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There are some things that are non-negotiables when it comes to packing for a Disney vacation — clothes for every day based on the weather forecast, pajamas, comfy shoes, your toothbrush, and (of course) some extra room for any souvenirs you pick up.
But, then there are the things that you wouldn’t necessarily think to pack but totally LEVEL UP your Disney World hotel stay!
I’ve been staying in Disney hotels for as long as I can remember and it’s always been a great experience. But, once I started packing a few things that most people don’t even think to bring along, my stays felt even more luxurious — even if I was only staying at a Value Resort! So, I’m letting you in on the secret, here are the 8 things I ALWAYS pack when I’m staying at a Disney World hotel that will totally surprise you. Trust me, you’ll never travel without these again!
Like most hotels, Disney World provides resort guests with towels. And, you can always call to get more sent up to your room. But, you know how hotel towels have been washed so many times that they become a little scratchy? Or, they just aren’t quite big enough to get the full coverage you need when getting between the shower to your suitcase?
Well, that’s not a problem when you’ve got towels from home!
Not enough room in your suitcase to bring your towels from home? You can get a simple set like this for $23.08 on Amazon and have them delivered to your Disney World hotel!
There’s just something about coming back to your hotel after a long park day, taking a shower to wash off the day, and then grabbing your own super soft and plush towels.
Disney hotels always provide all the bedding you need for your stay, and they even change them out when housekeeping services your room. So, if you love fresh bedsheets every day then this is great for you! However, here’s the thing about Disney hotel bedding — the bottom sheet isn’t fitted (so it can move around when you shift in your sleep), it’s not particularly soft and cozy, and if you tend to be cold when you sleep you’re going to need to request A LOT of extra blankets to get warm.
An easy solution that will totally change your life? (okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration…but you’d be surprised!) Bring your own bedsheets!
Not only are your own sheets softer, warmer, and maybe even cleaner, but you’re also probably used to sleeping on them. This can be a game changer when it comes to getting a good night’s rest at Disney World because no one sleeps well in a bed that’s not their own! Bringing your own sheets makes that bed feel a little more like home, which could give you the restful sleep that you need for another big park day when you wake up.
If you’re staying in a standard Disney hotel room, then you’ll likely be sleeping in either a queen or full-sized bed. If you’re not sure, the safest bet is just to go with a queen-sized sheet set unless you’ve got your stay booked in a room with a king bed. And, if you don’t have an extra set at home, comfy bed sheets can be surprisingly affordable online! For example, you can get a queen-sized set for only $17.55 on Amazon here!
Just keep in mind that you may want to forego housekeeping for your stay or take off the sheets before you head out for the day so that housekeeping doesn’t end up collecting them when they come to clean the room.
It’s almost impossible to go to Disney World without your phone nowadays. So, that means you’re going to be relying on your charger to be sure your phone is ready for that 7AM wake-up call to secure your spot in the virtual queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT and all the other things that can only be done through the My Disney Experience app. And, it’s probably not just your phone that needs to be charged — if you’re traveling with a family of 4, you’ll need a spot for everyone to plug in during the few hours you’re in your room, and you might even have some portable phone chargers that need charged too.
Here’s the thing, though — there aren’t all that many outlets in Disney World hotels. So, instead of fighting over the precious wall space, pack an extension cord! You can get power strips with long cords from Amazon for as little as $19.99 (or less!) or opt for a plug-in wall adapter that turns an outlet with only two spots for charging into one with six! Both are great options, though the ones with longer cords may be more helpful based on where the outlets are located in your hotel room.
Even if you’re traveling with kiddos who don’t have phones, you’re going to appreciate the extra plugs when you’re trying to figure out how to get all their gear plugged in and charged too (can you tell I speak from experience here? 😂).
Ever wonder how clean the shower in your Disney hotel really is? Well, leave that thought behind and bring along some shower shoes! An extra pair of flip-flops work great, or you can purchase slip-on shoes that are designed with holes in the bottom and made to dry off quickly. The extra cleanliness won’t break the bank either — Shower Shoes cost between $10-$15 on Amazon.
These also come in handy if you plan on spending any time at the pool or water parks during your Disney World vacation!
It’s important to maximize the amount of sleep that you get during your Disney trip because you’ve got a lot to do during the day and you don’t want to be dragging. So, instead of pounding too many cups of coffee to get you going, bring along a sleep mask!
Disney hotel rooms do have blackout blinds, but you’ll still usually have a sliver of the outside shining in, and Disney doesn’t dim the outdoor lights at night — there are always people trying to get around. And, even if you can get the curtains to close at just the right angle, a sleep mask comes in handy when you want to get some extra shut-eye while another person in your family gets ready for the day in the bathroom.
My absolute favorite sleep mask is the Alaska Bear Sleep Mask from Amazon. It’s soft, has an adjustable strap so that it isn’t squeezing your head, and is full coverage so no light will slip in and disturb your beauty rest.
I’ve been sleeping with it for YEARS and it’s only $8.99!
White Noise Machine
Speaking of great sleep, one of the biggest roadblocks to getting a good night’s rest at Disney World is noise. Whether it’s a toddler running through the hallways at 6AM to get to breakfast, neighbors playing their TV way too loud at 1AM in the room next to you, or a family coming back from late-night fireworks, you’re bound to be disturbed at least a little when you’re sleeping. And, if you’re someone who wakes up to the slightest sound, a white noise machine is a packing essential!
You don’t need something super fancy or hard to pack. Just get something simple and cheap, like the Yogasleep Rohm Portable White Noise Sound Machine from Amazon! It features three different sounds, adjustable volume, a string that you can use to hang it up, is rechargeable, and won’t take up much space in your suitcase.
It costs $29.99 (or less if there’s a deal running on Amazon!) and also comes in handy if you’re traveling with small kiddos or infants.
Hotels are notorious for giving you the smallest amount of toiletries possible. And, while it’s a little better at Disney World (depending on what resort you stay at), there’s still a struggle to get enough shampoo or conditioner to wash your own hair. Plus, you also have to consider that you have roommates (a.k.a. your family) who also need to use the shampoo. And, even if you’re able to spread every drop of the 2.5 oz shampoo bottle between four family members, sometimes the shampoo just doesn’t do the job of getting the chlorine from the hotel pool out of your hair.
So, instead of dealing with hair that feels dry for the entirety of your trip, pack along the shampoo that you use at home! Of course, if you’re flying to Disney World, you’ll need to ensure that the big bottles go into your checked bags. Or, get multiple 3oz. bottles from the travel section. Any shampoo and/or conditioner will do the job!
You’ll be so thankful that you have that little piece of home after sweating all day in the parks. Just be sure that you pack the bottles in a plastic bag before putting them in your luggage to ensure that it doesn’t leak all over your clothing.
Speaking of the toiletries that come in your Disney hotel room, we’ve got to talk about the soap situation. Disney traditionally provides a small soap bar for the sink and then body wash for the shower — nothing crazy here. Maybe you love using body wash, maybe you hate it, or maybe you’re totally indifferent towards it. But, something that will make your shower experience better no matter what your feelings are? A loofah!
You’ve probably seen these at Target or received them as a last-minute stocking stuffer (seriously, why is this a popular Christmas gift?!), and they’re pretty much gold if you’re vacationing at Disney World. Instead of slathering your hands with body wash, losing half of it in the tub when you go to make it soapy, and then haphazardly washing with it, the loofah makes it way easier to get (and feel) clean!
So, pack along these 8 items next time you vacation to Disney World and see what you think! And, if there’s something else that you always pack along that you think is particularly genius, let us know in the comments!