10 Things to Buy, Make or Borrow for Your Disney Vacation

Looking for ways to make your Disney vacation affordable? These 10 ideas include things you can buy, make or borrow for your trip - from water bottles to ponchos, this list has it all.

**This is NOT a sponsored post. Just sharing our experience!**

We spent a week at Walt Disney World and Universal, thanks to my parents. What an adventure! After scouring Pinterest, I learned that there was no post, anywhere, that could really walk me through planning an entire trip to Disney. Throughout the series, I shared our days at the parks, tips and tricks, taming the souvenir beast, money saving ideas, things we learned and photos we captured. They’re all linked below. Enjoy!

Day 1: HDYDI – Plan a Multi-Generational Disney Vacation
Day 2: What We Wore to Disney 
Day 3: EPCOT: A Mom’s Guide 
Day 4: Magic Kingdom: Plan a Visit That’s Fun for All Ages
Day 5: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal: A Family Guide
Day 6: Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios: All in One Day!

Day 7: Character Meals & Meet/Greets: 13 Tips to Make Them Awesome
Day 8: 10 Things to Buy/Borrow/Make For Your Disney Vacation (this post!)
Day 9: 6 Tips to Capture Your Disney Vacation on Film
Day 10: Meeting Anna & Elsa: An Honest Account 

The biggest thing I learned when planning a trip to Disney? There is not enough time to do it all, even for the sage and seasoned Disney traveler. You just have to choose what makes the most sense for your family, budget and sanity. Emphasis on the sanity. Here are the ten things we found indispensable and lots of fun. Your list might look different. I’d love to hear what you’d add, or delete, from the list!

1. MAKE: Autograph books. I chatted about these in detail in the last post. But I cannot emphasize enough what a great thing they were in the parks and how great of a keepsake they are, now that we’re home. We’re working on printing photos to put the final touches on them.

Looking for ways to make your Disney vacation affordable? These 10 ideas include things you can buy, make or borrow for your trip - from water bottles to ponchos, this list has it all.

2. MAKE: Penny holder for fountains. If you have some extra mini M&M containers lying around, this project is super simple. If you don’t, just head to the local gas station to pick up a few. We made seven of these. The kids were more than happy to eat the M&Ms and then my mom filled them with pennies. Every time we passed by a fountain, the kids threw in some coins. Super easy and practically free. And, in case you’re wondering, Disney donates all that money to charity. The beneficiary is voted upon by cast members each year. How awesome is that?

Looking for ways to make your Disney vacation affordable? These 10 ideas include things you can buy, make or borrow for your trip - from water bottles to ponchos, this list has it all.

3. MAKE/BUY: “I’m lost!” tattoos. I forgot to take a photo of ours, but these were simply, “I’m lost, please call 512-***-****.” Thankfully, we never had to test these out.

4. BORROW: Baby carrier, stroller or pack ‘n play. We opted to rent a double stroller and our rental house provided a crib and pack ‘n play, but after reading up on transporting babies around Disney, I knew we’d need a baby carrier. Fortunately, my sweet friend Alexis let us borrow her Ergo. That thing saved me!

Looking for ways to make your Disney vacation affordable? These 10 ideas include things you can buy, make or borrow for your trip - from water bottles to ponchos, this list has it all.

6. BORROW/BUY: Princess dress. If you wait until you arrive at the parks, be prepared to shell out $80+ for a princess dress that you can snatch up for less than $20 at home. Better yet, raid your dress up basket or borrow a friend’s for free! If you go during the hot months, your sweet little princess is going to be shedding that thing pretty quickly. No need to break the bank.

8. BORROW/BUY: Rain ponchos. Florida is notorious for the random rain shower. They rarely last long, but if you’re caught without a poncho, it really could put a damper on your day. And, if you’ve got a stroller or scooter, you’ll want something to cover those up, as well. We purchased inexpensive ponchos via Amazon and picked up the rest at HEB. Thankfully, we never had to use them and now we can stash the extras in our camper’s footlockers for summer camp.

5. BUY: Memory card and mobile phone charger. If you’re taking your fancy DSLR, take an extra memory card. And, if you’re using your phone as a camera, don’t skimp on the mobile phone charger. My mom had some extra chargers and they came in very handy.

