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packing for a disney cruise

Packing for a Disney cruise? Don’t zip up that suitcase until you read about these 12 must have items you probably didn’t think of.

One of the most fun parts of going on vacation for me is packing. I don’t know why, but I’ve always enjoyed it so much! It’s an important part of the planning to me!

I’m the person that makes a packing list months beforehand and constantly revises it until I have crammed every inch of my suitcase full of must-have items. But as my husband says (and I hate to admit he’s right) I sometimes don’t need everything I stuff into my suitcase. BUT – there are a few things that he’s glad I pack because when we need them, we have them. And as a mom, I’m the queen of needing things on the fly and then not having them. Then I get upset and stressed out because I don’t have something I need. When we go on vacation (especially when we go on a cruise in the middle of the ocean where there’s no Walmart), I always try to think ahead of the game to make sure that doesn’t happen. I’m the “expert” when it comes to packing the essential items that others may not think about.

So if you’re like me and you’re surfing the web trying to make sure you have everything you need for your upcoming Disney cruise, be sure to add these 12 must-have items to your list ASAP. My husband and I have been on 4 Disney cruises, so we’ve learned a few things about what is needed and what’s not.

Must-Have Items When Packing for a Disney Cruise to Any Destination

A Yeti cup (or any refillable water bottle)

This is seriously one of the most important tips I have for you today. We could not have lived without our Yeti cups on our last cruise. It saved us SO many trips to the soda fountain machine! Soft drinks are included in the price of your cruise, unlimited, and are available 24 hours on the main deck. BUT it can be a huge pain to have to constantly go back and get your drinks refilled because your ice melted too quickly in the paper cup. That’s where the insulated refillable water bottles, specifically Yeti’s, definitely come in handy. The yeti cups make the ice last for hours, most of the time all night long, so you never have to worry about your drink tasting watery.

A magnetic white board/dry erase markers

The stateroom doors are magnetic, so if you’re traveling with a large party in multiple staterooms or if you’re going to split up, I recommend bringing a small magnetic white board and some dry erase markers so you can leave notes for one another. That way, in case someone forgets their wave phone and comes back to the room looking for you, you can tell them where you are and when to meet you next.


I highly recommend bringing a lanyard to put all of your family’s Key to the World cards in. This keeps your cards easily accessible in case you need them and can help prevent you from losing them.

Night Light

The staterooms can get VERY dark at night time. If you need a little extra light in the room or have little ones afraid of the dark, bring a small night light with you.

Related Post: Disney Cruise Booking Secrets You Need to Know

Portable phone charger

The last thing you want is a dead phone when you’re trying to capture all of your wonderful cruise memories with your phone camera. Definitely make sure you bring a portable charger or power bank to keep your phone charged!

Rolling day-bag for embarkation and a backpack for Port Adventures

When you arrive at the port, your luggage will be taken off to be inspected and then delivered to your room later on during the day. It’s important to pack a day-bag to keep with you on the ship while you’re luggage is being inspected because you never know exactly what time you’re going to get it back. We recommend bringing a rolling bag so that you don’t have to lug around a heavy back pack while you’re exploring the ship. Pack your essentials in this bag along with an extra change of clothes and anything you might need while you’re luggage is not with you (check back Friday 12/20/19 for a post that includes the essentials you need to put in your day-bag!)

I also highly recommend bringing an empty backpack with you to bring on your excursions for anything you might need while your onshore.

Autograph book or pillowcase for character autographs

If you have kids who are obsessed with getting character autographs, don’t forget to bring an autograph book or pillowcase with you for the characters to sign! Disney has some for a price on board, but they can be expensive.

Magnets for your stateroom door

Like I said earlier, your stateroom doors are magnetic, so why not have a little fun with them? Let your little ones pick out their favorite magnets before the trip and then stick them on your stateroom door when you arrive. You’ve got an easy way to spot your door!

Foldable or popup clothes hamper

Keep your dirty clothes from being strewn around the room by bringing a popup hamper from Walmart or the dollar store.

Light jacket

No matter what itinerary you choose to go on, whether that be to the Caribbean or to Alaska, it’s important to bring at least one light jacket or sweater. Weather is unpredictable and you would hate to be stuck in chilly weather without a jacket. It can also get pretty cool on board in the restaurants and staterooms.

Old hotel room key or old credit card

Your stateroom lights will be controlled by an electronic card slot by the door. In order to keep the lights on, a key card will need to be in the slot at all times. It would be pretty helpful to bring an old room key or an old credit card so you won’t have to keep your Key to the World card in the slot.

Sunscreen and medications

These sound like obvious items to pack, and to most people they probably are. But not many people probably anticipate getting a migraine or upset stomach aboard a cruise. Because of this, I recommend bringing any sunscreen, pain relievers or medicines you use when you’re sick – just in case. You can buy these things on board, but they are pretty expensive.

Now what are you waiting for? Let’s get packing for a Disney cruise! Wooohoo!

We hope this list of must-have items when packing for a Disney cruise has helped you! What are your must have items for a Disney cruise?

Need more Disney Cruise Line tips? Check out these posts!

How to Choose the Best Disney Cruise Line Destination for Your Family

What’s Included in a Disney Cruise Line Vacation

15 Things for Adults to Do on a Disney Cruise