Preparing for vacation can be both exciting and intimidating. It is exciting because you get to take a break from your normal life to make memories and unwind. It is intimidating because there’s just so much to prepare for your upcoming trip.
That’s especially true when it comes to prepping for an upcoming Disney World trip in the hot summer Orlando months. What should you pack? How do you know what to bring and what to leave at home? Well, never fear—if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, this guide should help you put together the absolute best packing list for Disney World in August.
What to Pack for a Disney Vacation
The weather in Florida is unpredictable in August. Hurricane season started at the end of July and by August is in full swing. On top of this, the moisture in the air means that rain is always just around the corner.
So, you’ll want to prepare yourself in case of a sudden downpour. So, you have a couple options. First, the poncho. There’s always the possibility you can just pick up a poncho while in the park, but there’s a couple issues with that: first, you’ll pay Disney prices and, second, you’ll probably already be caught in the middle of a deluge when you do that.
If you decide to pack your own poncho, you have option regarding how much you want to spend. You can get something like the SaphiRose poncho, which costs about twenty-five dollars. There’s a lot of great options for ponchos. Some cost more than the ones you find at Disney, but you would put that money to higher quality. You can always go the opposite direction and buy a disposable poncho at Walmart.
Other than a poncho, you could also consider bringing a light rain jacket. The drawback of using a rain jacket is that ponchos cover everything, including your bag.
It might be a good idea to have large Ziplock bags to store wet clothes so that you don’t get everything in your suitcase wet.
Packing cubes are a game changer for many people and can help you save space and organize everyone’s stuff. You could get more than one person’s stuff in a single, large suitcase and keep everything separated. Also, if you are packing dressy clothes for one of Disney’s fine dining restaurants, you can use a dry-cleaning bag to roll it up so everything stays smooth.
You also want to think about bringing Body Glide or something similar. You will do a lot of movement and your clothes might rub you and cause discomfort. For your feet, you can also use Blister Balm. You will do quite a bit of walking and your feet can get torn up in the process.
Also think about bringing some Band-Aids or bandages for your feet to protect against the rubbing that might occur. There are great resources online to help you think about how to care for your feet during and after you go to the park.
Besides the clothes you’ll wear in the park, you should think about other kinds of clothes, as well. Many of the fine dining restaurants have dress codes, so you will need slacks, button up shirts, skirts, dresses, and whatever you would like to wear out the restaurants. Also, you will need flip flops and a couple of bathing suits for the pool. I would suggest two bathing suits at least because they take some time to dry. Also, pack some casual clothes so you can go out shopping in the Disney Springs area just outside of the park. You’ll also need them if you plan on doing anything outside of the park.
What to Pack for Your Flight or Drive
Not only do you want to think about your time in Florida, you also want to consider how you are going to get there. Will you fly or will you drive? If you live in the southeast, you might want to drive to Orlando, though flying is always a viable option.
Florida has a few toll roads, so you may want to keep some quarters handy so that it will be easy for you to go through the tolls quickly. You may need some if you are flying as well, since there is a toll road from the MCO airport on the way to Walt Disney World.
For both flying and driving, it is a good idea to wear shoes that are easy to slip off. This is for different reasons. For flying, it will make it a lot to go through security to get on the plane. For driving, it will make it easier to slip off to rest if you aren’t the person driving at that time.
You will probably also need something to help you listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks. Most of our phones do this, so we don’t really need to pack a separate music player. You will want to bring headphones or something to listen with as well as a charger for the car.
For kids, we often rely on an iPad to help with the long stretches. You will certainly want to make sure you can charge it, as movies and games can burn through power quickly.
If you’re driving, you probably want to pack up a cooler as well. Load it up for food for the park and for the road. It’ll stop you from having to get something at every gas station along the way. Use ice packs to save space and fit as much in there as you can.
Bring along other kinds of snacks as well, like jerky or candy. You also might want to make your own food for the park and maybe even leave the park to eat out in the parking lot.
It might be wise to pack an emergency kit for the drive. You should have jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, a tool kit, fluids for the car (oil, brake fluid), and traffic cones. You probably should have a first aid kid in your car as well.
Disney World Clothes to Wear
There are a few things you want to think about when preparing to go into the heat of Florida in August. You want to think about the kinds of fabric that you wear. It might be a good idea to try sweat wicking clothes, like UnderArmour or Champion.
