Craving Dole Whip

Disney & museum obsessed, homeschooling mom of 3, parenting to focus on experiences, not possessions. Sharing Disney tips, educational adventures and a few reviews. Constantly craving Dole Whip.


A Not-So-Obvious Disney Packing List


Unless you live in Orlando, packing for a Disney vacation takes some serious thought.  Most activities require you to be outside for the majority of the day and let’s face it–the weather in Florida can be tricky.

My husband would tell you that I live and breathe by the mantra:

Better to pack it and not need it than need it and not pack it.

And, yes…I will admit that I have a tendency to over pack for our Walt Disney World vacations.  In my defense, we have desperately needed some of those extras and we were thankful we had them.

There are a TON of Disney packing lists available online.  But, what are some less-than-obvious items to pack?

  • 2 sets of rain ponchos per person  Click here to read more about rain ponchos.
  • handy wipes and a few wash cloths (Wet wash cloths stored in a baggie can wipe away all kinds of yuck.)
  • lip balm
  • empty water bottles (fill ’em up as needed–they are a lot easier to carry when empty)
  • trash bags (Sooooooo many uses!  I think I will do a post dedicated only to trash bags!)  And, here is my post with 12 uses for garbage bags at Disney!
  • Ziploc baggies (great for snacks, protecting your phone, keeping track of trinkets)
  • plastic food containers in varying sizes
  • snacks for kids AND adults (Peruse the grocery store for yummy treats for everyone in your party.  Homemade trail mix is a good choice. Adults get hangry, too.)
  • pain relievers, migraine meds, Tylenol, Band Aids, etc.
  • extra hair ties
  • feminine hygiene products (It never fails–EVERY.  SINGLE.  VACATION.)
  • back up phone batteries, portable chargers, cords
  • extra memory cards for camera
  • swimsuit cover-ups
  • Sharpie marker (for autographs)
  •  sunglasses
  • bag of quarters (if you plan to do laundry)
  • laundry detergent, travels size
  • sunscreen (yes, even in the winter)
  • at least 2 pairs of super comfy walking shoes (incase one pair gets wet or pack a pair of waterproof shoes)
  • extra socks
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The Good and Bad News About Disney

So, here is the deal:

Wanna know the good news and the bad news about Walt Disney World?

Disney changes every day…


That’s it.  That’s the good news AND the bad news!  Quite simple, I know.


Disney World does an AMAZING job at implementing new experiences, creating new parades and shows, building new rides and evolving with our ever changing world and technology.  And, some of these changes take place over night!  The 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 20+ resorts and hundreds of restaurants that make up the Walt Disney World property offer new adventures so often that it keeps Disney lovers like my family coming back time and time again.  I LOVE new Disney stuff to explore!

However, these changes make it difficult for any one person to have a definitive answer to some questions.  For example, my last Walt Disney World trip was during January of 2017.  I am writing this post on February 15, 2017.  I have been home from our vacation for 3 tiny (and depressing) weeks. Since my return, Disney has completely changed and relocated the opening procedure and welcoming show for Magic Kingdom AND they raised park admission prices.  LOL  Those are significant changes!

Park hours, shows, parades, pricing, and even menus can change over night and seasonally.  What was true in January may or may not be true in June.  So, keep that in mind when you seek out answers online and on social media.  I LOVE that Disney is not stagnant and I encourage you to ask questions and always, always, always call Disney to verify.


Best Places To Buy (MATCHING!) Family Disney Shirts

A family wearing matching T-shirts everyday–Not so cool.

A family wearing matching T-shirts everyday at Disney–SUPER COOL!



Don’t we look cool?

So, where are the best places to find some super awesome shirts for your next Disney vacation?

Lots of places!

Some are expected, like the Disney Store. DUH.  But, it helps to think a little outside of the shopping box (err bag).




AND…if you have a family with a wide range of ages (like me!), you REALLY have to think out of the box–if you want to get everyone onboard!


Extra Hint:  Matching shirts make it easier to find your people in a crowd, too!


Happy Shopping!

So, here is list of my fav places to buy my family matching shirts for our Walt Disney World vacations:

  • Disney Store, Disney Store online and Disney Store outlets
  • Walmart, online, but especially the Walmart Super Center in Orlando
  • Target and Target online
  • Hot Topic-an unexpected MEGA plethora of Disney clothing and accessories!!!
  • Kohl’s
  • Etsy-pre-made and custom!
  • Five Below–cheap!

  • Vista Print–create your own!



  • Dig through the clearance and sale sections of these stores and visit their websites for some little treasures.  Don’t forget the sales sections online! 
  • Be creative with sizing, too!  Men’s XS can fit kiddos and a Youth size 14/16 can fit some teens.  Look in the women’s, men’s, misses, teen and kid’s sections–you never know what you might discover!
  • If you plan to travel during the colder months, pair each t-shirt with a matching long sleeve that can easily be removed if the temperatures soar during the day.



    These shirts are from Vista Print.


    These awesome shirts are from the Disney Store.


    Super cool People Mover shirts from the Disney Store website.


    Mickey shirts from Walmart


    University of Texas Mickey shirts from Kohl’s and white Minnie shirts from Etsy.



    These shirts are from Etsy.




    The Epcot shirts are from Etsy and the Olaf shirts are from Target.

    How do I save $$$ for all of our Disney trips?  Click here!

    Want to plan your Walt Disney World vacation like a pro?  YEP.  Read this!

    Everything you need to know about the AMAZING Disney After Hours event!  Read this!!!!

    Learn everything about the 2018 Disney Dining Plan here.



10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Planning A Walt Disney World Vacation

So…you wanna go to Disney? 


Get a spiral notebook and start asking yourself these questions:

1.  What time of the year do I want to travel? 

–Consider work and school schedules, personal celebrations, weather, seasonal pricing

2.  Who is going on this awesome trip?

–Number of people will determine which hotels and resorts can accommodate your party.

3.  How am I getting there?

–Driving?  Flying?  Renting a Segway?

4.  What is my budget?

–It’s a bummer question, but it is a necessary evil.

5.  How long am I staying?

–You can’t live in the castle, so eventually you have to go home.

6.  Any special needs or requests specific to my travel party?

–Think about food allergies, mobility concerns, specific challenges

7.  Which parks do we want to visit?

–Disney World has 4 theme parks and 2 water parks.  Do you want to see it all or just focus on your favorites?  Do you need Park Hopper?  FYI:  Universal is NOT owned by Disney and if you want to visit Universal, it is a completely separate thing.

8.  Do I want to stay at an on-property Disney resort or do I plan to stay off-site?

–This decision will affect your transportation options.

9.  How do I plan to eat?

–Let’s face it—food is super important to the human race.  Consider if your party will benefit from using the meal plan.  Do you prefer quick service meals or enjoy sit down, table service more?  Are you seeking character interactions or quiet, romantic settings?  Will you have access to a kitchen?  Do you plan to bring snacks, food and beverages to the parks?  Seriously.  You gotta eat.

10.  Do my Disney pants still fit?

–Oops!  Sorry! That’s a question I need to ask myself.


Click here for a list of every character meal at Walt Disney World.

Best places to buy matching Disney shirts? Click here!

What is the best restaurant inside Disney’s Magic Kingdom? Find out here!


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