If you’re traveling to Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando anytime soon, grab these before you go! Many of these also make great stocking stuffers!
I only recommend products that I use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
#1 - Disney Luggage
You can't go wrong with luggage. This American Tourister set is the perfect way to kick of a magical vacation!
#2 - Ponchos
Okay, so this one doesn't seem very glamorous, but it's a must-pack item! Any visitor to Central Florida knows that those Florida downpours are an almost daily occurance. Don't be caught in one of those infamous afternoon storms without a poncho. (They also come in handy on water rides!) Traveling with a little one? Don't forget a stroller rain cover!
#3 - Portable Phone Charger
Do not leave for a trip without one of these! Your phone will be working overtime in the parks - joining virtual queues, mobile ordering food, checking wait times, and using Genie+ (on Disney trips!) Not to mention, your phone is still a phone, and you'll still need it for calling, texting, and taking photos/videos. I actually gifted this one to a few people last year!
#4 - Hair Ties
Special shout out to all of the other long-haired park visitors out there! Do not forget to bring hair ties to keep hair off of your neck! That Florida heat and humidity is no joke! I'm a longtime advocate of the Teleties brand.
Get 10% off your order with my code: PARTNER10
#5 - Water Bottle Strap
Don't waste precious park bag space with a water bottle! I like to carry mine on a strap, like this one, to keep my water close by and remind me to stay hydrated. A caribiner attached to a stroller works well, too!
#6 - Park Shoes
Keeping your feet comfortable can make or break your trip! You will be walking a lot. My holy grail park sandals are here, while my favorite tennis shoes are these ones. My husband only wears Brooks in the parks and recommends them to everyone!
#7 - Hanging Toiletry Bag
This is the exact one that I use! It holds a ton, and folds up compactly in my suitcase. (Not to mention, I love the blush color!)
#8 - Belt Bag
If a big park bag isn't for you, or you're visiting Universal, I highly recommend something small like a belt bag. I have a deep love for my Lululemon belt bags, but I also have this Adidas version and am loving this stunner from Pink Lily!
#9 - Park Bags
I'm a sucker for my Loungefly bags. You can find tons of these on Shop Disney, Boxlunch, Amazon, and more!
For more park bag recommendations, click here!
For a FREE park bag packing checklist, click here!
#10 - Printable Disney Planner
A printable Disney planning binder is the perfect gift! Not only is this one printable, but I also offer a digitally editable version in my Etsy shop! Both have 20+ pages of Disney planning printables to customize to your own preferences!
All of the best Disney travel accessories from Prime Day are right here! Links are below!
I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
Walt Disney World Deal Alert!
Enjoy some fun in the sun at Walt Disney World this spring and summer!
Save up to $500 on a 5-night stay at select Disney Resort hotels most nights between March 6 - July 7, 2022.
There's so much to celebrate when you stay at a Disney Resort hotel—especially during The World's Most Magical Celebration! As a Guest of a Disney Resort hotel, you'll enjoy early entry to the parks 30 minutes before opening! Plus, Disney Resort hotel guests get early access to purchase individual Lightning Lane entries!
That's not all! Florida Residents can save up to 20% on rooms this summer at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights from March 11 - July 7, 2022.
Restrictions apply. Contact me for details.
Click here for pricing and more information.
Gift Guide: 1st Disney Trip
There's nothing like your first trip to Disney! Every kid (or kid at heart!) will love each of these gifts to kick off their first Disney trip!
Good luggage is essential to any Disney trip. This American Tourister luggage is a long-time favorite, and it comes in a huge variety of patterns! This luggage is high quality, long-lasting, and a must-have for any Disney fan!
American Tourister doesn't just make full-size luggage, it also makes fantastic kid-sized carry-on luggage, too! The kids luggage comes in all of their favorite characters, so there are plenty of options to choose from!
Kids Water Bottle
One of my biggest travel tips is to stay hydrated! For the adults, I always recommend carrying this water bottle strap. It fits around your water bottle to help remind you to sip throughout the day. However, if it's your kiddo's first trip, help them stay hydrated with this water bottle designed just for kids!
This one is perfect for every momma in the parks! The stylish, sleek design is a home run, and with subtle Disney touches, it's perfect. I've rounded up some other great bags here and have a complete park bag packing checklist here. Make sure you check both of these posts before you head to the parks!
