A Disney travel agent who’s been to Disney World more than 1,000 times shares 11 things he always brings to the parks and 3 items he leaves at home


Greg Antonelle’s packing list includes a portable charger and umbrella, but he said he skips bringing bug spray to Disney theme parks.MickeyTravels/MickeyTravels/Zbynek Pospisil/Getty Images

  • Travel agent Greg Antonelle estimates he’s been to Disney World’s parks more than 1,000 times.

  • Antonelle told Insider that he never forgets to bring a portable charger and Band-Aids.

  • He does, however, skip packing a reusable water bottle.

To say Greg Antonelle has been to Disney a lot is an understatement. Antonelle is the co-founder of MickeyTravels, a Disney travel agency, and estimates he’s been to Walt Disney World more than 1,000 times.

Greg Antonelle and his wife Elyssa Antonelle at Epcot in Orlando, Florida.

Greg Antonelle and his wife Elyssa Antonelle at Epcot in Orlando, Florida.Greg Antonelle/MickeyTravels

A little over a decade ago, Greg Antonelle and his wife Elyssa Antonelle launched their travel agency MickeyTravels.

Since launching their company, Antonelle told Insider that his family relocated from New Jersey to Florida. Today, Antonelle said he’s a five-minute drive from Walt Disney World’s entrance.

Antonelle said there are weeks when he visits Disney’s parks six times, and he estimates he’s been to the parks more than 1,000 times.

Antonelle said he’s mastered the ideal packing list for day trips to Disney. Here are 10 items he never forgets, and 3 items that aren’t worth the hassle.

The No. 1 thing he never forgets to bring is a portable phone charger.

Kathryn Finkelstein always packs a portable charger when visiting Disney.

Greg Antonelle always packs a portable charger when visiting Disney.Greg Antonelle/MickeyTravels

Antonelle said one of the biggest mistakes travelers make when visiting Disney is that they don’t realize how much they’re going to need their cell phones. In fact, Antonelle said it’s nearly impossible right now to visit Disney without a phone and the My Disney Experience app.

So a portable phone charger is a must-have item for visiting the parks, Antonelle said.

Antonelle’s favorite is the Anker Power Bank, which holds can recharge a phone 10 times and costs $140, but Antonelle said you can find other options for less.

Inside his backpack, he always has sunscreen and a hat.

Greg Antonelle always brings sunscreen on a trip to Disney.

Greg Antonelle always brings sunscreen on a trip to Disney.Greg Antonelle/MickeyTravels/Friso Gentsch/picture alliance/Getty Images

Whether it’s Walt Dinsey World in Orlando, Florida, or Disneyland in Anaheim, California, there is a good chance visitors can expect sunny weather.

A sunburn can ruin a trip to Disney parks, so Antonelle urges visitors to be prepared. He suggests packing both sunscreen and some other type of sun protection, like a hat, for any trip to the parks.

If you’re on the fence about bringing a stroller, pack it to be on the safe side.

Stroller parking at a theme park.

Stroller parking at a theme park.Rosamar/Shutterstock

Antonelle said he remembers regretting the decision not to bring a stroller on a family trip to Disney years ago with his three sons.

“After about an hour and a half, our youngest at the time said he didn’t want to walk anymore,” Antonelle said.

Antonelle and his wife spent the day carrying their youngest child around until they gave up and purchased a stroller rental, he said.

“My advice to parents is if you’re ever questioning whether you should bring the stroller or not, bring it,” he said adding that it’s also a great place to store food, water, and souvenirs instead of lugging a heavy backpack around all day.

Antonelle doesn’t go to Disney without an umbrella or rain poncho.

Greg Antonelle said he never visits Disney without an umbrella.

Greg Antonelle said he never visits Disney without an umbrella.Greg Antonelle/MickeyTravels

In the summer, you can almost guarantee an afternoon rain shower at Walt Disney World, Antonelle said.

“During the summer months, it’ll come down hard for a half-hour or 45 minutes, and then it’ll stop,” he said. “I’ve been there where I didn’t have an umbrella or a poncho and got completely soaked.”

Antonelle said he’s learned his lesson. Now, he always double-checks to make sure he’s packed a rain poncho or umbrella.

Antonelle added that rain ponchos are both affordable and compact, so they’re ideal if you have a large family visiting Disney and don’t want to pack multiple bulky umbrellas and rain jackets.

Comfortable shoes are also a must for Antonelle.

An arrow points to Greg Antonelle's sneakers.

