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Hi, I’m a chronic over-packer.
No, really. This is something I fight with myself about every single time I drag out a suitcase. My anxiety kicks into overdrive, and I worry about needing all sorts of things I probably won’t need. This only got worse after I became a mother, although I managed to stop overpacking for myself, and now I just overpack for my two (almost three!) year old. But what mom doesn’t? You don’t want to find a 24 hour Wal-Mart to buy brand new outfits, find a laundromat, or run out to CVS to get benadryl at 2 AM during your “vacation”.
Packing for Disney World was a whole other game. Like, what does a toddler need to spend several hours in a park? Seems like it could be everything. I obviously consulted several message boards, facebook groups, Disney-obsessed friends, and friends who have already taken this trip with kids. What I concluded was this: Disney World is extremely accommodating, so I don’t need to pack for half of the potential disasters that could occur. If you are driving, be like me and pack everything. If you are flying, have several needs delivered to your hotel via PrimeNow or Instacart.
We have a Citi Mini GT, which seems to be the stroller of choice for many off-site rental companies (although the rentals were frequently blue while ours is black). I LOVE this stroller, because it is so easy to push and turn. The wheels take bumps and sudden turns so smoothly, and Charlotte is comfortable in it. Because we were driving, we brought ours. It was nice to know that Disney will pump up the tires and patch holes if needed.
We popped a stroller fan on, and this name tag I found on Etsy so the stroller would be easy to find amongst the mass of strollers when parking. I also put some bright yellow ribbons on the handle and on the front.
In our backpack for the park, I packed a few snacks, a couple of refillable water bottles, diapers, wipes, shout wipes, a change of clothes for Charlotte, a rain cover for the stroller, extra sunscreen, a cool mist fan, earmuffs to protect little ears, and had a separate bag for crayons, small notebooks, and stickers (you can also just get some play packs, which I love for restaurants). As I mentioned in my other post, I kept these things separated in gallon-sized ziploc bags, which made getting through security faster, and then dumped the things we weren’t going to use as often (and weren’t worried about being stolen) in the bottom of the stroller so the backpack would be lighter and easier to dig through.
Planning Charlotte’s outfits was so, so fun for me! I got headbands (which she refused to wear for pictures) and dresses from Presley Couture which were nice and cool, and she wore playground shorts under them.
I grabbed a few t-shirts for myself shirts off of Amazon and Etsy. I also found these bitbelts to keep my magic band on (I remember mine kept popping off a few years ago) and to keep Charlotte’s on. Since she was 2, she didn’t technically need to wear a magic band, but it’s an extra layer of security, since it can be scanned by a cast member if she’s lost. I also bought a glow-in-the-dark decal (Frozen, of course!) to encourage her to wear it, and so I could find her hand in the dark. And I found some adorable Minnie Mouse hair clips! And because I’m paranoid, I got these temporary tattoos with our phone number. Charlotte loved putting her “Disney castle” on every day.
For the hotel
Along with a large bag of snacks, I packed this Boon travel drying rack. I wanted to be able to wash out and dry Charlotte’s cups and water bottles. To make sure Charlotte was able to sleep well, I packed her white noise machine and her favorite stuffed friends and blanket.
Just in case, I packed some tide pods, and a small first aid kit. Luckily, Disney has first aid stations in every park, and the hotel had a laundry room!
Somehow, I managed to fit everything in the car!