Universal Orlando is now open to the public, and Walt Disney World will be reopening in a few weeks. This means that some of you will soon start PACKING for vacation!
TouringPlans has run approximately eleventy-billion posts about WDW trip packing over the years. A greatest hits list of them might include:
- Trip Packing 101
- Packing for Disney in Two Suitcases
- A Video on Packing Tips
- What to Bring with You into the Theme Parks
- Is Packing Only Carry-On Right for You?
- Packing for Winter Weather at WDW
Now that we’re living in the COVID-19 era, there may be a few tweaks you want to make to your usual packing routine.
Disney will require that all guests wear face coverings in the parks. That’s a non-negotiable given. It’s also a given that it’s summer and Florida, so the weather will inevitably be hot, hot, hot. Keep that in mind as you decide what type of mask to bring with you on vacation.
I’ve purchased half a dozen styles, from disposables sold at my local supermarket, to heavy multi-layered multi-filtered washables bought from Etsy. As much as possible, you should try to experiment with a variety of masks BEFORE you show up on vacation. They’re not all stifling and uncomfortable. Think about:
- Will this provide protection to me and those around me?
- Is the fit secure? Will I constantly be worried about this falling off while I’m walking around or on a ride? Is there something I can do to adjust the fit? (It could be particularly fun to use a monkey to adjust your mask in Toy Story Land.)
- How does the paper/fabric feel next to my skin?
- Can a take a deep breath while wearing this mask? How does it feel when I’m slightly exerted, like walking around my neighborhood?
- With disposable masks, what is my environmental impact? Is it worth it to avoid washing masks during my vacation?
- With reusable masks, how will I care for it or clean it during my vacation?
- Do I have enough masks with me if one becomes soiled due to food spills or sweat?
- Will my mask withstand the inevitable Florida summer downpours? Do I have replacements for a wet mask?
- Do I care about the aesthetics of my mask? Do I want it to match my attire?
- Have I evaluated the mask situation for my kids? Have we practiced at home and do they understand that mask wearing in the parks is non-negotiable?
- If I’m planning to buy Disney-branded masks on site, do I have a back-up plan if I find them uncomfortable or otherwise bothersome?
Sunscreen is almost always a must at Walt Disney World. When you’re wearing a mask, you’ll want to be extra attentive to sunscreen application on your face lest you end up with some really wacky tan lines. Be sure you bring one that works for you with frequent application.
Yes, you should absolutely wash your hands thoroughly many times throughout the day. Yes, cast members will increase their sanitation of attractions and high-touch surfaces. Yes, there will be hand sanitizer stations located throughout the parks and resorts. Nevertheless, you probably want to keep at least a small amount of hand sanitizer with you at all times, just in case.
Bear in mind that TSA has now changed the rules about quantities of sanitizer that are allowed to be carried onto airplanes.
As you decide what form of sanitizer to have with you (liquid, spray, wipes), consider whether you’re a no-bags-in the park person or be-prepared-for-anything person and whether your choice of sanitizer will be impacted by that.
Proper hydration is essential and many folks bring reusable water bottles for environment reasons. Normally this is fantastic, but if you’re in a higher-risk group you may want to consider how you’re going to refill your bottle. Will you feel comfortable having your bottle close to taps that may have been touched by many people?
Given the reduced park hours, you may be spending more time at your hotel than you would during a typical Disney vacation. Will you need to bring any items to help fill your down time? A deck of cards, a small board game, an extra novel, etc.?
HOW MUCH CLOTHING TO BRING
Some guests pack minimally, planning to do laundry while at Walt Disney World. The COVID factor may change your laundry strategy. If you think you’ll have more time on hand to do chores like washing clothes (because of less time in the parks), then you may decide to pack less overall. On the other hand, if you’d rather avoid enclosed spaces like public laundry rooms, then you may want to bring more clothes and skip doing laundry on this trip.
Prior to your trip, you may want to check whether your credit cards have a no-contact payment feature. If one does, that may be the one you choose to use for this trip (to help you avoid touching card readers). Apple Pay is another good option for this.
Do you have any thoughts on packing for a post-COVID Disney vacation? Is there anything new you’re planning to bring? Is there anything you used to bring that you won’t take this time? Let us know!