planning of a Walt Disney World vacation with my little ones there are many things I must consider. My personal number one goal is to keep everyone in my family as happy as possible while in The World. In my opinion, a critical aspect of achieving this lofty goal is to have the right equipment! I have found that if my children have certain things accessible to them that they are used to having at home, we are in for a much less bumpy ride. A smooth one even! Here is the first half of the Disney Dozen for things my children must have with them on their Walt Disney World vacations!!
#1. Teddy or in our case, Mickey. Does your little one have a favorite stuffed animal or blanket that he has to hug every night at bed time? Chances are that he will want to have it when you are on vacation too! My boys each have their stuffed baby Mickey’s that they got on their first trips to Disney and they can’t fall asleep without them! Do not forget this very important item!
#2. “Sippys”! I don’t know about yours, but my little ones are extremely attached to their sippy cups! They have them on hand all day and next to their beds at night in case they get thirsty. It is also very important that kids stay hydrated while spending long days in the parks in Florida’s hot sun! If they have their own cup or water bottle that they are accustomed to using they will probably be more apt to drink as much as they should. Bring their favorite cups, fill them with water and ice in the morning, and go! My kids have Nalgene Grip’n Gulps that are fabulous. I have spent many hours searching for the perfect sippy that won’t leak and let me tell you, this is it! Older kids might like Nalgene Mini-Grip‘s. We also have Camelbak Kid’s Bottles that my children really like. These have straws instead of sippy spouts and don’t leak either! I have recently discovered SippyPals. These are straps that hook on to your child’s cup and then on to your child’s car seat, stroller, or anything else! These will make it so that when my children are in their strollers in the parks and they drop their cup, all they have to do is pull it back up by the strap! How many cups have you lost in Disney? I’ve lost a few!
#3. Strollers! Disney does rent strollers. We have not used them as of yet. Why? Your child’s stroller is one more thing from home that might make him feel more comfortable in the big World of Disney! I know when my kids get a little nervous or apprehensive about something, they know they can retreat back to their stroller and feel safe. I highly recommend bringing lightweight, collapsible umbrella strollers over big, bulky, heavy ones! You will thank me for this advice when you are getting on and off Disney’s buses with your strollers, gear, and little ones in tow! We have the Jeep Wrangler Double Umbrella Stroller and Jeep Wrangler Single Umbrella Stroller. I have tried many strollers and I LOVE these. I am a very small person and they are very light and easy to carry when folded. They also navigate well and are comfortable for my children! The double has the added bonus of reclining seats so when your little one has taken one too many rides on Dumbo, he can settle into his reclined seat for a nap! Don’t forget rain covers for your stroller! You want to be prepared for those famous Florida rain showers! We never leave for the parks without ours!
#4. Baby carriers! If your Disney baby is used to being carried around in a front carrier, backpack, wrap, or sling, bring it! She might get sick of sitting in the stroller and want to be carried for a while! This is also important in the queues for attractions! No strollers allowed there! We are fans of the Baby Bjorn, Sleepy Wrap, and Kelty Backpacks. If your baby needs a nap she might be happier napping with you in her wrap rather than the stroller as well!
#5. Snacks! While I am a fan of Disney’s vast array of snacking options, there are just some things that my children are used to snacking on that aren’t readily available while you are touring the parks. Since we fly down to Florida, we order bottled water and snacks from Garden Grocer, and have them delivered to our hotel the day of our arrival. It is very helpful to have foods on hand that your little ones are used to munching on during the day. This might also save you from spending a fortune on every snack vendor that you pass by! We love things that stash well in the diaper bag like Pepperidge Farm Goldfish!
#6. Night lights! My boys have fabulous night lights that we purchased from Ikea. These in particular are cool because they can be charged and then your children can walk around with them or place them right by their beds. You also only have to press on the top to turn them on and off and they have a cool mode where they change colors. These are not only good for your kids, but also great in your hotel room when you are rummaging around late at night or early in the morning getting ready for your next big day in the parks while the rest of your family snoozes! “Dear night lights protect my sleeping babes….”