A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable

A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable

Summary

The House of Mouse can strain your nerves and your wallet. Our resident thrifty father shares the tools he’s relied on.

HERE I AM on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom—again. Neither I nor my wife long for this place. During our first family trip to Disney World in 2018, she had to swallow vats of Dramamine to stomach the rides. And I resented getting taken on the proverbial ones—being forced to pay $5 for a stale churro offends me. But when my in-laws decided to go this fall, we felt obliged to take our daughter with the rest of her cousins.

Rob Daniel, 47, is well aware that parents need help braving Disney trips. For Ear Scouts, the YouTube channel he co-owns, the Celebration, Fla.-based web developer documents his weekly visits to the theme parks, reviews new attractions and compiles guides on how to get the most out of a visit. Armed with his advice and my own hard-won knowledge, I packed quite differently for my second trip to the House of Mouse.

Here, a Disney survival kit, Dramamine not required.

Tools to Make Your Disney Trip Cheaper and Easier

1. Fill ‘Er Up

Walt Disney World only has about a dozen airport-style water-bottle-filling stations across four sprawling parks. To keep hydrated without lining up for water, you must brave the more numerous, old-school drinking fountains throughout the park, aware that kids have probably drooled on them. Grayl GeoPress Purifier’s filtering system promises to remove any viruses, bacteria, protozoa, sediment and many chemicals and odors. $100, Grayl.com

2. Walk the Lines

Chunky Hoka sneakers might as well be the unofficial shoe of Disney—I saw them on teens and grandparents alike. If you can stomach the color scheme of the Clifton 9 GTX , a day of comfort awaits you. The GTX version has a Gore-Tex membrane inside to keep your feet dry in an impromptu Orlando downpour. $200, Hoka.com

3. Clingy Charger

Disney encourages visitors to schedule rides and order meals on its app, so a dead smartphone can derail your day. The Anker 633 Magnetic Battery snaps to the back of any iPhone 12 or newer to recharge wirelessly while you still use your phone. Though no bigger than a deck of cards, the brawny battery pack can recharge an iPhone nearly twice. There’s also a cable port for wired charging. $80, Anker.com

4. Lunch to Go

Packing a lunch, which all Disney parks allow if you don’t bring a glass container, saves a lot of time and money. The Hydro Flask 8L Insulated Lunch Bag is fitted with a svelte ice pack you can leave in your AirBnb’s freezer or drop off at your hotel’s concierge desk for refreezing. Mine kept a couple sandwiches, string cheese and other snacks cold in the Orlando sun until lunchtime. Lunch Bag, $50, Getzs.com; Ice Pack, $10, HydroFlask.com

5. Cost-Conscious Coffee

Unwilling to pay almost $8 each day for two coffees at the cafe in our Disney hotel, I traveled with the VSSL Nest Pour Over Coffee Kit. The Thermos-sized kit houses a pour-over and a pair of mugs. I carry a small grinder so that I can use it with whole beans I brought from home, but you can also just use pre-ground beans from the grocery store. $75, VSSLGear.com

6. Personal Ice Box

The so-called fridges you’ll find in most hotel rooms, even at the pricey Disney lodgings, can leave a lot to be desired. Not only are they small, but online reviewers say the ones at Disney often don’t get colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the minimum temperature the FDA recommends to keep bacteria at bay. Instead, use the packable IceMule Classic Large 20L soft-sided cooler. I filled it with hotel ice, then stuffed in our groceries—including milk, creamer, yogurt and sandwiches—and it kept cubes frozen for 24 hours with little more than a top up each morning. The large version can hold about 20 cans of Coke with ice, but the IceMule Classic is also available in three smaller sizes. $95, IceMuleCoolers.com

7. Barely-There Day Pack

No one wants to lug a giant backpack through Epcot. But if yours is too small, it won’t accommodate enough of these essentials. The 16-liter Matador ReFraction Packable Backpack has enough room for flip-flops, sunglasses, sunscreen and a full-size jar of Ibuprofen, among other things. A pair of exterior stretch pockets can each hold a large water bottle—even the Grayl UltraPress—turning you into the family camel. And when you’re not using it, it packs down to the size of a fanny pack, easily stashable in your carry-on. $60, MatadorEquipment.com

The Wall Street Journal is not compensated by retailers listed in its articles as outlets for products. Listed retailers frequently are not the sole retail outlets.

A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
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A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
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A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
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A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
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A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
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A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
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A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
View Full Image
A Disney World Survival Kit: 7 Gadgets to Make Your Trip Cheaper and More Comfortable
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