Wearing light fabric might be even more important for bottoms than tops. Jeans are heavy and take a long time to dry when they get wet.
A hat offers protection from the sun, and there is a variety of hats you might wear. A broad brim hat is fashionable and offers a wide area of protection from the sun. Bucket hats have fortunately returned into favor, so you might consider one of those as well. Of course, you could always go with a good, standard baseball style hat.
You should put a lot thought into what kind of shoes you bring, because you will walk a lot in Disney World. Last time I went, my FitBit said that I walked around 22,000 steps (close to ten miles), and this looks to be a typical amount of walking for the park, perhaps even on the low end of average. You will need to take care of your feet. There are a lot of great walking and running shoes out there. Break in your shoes before you wear them to Disney.
While we’re talking about what goes on your feet, you need to think about socks. Socks can get squishy when they get wet, so if you are going on water rides, then you have a few options. First, you can bring an extra pair of socks to change into and put the wet socks in a plastic bag after you are done.
If you want to take snacks or food into the park, you can also bring a cooler backpack. Your bags cannot be larger than 25”x15”x18”, but that’s still a pretty big bag. This will help you keep things like ice cold bottles of water and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches always handy. Just be sure to have a plan to handle the bag when you get on a ride. You may have to switch off with someone or look into having a locker.
You can also find an alternative kind of sock to wear. There are a few different kinds of athletic sock that you might consider wearing. They are a little pricey, but Balega makes some athletic socks that would work well for the park.
You might want to skip socks altogether. In that case, hiking sandals work great. Keen in particular is very popular with the Disney crowd. I wouldn’t wear flip flops to the park, but you might want some for the hotel pool.
- If you need more suggestions, check out my article on How to Dress at Disney World in August.
Devices to Bring
When you think about making best packing list for Disney World, don’t forget to include your devices and plugs. You’ll want to make sure that you bring your smartphone. If you don’t have one, consider it. The My Disney Experience app is extremely helpful. It allows you to access your photos.
You’ll also need the charger for your phone. Obviously, you’ll want a wall charger, but also think about bringing a portable charger. Some of them cost ten dollars or less, so they aren’t as expensive as one might think. It’ll be worth it considering how handy phones are in the park. If you don’t have one, bring a cord so that you can have it in the park to use at their charging stations.
Your phone should have a good case to protect it, since most phones can easily crack if dropped. So invest in a strong case. Furthermore, think about getting one with protection from water. I’m a big fan of OtterBox, but JOTO has an affordable waterproof pouch that will allow you to take pictures without removing it.
If you like to read on your downtime, you might want to consider bringing an eReader such as a Kindle or Nook. Otherwise, you might find yourself loading a bunch of books into your luggage, weighing everything down. Books are heavy and you might be tempted to carry more than one option around.
And at this point, beyond the obvious reality that we are all obsessed with our cell phones, Disney has pretty much made bringing a cell phone into the parks a borderline requirement thanks to the implementation of Disney Genie, Genie+ and Lightning Lanes.
What to Pack for Kids
If you are bringing kids along to the Happiest Place on Earth, then you have a whole other set of provisions to think about beyond just their clothes. All of these depend on the age of the children.
For babies and toddlers, you’ll want to remember the necessities, of course (diapers, cream, formula), but there are probably some other things you want to think about, as well.
It would probably be a good idea to bring disposable placemats for feeding. Toddlers are notoriously messy eaters, and it would make things a lot easier if you carried one or two along when in the park. You can even find some Disney-themed ones if you are so inclined.
You will also need a changing pad. There’s a lot of different options you can think about when packing one. Munchkin makes a change kit that is pretty inexpensive and has both the pad and compartments for carrying supplies.
You’ll want to think about how you’ll take the kids around the park. You’ll need a carrier or a stroller. There are plusses and minuses to each. The stroller will give your arms a break, but the carrier will give you more mobility in tight spaces. There might be some ways to split the difference. You could think about one that converts from a stroller to carrier. Otherwise, maybe you could take a Moby wrap or something similar when you need to move without a stroller.
You may even consider a stroller for big kids between the ages of three and seven. There is a whole lot of walking that happens at Disney, and children just do not have the stamina. I had this experience with my oldest daughter when she was five and was glad that I brought one along. One great big-kid stroller is the Summer 3Dlite+, which can hold children up to 50 pounds.
