Well, my running shoes are headed to Florida as of 2:00 this morning, Central Standard Time. Guess I better show up to meet them. I’m extremely excited about the Happy Haunted 5K this Saturday, but truth be told, I’m also scared, which is pretty apt seeing as it’s Tower of Terror Ten-Miler weekend. This isn’t just any Disney vacation. I’ll be starting the trip having run my first 5K. That’s so crazy to me!!
So, as I said, my shoes are already headed South. Since the kids’ first trip, my gparents have always headed to Florida a few days before we do. They road trip it and make a few stops along the way to enjoy different parts of the south. They also take our luggage with them so we can avoid the hassle of checked and possible lost or damage bags. That means I’m packing for our trips about a week before we actually leave. I’ve found a few tips that work well for us, and maybe some of you World or Land travelers may find them useful, too.
Disney Packing Tips
1. Pack for every day of your trip plus one day. On this trip, we’ll be gone for nine days, but one of those days is our arrival day, and we’ll already be wearing our outfit for that day. However, I still pack nine changes of clothes. Inevitably someone spills or we get soaked in one of Florida’s fabulous afternoon downpours. This keeps us from having to do a quick laundry stop. It also gives you some options if you decide you don’t really like an outfit.
2. Organize! I’ve been packing the kids in zip top bags since they started traveling. Each bag has one day’s entire outfit: underwear, socks, top, bottoms, accessories. This makes mornings SOOOO much easier. I just chuck that day’s bag at the kids’ head, and they can get ready completely on their own. This was also helpful when my gpa was helping get the kids ready for a park day. No having to pick anything out. It was all together.
It’s just been the past couple trips that I’ve started doing something similar for myself. I’ve heard of the wonders of packing cubes, but I’ll admit to being a little skeptical. Really, how is this going to help me pack less? I’m kind of a chronic over-packer. It’s not like we’re heading out to the jungle. If I forget something, I could run to Target. But, no, I throw everything I can think of that we might possibly need clothing-wise into my suitcase.
Aaaaanyway, I ran across some IKEA packing cubes at their fantastically low prices, and I decided to give it a go. Well, what can I say? It worked. If it doesn’t fit into the cube, I don’t take it. I guess it’s just a visual boundary thing, but it totally has me packing differently than I was even a year ago. So, in my four cubes are nine outfits (well, I cheated, I threw a couple dresses in for grown-ups night out), PJs, swimsuit and running shoes. And the other half of my suitcase was entirely empty leaving room for a few trip-specific things that we’re normally shoving into carry-ons (autograph books, markers, glow toys, etc.).
It’s also extremely easy to unpack once we arrive. I pull out the things that need to be hung (pretty much just the dresses), and the cubes just get dumped into a drawer. Done.
3. Pack for comfort! This really should go without saying, but every trip I see some poor soul limping around in uncomfortable shoes or wearing a dress two sizes too small. You’re going to be walking. A lot. Comfy shoes are VITAL to yours and everyone in your group’s happiness while at Disney. Learn it, live it, love it.
You’re also surrounded by concrete. In Florida. It’s going to get pretty warm, and you don’t want your clothes to be skintight. Your skinny jeans may look cute, guys and girls, but how fun are they going to be after an afternoon in the sweltering heat or a ride on Splash Mountain. Think light, airy, loose-fitting fabrics.
MyMagic+ is also rolling out more components, and the focus this month seems to be on MagicBands. Stitchy is the only member of our travel party that has ticket media at this point (his annual pass), but I was able to link it to his band and play around with the FastPass+ scheduler. Of course, that was just for fun and to get the experience to pass along to my guests at this point because I have no idea what will happen with our military tickets once we receive them since Disney has never offered the opportunity to link them to Key to the World cards. It’s in the works, I hear, but I’ve yet to see anything concrete. Apparently it’s a possibility to schedule FastPass+ once we’re in the park with our unlinkable tickets, but we wouldn’t be able to do so via the app or site. I’ll keep you updated.
That’s all the pre-trip fun for now, friends. I have to go finish our costumes! Yes…procrastination at its finest.