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by Soarin’ Diva

I’m one of those people who loves to start planning my next vacation the day I get home from the current vacation. I like to have all my I’s dotted and T’s crossed. My biggest goal in planning for our trips is to make sure we have every possible item we could need without having to make a trip to a store to buy a forgotten item once we get there. I’m not saying that’s never happened, but I have improved over time, and it definitely happens with much less frequency. Over the last several years, I have created my own personal packing list specifically for our Disney vacations.
I’ve learned, over time, which items I don’t really need, and which items I definitely need, even though I thought I was being brilliant by leaving said items behind.  As you can imagine, my “brilliance” ended up costing us time and money.

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Our family Disney travel bag ‘o goodies

Upon returning from our Disney trips, I’ve gone back over my self-created checklist every time, and tweaked it just a little more.  I’ve even started keeping a separate small travel bag with many of the necessities in it, with a rule strictly enforced that these items are specifically meant to be kept as “Disney vacation” items.  If anyone does happen to disobey my rules and take something out of our bag, it is with the understanding that it better be replaced quickly or they must suffer dire consequences, and trust me, I can be a harsh taskmaster.  I make sure to go through it periodically, checking expiration dates and replacing outdated items.  Having this separate bag really cuts down on packing time, as well as worrying over the last minute “run to the drug store and stock up on Tylenol, Pepto, Band-Aids, etc..” crunch we are all faced with the last day or two before departure.

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Our poncho’s, crammed as tightly as possible, into a ziplock bag. This makes it easier to carry them into the parks.

Am I just a little obsessive over my packing list?  Am I a little anal over my travel bag of Disney vacation necessities?  Quite possibly, but it’s only because I have been the one running all over Magic Kingdom, in search of an extremely elusive $9 half-size container of deodorant, when my son confessed that he forgot this particular item of grooming that morning.  I didn’t want us to be “that family”.  You know exactly who I’m talking about, the one’s in front of you in that long line for whatever ride you are waiting for at that moment.  The one’s from which that distinct smell of body odor is wafting back from in that steamy ninety degree Florida humidity.  Which brings me to this VERY important (and you know I mean business when I use all caps, italics, underline the word, and make it red) Diva tip: Always, and I cannot stress this enough, ALWAYS carry a spare deodorant in whatever bag you have with you when at the parks.  Please.  I beg of you, just for the sake of common courtesy, please!  We have learned to do this since this particular incident, and I would never go without it now.

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Just a small sample of what my Disney travel bag contains

As you can see from the photo, I keep a variety of items in my “Disney bag ‘o goodies.”  I promise you, this is definitely not everything, just a small sample.  Yes, I do have an abundance of pain relievers.  I’m afraid I suffer from migraines, and I like to make sure I’m equipped to head them off at the first sign.  No one likes to be down and out with a headache when you’re trying to have fun.  I also have an assortment of children’s Tylenol and Ibuprofen.  I’ve been through each of my children coming down with a stomach virus while vacationing at Disney, and I don’t plan on that happening again.  It is no fun sitting in the resort while your child sleeps off their sickness, knowing your other child and husband are off riding your very most favorite ride in the world.  Therefore, I have decreed and done all in my powers to make sure it shall NEVER happen again.  I figure with all the Germ-X, wipes, stomach meds and pain relievers/fever reducers, plus a whole lotta prayers and pixie dust, we should be safe.

So where is this mysterious Disney checklist you have referred to Soarin’ Diva?  I have decided to share my top-secret checklist of what our family makes sure we pack to take with us on our Disney vacations right here, titled simply enough, Disney Checklist.  Keep in mind, my checklist is specific to my families needs.  My family consists of me, my husband, and two teen boys.  If you have a baby or toddler, or even girls, I’m sure you will probably need a lot of very different items on your checklist.  There also may be some items on my checklist that confuse you a bit, such as Halloween decorations.  My family usually goes in the fall, when the Disney Parks are outshining the rest of the world with beautiful Halloween decorations.  We like to add to the festivities by decorating our resort window in Disney Halloween decorations, making the resort room a bit more fun and giving it a bit of our own personality.

So there you have it, Soarin’ Diva’s Disney Vacation Checklist.  If your family doesn’t already have and use a checklist, feel free to download and print mine off.  Once downloaded, you should be able to click enable editing, and take out any items that don’t pertain to your needs for your family.  You should also be able to add any items that you deem necessary for your trips.  Do you and your family have a particular checklist you already use?  Perhaps there are a couple of things you feel are important to include that weren’t on my list.  If so, please feel free to share.  We are all different and have different needs, so I’m sure everyone could use more tips in that area.  As for me..I think I’m going to go check those expiration dates on the items in my bag ‘o goodies now, it’s been a little while and you can never be too careful, right?

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