The ONE Thing You NEED to Pack for Disney

Travel writing isn't really my niche, but we are heading to Disney World in a few weeks (yaassss, vacation!!!) and since I've been there a bunch of times and basically lived there for six months during an internship, I thought I might have a tip or two worth sharing(?) So, I will get right to my first tip, which is the one thing you need to bring if you visit Disney World and why. Drum roll please....
The One Thing You Need to Pack For Disney
You must bring a RAIN JACKET!!! Yeah, I know, it seems like a silly thing, but hear me out.   
It rains at Disney World. A lot. In my experience, long gloomy days are rare, however, frequent short downpours can happen several times throughout the day. So you and everyone in your party needs to bring a good rain jacket. Now, let's talk about what a "good" rain jacket means, and a couple tips on buying. Brace yourself while I put on my "outdoorsy gal" hat and get a smidge technical. Here is a photo of the Marmot jacket I'm taking to Disney World. 
packing a rain jacket for disney
This rain jacket is made of lightweight, breathable, waterproof material and has taped (waterproof) seams. Breathable means the high tech fabric the jacket is made of keeps water droplets out, but lets water vapor escape. So, during a downpour on a hot day, the jacket sheds rain while allowing your sweat vapor to escape, keeping you comfortable and dry. 

Good Rain Jacket:
- breathable, waterproof fabric
- taped seams for extra waterproof-ness
- lightweight and pack-able.
- zippered, waterproof pockets
- hood
- durable
- reusable
- spendy (there are ways around this, we'll get to that in a minute)

Let's compare these features to the yellow or clear plastic ponchos available everywhere at Disney World.

Park Rain Poncho 
- Non-breathable plastic, which means you'll get all sweaty under there
- Awkward arm flappy things, water still gets in if you lift up your arms.
- no pockets
- hood
- can rip or tear easily
- disposable
- inexpensive

Now, about the budget. Brand new quality jackets are spendy and will set you back about sixty for kids and a hundred plus for adults. Yikes. I know. However, if you plan ahead, used jackets are widely available for both kids and adults. Personally, I plan to wait for a big kids consignment sale that starts next week to look for B's jacket. If I don't find one there, I'll check ebay or poshmark, and as last resort, I'll buy one brand new. Jackets for the whole family will definitely add to the budget but, to me, rain jackets that will keep everyone more comfortable and can also be worn at home, are a worthwhile investment. For sure. 

So, tell me what you think about this post. Good info? Boring? Stick to Home Decor? Or would you be interested in reading more travel related tips once in a while?

UPDATE 3.17.15: I went to the consignment sale last night and hit the jackpot! I found this great Lands End kids rain jacket in B's size for only five bucks! It has taped seams, a hood, pockets, and he'll be able to use it all season, not just for Disney World. Woot!
Why you need a rain jacket for Disney world


  1. Ummmm, I grew up in Florida. Natives typically carry umbrellas. They are cheap and far more easily portable (the tiny kind is especially good). I fail to see the superiority of a rain jacket that will leave your pants and head uncovered, is too expensive, and will be problematic to tote around.

    1. Hi, thanks for weighing in! Umbrellas definitely have their place too, but I've taken an umbrella before and (to me) it was awkward, especially in crowded areas, popping in and out of buildings, and trying to juggle a million kid things. Also, this particular jacket has a hood and packs up into its own pocket. This is just what works best for my family and I wanted to share so others could benefit too :)

  2. What a great tip! We recently visited and the sideways torrential downpours came in spurts 5 of the 8 days we were there. We wore ponchos! They are lightweight and don't take up a ton of room when packing... for those families that do not want to pack these, they also sold them for $7 at the gift shops. An umbrella would not have helped with the storms we experienced!