Disney Planning Binder
Keep everything organized for the perfect first trip with this Disney Planning Binder from Etsy. Keep everything from dining to budgeting to packing organized!
Give the Gift of a Perfect Trip
Why not give the gift of a Disney vacation? As a Disney destination specialist, I can take care of all plans from beginning to end for a seamless, perfect trip! Contact me to get more information or to become a concierge-level client.
Gift Guide: Disney Honeymoon
Do you know anyone planning a honeymoon to a Disney destination? This guide has everything you need to send that couple off in (Disney) style!
Toast the Happy Couple
These Cinderella Champagne Flutes are the perfect gift for a new couple. Classy and elegant with a tasteful touch of Disney. These would be great to use at a reception, too!
Bride and Groom Ears
Is it even a Disney honeymoon without ears? These adorable bride and groom ears are essential for any honeymoon at Disney.
The Disney honeymooners in your life can have their very own Adventure Book, just like Carl and Ellie in Up! This is the perfect memento for every couple to have to commemorate their new life together.
Disney luggage is essential for any Disney getaway. Plus, luggage makes an incredible wedding gift! This American Tourister luggage will last for years and years, plus has tons of Disney prints available to choose from!
Printable Travel Binder
Help them keep their Disney plans organized with this printable travel planner from Etsy. An organized trip is a happy trip!
Gift the Honeymoon
Of course, gifting a honeymoon to a Disney destination is one of the most generous gifts of all! As a Disney destination specialist, I have extensive professional travel planning expertise in Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani, Disney Cruise Line, and Adventures by Disney. Contact me to learn more about my travel planning services and how I can plan the perfect Disney honeymoon!
Disney Genie officially launched on October 19, 2021! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
Like I explained before, this free component of My Disney Experience will be available for all guests. This complimentary service offers new features, including a tool that can map out an entire day based on your pre-travel choices. It will also help to reduce wait times in rides, pace your day, and build around existing plans.
While Disney Genie is free, there will be 2 different ways to utilize paid Lightning Lanes to save time in lines. Lightning Lane entrances, available for a fee, will be used.
Disney Genie+ will be an add-on at 40+ attractions. It will cost $15 per person, per day. Using this service, you can select arrival windows for Lightning Lane entrances, one at a time throughout the day. Genie+ will also feature audio files and PhotoPass lenses. Genie+ will not sell out.
Once you have Genie+, you can book the next available arrival window for your first experience via the My Disney Experience app beginning at 7:00 AM on the day of your visit. Once you’ve redeemed your initial selection (or the arrival window has passed), you can make another selection using the app, up to park closing.
I can add this on to your ticket or package for the duration of your visit prior to travel, or you can choose to purchase for single days on your own in the My Disney Experience app.
Individual Attraction Selections
These are the headliner attractions. These highly demanded rides will offer Lightning Lane entry as an "á la carte" purchase. This option will be available for everyone—with or without Disney Genie+ service—and lets you choose a time to arrive at up to 2 attractions each day (booked one at a time).
Purchase of Lightning Lanes for these headliners will be only be via Disney Genie in the My Disney Experience app on the same day of your visit. Pricing will vary by date, attraction and park. Prices and availability will be listed in the My Disney Experience app on the day of your visit.
You can only purchase individual selections for up to 2 different attractions per day. These will have a limited, and can sell out. Guests at Disney resorts will have "first dibs" on attractions.
The photo below outlines which rides are included with the Genie+ add-on, and which are included with the “a la carte” premium Individual Attractions.
Disney Genie, as well as its paid components, only work if you have the most updated version of My Disney Experience app. Update this the day before you travel, and double-check that it's the most updated version before you use any part of Disney Genie. We also learned that it's MUCH easier to add Genie+ prior to travel, rather than adding by day once you're already there.
I have already added Genie+ for all currently booked clients who have requested it. If you have questions about how I can add Genie+ to your trip, contact me. For more information about becoming a concierge-level client, click here.
Disney Dining Review: Via Napoli
"In Napoli where love is king, when boy meets girl, here's what they say."
It's definitely "amore" at first sight at Via Napoli. This restaurant and pizzeria is the perfect tour of Southern Italy, right in the heart of EPCOT!
We visited Via Napoli in September for an early dinner. After just a few hours in EPCOT, we were already hot, thirsty, and had worked up a bit of an appetite. After checking in, we were seated right away.
