I made a pretty extensive packing list before my Disney college program. Looking back now, I shake my head. I brought two suitcases with me when I went, both weighing just under 50lbs. I arrived at Vista Way, where I took a golf cart to get to my building, and the woman driving helped me take my suitcases out. She spoke to me very condescendingly, “You know, you’re going to buy stuff while you’re here.” I just laughed awkwardly.
She was right.
Thankfully, my family made the 24-hour drive to pick me up at the end of my program, because at the end, surely my bags would have weighed more than 100lbs each. Obviously, not everyone will have this luxury, so here are some things you definitely don’t need to bring.
1. Books and movies
Vista Way has a pretty great library. It’s small, and if you’re looking for something specific you probably won’t find it, but if you’re just looking for something to read poolside, this is the place to go. The movie collection is much better, there are a ton of Disney movies, but also plenty of movies from other studios, old and new, plus TV shows that are all free to borrow.
I definitely recommend bringing a favourite book and movie, but don’t feel like you need to bring all of your books and movies.
Are you aware that WDW is located in Orlando? If you looked at the bag I packed in May 2012, you would have thought it was much further north. In Canada, it isn’t rare to wear jeans during summer nights. In Orlando, it’s just ridiculous. Sure there are some cooler days, so go ahead and bring one pair. But for some reason, I brought four. Know how many I wore? None. I absolutely never wore them. If you’re in Orlando for cooler months, you might want more, but for ICPs just there for May-Aug? Trust me, you won’t need them.
3. Things you never use in your regular life that you think you’ll use on the program
When I revised my packing list, I noted the stupid things I put on the list, brought, and never used. This includes the following;
- soap dish
- body lotion
Now, you may use some of these all of the time. I never do, really, I mean seriously, 90% of the time, these items are of no use to me. But I packed them. DON’T DO THAT. If you don’t use them here, you definitely don’t need them to take up room in your suitcase.
4. Any heavy items you have no immediate use for.
Reading over the lists that other people make, I notice a lot of suggestions that seem truly excessive. For example, cleaning supplies, detergent, etc. You won’t need these right away, and they just weigh down your bag.
5. An excessive amount of clothing
Five days (at least!) per week, you’ll be wearing your Disney costume. Chances are, you’ll wake up in your pajamas, maybe change into your swimsuit to hit the pool, shower and change into your costume. Then you come home after working 6-12 hours, change back into your swimsuit or pajamas, or throw on whatever you wore for a couple hours the day before. You’ll be busy when you’re down there and you definitely will have some time out of costume, but don’t bother bringing too much! You won’t make use of it. PLUS, there’s an amazing outlet mall across from the Commons and the Florida Mall is fantastic. Don’t kid yourself, you’ll be shopping while you’re down there, so make room in your suitcases.
Be smart when packing and remember that you’re going to shop when you’re down there, it’ll save you from carrying 50+lbs of things you’ll never use.