Spending on supplies during our cheap Disney vacation: $35 (we had a lot already)
Vacation notebook: A Disney World vacation comes at you quickly. And yet you will have 10-15 minute chunks of downtime, whether it be waiting for a show to start, riding the monorail, staking out your spot for a parade, or waiting while your husband rides Tower of Terror again because you are a scaredy cat. Use that time to write down what you’ve done, fun people you talked to, where you parked, how many points you scored on Buzz Light Year, etc. You will thank yourself when you get back home.
Fan: Trust us - you will be happy you have one. We loved a fan very similar to this one. In fact, we loved it so much that we wrote an ode to the fan.
Plastic card holders: We picked some up in the office supply section at Walmart. Disney is not the place for a wallet. You need your cell phone, room key, car keys, park passes, and a place for fast passes. If you stay at a Disney Resort (our cheap Disney vacation included staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge!), your room key can be connected to a credit card. It is a comfort knowing you won't lose your wallet and all that's inside while in the park. If you want a streamlined park experience, seriously consider getting a clear card holder.
Sunscreen: Scorched Disney guests are unhappy Disney guests. We put on sunscreen before we left every morning. And then we left the bottle at our Disney Resort. There’s nothing like an exploded bottle of sunscreen to slow you down in the parks. Being some of the world’s most susceptible people to sunburns, it was a pleasant surprise that we did NOT get sunburned.
Poncho: Luckily when we were on our Disney vacation, we had no rain. This is very rare. Disney is incredibly fun, but also incredibly good at getting your money. In the parks, Disney will offer ponchos at steep profit margins when it starts to rain. A great way to keep your Disney vacation cheap is to buy your ponchos ahead of time. We wore ours a couple of times on Kali River Rapids in Animal Kingdom. Wet undies at Disney are not fun.
Hat: Florida is bright outside, especially if you’ve just been in the dark auditorium at the Hall of Presidents listening to Abe Lincoln. We are Orioles fans, so we brought our Orioles hats and wore them around the park. We recommend wearing a hat of your favorite college or sports team. Although the Orioles are terrible this year, we still had a couple fellow fans say “Go Orioles!” as we walked through the park. Hats are somewhat easy to lose. We lost a hat, but Disney World has a great Lost and Found System.
Water bottle: This was essential for us. My wife's nickname growing up was vacuum. She needs to drink. A lot. Especially in the hot sun. Our only tip is to get Propel packs for your water. Florida water tastes quite sulfury. Hubby was not a fan of the water.
Pedometer: We are science nerds, and enjoy looking at data and numbers. We regularly clocked in over 5 miles a day.
Camera: You never know when some Disney fun will appear. Having your camera in an easily accessible spot is a must. Read our articles on fun picture ideas and giving yourself a discount on Disney photos.
Ipod with fun Disney music: Before we left home we loaded some Disney music on our ipod. The Pirates of the Caribbean movie soundtrack blasted from the speakers as we drove from our Disney Resort at Animal Kingdom lodge to the parks everyday. Talk about some great pump up music for a day running all over Disney. Just leave your ipod in the glove box before you go in the parks.
Hopefully this helps spark your imagination with what you’d like to bring to have Disney fun on your vacation. As you might imagine, there were other supplies that we brought to Disney, but these we've listed were some of the most useful.