7. BUY: Glowsticks+Baby Wipes. We picked ours up at Dollar Tree before we left. Brilliant. The kids forgot all about being tired and had a blast putting these on while watching the Main Street Electrical Parade. Of course, it was all fun and games until Luke’s busted and he got glow stick all over his hands. Praise Jesus for the baby wipes.Looking for ways to make your Disney vacation affordable? These 10 ideas include things you can buy, make or borrow for your trip - from water bottles to ponchos, this list has it all.

9. BUY: Fantasy Bands. The parks sell expensive add-on’s that you can pop in the extra holes on the bands. We opted to buy Fantasy Bands instead. Only John Paul’s lost its “stick,” {shocking} but everyone else’s weathered just fine. They were a great way to personalize our bands and keep them all straight.

Looking for ways to make your Disney vacation affordable? These 10 ideas include things you can buy, make or borrow for your trip - from water bottles to ponchos, this list has it all.

10. BUY/TAKE: Refillable water bottles. Our group purchased personalized water bottles, to make identification easier. Yes, Disney offers free water at all its counter service restaurants and you can fill them up at water fountains, but that wasn’t always convenient. In hindsight, it probably would’ve been better to take in a water jug, or two, of our own water and fill up the bottles when we got thirsty. If only Disney had those water fountains with the easy water bottle filling option!

Looking for ways to make your Disney vacation affordable? These 10 ideas include things you can buy, make or borrow for your trip - from water bottles to ponchos, this list has it all.

BONUS: Your own clothes! You know how much I love those; read more about our week of Disney fashion here!

Looking for ways to make your Disney vacation affordable? These 10 ideas include things you can buy, make or borrow for your trip - from water bottles to ponchos, this list has it all.

Links
Autograph Book Printables: The Happy Haunt
Fantasy Bands: My Fantasy Bands
Water Bottles: RoKaBye Designs

32 Comments

  1. kathy white on June 8, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    fantasy bands? what am I missing? I thought you get special color coordinated bracelet magic bands? does this just bling it up?

    and. do you know the company that did your tattoos? love that idea. thank you!

    • Kathryn on June 8, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      We had three different colors of Magic Bands, but because there were 12 of us with them, the colors alone wouldn’t help us quickly identify them from one another. Enter, the Fantasy Bands stickers. While they looked cute, it was really more function and identification for us!

      A girlfriend of mine made our tattoos. Anyone you know that has a Silhouette can make them, as long as they have tattoo paper!

  2. Nicole on June 8, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    LOVE this series. I can’t tell you enough how helpful it is! It gets me so excited for our trip this fall.

    A couple of questions…How big (what size) binder did you do for the autograph books? Do they hold an 8.5×11 sheet of paper?
    And in that penny fountain picture (brilliant idea, by the way), what is that little sign that says Epcot?
    And the water bottles – where are those from? My daughter would love those! (Sorry if you already mentioned that).

    • Kathryn on June 8, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Oh I’m so happy to hear that!

      The binder is a half binder, so 8.5×5.5. You can get the white ones at any office supply store.

      The EPCOT sign in the photo are the clues I gave to the kids each morning.

      Water bottles were from RoKaBye via Etsy. Link is at the bottom of the post!

      • Nicole on June 8, 2015 at 4:20 pm

        Perfect. THANK YOU again.

      • Liv on December 28, 2016 at 2:35 am

        Maybe I missed it, but I cannot find any other details about the clues you made. I was wondering what they were for, how you made them, etc.

        • Kathryn on December 30, 2016 at 2:59 pm

          The clues were just simple little rhymes I put together to give the kids clues about what park we would be at that day. I don’t think I wrote them down anywhere, but they were easy enough to craft. Just a sentence or two!

  3. Abby on June 8, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    I love this series! I love all of your ideas.

    We buy our rain panchos 2 for a 1.00 at the dollar tree. In case anyone is looking and wants a cheap alternative.

    We also use your penny holders to hold pennies and quarters for the souvenir penny maker! It’s my kids favorite thing to find new penny makers in each park and the cost is relatively low at 51 cents!

