The internet is full of packing lists for your Walt Disney World trip, and they can be quite inclusive. Overwhelming, too. I mostly used a common sense approach in packing, considering the weather forecast, number of days we’d be traveling, and the basics that we use daily. But there are a few things that I found aren’t most obvious, but would be helpful on an adventure like this. Thus, I bring you…
1) Barf Bags
Yup. My kid is the one who puked. Twice. In the Magic Kingdom. It was oh-so-magical. He’s always been one to have issues with motion sickness, so we thought maybe it was the shuttle ride that did him in when he upchucked immediately upon arriving at the most magical place in the world. He said he was fine and we continued on. But he wasn’t and later, when we were in line for the Jungle Cruise (a rather mellow ride, that brought with it a 25-minute wait in queue–no thrills there), he barfed on the dock moments before we were to get on the boat. Luckily, he aimed for the part where no one walks, but had we packed barf bags, this whole incident would have been a lot less messy. I’ve since learned of adult friends who experienced similar moments after exiting rides at amusement parks, which made me wonder: why aren’t we prepared for this possibility? We’re getting on machines that whip us around and rotate us every which way–thus increasing the risk for our stomachs turning over, too. Why don’t we have a fallback to save us the shame of public retching? I almost swiped the barf bags on our flight home, for next time. But you’ll be happy to know you can purchase them online, and there are even models that have absorbent interiors. That’s probably more than you’ve ever wanted to think on this subject. (If not, there’s a great thread on Theme Park Insider on getting sick at amusement parks…)
Dramamine quite possibly could have prevented the need for item #1, but my son insists that it was actually food poisoning (I have my doubts, but you never know). We did bring a canister of Dramamine, but lost it in the shuffle on day 1 and did not have it at the park. We asked about purchasing some and were sent to the first aid unit at the end of Main Street, between Casey’s Corner and the Crystal Palace. But we didn’t enter, as it looked like a walk-in clinic and we thought we were given misinformation. It turns out that they do offer Dramamine, so don’t pass it up if you need it. But it’s better to come with your own supply to take as needed. Even I had to partake a few times, especially for rides like Expedition Everest, which spins you around a bit at the end. I prefer Bonine (it’s the same antiemetic medication that I was given for vertigo), but I can’t seem to find it anywhere anymore. Whichever you choose, you’ll be thankful later when you don’t succumb to motion sickness.
I know I should be putting sensible shoes here as #3, but everyone recommends that. And that’s what I packed–my Saucony running shoes, which should have fit the bill. Instead, they practically crippled me after just one day at Disney. Granted, I have foot problems anyway (foot drop from permanent nerve damage from a back injury in 2011), but everyone will be walking miles and miles and miles when visiting. Heck, we walked at least 3.5 miles Saturday night alone! Even with having the best shoes possible, blisters happen. Don’t let them ruin your vacation. Bring some moleskin (and a tool to cut it to size) to ensure you’ll keep on walking. You need your feet for this journey!
One night, as we were trying, once again, to eat our way around Epcot World Showcase, I started experiencing stabbing pains in my right foot. As I said, I have problems with my feet anyway, but this was above and beyond. I hobbled back to the monorail, managed to make my way to my room, and slathered some of that amazing H2O Plus foot rub from our room on my aching stumps to see if it would help any. And I discovered a sliver in my right foot. How it got there, I have no clue, but there it was, and there it would stay until we MacGyvered a way to remove it. We did not have tweezers. I am probably a traitor to my womanhood by not traveling with them, but what was I going to do? Pluck my eyebrows on vacation? Heck, no! They would have been most welcome, however, for getting that darn plank out of my foot! We managed–with nail clippers, if you can imagine just how joyful that was–but it would have been a lot easier with the right tool for the job.
5) Plastic Zip Top Bags
We brought plastic zip top bags in a variety of sizes (snack, sandwich, and gallon) and they served so many purposes for us. They provided a place to put wet bathing suits when switching hotels. I was able to organize the kids spending money by giving each a snack bag with their gift cards for the trip in it. I had a means for packing snacks for the parks (yes, we brought trail mix, granola bars, etc.). I went a little crazy using them to organize stragglers in the luggage, especially toiletries (and don’t forget the H2O Plus toiletries from your room, because you’ll want to take those home!). TSA must have thought I was a crazy bag lady when they opened my luggage! They also work as a makeshift barf bag, if you forget #1 (yes, I made my son carry a baggie for the remainder of the trip). Leftover snacks can be saved to bring back to your room (have you seen the size of those Mickey ears crispy rice treats?!). Dirty laundry can be separated from clean. The list goes on and on. They’re cheap and they really don’t take up much room in your luggage, especially if you remove them from their boxes.