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10 Things to Buy BEFORE Going to Walt Disney World

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Congratulations! You have booked your Walt Disney World vacation! You’ve unlocked the opportunity to create the Disney vacation of your dreams. If you’re like me you can’t wait to dive into planning your trip. But I know several who still prefer the wing-it approach. To those, planning a scheduled trip only causes more stress.

things to buy before going to Walt Disney World

For planners like me, the opposite is true. Wherever your preference lies, some amount of planning can really save you some headaches – literally. Wherever you are in the planning stages of the vacation of your dreams, here is a list of 10 things to buy before going to Walt Disney World.

10 Things to Buy Before Going to Walt Disney World

I believe all of these are essential. Consider them a survival pack to keep your plans (or non-plans) from getting off course.

Kids Activity Packs

Whether you have kids or are a grown-up kid, it’s super important to have something to do on the plane or in the airport while you wait around. Something to keep the little ones occupied is a great way to take off some travel day pressure and to help prolong their magical vacation experience.

A little personal carry-on with some snacks and activities is a fun and exciting way for kids to start off the trip. It can also be a cute gift that will help offset some pre-flight jitters.

Comfortable Shoes

You probably have no idea just how much walking you are going to do on this vacation. These parks are huge and depending on how you let Disney Genie push you around, you can get exhausted on your first day out.

Walt Disney World is particularly hard on your feet. I suggest packing comfortable shoes and if you don’t have a good pair of walking shoes it is even more imperative that you buy some. Just make sure you give yourself time to break them in. It’s a good idea to start taking some longer walks in the weeks ahead, both to get used to the new kicks and to repair your body for the increased demands of your Walt Disney World trip.

Disposable Ponchos

No matter what time of year you visit, one of the top things to buy before going to Walt Disney World is disposable ponchos. These little dandies are easy and cheap to buy on Amazon. Not so much if you’re stuck in the rain without one on one of your park days.

They are easy to pack and very helpful should the need arise for some protection from spontaneous precipitation. Showing up prepared is a great way to save money and avoid unwanted interruptions from your busy day of fun.

Park Tickets

Buying tickets in advance is typical, but it’s not unusual to buy tickets at the gate. Besides peace of mind and the ability to loosely envision how each day of your vacation will go, buying your tickets in advance saves you money. Tickets cost more at the gate since you can purchase multi-day tickets at a small discount on sites like Park Savers or Undercover Tourist . Plus you have to wait in an additional line.

Purchasing your tickets early also becomes an essential pre-planning tool. Determining the number of tickets and the ticket types unlocks your imagination and lets your vacation start to take shape. Ditto for meal planning.


Like ponchos, sunscreen at Walt Disney World is a survival essential and outrageously expensive at Walt Disney World. If these items were ranked in order, it could easily top the list of things to buy before going to Walt nDisney World.

You do not want to get sunburned on your first day out in the parks. It’s a great way to ruin a trip. The sunshine state may have a lot of rain, but you will also have a lot of sun exposure. Don’t forget that you can also get sunburns from the harsh light of overcast skies. If you don’t buy and bring protective gear, you will pay dearly for it in the outrageous prices on-property for such an essential.

Pain Reliever

Ditto that for pain relievers. The stress and tension of your travel day may lead to a headache. That is not the way you want to begin your dream vacation! You also don’t want to buy this once you get there. Be prepared and kick a bad day before it starts with your most reliable brand of OTC pain relief. Tension headaches and muscle/joint pain can arise at any time during your stay, especially if you packed a lot into your schedule.

Phone Charging Banks

Since Disney vacations mean more (not less) screen time on your phone, you should always be prepared with a portable charging bank. Your phone will constantly drain your battery as you use the various apps and tools that have become a practical necessity for experiencing the parks.

You will also find yourself taking picture – after picture – after picture! Keeping your phone charged is essential.

Memory Maker

This is a package Disney offers that I highly recommend. It’s a great way to effortlessly collect photos of your vacation so you can just focus on being there and making those memories. PhotoPass professionals take care of capturing the fun for you and it’s a surprisingly good value if you purchase the package for your whole trip.


The price of a bottle of water at Walt Disney World will at best leave you shaking your head. You can rack up quite a bill just staying hydrated. While you can ask for ice water at counter service locations, this can be an awkward encounter and a time suck. Instead, buy a case of water and store it in your checked suitcase. A suitcase full of beverages and snacks can save you money throughout your trip and provide you with extra space for bringing home souvenirs.

If you are short on space, you can use Instacart or another delivery service to have items delivered to your resort.

Disney Floral and Gifts

Finally, if you want to celebrate a special event or create a memorable magical moment, consider Disney Floral and Gifts for a hotel room gift basket that will make your trip even more special. Disney Floral and Gifts offers a small selection of celebratory items to enjoy in your room. If you are looking for a magical extra to include in your vacation – This may be just the thing.