Having moved away from home – abroad three times, twice of which working for the Walt Disney Company – my packing abilities have become my key skill in life. When you live aboard a Disney Cruise ship and only have room for ONE suitcase below your bunk bed – you soon learn whats crucial [FYI it’s chocolate>dresses]
- PASSPORT / VISA / MONEY / INSURANCE:
Completely essential necessities for any trip abroad. A valid passport and visa is crucial unless you want to only get as far as MCO. Travelling from the UK ensure you have a ESTA visa these last two years and are electronically tagged to your passport. Healthcare is also super expensive in the USA – so I can not stress how very important it is to get coverage. I always go for a one year multi-trip plan, that way I’m covered for any last minute trips and I’ve found that usually there is only a few pounds difference in price from a year insurance to a two week one. Also crucial to any trip is of course money – after all ‘Magic comes with a price, dearie.’
2. MAGICAL EXPRESS TAGS / MAGIC BAND:
Living in Canada has its perks, I have received my luggage labels to attach to my suitcase – ready for my arrival at MCO. So my luggage will magically make its way from the airport to the resort, however this can take up to three hours but you don’t need to be in the room to receive it. So its important that anything vital is packed in my hand luggage case.
If you live in the USA you have the choice to receive your Magic Bands at home. This way the magic begins at the airport when you check in for your Magical Express transportation to the resort.
You can even buy accessories for your Magic Band to match your style. My Mike Wazowski Magic Slider, comes with me on every trip since I purchased him a couple of years ago. But also there are sellers on Etsy or have their own websites, who have designed stickers to apply to your Magic Band, if you are looking to make yours totally unique. I have my eye on some at My Fantasy Band that I will be purchasing for my next holiday. You can also buy a range of already designed Magic Bands – some of which are limited edition and there is a HUGE selection of accessories at Walt Disney World; however I have found the Walt Disney World Icons Magic Bandit sets all eventually fell off my Magic Band on a previous trip! However now I believe, they sell them with a plastic tab to secure it into place once you place them through the holes in your band which is worn like a watch (I will report back).
You can choose what colour Magic Band you would like; current choices are pink, blue, red, green, orange, yellow, grey and recently added purple! On the inside you can edit your name also. With the Magic Band you can unlock your hotel door, make purchases so there is no need to carry cash, tap and enter the parks, check-in for fast passes and connect all those Photo Pass images! Just make sure to link it to your My Disney Experience App.
3. MY DISNEY EXPERIENCE APP:
If you have booked a Disney vacation and haven’t downloaded this app, then do it; IMMEDIATELY! You can check queue times, book fast passes, find your favourite characters to meet, make restaurant reservations, browse your Photo Pass photos, even find where the closest rest room is…You can also link with everyone on your booking, add your hotel and park reservations and easily view and edit your day to day plans! An absolute must have.
4. LUGGAGE / LUGGAGE TAGS:
So when we arrived to Canada and were in an immigration queue for over three hours, we came out to the luggage carousels and luckily were able to quickly locate our luggage as we had distinct and colourful cases among the abundance of black cases all placed in a large pile together! I love TRIPP suitcases, they have a full range of bags and suitcases and come with a warranty against any damage. Plus they are always almost on sale at Debenhams and online.
I also couldn’t help myself and after a contract on the Disney Fantasy brought myself the Walt Disney World suitcase (left). It is amazing, it has four wheels, sturdy, has compartments inside and is pretty lightweight.
For someone who loves matching items (right) this really soothes my soul and gets me excited for packing. I have my main suitcase, my hand luggage suitcase and the small holdall as my carry on. The bags have a Velcro strap so it can sit on top of my hand luggage case. I will be packing the larger of the two bags, just in case I purchase one too many souvenirs and will substitute the smaller one if necessary. During numerous trips to Walt Disney World I have always found it helpful to bring an extra duffel bag – just in case for either myself or for friends who needed it because they’ve brought one too many pillows, mugs, toys, Christmas decorations, etc…
For my luggage tags, two are from Cast Connections in Epcot a couple of years ago. They are bright, durable and have made excellent gifts for friends who are former Cast Members also. The Caribbean Beach Resort tag is from years ago on a family holiday, they used to put a rubber tag on every piece of luggage at check out, for free! We have them in a blue, black and orange, however Disney have long since stopped giving away these awesome tags and now sell them at different resorts. I have a lot of different tags including two very large Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse heads purchased at Art Of Animation, I love them as again they are eye-catching at the airport and they add a distinct flair to your luggage.
PART TWO: Coming October 21st
Unique and creative pieces that add some fun to my vacation!