by Character Diva
Do you have questions? We have answers! Each week, a diva or devo will share some of our best tips with you as we answer five of your questions. This week, Character Diva shares with you her tips on five of your questions regarding what to pack and bring with you.
We are going in June… Is it best to pack dresses or shirts for my 2 yr old and 7 yr old?
The best answer for this is to dress lightly, but bring a jacket. In Orlando, the average temperature for the month of June is 81 degrees F (27 degrees C), with temperatures ranging between 71-90 degrees F (22-32 degrees C). In Anaheim, the temperatures average temperature for the month of June is similar, with the average temperatures ranging between 61-81 degrees F (16-27 degrees C). The nice thing with going to Disneyland during this time of year as opposed to Disney World, is you don’t have to deal with the humidity factor. You have over a 50% chance of some rain while you’re in Florida in June, so I recommend bringing a poncho (you can find these really cheap in the camping section of Target, Walmart, or even The Dollar Tree) or a jacket to either Disney World or Disneyland, because even if you’re spared the rain, you never know about wind or cold temperatures in the evening… not to mention it can be pretty nice during or after a water ride!
I also recommend packing 1-2 extra sets of clothes for each of your kids (and possibly an extra pair of shoes in case they get wet… I would avoid wearing “princess” dress up shoes at any cost as they will not only cause blisters, but will slow you down considerably). This way if they spill something, get drenched, get too cold/too hot, have an accident (in the case of your 2 year old), they have something to change into. If you’re looking for some lightweight costumes (that are machine-washable, durable, and dry REALLY quickly), I recommend checking out Mom Approved Costumes. They have some great choices for both boys and girls. They’re a lot cheaper than what you’d pay in the parks, and the fact that they’re machine-washable (and much more comfortable… not itchy!) makes them worth their weight in gold. So if you want to go the costumed route, I recommend checking them out.
And just remember, no matter what you wear, you’ll want to bring lots of sunscreen, a pair of sunglasses, chapstick, and a comfortable pair of tennis shoes (you can do flip flops or sandals, but depending how fast you’re walking, your feet will be much happier in a pair of tennis shoes). Enjoy your trip!
When going for just one day, what do I NEED to take? I don’t want to carry a heavy bag if I don’t need to.
It really depends on who you’re going with. Babies and toddlers obviously require a lot more than if you are traveling with older children or adults. But here is a list of stuff I find handy for any age group.
-Camera (This is a given… and the first thing that goes into my bag. You’re spending all that money, you might as well document your adventure!)
-Extra sd card and batteries (I usually make sure I have a fully charged battery and plenty of room on my sd card, but backups can never hurt)
-Phone (You can also take pictures on your phone, and if you have a smart phone, there’s some great Disney apps out there to help you plan your day)
-Phone Charger (There are some locations around the parks to charge your phone, so if you’re worried about all of your photos, videos, and Disney apps draining your phone’s battery life, make sure to pack your charger! For more information, read Undercover Diva’s article here.)
-Sunscreen (No matter what time of year, you can get sunburned! Protect yourself)
-Sunglasses (See above)
-Chapstick (On our last trip to Disneyland in November 2013, we were experiencing temperatures in the upper 80’s, and later on, some winds. Chapstick was the one thing I didn’t have on me that I was missing the most.)
-Mini Fans (As I mentioned above, it can be hot any time of the year. You can buy these really cheap at Walmart (especially towards the end of the summer), and I even found some Disney princess and Marvel themed ones in Target’s $3 bins. Super cheap, Disney-themed, and keeping me cool while I’m standing in line. What more could you want?
– Comfortable shoes (For me, a good ole pair of broken-in tennis shoes works great. Yes, they may not be as cute as some of your other footwear options, but your feet will thank you after your 11 mile speed hike around the theme parks)
– Snacks (When I was little, we were always given sandwich bags full of Cheerios to munch on in between meals. Now as a grown up, I still pack the bags of Cheerios, but I’ve also added beef jerky, GoGoSqueezes or other fruit/veggie pouches, and the occasional bag of nuts or a few granola bars.)
