What to Bring to Orlando: The Ultimate Packing List

June 17, 2022

Magical Mickey, spellbinding adventures with Harry and an abundance of outdoor activities await those lucky enough to visit Orlando. However, unlike other parts of the Sunshine State, the City Beautiful is blessed by seasons. Wondering just how to pack for your Orlando vacation?

Follow along to discover the Ultimate Orlando Florida packing list! From what to bring for an afternoon at Universal Orlando Resort to how to prepare for that January nip in the air, we've got you covered. Prime the perfect day bag for Disney's Blizzard Beach in July, or arrive in elegance at your Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show.

Whether your getaway is more sandy feet in flip-flops or long days at Walt Disney World, our handy guide will help you craft the ideal carry-on or checked bag. 

Orlando Seasons 

A humid subtropical climate blesses Orlando. However, depending on what time of year you choose to visit Orlando, you could be met with various weather patterns. Therefore, checking the weather and weekly forecast before arrival is always a good idea.

Depending on when you choose to travel to Orlando, you could be met by sunny skies or hurricane season! Since Florida weather can be finicky, it pays to pack like a pro.

A bright pink flamingo close to the camera looking at it with several other flamingo behind him and a family in black wet suits standing in the water at the Flamingo Mingle experience on a sunny day at Discovery Cover in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Discovery Cover via Facebook

Basic Travel Items

There's nothing worse than rolling up to your luxurious Orlando Resort and realizing you forgot an essential sweatshirt or dental floss. Learn what to bring and how to prepare for the unexpected in Orlando with our detailed packing list and tips.

Clothing

Of course, your wardrobe will be highly dictated by the season you sojourn to America's theme park capital. However, it's always advisable to start with some easy-to-layer basics on which to build your ensembles. Whether you are visiting during December or May, you'll want to be prepared for whatever Orlando throws your way.

Related Post: Upcoming Events and Festivals in Orlando

Most hotels and resorts will have a pool, jacuzzi, and fitness center, so be sure to include items that may seem 'off-season,' such as bathing suits and active wear. 

As always, don't forget to pack toiletries and any personal items and/or medications! 

Our standard Orlando suitcase or carry-on always contains the following:

  • Undergarments
  • Lightweight pants
  • Shorts
  • Skirts and/or casual dress
  • Shirts 
  • Tank tops or sleeveless shirts
  • Flip flops (even in winter, ideal for saunas, pools, etc.)
  • Bathing suit
  • Workout apparel
  • Socks
  • Sneakers or comfortable walking shoes
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Medications and a small cooler bag if necessary to regulate their temperature
  • Rain jacket and/or umbrella
  • Pajamas 

close up of travel concept of yellow suitcase and sunglasses with hatSummer Months

Many Floridians joke that Orlando's summer can be summed up in two words "hot and hotter." While it's true a Central Florida summer isn't for the faint of heart, a little forethought can make a world of difference when visiting June through August. 

Related Post: Surviving Disney World in the Summer: The Ultimate Guide

You'll be hitting the City Beautiful in the middle of the rainy season, so grab a rain jacket, umbrella, and some durable water shoes. Heat and humidity will be at their peak, with average temperatures hitting 92 degrees Fahrenheit and record highs of 100. Come evening; you will be awarded slightly cooler temperatures of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. 

With average humidity of around 60%, moisture-wicking apparel is your best friend. Moisture-wicking or quick-dry apparel is ideal for both sweaty workouts and sweltering climates. This incredible technology allows moisture to quickly travel from your body to your clothes' exterior, keeping you sweat-free and dry for longer.

In addition to keeping you cool, this superior fabric is also highly breathable and easy to care for. So while the outside weather may be positively steamy, many indoor attractions, restaurants, and retail businesses will be heavily air-conditioned. 

Other Orlando Summer must-haves to bring include:

  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellant/spray
  • Sandals/flip flops
  • Hat
  • Band-aids
  • Beach towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Aloe Vera
  • Beach cover-up
  • Sweat-proof makeup
  • Hydration tablets
  • Light sweatshirt or jacket
close up of people swimming in water at De León Springs State Park in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Julien Marc Beauregard via Facebook

Fall Months

While Fall for the rest of the United States may conjure images of changing leaves and piping hot cups of apple cider, in Orlando, much of the summer weather continues. From September through November, visitors can expect balmy temperatures and high humidity.

Average temperatures hover around 90 degrees, with daily lows of 70 degrees and dip to 59 degrees by November. Please remember that September is peak hurricane season in Florida, so download a weather app and stay on top of all advisories. 

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Universal Orlando Resort: Coupons, Discounts, and Deals

In general, you should pack many of the same summer items with a few key additions:

  • Light jacket
  • Light sweater
  • Short-Sleeve T-shirts
  • Rain Jacket
  • Umbrella
  • Water-resistant shoes
  • Quick-drying apparel
  • Long sleeve shirts

three skeletons in dark scary costumes standing in front of entrance of Universal Studios during Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando, Florida, USAWinter Months

Ho, ho, ho! The holiday season brings joy to all and near-perfect weather to the City Beautiful. There's a reason' snowbirds' flock to Central Florida, and it's not hard to see why. The winter months of December, January, and February deliver ideal temperatures and moderate humidity.

