26 days to go...time to get packing!

Ok, y’all. It’s getting real over here. DME tags have arrived and MBs get here tomorrow. I’m trying to finalize my TPs and get my packing list in order.

Here’s the problem. I am a habitual overpacker. It takes my DH 5 minutes to pack. And I’m not exaggerating. I always glare at him in disgust every time we travel. Of course he’s only packing for himself. Me? I pack all of the snacks, toiletries, electronics and - of course - clothes for myself and my 4 kiddos. And we aren’t telling the kids we’re going until I pick them up from school and head to the airport so I need to be packing in stealth mode this time.

All this to say, I need your tips for reigning in my overpacking craziness. What are your tips? Also, what “I wouldn’t ever think of that” things are on your WDW packing list?

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I have this same problem. I pack for everyone, and then forget my own stuff! That’s so fun that this is a surprise for the kids. They’ll be so happy!

Some things I find helpful-

  • A tiny flashlight. I travel quite a lot so power outages are inevitable. I leave it on my nightstand.
  • Soap paper, so I can handwash things. The paper is TSA-friendly as I usually don’t check luggage.
  • Double-sided tape for wardrobe malfunctions, though I have a tiny sewing kit as well. Tape is faster.
  • Glasses kit- my whole family wears them.
  • kid-sized scissors
  • a small pair of binoculars- once you have these, you’ll use them A LOT
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Small extension cord with multiple outlets for the all the gadgets.
Double copies of the TP even though they are electronic.
Printed confirmations of my dining reservations.

Overpacking is a problem in my house. Last time I packed for 1/2 the # of days of our trip plus 1 extra full day plus 2 extra shirts. That worked out best. Laundry was done mid-trip while hanging pool side.

Always pack a pair of long pants and a long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt when traveling to FL. You never know when you’ll need it - year round.

My epiphany was when I realized that our go-to souvenir is T-shirts. We usually each get one from each park so why was I bringing so many clothes when I was buying new ones?

Now the things I always take are my backpack, insulated lunch tote and plasticware.
Plastic goes in my suitcase, usually with granola bars in it, but it fits in the lunch tote that fits in the backpack for park days. This way I can bring cupcakes, chocolates, etc back to our room without them getting crushed and, most importantly, not melting! A small ziplock of ice (just ask for a scoop of ice at a QS or cart) can sit on top of the plastic and the lunch tote keeps everything cool. I also keep my sunscreen and lip stuff in the tote.

My final must have is cheap washcloths. I always have one in a ziplock in my bag. So many uses for them - cold compress, clean place to sit, wash small faces and hands, etc


We’re at 17 days, so I’m starting to pack too. Love the idea of the plasticware at the parks. I was already planning to bring a good sized tub in the suitcase for DS2’s squeeze pouches and other snack items we’re bringing.

First tip for reining in your overpacking craziness: ignore the packing lists you find on-line. They should be called overpacking lists. Seriously, people are packing like they are going on a solo trek across the Antarctic…

Second tip, which won’t help you now but will help you later: when you get home, pay close attention to everything you unpack but didn’t use. Unless there is a really good reason you didn’t use it (e.g. it didn’t rain so you didn’t need the poncho), don’t pack it next time.


Oh I like the idea of taking stock when we get back. And thanks for the reality check on the online packing lists. I needed that one!

That is a smart idea. I’ve purchased a set of stainless steel straws to bring also.

I was just thinking about that this morning. My initial “overpacking” list would require 3 park bags (the stay with us bag, the diaper bag, and the snack bag.) But we’re taking an afternoon break, so we don’t have to pack that many diapers or snacks. How much stuff do we possibly need for 4 hours? We have a 2 year old and sometimes I pack as if we’re going somewhere with a newborn. We don’t need that much stuff anymore.

I do that too!! I think it’s because we don’t have a baby to make DD2 seem bigger. Lol.

Last trip instead of packing a bunch of snacks and diapers I placed an Amazon order and had everything delivered to our hotel. It probably saved me a small suitcase!

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Based on the stuff I’ve already gathered to take with us, I don’t doubt it. We’re doing a Walmart pickup order during DS2’s first nap, but I still feel like I’m packing for a month away.

The glasses kit may prove useful! And I’d never think of that because I don’t have glasses but my DH and both of my parents do. Adding to my list!

What do you use the binoculars for? I’m interested! Are they helpful for spying tiny Hidden Mickeys? We bought DS6 a Hidden Mickey book for Christmas and he’s really excited to hunt them on this trip!

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The weather!! Ugh. Going in early February makes minimal clothes packing feel really difficult. Last year we managed to misplace DS’s coat and ended up dropping $70 on a new one in the park. :roll_eyes:

I use them for AK especially- looking at the Tree of Life and on KS, gorilla & tiger walks. In other places I use them for looking at architecture, e.g. the detailing on the castle. So yes, they do help with hidden Mickeys! Since I spend a little more time sitting than my family does I really enjoy doing that.

I use them on the boat rides to look at the resorts, on the Liberty Belle to look at TS Island, etc. If we’re way in the back during an outside stage show or parade I use them then, as well.

They’re tiny- almost opera glasses sized (which would probably work just as well). I keep them in my suitcase and they go on every trip with me. They were conference swag, but after I got them I just found lots of uses for them.

Everyone in my family wears glasses- but the only time I’ve ever had to use the kit was for my brother-in-law, and he was very grateful! And, they’re no bigger than a matchbox.

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I usually lay out the clothes I’d like to take, trying to be frugal in my choices, and then I cut it back by 1/3. I take enough for about half of our days + 1 outfit and some extra socks and underthings, planning to do laundry while we’re doing pool time. Last trip I may have been a little too frugal as it was unseasonably hot so we wore 2 outfits a day (changing into something fresh after pool time) so I did some extra laundry. But packing light left just enough suitcase room to bring back our souvenirs.


Yup. Take half the stuff and twice the money!

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