Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Vacation Practicalities: Packing and Laundry at Disney World

Vacation Practicalities: Packing and Laundry at Disney World
By: Rebecca M. Farrell (@RMZFarrell)

Remember when you could take 10 bags on vacation and nobody batted an eye or charged you a baggage fee? Sigh. I miss those days.

With baggage restrictions, carry-on limitations and the general hassle involved in present-day air travel, it’s enough to overshadow even the tingly anticipation of a Disney vacation!
In the following post, I’ll outline a few packing tips that I've learned over the past several years. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Planning for Packing
I used to cram two huge suitcases FULL of clothes for our Disney trips, often coming dangerously close to (or exceeding!) the 50-pound bag limit, because I didn't want to spend any part of my trip doing laundry. What a dope I was! On our last trip (October 2012), we did two loads of laundry about half way through our vacation and saved ourselves from over-packing (translation: hubby didn't run out of underwear!).

As I plan my Disney trips by the day, I often lay out our clothes based on our time in the parks, if we’re going to a water park, and how many “fancy” dinners we’ll have while on vacation. Like most Disney fanatics, we each have a plethora of Disney-related clothing that is broken out of the wardrobe especially for our trips to the World.

Once I've laid everything out, I add in the foundations (underwear), socks, two (2) baseball caps for hubby (and one for me!), flip flops, toiletries, etc. If you’re looking for a very comprehensive packing list, check out this one.

Doing Laundry at Your Resort
Every single Disney owned resort property has a centralized laundry facility with high-capacity washers, clothes dryers, detergent and fabric softener dispensers and change machines. I understand that now some facilities are using an automated system; check with your concierge if you’re not sure.

If you plan a half-day of pool time into your itinerary, it’s a piece of cake to put your laundry in, sit at the pool, switch it to the dryer and then sit at the pool some more! Let the machines do the work for you and know that you’ll only have half as much laundry to do when you get home.
In Disney’s deluxe villa properties, there is a stackable washer-dryer available in your villa with a starter pack of detergent. If you’re staying in one of these types of rooms, you can bring more detergent and/or dryer sheets OR buy what you need at the resort’s laundry facility or even gift shop location.

So you went a little souvenir-crazy at World of Disney – not to worry! Ask at the concierge desk of your hotel and they should be able to help you procure a box and a FedEx slip to ship your souvenirs home. What’s better than being home for a day or two and then getting a delivery of Disney magic at your doorstep? It has certainly helped us to get over the post-Disney-vacation blues several times.

Packing Tips
1.    If you’re going to WDW when it’s warm in Florida and cold where you’re from, don’t wear a giant coat to the airport. In short, you won’t have any place to put it. Wear the lightest coat/jacket you can manage and save space.
2.    Pack large garbage bags to collect your dirty clothes – use them to take your laundry to the resort facility and then to put wet bathing suits in for the trip home. Just make sure to store them AWAY from the in-room trash collection to avoid Mousekeeping picking up your valuables by accident.
3.    If you have the all-in-one detergent sheets, feel free to pack those, but you don’t have to. Detergent and dryer sheets are available for sale in the laundry facilities and/or gift shop.
4.    You don’t need nine pairs of shoes for your trip. Try to limit it to three: sneakers, flip flops and nicer dress shoes for your ‘fancy’ meals. If your hubby has size 13 feet like mine, you’ll be grateful to not have to pack all of his Jolly Green Giant footwear.

1 comment:

  1. I am running my third runDisney race this November and I always stay for a week when I run (if I am going to fly down for the race I may as well enjoy a little vacation as well) and I ALWAYS do a load of laundry a day or two post race because my race clothes get so sweaty and nasty, I can't imagine not. I am thankful for the washers and dryers at Disney!