April is a beautiful time to visit the Disney parks, however many first-time park goers may be stuck trying to figure out exactly what to bring with them. And if that’s the case, you’re in luck, as this article will serve as your ultimate Disney World packing list for April.
So if you’re excited to head to Walt Disney World in the Spring, let’s discuss a few important things you need.
1. A comfortable pair of sturdy shoes:
You’re going to be doing a lot of walking throughout the day, and you’re going to want to be comfortable. The best shoes to wear for the parks are either sneakers or strap on sandals. Avoid flip flops if possible, as some rides may not allow you to wear them. I would also highly suggest bringing a backup pair of shoes with you to keep at your hotel room in case the first pair breaks or get ruined. I’ve had this happen to me before, and trust me, it was a nightmare trying to find affordable park shoes on property.
When you book at an on-property resort, you receive a personalized MagicBand for each member of your party. MagicBands basically work as the ultimate key to your vacation. It’s your resort room key your park ticket, your credit card, and it keeps your FastPass reservations all in one convenient bracelet. You will receive your personalized bands in the mail prior to your vacation.
If you plan to take the Magic Express from the airport to your resort, it also functions as your bus pass, so be sure to keep it handy while you travel. It’s not too big of a deal if you forget your MagicBands at home, your resort will simply provide you with another one. You won’t be able to take advantage of online check-in at your resort, and it will probably take a few minutes out of your day to get all the bands programmed for your party.
To make things a little less complicated, just be sure to bring your MagicBands with you. Also, don’t forget to bring along any other travel documents you may have been sent, such as flight numbers or hotel confirmation numbers,
3. Smartphone/portable charger:
Take advantage of the My Disney Experience App on any smart phone. From the app, you will be able to make or edit dining or FastPass reservations, check wait times for your favorite attractions, or find out when and where character meet and greets are. The My Disney Experience app will become your central hub for all things Disney World related.
Each theme park also offers free Wi-Fi throughout, so you can check show times while waiting in line for another attraction. You’re also going to be making a lot of memories on your Disney vacation and surely, you’re going to want to take pictures. Bring a camera along, or just simply take photos on your phone. There are multiple PhotoPass locations at every character meet and greet as well as around the parks.
PhotoPass gives you the option to purchase professionally taken photos for an extra fee, but you can also ask the PhotoPass cast member to take a photo on your personal device as well and they will happily do so. Your phone is going to get a lot of use throughout the day, and you would hate for your battery to die midway through your adventure. Bring a portable charger along so you won’t have to be tied to an outlet and waste precious park time.
4. Resuable Water Bottle
Disney won’t stop you from bringing a bottle of water, or even snacks, into the parks. It’s important to stay hydrated while walking around all day, and buying bottles of water can add up quickly, especially with larger parties. You could always get a cup of water free of charge from any counter service restaurant, but if you bring your own bottle and fill it up at the water fountains, you can skip waiting in the restaurant lines every time you get thirsty, and trust me, that will be quite often.
My general rule of thumb is to back one bottle of water for every bag your party brings with them. That way, everyone can stay hydrated while waiting in those long lines. Also, be sure to pack a few small snack items, such as protein bars, fruit, nuts, or crackers. Having things to snack on throughout the day will help keep everyone’s energy levels up and the crankiness to a minimum.
5. Change of Clothes
You could easily get away without packing a change of clothes to take with you to the parks, but they come highly recommended if you plan to ride any of the water rides. April can still get a little chilly in the evening, so having a spare change of clothes to change into if you get wet will keep you from shivering the rest of the night. This comes especially recommended for small children.
6. Small toys or games for kids
Lines at popular Disney attractions can get crazy long and it’s not uncommon to find yourself standing in line from anywhere to thirty to a hundred and thirty minutes. Keep young kids entertained in line by bringing along small toys or games that they can play with while waiting. Popular items include bubbles, glow sticks, and handheld games.
Download games to your smartphone or bring them a book to read. This will help keep whining at a minimum and your little ones content.
7. Light rain jacket or poncho
There is a good possibility that it will rain at least one day of your April vacation. Ponchos sold within the parks are predictably outrageously expensive. You can get packs of ponchos for a few dollars online and bring them with you to save some money in the parks.
Alternatively, bring a small rain jacket that you can stuff into your backpack. Bonus points if it’s warm enough to keep you cozy during the chilly mornings and evenings!
