Booking your trip to Disney World can be one of the most exciting and stressful things you ever do. Narrowing down your options of hotels, ways to get there, and which parks to visit isn’t the easiest task in the world. But even if you struggle to flesh out the details, one thing is for certain: November is a great month to vacation at Disney.
Though there are better times than others to visit the parks in November, overall it is a wonderful month to travel to Disney. Still, it can be tricky to figure out everything you need to bring along with you. With the information contained in this article, though, you should have a better idea of what you’ll need on your vacation.
What’s the Weather Like?
If you’ve chosen November for your Disney vacation, you probably know that the temperatures start to drop. Granted, autumn in Florida isn’t exactly like autumn anywhere else. The range in temperatures varies greatly from day to day, so it’s always best to check what the weather will be like the week you visit. In general, you can expect highs of about 75°F and lows around the mid to upper 50s. Plus, it’s a month that sees relatively little rainfall.
Because of the temperature shifts and lack of rain, it’s good to bring a wide variety of clothing options. You’ll want to bring along a lot of t-shirts and shorts, but it’s also good to have a few long sleeves and long pants. You might even want to pack a sweater or two for the night time. You’ll never run out of things to do in Disney World, so it’s good to have a clothing option for every occasion—especially when the temperatures vary so widely.
Additionally, you probably won’t need anything more than a few ponchos for rain protection. If you prefer umbrellas, you can bring along one of those instead. Unlike in September, which is one of the months that sees the heaviest rainfall in Florida, you won’t need to pack piles of rain gear just to enjoy yourself. Don’t waste space in your luggage by packing rain boots or anything like that. You should be fine without those kinds of items.
What’s Going on in November?
One of the little known facts about Disney World is that November has a ton of special events. There’s truly something for everyone during this month. Whether you’re into marathons or the holiday season, you’re sure to find something for you and your family to enjoy.
Although, special events usually mean special packing lists. In order to get the most out of these events, you often need to bring along a few items catered to whichever event you wish to attend. Here’s a list of all the special moments that usually take place in November and what you need to bring for each:
Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival (late August to early November): If you’re headed to Epcot at the start of November, you’ll catch the tail end of the International Food & Wine Festival. You don’t necessarily need any extra items for this event—besides an empty stomach—but you do need to book additional tickets if you’d like to participate in the seminars. If you just want to walk around and taste the different food and wines, though, you don’t need anything extra in your bag.
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon (early November): To conclude the festival, Epcot hosts a half marathon. If you aren’t planning on participating in the race, you can ignore this section. If you are racing, bring along extra snacks and water. You’ll of course need your running shoes, but it’s also good to bring along another pair of tennis shoes for after your race. There’s a big party after the half marathon finishes at Epcot, and you’ll want a fresh pair of shoes and socks to change into so you aren’t hanging around in your sweaty running shoes.
Thanksgiving (late November): Thanksgiving doesn’t get too much attention at the parks, but it’s good to bring along a little extra cash if you’re going to be at the parks for this holiday. Most restaurants offer special menus for the occasion.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (early November to late December): Yes, Christmas starts the first week of November in Disney World. This is another event that more so requires you to plan ahead rather than bring anything extra. Event tickets start at around $105 per ticket; that gives you access to the park during the special event hours. If you want to skip out on the event, you don’t need to purchase this ticket to access the park during normal hours.
Holidays Around the World at Epcot (late November to mid-December): For this event, all you need to bring is your excitement. Some extra cash might be good, too. The souvenir and food options are special around this time of year.
What About Wait Times?
It’s no secret that lines at Disney get long. Waiting in line is an unavoidable part of traveling to the most magical place on Earth. But that doesn’t mean you have to stand around doing nothing during that time.
One of the best things you can pack for your trip is in-line entertainment. This can be a number of different items. For example, if you and your family enjoy card games, bring along a deck of cards. If you like charades, download an app that lets you play charades, or come up with your own scenes to act out. Small children in strollers may get cranky in the heat while your waiting, so take along some bubbles or a small coloring book for them to enjoy. The possibilities really are endless, and you will greatly appreciate your past self for thinking ahead.
November, luckily, doesn’t have the crowds of June, July, or August; however, there can be more people if you’re planning on visiting when the holiday festivities really start to kick off. Overall, though, your time at the parks in November shouldn’t be filled with unbearable crowds. Still, having a few items with you to lighten the mood in lines can be a lifesaver if anyone in your party starts to get a little testy.