-Bottled water (This is actually optional. You can get free cups of water at the quick service restaurants at all of the theme parks, but if you don’t want to wait, or get stuck somewhere before you can request another one, it’s always good to have some bottled water with you.)
-Wallet (Because you need a place to carry your id and your souvenir money right?)
– Keys (Whether they’re the keys to your hotel, the keys to your car, or both, you definitely want to make sure you have them at the start and end of your day)
-Poncho (You can find these super cheap. My sister found some in Walmart’s camping section for 97 cents…. Way cheaper than what you’d pay at the theme parks)
-Jacket (Yes, even if you’re going in the summer or on a day with triple digits, you may want to pack one. I know it can take up valuable space, but you can always leave it in your car or in a locker, depending on your transportation to and from the parks, and if it cools down dramatically at night, a wind picks up, you’re drenched from Splash Mountain, or just sitting in a restaurant right underneath the air conditioner, a jacket may be just what you want at the moment).
-Medications (Obviously this won’t apply to everyone, but if there’s any medications you or someone in your party requires at a certain time, you want to make sure you have it).
-Hand sanitizer (This one could also be optional, and while all of the parks have several bathrooms, sometimes it’s nice just to have it at a moment’s notice).
-Kleenex and napkins (Another optional one, but I highly recommend it because you never know when you’ll have a runny nose or someone makes a mess).
-Deodorant (Again, optional, but you’re doing a ton of walking, most likely at a very fast pace. And it can get very hot very quickly. At least with deodorant, if people are making faces in the pictures, it’s not because you smell bad.)
So what do I bring if I have babies and toddlers?
I would definitely bring everything listed above, as well as AT LEAST 1-2 changes of clothes, nursing wrap or bottles, bibs (I recommend the disposable ones, though if you have a drooler or a baby who likes to spit up like my littlest guy, I recommend several cloth ones and a bag to keep them in), burp cloths, diapers, wipes, freezer sized bags (to store changes of clothes or soiled outfits), hand sanitizer, and something to keep the kids entertained with in line such as a favorite blanket or toy. I’d also highly recommend a stroller. You’re going to be doing a TON of walking, and unless you want to be carrying people or taking frequent stops, strollers are highly recommended. Not to mention you can go much faster than if you’re waiting for little legs to catch up with you as you’re trying to make it to your next Fastpass Distribution location. You can read below to see whether bringing your own or renting one would be best for your family.
Should I bring my own stroller or rent one?
Personally, I’d bring your own. Not only will your child be more comfortable in it, but it’ll be a lot easier for you to pick out in a crowd. Also, it helps prevent someone from either intentionally taking or accidentally mistaking your stroller for theirs. Also, you know how people tie ribbons, put duct tape, or something else on their luggage to identify them at airports? I highly recommend doing this as well. It’ll make it easier to spot in case you have a popular stroller brand. And while it’s sad we need to say it, make sure you don’t leave anything valuable in your stroller. (And if something happens, make sure you save all of your receipts… cast members can help get you a new stroller, new balloon, etc. if you keep your receipts!)
If you’re traveling and don’t want to deal with maneuvering a stroller through an airport or squishing it in your car, you may want to consider renting one through a company such as Kingdom Strollers and have it delivered to your resort. You can rent strollers from the theme parks, but again, you’ll be paying more for the convenience.
Should I buy stuff at the parks or do it myself?
Personally, on most things, I’d rather buy it ahead of time or do it myself. I’d much rather hit the $1, $3, and $5 bins at Target, Walmart and the Dollar Tree for Disney trinkets or glowsticks, than spend a fortune more on similar items at the parks. That being said, I don’t mind letting the kids get one souvenir or spend a certain amount of money (especially if it’s their first trip or you don’t go very often), but most of the time, your wallet will thank you if you just save your money.
If you’re thinking about autograph books, you can click here to read an article to decide whether you’d rather have one from the parks (it’s kinda fun to have one from a specific year, such as this year where Disneyland is celebrating its 60th anniversary), or if you’d rather make one yourself. And for a great DIY autograph book idea, click here, or if you want one for your iphone or tablet, see the review on this app here.