Tips And Tricks: Packing For A #CoolestSummer Walt Disney World Vacation

Tips And Tricks: Packing For A Walt Disney World Vacation

The reservations have been made and the flights are booked for the #CoolestSummer at Walt Disney World. Advance Dining Reservations, you ask? I’ve got that covered as well. I am still contemplating our FastPass+  selections, but for now, my mind is focused on something else…packing! 

I’m not talking about just any kind of packing. I’m talking about packing for a family of 5 for a duration of 15 nights. What’s more? Our nephew is joining us for part of it, and we are staying at two Walt Disney World Resorts before embarking on one very magical voyage on Disney Cruise Line.

Tips And Tricks: Packing For A Walt Disney World Vacation Tower of Terror Walt Disney World Mickey Balloons Disney's Hollywood Studios

We have done this before, so it’s not my first (Frontierland) Hoedown!  The task is still a daunting one. Lucky for us, we are Disney Vacation Club Members. That means one very important thing, a game changer actually. Can you say “washing machine?!” Don’t worry, this is not an ad for Disney Vacation Club. We just happen to be members and couldn’t live without the washing facilities in our room. But you may want to keep in mind that you can also find washing facilities at all of the Walt Disney World Resorts, and depending on the size of your travel party and your length of stay you may just find that little tidbit of information useful.

Disney Vacation Club DVC Washing Machine Laundry Packing

Ok, back to packing! I always begin by making a list. I can’t live without my lists.  As a matter of fact, I am KNOWN for my list making abilities. LOL! But seriously, never underestimate the importance of a good list.

Packing clothes is the easy part as far as I’m concerned. My first list has to do with all the extras. Things like sunscreen, contacts, glasses, toothpaste, hairbrushes, band -aids, hand sanitizer, make-up, medicines, etc. are the important things to remember. Then the list gets bigger from there! 

Tips And Tricks: Packing For A Walt Disney World Vacation

Incidentally, I have already started that list even though our trip is still a few months away. This way, I can add things as I think of them. This eliminates the pressure of having to remember all this important things at the last minute. I keep the list readily available so that I can easily edit it at a moments notice.

Next comes the clothing items. Lets face it. Airline checked bag prices can be obscene! That is an import thing to note when you start planning how many clothing items you plan to bring along.

Which brings me back to utilizing the laundry facilities. For a 15 night trip, I pack around 6 outfits for each member of our family. It is ridiculously simple to throw in a load at the end of the night and then in to the dryer right when we wake up. If you plan to use community laundry facilities, you can utilize them when you are enjoying downtime at your resort.

Since the July/August heat in Orlando allows you the ability to practically fry an egg on the sidewalk, we only pack shorts, shirts, and light dresses. This also leaves more room in the luggage. How’s THAT for a space saving tip? Before you start planning and packing, you will want to make sure to check the carry-on restrictions for your particular airline.

Tips And Tricks: Packing For A Walt Disney World Vacation

If your plans include a Land/Sea vacation, like mine, there are some particulars you will definitely want to remember. Although your cruise is prepaid, be sure to remember to pack cash to tip your servers, room steward, etc.

Incidentally, on the first day of your cruise, you’ll want to pack a “day bag.” This is because your checked luggage may not be delivered to your stateroom until after1:30pm or even later. Some items you may want to include in your bag are medications, swimwear, sunscreen, sunglasses, contacts/eyewear, change of clothes (if needed), collared shirts for men, and personal electronics.

Tips And Tricks: Packing For A Walt Disney World Vacation Disney Cruise Line DCL Packing

Lastly, remember to bring along all the important items specific to a Disney vacation! As a matter of fact, I suggest you make another list! Tops on mine are autograph books, park tickets, rain ponchos, Magic Bands, pin trading lanyards, and EARS.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope my advice helps some of you as you plan your MAGICAL Disney vacation.

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Packing Like A runDisney Princess!

Truth be told,   I had my first official foray into the world of RunDisney at the 2014 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  Needless to say I am no expert, but I AM hooked!

Pack like a runDisney Princess Mickey and Minnie Jacqui with her medal

Since the completion of that run that lasted over 3 hours in the nonstop, driving rain, I’ve since signed up for more magical miles. I started out 2015 with the Walt Disney World 10K, and am heading back for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  I can hardly believe that I will be tackling yet another half marathon! Perhaps it’s not so surprising. 

Pack like a runDisney Princess Mickey and Minnie
Photo: Disney

Just recently, I read a blurb from the great Jeff Galloway who said that the half or full marathon has become a mission of many individuals in the 40+ age range. Like it or not, I fall in that category! I won’t bore you with the details of my fitness history; that’s for certain.  However, I will say that I always maintained that I would never be a runner…too boring! Ha! Still, I was long intrigued by RunDisney.  Why wouldn’t I be? The prospect of combining a lifelong love (Disney!) with a healthy activity was very appealing.  Thanks to the persuasive powers of some very special friends, I ran (and completed!) my first runDisney race. 

Pack like a runDisney Princess 10K with Donald


A humble beginner, I hope I can help some of you with a newbie packing list for the upcoming Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

How I plan to pack like a runDisney Princess!

