Packing can be one of the worst things we do ahead of a trip. It is tedious, it can sometimes be stressful and on top of that, you may find yourself throwing in “just in case” outfits.
This is especially true when packing for Walt Disney World, and even more so in the summer. Let’s face it—June is hot. Temperatures in Orlando soar into the 90s, which feels like temperatures sometimes push into the triple digits.
So what’s the best packing list for Disney World in June? What should be put into your luggage bag and why? We’ll cover all of the absolute essential items you need to pack in this article!
What You Must Know First
Let’s start with Central Florida as a whole, as it’s landlocked so temperatures here are going to feel hotter and at times stifling in the summer. If you’re on the coast, say Tampa or Miami, there is at least a sea breeze to provide some relief. Orlando is not like that sadly. Temperatures will feel hotter here than anywhere else, so it’s something to think about.
Another thing to keep in mind: Disney World is largely concrete—and when I say that, think of asphalt everywhere. From Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood Studios to the World Showcase in EPCOT, it’s all concrete.
It reflects the heat, so it’ll feel hotter than in a park with grass, so remember that when you think about going to the park. On top of that, the crowds will go up, so not only will it be hot, but it will be full of people. I think of the choke points like the walkway into Mexico, which is concrete and is always full of people crossing in and out of the World Showcase, and well…I suddenly start to sweat.
One last thing to keep in mind, shade is at a premium. There isn’t much shade in the parks when walking—there are some covered walkways or maybe a place to duck into here and there, but there aren’t really many trees to shade walkways.
The same goes for ride lines that in the summer may wrap to outside of the show building, and you may be standing there in direct sunlight waiting to get in for a while. Having things like hats or even small umbrellas are a great option.
What to Pack for a Disney Vacation
Personally, a good pair of shorts will take you a long way. But, always remember to wear lots of sunscreen on your legs.
Remember the concrete I mentioned earlier? Well, it reflects, and while standing in those lines, you may find sunburn in a place you didn’t think of, like the back of your knees.
I learned that lesson the hard way on my College Program while standing on Fantasyland Bridge and I have never forgotten it; so make sure you slather your legs in sunscreen if you’re going to be wearing shorts all through your vacation.
Speaking of legs, make sure you pack comfortable walking shoes. Disney World is huge, the World Showcase Lagoon alone is over a mile of walking. Making sure you have a good pair of walking sneakers ahead of the trip will save you a lot of heartache later.
While I wouldn’t suggest that this is the trip you want to break in some new sneakers, do use a pair you know you can take over 10,000 steps in. My suggestion? Wear them ahead of your trip to make sure they’re a good fit and won’t leave you limping with blisters.
Along with the sneakers, make sure to invest in a good pair of cotton socks, something that doesn’t slip down and keeps your feet comfortable. Having good socks will help prevent blisters, it will also keep your feet cool and dry in the hot temperatures. While we’re on the subject of socks, make sure to toss an extra pair into your park bag.
You never know when you’re going to end up with wet socks, and you don’t want to be stuck in the park all day with soaked socks.
Also, another thing to toss in your park bag? Bandaids. While the first aid center in the park will have them, it’s best to just carry your own. Sometimes you’re at the back of the park and that blister may be getting to you or maybe someone fell and scraped a knee it’s best to have it on hand to not have to limp to first aid.
Personally, your park bag should be packed with quite a few small essentials. As I mentioned, things that are important are an extra pair of socks, some bandaids, some first aid ointment, and sunscreen. While you may not use everything in there, you will use the sunscreen to reapply throughout the day, especially as you sweat.
Also in your park bag, do not forget to bring a water bottle you can refill, though most quick-service restaurants can give you a cup of free ice water. Nevertheless, a water bottle is always good to have.
I also like to bring some small snacks, as you can get hungry while waiting in line. A portable charger for your phone is important, too. The portable charger is a lifesaver, especially if you plan to take lots of photos and videos, plus you’ll need your smartphone for My Disney Experience.
My Disney Experience lets you not only check wait times but reserve your restaurant reservations, use the mobile ordering feature and Genie + to pay for Lightning Lane if you plan to use it.
Also, do remember to pack a raincoat or poncho or jacket, as Florida is known for its stormy summers and Disney is no exception. Expect rain with your 3 o’clock parade, so it’s best to be ready for it.
