Tips about Packing

If you're already on the bus on the way to the park and realize you forgot to use deodorant, go to a cashier at one of the main stores. I stopped in Magic Kingdom at the Emporium and they had a mini size deodorant. I think it was $3. - Linda

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a good tip to keep in mind for many similar toiletries and over-the-counter medications (aspirin, antacid, etc.). At the main store in each park, like the Emporium or MouseGear, they keep a selection of these sorts of items out of sight. Just ask a cast member and they'll send you to the proper counter so you can purchase them.
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No room for your refillable mug in your suitcase? Clean it out and put small gift items (or even clothing) inside to save room. - Kristy B.
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If you plan on getting new shoes for The World, break them in on nightly walks, when your feet are puffy at the end of the day. I've also worn my new kicks, shoes, socks, sandals, etc, on my treadmill for a half-hour a day. Not only does it help break them in, but it's an easy way to figure out if the shoes really fit well, where they rub, if my toes are squished, if my feet will be sore in the following days. Figuring this out at home sure beats being miserable on vacation. AND, it helps prep my body for all the walking that I'll be doing. (BONUS: My new shorts will fit better, too!) - Kara
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Don't forget to bring a blanket or two from your little one's crib/bed at home, and put it in the room crib if you're getting one. At least that gives them the smell of their own bed and a little comfort from home to help them adjust to a new place. It'll only take a few trips to adjust your little travelers to a life outside their comfort zones. - Kara
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In addition to taking out all electronics bigger than a cell phone, TSA at the Orlando airport recently made everyone in my line and the security lines around me take out all food items --- every granola bar, every bag of Mickey treats --- and lay them in a single layer in the security bins. One lady had a whole duffle bag full of snacks and it took several bins and extra time for a TSA person and her to lay them all out in a single layer. I will definitely change the way I pack my carry-on! - Sally Schneider
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Consider tucking a small, pocket flashlight into your suitcase, just in case of a power outage. The electricity went out throughout the entire hotel one night during our stay last week at Disney's BoardWalk Villas. There were emergency lights in the hallway, but our room was in complete darkness for an hour. - Linda
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We just returned from an eight-day stay at Walt Disney World and I have a tip regarding package deliveries from stores like Amazon. We ordered items for our baby (diapers, wipes, formula, etc.) 10 days prior to our trip and had them shipped to All Star Sports. I received emails a few days prior to our check-in day that our packages were delivered. Because of this, I only packed enough baby items for our first day. When we checked in around noon time, I asked about our packages and was told that hotels have been so overwhelmed with the number of package deliveries in the past several months, they no longer have the space to store the packages on-site. Instead, packages are sent to an off-site location. When you check in, your packages are then called for... but it can take a few days to get them to you. About 75 percent of our stuff was located by midnight, the rest by the following day. Needless to say, it was a very stressful start to our vacation and I won't be doing that again! - Jillian
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This trip to Walt Disney World we decided to bring our own beach towels from home. We found it much easier to identify our chairs and verify the security of our belongings while lounging in the pool. The resorts do provide white towels, but it is so difficult to differentiate one chair from the next! - Amy Coronis
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My daughter brings all her old Disney stuffed animals with us and arranges them in the window of our room. This year I bought some battery-powered, multicolored lights (the ones used for a jack-o'-lanterns) to accentuate the stuffed animals. It was so fun to see. - Michelle
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Start saving all your and your kids' old clothes -- the ones that are stained or a little torn, clothes that you don't wear any more or don't let your kids wear to school. Rather than discarding them, keep these clothes. For your trip to The World, take these clothes -- especially for the children. No one cares or pays attention to what you wear in the parks, and that way you won't have to stress out when eating meals or snacks. Spill away! Stain away! No being careful! When you get back to the room, throw that tee shirt or pair of shorts away. When you get home: Hurray! No laundry to do! - Andrea Fisher
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We aren't really big soda drinkers, so the refillable mugs aren't a good investment for us. However, we do like our morning coffee. I found disposable coffee cups with lids at the local dollar store. We make coffee in our room, take it with us on the way to the parks, then throw the cups away when we are finished. It's super-cheap and we aren't carrying around a cup all day! - Laura Briggs
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My suggestion for those who wish to travel light when going through the parks is to pick dual-function clothing. For instance, you can get by without a bag in some cases by wearing cargo pants or shorts. Keeping small things in the pockets like sunglasses, small cameras, handkerchiefs for those hot days. Also if traveling with small children see if you can get by with a small child-size backpack with just the essentials: diapers, wet wipes, small snacks, one sippy cup, one change of clothes in a zipper-top bag. It is even better if you can attach it or hang it to a collapsible umbrella stroller. These cheaper options will give you peace of mind that if these items in the kids' small bags disappear while on a ride it is no big loss, as your important items are on your person in cargo pockets. Think with the minimalist approach and I'm sure the trip will be more enjoyable. - Josh Prouty
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If you are taking your own pillow(s) along with you to one of the resorts -- or any hotel for that matter -- put it in a colored pillowcase. I forgot to do this on my last trip to Walt Disney World and left my pillow behind because it was in a white pillowcase like the resort pillows. I contacted the resort when I got home later that day, but they weren't able to locate it, despite the fact that my pillowcase had eyelet trim on it and the pillow was a special feather pillow. - Lisa Cash
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For all those folks writing about nightlight options -- Make sure your wall-mounted hair dryer is plugged in! Each room I've ever stayed in, regardless of pixie dust level, has the built-in night light feature. Though, as a retired teacher, I admit that the cyalume sticks (glow sticks) are always fun! - Scott Stuart
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I have found that the battery-operated tea lights make great nightlights in hotels where the toilet is in a separate room from the sinks. Often these bathrooms don't have any plugs (the plugs are in the sink area, probably due to safety concerns about electricity and water). For me the tea lights provide just enough light to see to go to the bathroom at night. - Nancy Yetman
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