What Should I Bring to the Parks?
As a general rule, you shouldn’t plan on bringing your entire luggage with you to walk around the parks. At most, you’ll need a backpack, and at the very least you’ll need your wallet and smartphone.
If you are just going to the parks purely for the rides, you really only need a reusable water bottle, your wallet if you get hungry, and your phone. It may be a good idea to bring a snack if you don’t want to spend your money on Disney’s food, but you should only need one bag for your entire party.
If you want to buy souvenirs while you’re there, or if you and your family have small children with you, it’s a good idea to bring along a bit more. You’ll definitely want a backpack, a reusable water bottle, and wet wipes. The wet wipes are in case of any spills on either your items or your person. You can also use them to wipe away excess sweat if you find yourself feeling uncomfortable in the heat.
They’ll cool you right down.
In addition to those three staples, you may also want to bring snacks, a camera, ponchos or an umbrella, extra sunscreen, and an extra bag. The extra bag is for storing any souvenirs you buy during your park visit. Helpful tip: save your bigger purchases for right before you leave the park. You don’t want to end up carrying a life-size Stitch plushie around the park all day.
Things like pins, mugs, and figurines are fine to purchase early in the day. Plus, if it get unexpectedly cold during the day and you didn’t bring a sweater with you, you’ll probably want to buy one at the park. If it gets hot again, you’ll want somewhere to put it. Having an empty bag with you really frees up your person when traveling through the parks.
Should I Bring Any Special Toiletries?
As mentioned before, you’ll want to bring along some wet wipes for any accidental spills or sticky hands. But those aren’t the only special toiletries you’ll want to bring along with you. Of course, you know what your family needs more than anyone else, so feel free to add or subtract from this list as you see fit. Things like toothpaste, deodorant, and other essentials have been purposefully excluded.
This may seem like a no brainer, but you’ll want to take extra sunscreen with you. Don’t let the cooler temperatures in November fool you. The sun is still out in full force in Florida. You may want to bring several kinds of sunscreen, too. Lotions are good to apply before you head out the parks, but sprays are better for when you need to touch up during the day. Plus, the sprays usually give you a quick chill that’ll refresh you for a moment or two. Overall, it’s better to pack more sunscreen before you leave rather than purchase some when you arrive in Florida. The prices of sunscreen tend to be higher in and around Disney—because everyone needs it—so bringing your own will save you some money.
You should also invest in some hand sanitizer. Because November is full of events related to eating and drinking, it’s a good idea to have some hand sanitizer around. Disney is a clean place, but because of all the traffic it sees, germs slip through the cracks. Having a few handbag sized bottles of hand sanitizer minimizes the chance of you or a member of your family getting a nasty cold. Plus, children are big virus carriers, and Disney is never short of kids running around touching absolutely everything.
What you bring or do not bring to the parks is entirely based on how you and your family like to vacation. If you prefer only bringing the essentials, you can get by with everything provided on this list plus a few additional items. But if you like to pack a lot, for reasons that are entirely your own business, you can absolutely add anything you’d like to this list. These items are a baseline; for those who don’t know what to bring at all, these items are a good place to start. If you’ve been to Disney before and think you have a handle on what your family needs, then you are all set to go and enjoy your vacation. Even though November holds a ton of events, none of them require particularly unique items. More often than not, they only need some extra planning and attention in the ticket purchasing process.
Here’s a comprehensive list of everything included in this article. With these items, you should be able to enjoy your time in Disney World without having to spend any extra cash while you’re there:
- A variety of clothing items: T-shirts, shorts, long sleeves, long pants, and sweaters are all necessary for Disney in November.
- An umbrella or small set of ponchos: It doesn’t rain a lot, so don’t worry too much about rain gear.
- Runners in the November race need extra shoes and socks.
- Those who wish to participate in the special event hours or seminars need to purchase tickets ahead of time.
- In-line entertainment: Cards, bubbles, and coloring supplies are all great ideas.
- A reusable water bottle: Always essential in Florida.
- A backpack: For either carrying purchased items, or keeping the group’s items in one place, or one for each need.
- Extra sunscreen and wet wipes: For sun protection and cleaning, respectively.
- Hand sanitizer: No one wants to get sick at Disney World.
With these items, you and your family are sure to have a smooth trip to Disney. Remember, more than anything else, Disney World is a place of magic and adventure, so do whatever you can to maximize the fun you have by coming to the parks prepared. Happy travels!
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