I recommend getting a cheap poncho at Wal-Mart instead of buying one on property. An umbrella is also handy, but it can cause issues in crowds and Florida is the lightning capital of the United States, so for safety reasons, I’d go with a poncho. It’s why I also recommended the socks, because if your socks get wet in a rainstorm then you have a fresh pair as backup.
I do know some people will pack a small umbrella for the sun, something that you can place in a bag are a great option. Just be aware if it doesn’t fit in the bag you’ll be stuck carrying it all day and on rides that can be such a pain.
I like hats too—a baseball cap can go a long way to keep your face shaded. I also can recommend a wide brim hat to cover your face and your neck to keep cool. Also, don’t forget the sunglasses that are great for sunny days, and protecting your eyes is as important as protecting your skin.
Another great item to bring into the park is a portable hand fan, as the temperatures soar those little fans help keep the air moving and help with some of the discomfort. Consider a clip fan for strollers as well so the kids can keep cool. While the fans that spray a mist are nice, a small hand fan with three good speeds works well.
Another great option is bringing small hand towels from home or buying some at a store in Orlando, wetting it, placing them in a sandwich bag, and putting them in the hotel fridge where the freezer is, or packing it with ice. If you put that in the bag you’ll have a cold reusable towel, which works wonders with the hand fan.
Remember when packing to make a space in your bag for your park essentials, it’s smart to have them with you and it’ll also save you some money to not buy things on the property.
Disney World Clothes to Wear
When it comes to clothing, wearing shorts and a t-shirt are a great option. Especially things made from cotton as it breathes well. Cotton will help absorb the sweat and keep you cool through the long days at the parks.
For ladies, a dress with some leggings is always a good option too There are a bunch of great Disney design dresses too from HerUniverse, Cakeworthy, and even Disney. Most dresses are cotton blend and even sleeveless so they’re perfect for a day at the park.
Packing some Disney t-shirts is a good option as well, consider buying shirts before your trip so you can plan outfits to match the day. One of my favorite things to do is match my t-shirt with the park and my ears for cute photos. This is especially true with families and wearing matching outfits, which make for cute photos and in turn are great souvenirs of the trip.
Outside of that, it is smart to pack for all kinds of situations. Consider packing a pair of jeans and a nice top or a dress for a night out. Disney Springs and The Boardwalk have some great nighttime options and it’s a great place for a date.
The cool thing about Disney is the light night offerings for adults and getting to wear something a little nicer for an intimate dinner or a cocktail is a great way to close out the evening. While most places on the property allow for a dressing casual, some places require at least a good pair of jeans and a sensible top.
Most of the restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin require what is typically referred to as “resort wear.” This includes polo shirts for men, golf shirts, and even a sports coat. While for women, a nice casual dress or a skirt are options for dinner. Always check with the places you plan to eat at to make sure you’re dressed for the occasion.
As for kids, your little princess or prince may want to wear a cute costume, and while that’s great bringing a backup outfit is highly suggested. With the heat and even the rain, those outfits may not make it past lunchtime. It would be best to bring something comfortable for them to change into as the day progresses.
Though heading back to your room after lunch may be the best bet in the Florida heat, keeping everyone happy until fireworks in the evening. If you do plan to spend a day in the park, it’s best to pack some clothes for them to keep them comfortable through the rest of the day in the park.
Even for adults, sometimes if you plan to Disney Bound or closet cosplay your favorite character, you may consider bringing something to change into if you’re wearing something you will find yourself feeling uncomfortable in.
One of the biggest things with summers in Orlando is the heat and you may think that a white ruffled top for Mary Poppins Disney Bound is a great idea until the heat starts to get to you, then having a t-shirt or tank top is great to switch into. I know that dressing cute for photos is a must sometimes, but the Florida heat can be a bit much after the initial photo shoot.
While packing clothing is important, so is snacking. Snacks for the park and even the hotel are some of the highest priorities for me as a traveler, it also helps save money if you’re planning to buy other souvenirs.
Snacks to Pack for Disney
Aside from comfy clothes and comfortable shoes to wear, another thing you should pack for the parks is snacks. Snacks to pack for Disney are one of the best things you can throw in to save some money. While Mickey-shaped foods are fun, and a must you can save a few dollars by packing your snacks to the park.
