As the days are drawing shorter for the first wave of participants to arrive (May 15th, represent!), I thought it would be nice to have a post focusing on what you should bring with you when you move to Disney for six months. Below you will find a list of things I found handy, things I didn’t use at all, and ways to make your move as simple as possible. You’ll also notice that some items vary if you are arriving by plane or by car, so keep that in mind. This is a long one, but I hope you enjoy!
My advice here is that all of your clothes don’t exceed one suitcase. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but you’re not going to wear as much as you think you will. You will spend the majority of your time in your costume, and when you come home you’re going to want your comfortable clothes. For me, that was shorts and a tank top. If you really end up missing something, someone back home can ship it to you!
A Detailed List:
-One(MAYBE two) pairs of nice jeans; Florida is fairly warm, obviously, but there will be cool days
-Your favorite few pairs of shorts; this is what I wore the majority of the time (unless I was in a dress)
-Tank tops/tshirts: no more than 6 or 7, 10 at the MOST; Just trust me, you think you’ll wear them all and then you end up wearing the same 3 comfortable ones all the time. Unless you’re the kind of person who changed clothes three times a day, don’t bring your whole closet
-One business casual outfit: You have to wear this for traditions and your first day of training; Ladies: bring flats not heels!! You’ll be walking a lot on your Day 1 of training!
-One (maybe two) comfy sweatshirts for lazy days in the apartment or out in the parks; one pair of sweatpants or some leggings; If you’re the kind of person who is always cold, swap out some of the shorts for the comfy pants, but remember that the average temperature in Florida is in the upper 70s.
-Any workout clothes you need; also a swim suit
-Shoes: one pair of nice flats or dress shoes for training/fancy dinners, one pair of flip flops/sandles, one pair of comfy sneakers/converse
–One rain jacket!! Super important; you don’t have to go expensive, just one that does the job! Daily rainstorms in the summer between 3-5pm
The key here is DO NOT OVER PACK. Don’t take that super cute shirt you’ve never worn but always hoped you would. Don’t take 15 of everything(unless it’s socks and underwear). I brought so many fancy shirts that I never wore because I just wanted to wear a tshirt after work. Remember that whatever you take with you must go back home with you too. If you’re traveling by airplane, you’ll find a LARGE increase in travel costs the more bags you have. Bring what you wear regularly, bring what is comfortable to you, but honestly just do not go overboard. It’s a huge pain later.
A mattress and a frame is all that you are provided from housing. You’ll need to bring or buy everything else. Keep that in mind when you are making plans to arrive. You’ll want to plan in time to make a WalMart run after check-in so you can go grab the essentials that you might have forgotten or waited to purchase.
-Mattress pad is a MUST; maybe even 2 (seriously)
-Bed risers for storage underneath
-Sheets that fit regular twin size mattresses
-A blanket or two
For those of you driving, you shouldn’t have a problem here; there should be enough room for your bedding in your car. For those on a plane, don’t let this exceed one suitcase either. If at all possible, buy a new pillow/mattress pads/bed risers once you arrive, it will save you SO much space. Go for the cheap stuff so you can resell it or throw it away at the end of your program without much loveloss.
Disney provides a set of dishes and pots/pans/utensils for you to use in the kitchen, plus anything previous tenants have left behind. I wouldn’t recommend bringing your new Keurig or you fancy waffle maker unless you’re willing to share with all of your roommates or keep it hidden in your room. This is more of a “arrive and see what you still need” kind of thing, because you just don’t know what you’ll find available.
-Shower caddy; there’s not a lot of storage, and you’ll want to keep your stuff organized
-If you’re driving, one of those 3-drawer-rollaway-totes. The dresser in your bedroom will have three drawers for you, two if you have a three person bedroom. Even with a closet this is not a lot of room for your stuff once it’s unpacked. They’re really cheap at Target/WalMart if you need to get one later!
-Any toiletries/beauty supplies you might need or want to bring with; I’m talking about make-up and hair curlers, not necessarily shampoo and bodywash(unless you’re driving and you have room)
I would say unless you JUST bought a brand new shampoo/conditioner set, save room and buy the stuff once you arrive (besides travel size things of course). It’s so much easier to buy and give it away at the end of your program than to have to carry 30 extra lbs of bathroom stuff with you. From personal experience, I found that I had exactly what I needed to use in the apartment already, and that the only things I really had to supply were my own food and bathroom supplies. If your parents are with you, take advantage of their help, but don’t go crazy. You don’t need furniture and you don’t need one of everything in the store.
For those driving:
-Do your grocery shopping once you arrive (duh) and be courteous; Offer your roommates without cars a ride; using the bus to carry your first load of groceries SUCKS because it’s more than just groceries, it’s all of the supplies they couldn’t bring
-Bring storage (totes or roll-away drawers) because there’s not a whole lot of room
-Don’t go too crazy with buying stuff, because at the end of your program, you still need to take it all home and your car is only so big
For those flying:
-Take it from me, you do NOT need more than 2 suitcases plus your carry-on. It’s horribly expensive and WAY too much stuff to carry or use
—One suitcase for clothes/knick-knacks you might want to bring (photos, pins to trade, your fave stuffed animal)
—One suitcase for bedding and anything else you can stuff inside(like toiletries that exceed the 3 oz limit)
—Use your carry on for makeup/travel size toiletries, computer/camera/books, and any last minute items you may need
-Buy everything else when you arrive and go CHEAP. You don’t need to spend a fortune, it just has to get the job done. WalMart is your friend! So is Uber, don’t be afraid to use it. Carrying your first load of groceries and supplies on the bus is near impossible.
Everyone’s needs will vary, and I totally understand that, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I would say pack your bags, then purge some stuff, then pack again, then purge again. Don’t just pack the night before; give yourself time to think about if you really need to bring all seven pairs of heels or your entire movie collection. When you’re sitting there wondering what to bring and what to leave behind, just remember that less is more, and the more room you have to begin with, the more souvenirs you can bring home with you!
If you have any questions or further wisdom, drop it in a comment below!