An arrow points to Greg Antonelle’s sneakers.Greg Antonelle/MickeyTravels

Antonelle said it might be tempting to purchase a brand-new pair of shoes in preparation for vacation, but he said he always urges travelers to stick with the shoes they own.

“I’ve walked up to 35,000 steps in a day at Disney,” Antonelle said, adding that comfortable shoes are key to exploring as much of the park as possible on your trip.

So is a miniature first-aid kit.

Thrive Small First Aid Kit – 66 Pieces

A person holds a small first-aid kit.Amazon

Inside Antonelle’s backpack, he keeps a small first-aid kit that is always stocked with Band-Aids.

Antonelle said accidents can happen if you’re running around a theme park all day. It could be a scrape from a fall or a splinter from a wooden park bench. Most likely, it’ll be blisters from shoes, he said.

“One of the most important things in your first-aid kit is Band-Aids because you walk so much in a Disney park,” he said.

Antonelle said Disney has bandages for guests, but it’ll take time out of your day to find the nearest first-aid station. So packing a few is a smart way to save some time.

A light sweater also fits in Antonelle’s backpack.

Greg Antonelle and his family at Magic Kingdom Park where two of his kids wear sweaters.

Greg Antonelle and his family at Magic Kingdom Park where two of his kids wear sweaters.Greg Antonelle/MickeyTravels

Florida is known for being hot, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t cool down in the evenings, Antonelle said. To stay warm, he always packs a sweatshirt.

Antonelle also added that many of Disney’s restaurants and interiors blast AC to keep visitors cool. If you’re someone who tends to get cold easily, it might be worthwhile to pack a light sweater even if you’re not planning to stay at the parks until dusk, he said.

Antonelle suggested packing a few snacks.

A person packs an orange into their backpack.

A person packs an orange into their backpack.Daniel Lozano Gonzalez/Getty Images

Disney parks let guests bring in water and food, so he said he always packs a few snacks in his backpack.

These help him and his family stay full between meals, which he tends to buy at the parks.

If you have kids, bring something to distract them in the long lines.

Hundreds of patrons wait in a queue to enter Disneyland Park on January 13, 2020, in Anaheim, California.

Hundreds of patrons wait in a queue to enter Disneyland Park on January 13, 2020, in Anaheim, California.Paul Rovere/Getty Images

“One of the big challenges is waiting in line with young kids,” Antonelle said. And unless you’re able to reserve something like an $850-an-hour VIP tour, which lets you skip the lines, there’s a good chance you’ll spend some time waiting.

Antonelle suggests coming prepared with some distractions for you and your family. That might be games on your cellphone or iPad or it could be a coloring book.

You can save money by buying and packing souvenirs ahead of time.

A Bargain World Gift Shop, where customers can buy Disney character souvenirs.

A Bargain World Gift Shop, where customers can buy Disney character souvenirs.Jeffrey Greenberg/UCG/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

One strategy to save money on a Disney vacation is by buying and packing your Disney T-shirts, toys, and stuffed animals outside of the park.

“A lot of people will buy a souvenir at home, stick it in their suitcase, and give it to the kid at the park,” Antonelle said. “Buying a plush Mickey at Walmart is going to be half the price of buying a plush Mickey at Disney’s Emporium Shop.”

Skip packing entire meals unless you want to save money.

The Marketplace Snacks booth at Disney Springs (left) and Dole Whip (right).

A cup of Disney’s famous pineapple Dole Whip ice cream.Amanda Krause/Insider

Antonelle said food is a large part of the Disney experience.

Whether it’s Dole Whip in Animal Kingdom or dining with Disney characters, if you and your family can afford it, splurge on Disney’s iconic foods, Antonelle said.

You can leave the bug spray at home.

person spraying bug spray on legs

If you have skeeter syndrome, it’s crucial you apply bug spray to prevent mosquito bites.Zbynek Pospisil/Getty Images

While you’ll want bug spray if you’re visiting anywhere else in Florida, you won’t need the spray at Disney parks, Antonelle said.

That’s because Disney employs a few tricks to keep bugs away from its parks. As Insider previously reported, Disney uses garlic spray and mosquito-eating chickens to help keep visitors bite-free.

A water bottle is handy, but you can also always ask for a cup of ice water at any Disney eatery.

A person fills up a cup with ice.

A person fills up a cup with ice.Jackyenjoyphotography/Getty Images

Antonelle said you can visit any Disney eatery and they’ll give you a cup of ice water.

So if you don’t want to lug around a heavy reusable water bottle, he said you can always plan to stop and ask for water at Disney’s restaurants.

Read the original article on Insider


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