    • Kathryn on June 8, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      We tried (and tried) to find those ponchos at the dollar store to no avail! Thanks for mentioning it as an option. I’ve heard the penny makers are fabulous. Another gem!

    • Jackie on July 27, 2015 at 10:58 am

      I had our pennies and quarters in a tube and in our carry-on, since I didn’t want it to open….well, security tagged it and we had to have our bag searched. Doesn’t take long, but it maybe worth putting it together at the hotel/house.

  4. […] All in One Day! Day 7: Character Meals & Meet/Greets: 13 Tips to Make Them Awesome Day 8: 10 Things to Buy/Borrow/Make For Your Disney Vacation Day 9: 6 Tips to Capture Your Disney Vacation on Film Day 10: Meeting Anna & Elsa: An Honest […]

  5. […] All in One Day! Day 7: Character Meals & Meet/Greets: 13 Tips to Make Them Awesome Day 8: 10 Things to Buy/Borrow/Make For Your Disney Vacation Day 9: 6 Tips to Capture Your Disney Vacation on Film (this post!) Day 10: Meeting Anna & […]

  6. jill adler on October 21, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    My daughter started a collection of princess stuffies after our first trip so to really save money I would buy one online before each trip (we go every year) and bring it with me then give it to her at the end of the day as if we had purchased it in the store. she knew it didn’t come from the store at the park but was just as happy as if it had.

    • Kathryn on October 22, 2016 at 12:59 am

      Brilliant!

  7. Sara on December 30, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    My family and I are planning a trip at the end of 2018 to Disney world. None of us have ever been there, except me when I was two and that doesn’t count. So excited to use your tips to make it an awesome trip for my 3 girls. Thank you!

    • Kathryn on December 30, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      That always makes me happy to hear – you’ll have such a magical time. I hope my tips help as you plan!

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  9. Anna on January 28, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Can you tell me where you found your water bottles?

    • Kathryn on January 31, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      I just checked and it looks like they aren’t available anymore. Shoot!

  10. […] 10 Things To Buy, Make or Borrow For Your Disney Trip […]

  11. Dee on April 10, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    I loved this post and find it very helpful. However, instead of getting mini M&M containers I reuse prescription bottles. I decorated the bottles with adhesive glitter paper and stickers so the kids don’t get in the habit of touching pill bottles.

  12. 2017 in Review - Team Whitaker on December 31, 2017 at 12:00 am

    […] 10 Things to Buy, Make or Borrow for Your Disney Vacation […]

  13. Leslie on June 27, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    One thing I did before we went to Disney was scour our city’s thrift stores for different Disney shirts in my kids sizes. I found a TON all in great shape & paid a $1 or $2 for each! Mickey, Minnie, Cars, Monsters Inc, Star Wars, Cinderella, etc… We have four kiddos that that saved us a ton of money!

    • Kathryn on June 29, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      So smart!!

  14. Rhiannon on September 17, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    These are so great. I especially loved the DIY autograph books. And I LOVE the idea of everyone having matching tees. It looks cute in photos, plus it’s SO practical: makes it so much easier to locate someone if they get lost and a wonderful memento afterward. Great post!

    • Kathryn on September 19, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      The matching tees will save your sanity!

  15. Theresa on January 31, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    No need to haul heavy bottles and drink warm water. You can just ask for a free cup of ice water at any fast food establishment or food cart.

    • Kathryn on February 2, 2019 at 8:54 am

      While that’s true about getting free water from walk up food vendors, we had 14 people in our group. 14 cups to cart around wasn’t reasonable! The water bottles came in very handy.

  16. Jessie on February 13, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Thanks for the tips, very helpful! I have never been to Disney and this post is pure mom hack genius.

    • Kathryn on February 19, 2019 at 12:38 pm

      Hooray!!

  17. Sylvie on February 23, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Your blog is amazing. Still haven’t read everything but what I did read is awesome. Great tips. Great information. We are 8 adults and 3 kids under 6. Your blog is very helpful. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Kathryn on February 25, 2019 at 4:22 pm

      Have the best time! I’m so happy to hear the posts have been helpful.

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