8. A light sweatshirt or sweater
Dressing in light layers is super important for the month of April. Disney World weather can go from comfortable to chilly in just an hour, so bringing along layers is the best advice anyone can give. Try to bring something that you can easily tie around your waist, such as a flannel, when you don’t need it.
9. A day bag or backpack
You’re going to need something to lung all this stuff around in all day! Find a backpack big enough to hold all the essentials, but not big enough to accumulate so much that it’s too heavy to carry. Having a backpack or shoulder bag with you will prevent you from having to rent a locker for the day.
Be sure your bag will be easy enough to carry with you on rides. Cross body bags, backpacks, and drawstring bags are all popular options. My biggest tip here is to make sure your bag is big enough to hold a bottle of water as well as your essentials.
10. Zip Lock Bags
Don’t skip out on a water ride just because you’re afraid your phone’s going to get wet! Bring a few zip lock bags with you into the parks, big enough to store your phone, camera, or any other electronic device you may have, into before getting on a water ride. Now your phone is safe from damage. This also works great for hanging out by the pool.
11. Swim suit
The weather is more than likely going to be warm enough for you to enjoy the waterparks or your hotel’s pool. Be sure to remember sun screen! Don’t worry about taking up luggage space for beach towels, they are provided at all on property resort pools.
12. Small first aid kit
Band aids are great for blisters, Neosporin is great for cuts or scrapes, Tylenol is great for aches and pains. Be sure to come prepared with a small first aid kit containing only the basics. If anyone in your party is prone to motion sickness, migraines, allergies, or any other ailment, be sure to pack a small pill container of medicines to keep everyone feeling one hundred percent.
If you have a little one, even if you think that they’re too old to use it, bring a stroller. Newcomers to the parks might not realize just how much walking they’re going to have to do in one day, and young children will especially tire quickly. So you don’t have to carry them and your bag around, bring a stroller for them to nap in throughout the day.
Even if your child doesn’t need the stroller, then you can load all your bags up in it and push them around for a while instead of carrying them. Each park offers stroller rentals, but it is significantly cheaper to bring one with you.
14. Extra spending money for food
Even if you’ve packed snacks for the day or have already purchased a Disney Dining Plan, plan on bringing some extra spending money on the day you visit Epcot. April falls right in the middle of Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival, which always features a selection of excellent outdoor kitchens.
Food from these venues are not included with any of the Dining Plans, and you’re going to want to indulge in at least one of them. These samplings are only offered during the festival, so be sure to get them while you can.
15. Autograph book and a thick barreled pen
Collecting character autographs is a fun experience for kids of all ages. This is especially a good idea if you’ve booked any character dining experiences. Disney offers their official autograph books at the parks, however the characters will sign just about anything, so bring a notebook from home if you want to save some extra dollars.
Be sure to bring a thick barrel pen, since some of the fully costumed fur characters, such as Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck, struggle to sign autographs with a thin pen. Again, Disney offers a variety of special pens in store, but just a regular thick Sharpie marker will work just fine.
16. Quarters and Pennies
Pressed pennies are one of the greatest Disney World souvenirs. They are cheap and easy for younger children to collect throughout the day and are fun to make. These pennies could also make great scrapbooking items or be perfect for any sort of craft project. Set aside newer, shiny pennies for the best results.
17. A set of warm clothes
Even if you are expecting warm weather during the duration of your trip, spring in Orlando can be rather unpredictable. Stay on the side of caution and pack in your luggage a set of jeans and a long sleeve shirt in case one day is colder than expected. It also doesn’t hurt to pack a set of nice clothes for everybody, even if you are not planning to eat at a signature dining experience.
You never know what sort of adventure you’ll find while exploring the property, so having a set of dressier clothes back at your hotel room just in case is always a good idea.
18. A Good Attitude
This is easily the most important item on the list. Don’t forget to bring your patience! Disney World is a popular vacation spot for people all around the world, and of course it’s going to be crowded and it might be hot, but if you have a great attitude, you will always have a great time.
Lines may be long, and all the people may get to be stressful, but don’t forget that the reason you’re in the parks in the first place is to have fun and spend time with loved ones. Don’t let any drawbacks put a damper on your mood. Things might not always work out the way you want them to, but just let the Disney Magic guide you and you’re guaranteed to have a great time.
Now that you have an idea of the types of items you’re going to need for a Spring Disney vacation, it’s time to start packing!
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