The restaurant is actually much larger than it looks, but we were fortunate to sit inside with a perfect view of the wood burning ovens. If you haven't visited Via Napoli, it's worth a reservation just to check these out! The ovens are named after the 3 active volcanoes in Italy: Mount Etna, Mount Vesuvius, and Stromboli.
Via Napoli features traditional Neapolitan pizza. The thin-crust pizzas are made with fresh mozzarella cheese, San Marzano tomatoes and real Caputo flour imported from Southern Italy. (Water for the dough is even sourced from a spring similar to Italy's Campania region!) Restaurateur Nick Valenti actually spent time in Naples studying the art of dough, crust, sauce and oven temperatures before creating the menu at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria. Talk about attention to detail!
We decided to share a Piccante pizza, and added pepperoni at the suggestion of our waitress. It. Was. Heavenly. I'm self-admittedly not a pepperoni pizza girl, but this was perfect!
(On previous trips, I've also enjoyed the prosciutto e melone and the margherita pizzas. I've also had the chance to try their heavenly sangrias and tiramisu!)
I strongly recommend Via Napoli to guests of all ages and groups of all sizes. They are easily able to accommodate large groups. (I once personally visited with a group of 19!) Via Napoli has a kid-pleasing menu, very shareable pizzas, a wide variety of drinks, and is a lovely reprieve from the parks. Find it at the back of the Italy pavilion.
Advanced Dining Reservations are recommended for Via Napoli. All of my clients receive my personalized dining recommendations. Click here to be added as a concierge-level client!
What a crazy week it's been! “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” is in full swing as of October 1st, and now Disney has some MORE news!
The previously announced Disney Genie service will launch on Oct. 19 at Walt Disney World Resort! This service will be available for all guests right in the My Disney Experience app! This complimentary service will perfectly compliment my tips and suggestions with your decisions in real time!
The technology will work similarly to a navigation app on your phone. Basically, Disney Genie will update your itinerary. This will help to:
This launch will also include Lightning Lanes at 40+ attractions! This will be available for additional purchase through Disney Genie+ OR individually “a la carte” at the most highly demanded attractions. Pricing will vary, depending on date, attraction, and park. Additionally, some rides, like Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, may still operate on a virtual queue.
For more information about how Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, or Lightning Lanes will work, contact me!
Walt Disney World Turns 50!
Walt Disney World is officially 50 years old!
I was fortunate enough to be in Magic Kingdom on its actual 50th anniversary. While it was magical and emotional, it was also crowded. Read along to find out how I skipped all of those crazy lines and what I did instead!
I've been planning this trip for a long time. I predicted that the crowd situation would likely look intense, and I was right. However, what I wasn't prepared for were where the crowds actually were.
I personally prefer my "merch" in the forms of things I can use in my daily life. (Water bottles, coffee mugs, hoodies, etc.) After over 20 personal trips over the last 31 years, I've learned what I use the most. Anyway, I never got super into things like popcorn buckets, pins (I do have a few), or other items that I otherwise can't use in my daily life.
If you saw the INTENSE lines on the news, TikTok, IG, etc., those were lines for merchandise and popcorn buckets. No joke. As of 8:15 a.m., the Emporium and Main Street Confectionary were literally full for the day and were not accepting anyone else into their virtual spots. With those people in lines for merch, as well as people who didn't mobile order food in advance (more on that soon), lines for rides were crazy short all day.
While most people were extremely polite, I sadly saw some very ugly behavior on October 1st, too. Literally fighting over merchandise, folks screaming at Cast Members, complaining about having to wait for food, you name it. Please, no matter where or when you're traveling, remember to BE KIND.
What I Ate
I pre-ordered our breakfast, dinner, and snacks at 5:30 a.m. (We had table service lunch reservations.) While that may sound extreme, I mentally thanked myself for that all day long. I was also sure to hydrate constantly, and carried snacks in my park bag, just in case! (If you're wondering what's in my park bags, get my packing list here!)
Breakfast - Fresh fruit waffle sandwich and French Vanilla Iced Coffee (Sleepy Hollow)
Lunch - All-You-Care-to-Enjoy platter and 2 adult beverages (Liberty Tree Tavern)
Snack - Pineapple Dole Whip cup (Aloha Isle)
Dinner - 1971 Meal (Casey's Corner)
One of the highlights of my day was seeing absolute legend Randy Morris play at Casey's Corner! Randy started as a pianist at Casey's Corner (then called Coke Corner) back at the park opening in 1971. He's since retired, but returned on the 50th to play again! It was incredible, and I'm getting emotional just typing about it!