While we won't tell you to ditch that umbrella or rain parka completely, you can expect minimal rainfall. Layering is essential with average high temperatures of around 73 degrees Fahrenheit and lows of around 50 degrees; layering is essential! Keep tabs on the weather forecast for the week(s) of your trip and plan your luggage accordingly. We recommend a mix of outfits that include lots of long sleeves, some light sweaters, and pants.

Related Post: 5 Tips for a Successful Disney World Winter Vacation

Of course, if you forget an essential item or encounter an unexpected freeze, you can always hit up Orlando's shopping scene

boy and girl posing with LEGOLAND soldier with snow in background and christmas trees in Orlando, Florida, USASpring Months

Blooming flowers, rain showers, and plenty of happy hours. After a cool and collected Winter, Springtime is a welcome reprieve. Orlando visitors and residents can prime themselves for warmer temperatures and a slight increase in rainfall. While many seasonal residents will flee this time of year to their Northern homes, the Spring season is peak time for the younger crowds.

Come March and April, the beaches and clubs of Central Florida will be overrun with Spring breakers. Beaching, boozing, and theme parties aplenty will be on the menu, so keep this in mind when planning your Florida getaway. Average day temperatures will hover around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with lows of 57-69 degrees depending on your month.

Related Post: How to Plan a Birthday/Celebration at Walt Disney World

Expect to pack for sunny skies, but still keep rain jackets, ponchos, and umbrellas in mind. 

A family walking on Sesame Street with Burt and Ernie for Kid's Weekend at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Seaworld Orlando via Facebook

Orlando Theme Parks

Nothing trips up a day at the Most Magical Place on Earth than being ill-prepared. So prevent hangry-inspired meltdowns or dead cell phone batteries with a pinch of planning. Conquer Universal Studios, LEGOLAND, and SeaWorld like a pro when you follow our theme park packing tips. 

From treating rouge blisters to scoring Goofy's autograph, we've got all the details on what to bring to an Orlando theme park and what to leave behind:

  • Portable phone charger
  • Theme park tickets (printed or on the app)
  • Water bottle & snacks*
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet Wipes
  • Lip balm
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Working credit cards and or cash 
  • Clothing that can get wet or change of clothes if visiting SeaWorld
  • Poncho, raincoat, or jacket (weather dependent)
  • Camera (if not using a phone)
  • Bandaids
  • Sharpie 
  • Autograph book
  • Stroller (if required)
external view of Harry Potter's Castle at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort via Facebook

Know before you go! Most major Orlando theme parks have highly useful apps which can be downloaded before you arrive in the park. 

Related Post: Insider's Guide to Drawn to Life by Cirque and Disney

Take advantage of their many perks and features, which often include:

  • GPS enabled map
  • Personalized tip board
  • Personalized itinerary 
  • Advanced ride reservations
  • Storage of your park tickets and passes
  • Ride and attraction wait times
  • And more!

 

*Please remember that individual rules regarding the admittance of outside food, beverages, and snacks will vary from park to park. Always check the rules and regulations of your destination before your park arrival. 

Orlando Water Parks

Jump into a day of H20-fueled fun when you spend hours slip-sliding away at one of O-town's many water parks. From high-speed thrills on the Krakatau Aqua Coaster to tropical Reef plunges at Aquatica, there's never a dry or dull moment. 

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Aquatica Orlando: Coupons, Discounts, and Deals

Save the wipeouts for the water rides when you review our ultimate Water Park packing list:

  • Bathing Suit
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Swim Cover-Up or Rash Guard
  • Swim Diapers
  • Water or Pool Shoes
  • Beach Towel
  • Bag for wet clothes
  • Goggles
  • Waterproof camera or GoPro
  • Waterproof phone case

Aerial view of the pool and different slides at Universal Orlando's Volcano Bay on a sunny day in Orlando, Florida, USAOrlando Dinner Shows

Swashbuckling pirates, murder mysteries, and medieval knights, oh my! Combine your feasting with a side of dramatic flair when you book any number of Orlando Shows. While you may not be privy to five-star dining, it is important to note that many dinner theaters adhere to specific dress codes.

Think of your Pirates Dinner Adventure or supper at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament as an opportunity to ditch the cut-offs and slip into something special! In addition, all of these facilities will be heavily air-conditioned to be prepared to dress accordingly. So make the most of your theatrical three-course dinner by coming equipped. 

For optimal Orlando dinner show pleasure, we advise bringing along:

  • Printed or mobile theater tickets
  • Credit cards and/or extra cash to purchase drinks, souvenirs, etc.
  • Valid ID/Drivers License
  • Light Jacket
  • Cell phone and charger
line of horses and knights with jousting poles at the Medieval Times dinner show in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament - Orlando via Facebook

White sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, world-class golfing, and many theme parks make Orlando one of the most popular travel destinations nationwide. 

Whether you've got your eye on a creative and colorful Cirque du Soleil experience or want to catch some sun at Typhoon Lagoon, O-town is always a great idea. Though, with a mish-mash of weather patterns and fluctuating humidity, it can be hard to predict the perfect packing list.

Thankfully, our travel experts have done their due diligence and taken the guesswork out of Orlando packing

Whether you are set to visit in mild March or are angling a Spring Break getaway, our tips and tricks guarantee an epic Orlando experience.

What's on Your List to Bring to Orlando? 

Leave us a comment below, and tell us your favorite season to visit!


isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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