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!
Catching a wave...in Orlando? I had the opportunity to stay at Endless Summer: Surfside Inn and Suites at Universal Orlando Resort in December! This value resort has totally stolen my heart! It's part of the Endless Summer Resort, with Dockside Inn and Suites rounding out the complex.
Upon arriving at Surfside, I immediately noticed the health and safety measures being taken to keep everyone safe. (More on that later!) The front desk was staffed, but distanced, and I did not have to wait for a team member to greet me. We received our keys, and headed straight to the Vacation Planning Desk to grab our tickets.
We stayed in a Standard 2 Queen room. One thing that I really loved about the elevators is that, to get to guest floors, you had to scan your room key before the elevator took you to your room. Elevators were also limited to just your travel party, so no sharing a small space with strangers! Our room was spacious and clean. One touch that I really loved was the bottle of hand sanitizer in our room. While I had multiple bottles that we'd packed, I definitely took this one as a souvenir! (And may have already used it once or twice since then!) The resort also features 2 bedroom suites, which is a fantastic option for larger parties or for families who prefer to spread out a bit!
A video of our room tour can be found on IGTV. Watch that here!
Surfside featured a few different dining options that we experienced: Starbucks, Beach Break Cafe, Sand Bar, and resort pizza delivery. Starbucks was located in the lobby, and had your traditional Starbucks fare. Beach Break Cafe was the quick-service location. We ordered two burgers and fries. This was socially distanced, fast, and the food was fresh. That evening, we stopped in at the Sand Bar, which is the pool bar. Seats were distanced, service was fast and friendly, and drink prices were very reasonable. Later in the evening, we ordered pizza delivery from the resort. We had a gluten-free cheese pizza, fruit & cheese appetizer, and two (GIANT) waters. Again, the food was fresh and delicious, and service was much faster than we expected!
Health and Safety
The health and safety guidelines at Universal Orlando were unparalleled. At our resort, we noticed hand sanitizer stations near the front desk, Vacation Planning Desk, near every entrance/exit, and at elevator bays. We also noticed social distancing markers and signage throughout the resort. One feature that I loved was having our temperature checked at the resort before heading to the parks. Guests were issued a colored wristband daily after their temperature screening. (Colors changed by the day.) These wristbands are required for entering the parks, and saved tons of time at park arrival time since we already had this done! We never had to wait in a line for a temperature check. The shuttle (which we also never waited for!) had assigned seating areas for each party to encourage social distancing. Face coverings, of course, are required unless you are actively eating and drinking in a stationary location.
*Please note: temperature checks were phased out as of May 19th, 2021 and Face Coverings were not required indoors or outdoors for vaccinated travelers as of May 29th, 2021.
My overall experience at Endless Summer: Surfside Inn and Suites was FANTASTIC. I would recommend Endless Summer to any clients visiting Universal Orlando Resort. It's a fantastic budget-friendly option without feeling like a "value" resort. Remember, any stay at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel includes Early Park Admission, free shuttles, resort-wide charging privileges, complimentary merchandise delivery to hotel, and Club-to-Club access at CityWalk!
Click here for more information or to book your next stay at Universal Orlando Resort!
Travel Tip: Sunscreen!
How do I have so many tips and tricks? I’ve made ALL of the mistakes so you don’t have to! The photo here was taken during a February trip. I skipped the sunscreen that day because it “wasn’t hot outside” and I paid the price with that sunburn! (But you can see that I was carrying a cross-body bag! One of my top tips that you can check out here!)
Make sure that you pack and use sunscreen and perhaps some aloe vera, too! You'll find sunscreen and sunburn relief in your resort gift shop, of course, and they will come with a resort price tag!
Make sure you bring that sunscreen with you to the parks, too. You'll need to reapply throughout the day. I also always recommend bringing hats and sunglasses to keep that bright Florida sun out of your eyes.
I include a packing checklist in every client's e-package. Get the ultimate packing checklist by booking a Disney or Universal package through me! Click "Contact" above or email me to get started! firstname.lastname@example.org