Here are six snacks you can pack for the park (or even for your hotel room to enjoy on your trip):
1) Peanut Butter
Peanut butter or any other kind of nut butter is such a lifesaver when it comes to snacking. I make peanut butter sandwiches and put them in my bag to eat between meals. Also grabbing some peanut butter and putting it into a container to eat with crackers or even some veggies is a good healthy choice. I say this as peanut butter is good fat and a protein, which will keep you fuller longer, plus everyone loves peanut butter.
2) Chips, snack crackers, or pretzels
A pack of chips is great for snacking, and a good way to hold you over as you’re walking around. Great for kids too as they can eat them in their bag or even spread them on their stroller to fill them up.
Another great option is snack crackers, think Goldfish or Teddy Grahams which are small and fit in small bags to give to kids or even adults. I also always recommend the filled crackers that have things like peanut butter or cream cheese. These fit not only in backpacks, but also purses and fanny packs.
Pretzels are another good option as they fit in small packs and purses, they can also pair well with peanut butter to give you that good old salty and sweet combo so many people love. Compact and quick, they make great snacks. Especially in line, you can pop a cracker or a handful of pretzels in your mouth as you scoot forward in line.
3) Granola bars
Another old reliable is granola bars. With so many options and flavors, this is great for everyone in the group. Granola bars are also filling and great fuel to keep you going through the day. I love a good granola bar in the morning on the way to the park with my coffee, which you can brew in the hotel room too as a quick on-the-go breakfast for rope drop.
While the one with sweets on them may not keep you as full, a traditional bar is great for just that. I personally like Nature’s Own, I know they’re kind of hard sometimes but they will keep you fuller for a longer time.
4) Lunch meat and cheese
This one is more for local folks who can bring a cooler to their hotel room. Having lunch meat in your hotel fridge or even left in the cooler throughout your trip is a great option. It’s a great way to eat in a hotel room that requires no heating up.
You can also take a sandwich to the park in your backpack, though with the summer heat the cheese may melt so just be aware of that when packing it. Other than that it’s a great hotel room snack for when you get back from the parks or even in the late afternoon while you’re resting.
5) Trail mix & nuts
Like peanut butter and granola this is a great reliable snack. Another something that you can eat while walking, it provides you with good fuel and it’s healthy. Try to avoid anything with chocolate as it will melt in the summer, but you could get away with something with candy-coated pieces.
If you’re not a fan of the extras in trail mix, having just a bag or container of nuts is great too. Both options are great and provide a healthy alternative if you’re not looking to eat junk the whole day.
Ok, I know this one is a bit controversial because the popcorn buckets are so cool. I get it and you’re going even say “c’mon—refills are just $2 after the initial purchase!” Despite that, I still like to keep a bag of cheddar popcorn in my bag. It’s a great snack while waiting around and those $2 refills add up after a while.
Though I do admit the lure of a popcorn cart has gotten me on occasion, but I digress.
At the end of the day, the snacks you pack for Disney are up to you and what works for your family. I tend to lean towards things my mom would have packed for me on a field trip, things I can eat while on the move, share, and pack into a single bag.
I find that packing things into smaller bags for sharing is great especially with kids, you can pass the bags around to ensure they aren’t filling up too much ahead of the dining reservation. Having snacks can make a difference especially on a hot day when you may get crankier faster, and it’ll help save some money here and there.
I like the idea of saving a bit of change with my snacks so I’m able to buy other things on my trip. It’s also just good to have something to munch on while you’re waiting or while you’re walking, it never helps to refuel as you mean.
With all these snacks, make sure to have a water bottle or a sports drink. With the heat and even some of the salt of these snacks, you may find yourself dehydrated much faster. The heat in Central Florida is no joke and you should have something to drink throughout the day.
While quick-service restaurants provide free iced water as previously mentioned, it’s best to plan and have a water bottle with you. If you can pack it with ice before leaving the hotel you’ll have chilly water at least through part of the day. So just something to keep in mind before heading out.
These snacks are just a small list of things you can pack for the parks. You can bring plenty of other things that your family may like better, but it’s just things that hold up well in the Florida heat and you don’t have to worry about scraping out of your bag at the end of the day since it overheated and spilled.
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