What I Did
While these aren't the order we rode them in, we experienced:
I was at Magic Kingdom on September 29th for the last-ever Happily Ever After, and I thought that surely nothing could top that show. This one absolutely did.
Stunning. Absolutely stunning. This show made my jaw drop, gave me goosebumps, and made me laugh, cry, and sing along. The theme song, "You Are The Magic", is one of the best, most magical pieces written for a Disney attraction ever. This show is a must, MUST see. I was so glad to get up close to the Castle (we were in front of the hub grass) for the premiere, but next time I definitely want to watch from Main Street USA.
Did you know that there are projections along Main Street during this show?? Depending on where you watch, you'll have a completely different experience!
This was a once-in-a-lifetime event, and I'm so incredibly thrilled that I was there to experience it. The heat, the crowds, the exhaustion...they were all well worth it.
The World's Most Magical Celebration lasts for 18 months, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to experience everything that the 50th Anniversary has in store, including cavalcades, nighttime spectaculars, shows, and merchandise (did I mention that the infamous Starbucks cup that people were punching each other over is already back in stock???? LOL!!)
There is tons of fun, excitement, and magic to be had. If your trip isn't on the books yet, contact me to get started or schedule a complimentary vacation consultation to get more information!
What I Wore
I opted not to do a DisneyBound for the 50th, and instead relied on a few of my tried and true favorites. I wore a pink version of my favorite FunkyMonkey park sandals, a pink "bunny ear" scrunchie at the bottom of my Dutch braid, rose gold Mickey earrings, (mine were "Hey June" brand and a gift from a friend, but I've linked something similar), and my favorite Disney Parks Attractions Loungefly mini-backpack. You can find each of these right on Amazon and can shop them from these links or from the photos below!
New & Returning Dessert Parties and Dinner Packages at Walt Disney World Resort
Looking for a special way to celebrate the fireworks at Walt Disney World? Now you can choose from FIVE dessert parties and TWO dinner packages!
From sweet treats to international fare, there’s no shortage of options for making the most of the nighttime spectacular experience. To make your evenings even more magical, a new lineup of Appetizing Occasions will be returning just in time for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.”
Disney Enchantment, a brand-new, dazzling nighttime fireworks spectacular, debuts October 1st at Magic Kingdom. To enrich the experience of this immersive show, there’s a full menu of dessert party options that include viewing locations from the heart of the park to the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Learn more about Disney Enchantment here.
Celebration at the Top: 50th Flavors and Fireworks at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
$129 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Dress code requirements apply.
Beginning October 2nd, a sophisticated evening awaits you at this event, where you'll be welcomed to the private Sonoma and Napa Rooms at California Grill to sample specialty drinks, canapes, sushi and small plates. After an elevated cocktail hour, step outside to the observation deck on the 15th floor for a unique viewpoint of Disney Enchantment, complete with the synchronized music. The event continues back inside after the show with petit-fours, cordials and coffee.
At Magic Kingdom Park, three dessert party options put you right in the middle of the magic to view Disney Enchantment. Each event includes 50th anniversary-themed delights at different times throughout the evening at Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. These events will begin on October 3, 2021.
Each of these 3 parties will include 50th anniversary-themed desserts, a variety of cheeses, and drink selections, including beer and wine for anyone ages 21+
As I previously shared, Disney's Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise begins September 18th. Reservations are available now. On select Wednesday and Saturday nights. set sail on an iconic ferryboat for a magical evening on the Seven Seas Lagoon. Once onboard, you can enjoy bite-size signature sweets including build-your-own mousse, key lime tarts, cupcakes and specialty beverages. (Beverages both with and without alcohol are available.)
Kids can participate in an ultraviolet scavenger hunt. During the cruise, you'll get to experience observe the Magic Kingdom fireworks accompanied by stunning water views.
$99 for adults and $69 for children ages 3 to 9 (tax and gratuity included)
Harmonious, one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for Disney Parks, will light the EPCOT's World Showcase Lagoon beginning October 1st.
With choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers in a 360-degree view, Harmonious shows how Disney music and stories have the power to bring people from all around the world together. To celebrate there are two new package options available at World Showcase restaurants. Both of these experiences will be available October 1, 2021.
FREE Park Bag Packing Checklist
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