These are 20 things we (highly) recommend that you bring with you on your Disney vacation.
On Your Body & In The Room
1. 2 Pairs of Good Walking Shoes - If you are traveling to the Central Florida area anytime between May and August, it is guaranteed to rain at least once every day. Plus, most of the water rides are pretty much guaranteed to get you at least a little soaked. Bring an extra pair of shoes in case you get caught in a sudden storm. This way, when you go back to your room to dry off, you can switch to a dry pair of shoes and leave your wet shoes laying upside down on the A/C to dry while you head back to the park!
2. Moisture-Wicking Socks - Moisture-wicking socks will dry faster and keep you from being as uncomfortable after you get wet from either rain or water rides.
3. Athletic/Mesh Shorts - These dry faster and aren't as heavy as jeans or cargo shorts.
4. Sweatshirt - Orlando is known for its chilly nights. Bring a light sweater. Unless you are coming anytime between October and March, then bring a heavy sweater. I have seen parents draping them over sleeping kids at night too.
5. Sunglasses - I have forgotten these more times than I can count and I regret it every time. Keep an extra cheapo pair in your in-park backpack just in case.
7. Extra Duffle Bag - One word. Souvenirs.
8. Backpack for In-Park - Backpacks keep your hands free for snapping photos and hugging characters. Plus they fit over the handles of a wheelchair if you or someone in your party needs one. Over the shoulder bags are cumbersome, get heavy quickly, and get annoying after a while. Fanny packs are good for if you aren't going with young kids, but don't really function well as your only bag. Meaning you will need a second or possibly a third bag! Who wants to have to keep up with all that? Just bring a backpack!
10. Phone/Tablet Charging Cords - Bring an extra cord to juice up those devices in park. Magic Kingdom has a spot in New Fantasyland that is full of outlets to juice up your devices for free. There isn't much that is as inconvenient as your phone dying in the middle of the day when you need to look up FastPass or dining reservation information.
11. Camera & Extra Batteries - I always forget this one. Cameras almost always take better quality pictures than your phone. Either bring one from home or rent one. Kingdom Camera Rentals is a great company that you can rent from just for your vacation.
12. Extra SD Cards - You never want to run out room on that SD card in the middle of the day!
13. Zip Lock Bags - All sizes. They keep all your things in your backpack dry if you get caught in a sudden shower or if you want to hit those water rides. Use them for electronics, liquids, snacks, clothes for the kids, sweaters, ponchos, and cash/cards. Most backpacks aren't waterproof and it's better to be safe rather than sorry if everything happens to get soaked.
14. Sunscreen - Sunburns are no fun. We suggest bringing at least SPF 45.
15. Mickey/Minnie Ears - What fun is Disney without Ears? You can buy them or make your own.
16. Self-Filtering Water Bottles - The water in the water fountains is pretty gross (think hot metal-flavored water - YUCK!)
17. Chewing Gum - You can not buy any type of gum anywhere on Disney property so if you are a gum-chewer bring plenty to last the length of your trip.
18. Ponchos/Rain Jackets - Rain. It happens. These are great for the water rides too. Places like Dollar Tree, Home Depot, CVS, Walgreens, and Target sell ponchos and light rain jackets for a fraction of the cost of the ones Disney sells. Pack your own and save some money to spend on souvenirs!
19. First Aid Kit - Bumps, bruises, scrapes, and cuts happen to the best of us. The first aid station in Magic Kingdom is all the way in Main Street U.S.A and you do not want to have to trek all the way back from New Fantasyland or Frontierland just for a band aid.
20. Autograph Book With Large Pens - Most characters can not write with regular sized pens, so bring bigger pens for them to grab. As for autograph books, you can find tons of DIY projects all over the internet or you can purchase one in park. We bought one at Disney several years ago that didn't have a year on it so we keep using that to add to our collection.