Your stroller can help you carry a lot of the stuff you’ll be bringing along. If you invest in some stroller clips, you can clip on things like sippy cups and toys, so they’ll be handy. They won’t weigh you down and you won’t have to go digging around in your bag for them.
Remember that there’s quite a bit of water at the park as well and you may want to plan specifically for that as well. Think about what kind of clothes would do well getting wet. For the little ones, think about packing swimmies.
And, of course, you’re going to need to think about how you will carry all of this stuff around, so you will need a bag of some sort. My advice is to not bring some giant bag, but to instead think about what will not weigh you down too much. So, bring a lighter bad and only the essentials. My wife is a fan of bags with a crossbody strap, and I use a lightweight Jansport bag that is as old as the hills. If you want to go classier, that is understandable.
Beating the Disney World August Heat
When visiting Disney in late summer, you’ll need a plan for staying cool. You will need to drink plenty of water in the park. The main rule with any sort of container is that they should not be made from glass. Personally, I like to use a water bottle that is insulated. You can fill up your bottle at any of the water stations in the park. This will save money and the environment.
You will also need to bring sunscreen. Look for one that will last a long time and will be water and sweat-proof. For the face, the best kind of sunscreen is a stick rather than a spray. Those with sensitive skin will want to prioritize high SPF like some of the 100 SPF ones out there.
If your sunscreen lets you down and you do get burnt, you may want to bring some aloe vera as well. I should make a disclaimer that aloe vera will not do a lot for severe sunburns, but for the minor ones it should alleviate the pain. You might bring a gel or use a cool down lotion containing aloe vera.
You may want to get a cooling towel to further up your arsenal against overheating. Cooling towels such as the ones made by Froggs Toggs can stay cool for up to four hours after being dampened and wrung out. They can come in a lot of fun colors and be trimmed down for size.
Handheld misting fans also work great for when you’re standing around in the sun. A lot of them cost just between ten and fifteen dollars.
Enhancing the Fun
There’s some stuff should consider if you want to optimize your experience. You may want to bring a lanyard for collecting enamel pins. Disney has a whole culture around pin collecting and pin trading. You’ll often see people running around with lanyard full of pins. Each of the stores have walls of them with selections from your favorite characters and attractions.
You may also want to get autographs from the characters. They sell autograph books at the park at a reasonable price, so you may decide to wait on it. Even then, you might want to bring a special pen or sharpie along as well.
There are a few more things that you will be able to live without but may want in order to make the trip more fun. Disney also has many coin press machines for souvenirs so if that is something that interests you, be sure to bring along some rolls of quarters and pennies. For the nighttime shows, you might also bring glow sticks if you want to join in.
While you are watching the parades, you may want to sit down and take a load off; after all, you will have walked all over the park by that point. So, you may want to take a picnic blanket. You shouldn’t have to lug it around all day. Disney has lockers, so you could simply stow it away until it is time to use it.
Snacks to Pack for Disney World
It would be a great idea to remember some snacks to bring into the park. You can bring food and drink from the outside if it isn’t in a glass container, doesn’t need heating, and isn’t alcohol. It would be a good idea to do so, since Disney’s food prices are infamous. So, think about what kind of snacks will last in the park.
Any sort of crunchy snack would work. You could bring pretzels, goldfish, Ritz Crackers, or potato chips. For chips, think about getting ones in a can that won’t crunch as easily.
A lot of protein snacks work well because they keep you full and protein gives you energy. Great protein snacks include jerky, nuts, and trail mix.
Another classic staple of Disney snacking is peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You can either buy Uncrustables premade sandwiches and throw them in the cooler or you can pack peanut butter, jelly, and bread and make them yourself. Personally, I do the latter since it will save you a bit of money.
There’s quite a bit to remember as you pack up for your August vacation. Just take a breath and list out all the stuff you need. When you plan out what to the best packing list for Disney World in August, it can remind you of all of the fun you will have once you get there.
If you plan well, you should be able to avoid spending Disney prices on things that you could’ve brought from home. That will help you spend money on the fun stuff. Also, preparing for the heat of Disney World will help you not have a miserable experience waiting around in the sun. So, get ready and prepare ahead of time so you can have the time of your life and make memories.
If you enjoyed this article, please make sure to “like” our brand new Countdown to Magic Facebook page!
You Also Might Enjoy: