If you are an adult and are planning to travel to Disney World in January, I assume you already know that you should pack the utter essentials, like underwear or a toothbrush. But what else do you need? How else should you prepare for a wonderful Disney World trip in the winter—even if it’s in Orlando, Florida?
Well, this article will cover exactly that, helping you figure out your January Disney World packing list for you and your family!
Let’s first begin with shoes.
What shoes are you most comfortable in? Maybe it is flip-flops or maybe it is sneakers with gel inserts. Shoes are the most important focus in packing for Walt Disney World. On average, you will be walking miles a day and you will most likely be doing so for multiple days.
The shoes you wear can affect your legs, hips, back, and your vacation. Make sure that you have more than one pair of shoes that are comfortable for you so that if something happens to the primary pair you are not left scrambling to purchase shoes that may not be right for you!
Bring pants you are comfortable in and bring more than one pair. If you hate wearing jeans DO NOT bring jeans, if you despise dress pants DO NOT bring dress pants. I am by no means saying look like a lumpy mess just that it is super important to be comfortable.
Since we are talking about January if you did not know Florida could get rather chilly. Bring a few pairs of shorts or capris, but please do not leave your pants at home.
So, we are talking January for this article and it can be downright freezing some days in Florida. Do not leave your jacket at home. I know this may take up extra room in your suitcase, but it is important to have a winter coat along.
The best coats are the ones that have zip layers and can be a heavier coat or turn into fall jackets. With this type of jacket, you will be ready for any cool or cold weather. If you do not own one of these, be sure to bring a heavier jacket and a sweater or two.
Packing shirts for January can be difficult. Be sure to check the weather frequently before you leave so you can weed out some options. Overall, just be sure you bring a few short sleeves and long sleeves, and then you can take whatever the weather tosses your way.
Winter Weather Wear
So if you did not get it by now—Walt Disney World can get cold in January. We talked about coats and sweater, but I think this is a good time to point out a few other must packs. Bring a pair or two of gloves with you.
Do not forget some scarves as well and a hat just in case. While you may not use them, it is much better to have them if you wind up needing them. Trust me, my first January trip I was completely unprepared and had cold rainy weather. I wish I had all of these things packed because things got pretty miserable without them even being in Walt Disney World.
My Disney Experience
Have you booked a trip yet? If you have, you know they have a handy internet tool now called My Disney Experience. In this one place, you can see all of your dining reservations, your Fast Pass+ selections, and pretty much anything about your trip. The reason I am bringing this up in a packing list is that if you have a smart phone pack it or make sure someone in your group has one to pack.
Be sure to bring your charger for the room and a portable extra battery along with a cord for in the park. Why? My Disney Experience also has an app for smart phones and it is wonderful. You can use it for the maps, to see ride wait times, for park hours, to add more fast pass+ when available, and anything you need for your Disney vacation. This app makes your vacation smooth and simple and I highly suggest using it.
While I am assuming you know that you need your toothbrush and toothpaste, do not forget to add that to your packing list. I also suggest bringing your own shampoo, conditioner, and body soap. Disney Resorts do supply the complimentary little bottles, but in my opinion I would always much rather us my own that I know works and I will not have any reactions to.
Also, make sure to pack sunscreen. Just because it may be cold does not mean it will not be sunny. Florida weather is usually sunny and you want to protect yourself without paying a lot of money for sunscreen in the parks.
Bring the over the counter pain medications. Most adults are not in shape and many of us are not used to walking as much or as long as we generally do in Walt Disney World. You will most likely be sore and there is no reason to suffer if you do not have to.
Whether it is cold or you have some form of allergies tissues always come in handy for the random runny nose. It is much nicer to have those little travel pack then to making your nose all red with toilet paper or paper towels from the bathroom.
Wipes are a must pack if you have a toddler—don’t get caught in the parks without them! It never fails that you slop food on yourself, a bird poops on your shoulder, or you touch a railing and are left with something gooey and gross on your hand. Wipes are great for all ages and for many uses. They have little square travel packs that are light and super convenient for traveling.
Essentials Aside From Clothing
Backpack or bag of some sort
I personally think it is necessary to have a backpack that you find comfortable along for Disney vacations. Disney unlike many other parks in the country allows you to take food and drink into the parks. This is a great way to save money and with the backpack, you can have a water bottle or two and some granola bars easily available. You can also carry your sunscreen and back up smart phone batteries. If you buy small souvenirs in the bag they go.
Make sure ahead of time that if you are carrying any significant amount of weight you have a bag with padded straps. Drawstring backpacks become very uncomfortable very quickly with a few water bottles and other things weighing them down. Since we are looking at traditional style backpacks look for ones with pockets so it is easy to separate and find things quickly.
Reusable Water Bottles
So, as I said above you can bring your own water into the park! So at the start of the day make sure you fill up your reusable water bottle. One of the wonderful things in the parks is you can walk up to many of the concession stands and ask for a free cup of ice water and you can refill your water bottle.
They also have water fountains at a few different locations where you can fill your water bottle as well. So do not spend a bunch of money or snack credits buying water in the parks when it is free all around you.
Gum (if you chew gum)
You will not find gum anywhere in the Walt Disney World Parks. This is the Disney way of deterring people from sticking their chewed gum all sorts of disgusting places and does prevent a lot of those issues. That being said if you are a gum chewer make sure you pack your own stash so you are not left grabbing an Uber to the nearest gas station to grab some!
Whether you are traveling with children or not I suggest buying glow sticks and glow accessories ahead of time. At night the parks are filled with glowing toys, necklaces, and anything you can think of that glows. You can be a part of the glow party without having to spend extra if you were not intending on purchasing a light up item in the park.
Florida is sunny a lot! Do not bust your Disney budget buying everyone sunglasses that are $30 when you have perfectly good glasses already, unless of course that is a specific souvenir you wanted. Majority of the sunglasses you will find are not Disney branded though, so they will not make the best souvenirs.
Plastic Zip Lock Bags
Whether it rains and everything gets soaked or you take a wild ride down Splash Mountain zip lock bags are a must have to keep your belongings dry. The bigger ones also come in handy if you get a special cup with a drink and rinse it out and put it in there nothing else in your bag gets wet. You can use them to save leftovers from snacks you get to put in your bag. Basically, zip lock bags have a wide range of uses and should not be forgotten in your packing list!
Pennies & Quarters
Penny presses are one of the cheapest souvenirs. While being budget friendly they are also unique to each area, which makes them a great thing to collect. Each resort has their own. A majority of the rides have machines you can find. Anywhere you go in Disney World there will be a penny machine somewhere near, so do not forget to look!
Infants, Toddlers, and Kids! Oh My!
No matter the age, all kids require a little more thought when packing. This is when having a backpack becomes even more crucial and pockets are even more convenient.
You will need all the basics we talked about for adults above for the little ones as well, but here are the extras you may need.
Do not forget diapers, wipes, and Desitin (or some sort of baby butt cream)! While the first aid stations can give you children’s or infant Tylenol and take your child’s temperature, it is always best to be prepared and bring these along. With all of the strangers, germs, and busy schedule, little ones are very susceptible to getting sick.
If you use pacifiers, be sure to have one of the many contraptions now available that tether them to the child or the stroller. Losing one of these in Disney most likely will not end well and you most likely will not be seeing it again. Pack whatever blankets or stuffed animals they love for bed time, but be super cautious if you plan to bring them in the park as you also will not want them lost forever.
When doing Disney with kids be sure you pack bottles and/or sippy cups that your child prefers to use. For a toddler, pack juice drops. Then you can get the free water around the park, put it in a sippy cup, and drop a few drops in for cheap and easy juice.
If you have a picky little one, do not forget to pack their favorite snacks to bring along. There is no reason to pay money for a full meal your toddler will not eat when you have goldfish and peanut butter crackers you brought yourself and you know they will eat them.
So all that being said, do not forget your normal trip-packing list. Be sure to make your list far enough ahead of time that you can purchase the things that you need or add to your list as you see fit. And remember that not every packing list will not be the same, everyone has their own preferences and needs. So, you do you and make your list and check it twice.
If you enjoyed this article, please “like” our Countdown to Magic Facebook page!
You Also Might Enjoy:
- The Crucial Disney World Packing List You Must Read
- The Best Places to Eat in Hollywood Studios with Kids
- What’s the Best Age to Take a Child to Disney World?
- The 15 Best Rides at Disney World for Adults to Try at Least Once
- The Best Rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Experience
- The Top 10 Disney World Rumors I Hope Come True
- Is Magic Kingdom the Best Disney Park for Grown Ups?
- Why Epcot is the Best Disney Park for Adults
- Disney World Tips and Tricks for Animal Kingdom
- The Best Rides at Magic Kingdom You Gotta Experience ASAP
- Avatar: Flight of Passage review
- Pandora: The World of Avatar review