The first thing on my list is SHOES.  Whatever you do, please run in shoes you have already put some miles on.  I pack my stability running shoes for the races and my Minnie RunDisney shoes for the parks.  If you want to pack sandals for after your run, I recommend some with support.  FitFlops or Skechers are a great example of these.

Pack like a runDisney Princess

1.   Shoes
2.   moisture wicking athletic socks
3.   comfy (and cool) top and bottoms such as capris or shorts
4.   tutu or SparkleSkirt (It IS Princess Weekend after all)!
5.   clothes you are willing to throw away as you run. (It can be cold at the start and       you can just peel those babies right off as you run). Some runners prefer to use a large garbage bag for early morning warmth.
6.   sports bra
7.   Gym Boss timer to track your intervals
8.   A running belt or fanny pack.  There are plenty of water stops along the course, so I find that a running belt with water bottles is not necessary for RunDisney races.
9.    phone or camera for pictures with the characters
10.  smartphone holder
11.  small energy bar for sustenance as you go
12.  sunscreen
13.  baseball hat or headband to comfortably keep your hair back
14.  hair ties
15.  sunglasses
16.  race paperwork and confirmations

Pack like a runDisney Princess

I am sure I will learn much more along the way. In the meantime, I hope my packing list helps other beginners with some essentials for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. 

I hope to see you on the course! See ya real soon!


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Bringing the Magic Of Disney To Your Home For Halloween

Bringing the Magic of Disney to Your Home for Halloween

If you are anything like me, you are continually looking for ways to bring the magic of Disney to your home for any holiday! Halloween is certainly no exception.

As you may have already seen, decorating Disney themed pumpkins is a huge way that we bring Disney to our home. In addition to that fun ritual, we enjoy hunting for Disney treasures along the way. Places like Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Menards, and Target often have fun and unique items.

Disney at Home Magic of Disney

Each year, we always add something new to our collection! From our large inflatable Mickey jack-o-lantern to our tiny Utz Halloween cheesy snacks, we are always finding something to add.  Although all of aspects of Disney are well represented, Mickey Mouse is the most popular in our home.

Disney at Home Magic of Disney

When the days get cooler, our children love to make hot chocolate after school. How do they add a Disney touch to a cool weather treat? With Mickey marshmallow shapes (created by them) in a Disneyland Haunted Mansion souvenir mug, of course! From jack-o-lanterns to yard signs, you never know where Mickey will pop up.

Disney at Home Magic of Disney

Every year it seems that Walgreens has a unique and fun selection.  If you are a Nightmare Before Christmas fan, they have quite the collection this year.  I mean, who doesn’t want a giant Jack Skellington hanging on their door?!

Disney at Home

Costumes offer another way to bring Disney to your family at Halloween.  The Disney Store has a well rounded selection, and even Target, Wal-Mart, and party stores carry Disney costumes.


Speaking of Target, take a look at the puzzles in the toy section.  We have a fabulous 3-D Villains puzzle that the kids like to put together and display each year.

Disney at Home Magic of Disney

Also, check out your local grocery stores.  Around each major holiday, you will often find Disney themed cookies that just need to be popped in the oven.  Easy peasy!

We would love to hear how YOU bring Disney to your home at Halloween.  Please comment below and let us know!



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Halloween Fun: #DisneySide Painting Pumpkins

Halloween Fun: #DisneySide Painting Pumpkins Header

Halloween Fun: #DisneySide Painting Pumpkins

I just love Halloween.  With the change of seasons comes talk of pumpkins. Everywhere you turn you’ll find pumpkin candles, soaps, chewing gum, lattes, and so much more!

In our home, we get very excited about decorating pumpkins. Carving pumpkins is a favorite pastime. The only downside to carved pumpkins is their staying power.  They just don’t last very long.  A few years ago, we began painting pumpkins early in the season.  Using an average pumpkin as our blank canvas, we can create some pretty spooktacular pumpkins that last and last and last.   

Being a Disney family, we have always created Disney themed pumpkins.  It is just one way we bring Disney to our home during the Halloween season! I can’t wait for you to see what we have created this year!

First up? Our FROZEN friend, Olaf!

Halloween Fun #DisneySide Pumpkin Painting Olaf

Next, I bring you the Evil Emperor Zurg!

Halloween Fun #DisneySide Pumpkin Painting Zurg
Last but not least, and my personal favorite, here is Mike Wazowski!

Halloween Fun #DisneySide Pumpkin Painting
The nice thing about painting pumpkins is that you can make them as simple or as elaborate as you like.  Younger kids may like to create all on their own, or maybe they’d like a little help from mom or dad.  Why not let them have fun and decide?

We like to use pencil to outline our creations.  Pencils are great because you can easily erase and make adjustments as you go along.  Once you are happy with the design, it’s time to start painting.  I have found that acrylic craft paints work best.  Depending on the effect you are going for, there are matte, glossy and metallic options available.  Some colors may require 2-3 coats so you will want to allow plenty of drying time in between the applications.

Have fun creating your own Halloween pumpkins!

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