9 Road Trip Essentials You Must Have for Driving to Disney Alone (Solo Disney Trip)

Can you pretend I’m shaking your hand through the screen? Because am I PUMPED that you are going on a road trip to Walt Disney World all on your own!

Congratulations on taking this first (very brave) step.

Driving to Disney is an experience in itself.

The beautiful scenery rushing past you, loud music (or an audiobook if you prefer) and the slow build of anticipation. 

And then you glimpse the gates of Disney in the distance. The rush is unbelievable.

But you know what can ruin this exhilarating feeling?

Three words: under-packing, overpacking and bad packing.

And that is why I am going to list some road trip essentials for you so your trip to the Magic Kingdom stays…well, magical.

However, if you’re still on the fence about this road trip, let me list a few pros down:

  • You can take whatever you want
  • You don’t depend on busses or taxis
  • You can spend less on food
  • You get places much faster
  • You don’t have to wait in line for your bags at the end of the day

Now, all I have to do is get you ready for your adventure! 

Road Trip to Disney World in Orlando with magic kingdom cinderella castle in rear view window of car

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Solo Road Trip Disney World Theme Park and Amusement Park Packing List
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1. Car Stuff

This is arguably the most important section of this article. You can do without a clean pair of shoes but not your car papers, you know what I mean?

Disney Hollywood Studios Parking Lot. Keep reading to know what to pack for your solo road trip to Disney World.

Just get your car checked before you hit the road. And keep those documents handy in case there’s potential trouble.

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This includes:

  • Important documents (license, car registration, insurance, etc)
  • Spare tire
  • Tools 
  • Some Windshield wipers 
  • Windshield wiper cleaning liquid
  • Breath mints (What? It’s important)

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2. Entertainment 

So it’s a long road trip with just yourself for company. It doesn’t have to be boring at all! 

Disney Magic Kingdom Theme Park Festival of Fantasy Parade Peter Pan and Captain Hook. Keep reading to know what to pack for your solo road trip to Disney World.

In fact, it is the best kind of road trip to Disney World because you can listen to whatever you like, wear whatever you want and basically do anything.

Downtown Orlando. Keep reading to know what to pack for your solo road trip to Disney World.

Heck, you can sing to Boyz II Men while driving at 75 miles an hour wearing a charcoal face mask. It’s your vacation!

Here are some entertainment essentials you might need for doing that:

  • A music subscription (Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, etc.)
  • Headphones (not sound-proof ones because you need to be aware of your surroundings if you’re taking a phone call)
  • Good car radio (better get it fixed up)
  • YouTube Videos Downloaded (to listen to on your drive)
  • Power bank (for when your iPhone runs out of juice)
  • Pen and paper (you just never know)
  • An incredible podcast

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3. Food

Where there’s food there’s home.

Now that might not be a real “quote” but to me, it rings so true.

You may be on the road a hundred miles from home. But as long as your tummy is full, you feel good.

If you’re planning on eating out on the way to Disney, then you may not need everything listed here. 

But if you are on a budget, carrying your food can help. 

Maelstrom Collapsible Soft Sided Cooler – 60 Cans Extra Large Lunch Cooler Bag Insulated Leakproof Camping Cooler, Portable for Grocery Shopping, Camping, Tailgating and Road Trips,Grey
  • EXTRA LARGE CAPACITY – Extra-large size yet weighs only 1.8 lbs. The Maelstrom Icy Hollow Soft sided cooler will hold up to 60 cans of your favorite drinks plus 2-4 ice-packs. Or, with 45 cans you can add 15 lbs. of ice for long lasting coldness. Whether it’s camping, hiking, picnicking, or a BBQ party, this cooler bag easily packs a lot of food, fruits, beer, meat, or even seafood together. It’s large enough to carry all.
  • STAYS COLD LONGER – Thoughtful 5 layer insulation design. Exterior surfaces are made of rip-stop 600D Oxford materials plus one layer of waterproof PVC. Interior layers are thicker, reinforced food-grade PEVA materials with seamless ultrasonic welding for 100% leakproof and tear-resistance. A built-in EPE foam middle layer and 210D liner add additional insulation, allowing the Maelstrom Icy Hollow Soft Sided Cooler Bag to keep food or drinks cold for up to 12 hours.
  • DURABLE – Maelstrom Ice Hollow Soft Sided Cooler Bags have double-stitched carry options. All pick-up points, the shoulder straps and carry handles are reinforced. This cooler bag can handle more weight than you’d prefer to carry. Capacity: 15.75*10.24*14.17 inches, 10.5 Gallons of ice and drinks.
  • DOUBLE-DECKER UNIQUE DESIGN – Great design that can be stored easily. Besides the extra large main bag, Maelstrom designed a foil insulated top compartment to store sandwiches, frozen food, fruits, food essentials or utensils. Because of the reinforced layers, this cooler bag can be folded flat and stowed easily in your trunk or under a car seat. Convenient to carry around!
  • VERSATILE – Suitable for all outdoor activities as an all-around soft sided cooler for camping or road trips. It’s the perfect size for food delivery services and a great solution to transport groceries from the store or farmer’s market to your kitchen at home.

Note: I haven’t included a stove here because I am assuming that you can find outdoor barbecues at some rest stops and not carry extra weight. 

  • Cooler
  • Protein bars
  • Pre-cut vegetables and pre-cooked meat
  • Seasonings of your choice
  • Bread or Wraps (easiest carb to carry)
  • Big bottle (1 or 2-liter capacity, at least)
  • Aluminum foil (if you decide to barbecue)
  • Baby wipes and antibacterial wipes
  • Plates, spoons and other cutlery
  • Snacks for the road (chips, energy balls, crackers)
  • Dishwashing liquid and a sponge (if you are a clean freak like me)
  • Knife for chopping
  • Can opener if you have canned food
  • Airtight plastic containers

Get ALL of the BEST snacks to pack for a road trip to Disney World here!

4. Clothing and Accessories

Who does not want to look cute strutting around Disney? I mean, the photo opportunities themselves should be enough of a cause.

Main Disney Outfit What to Wear to Disney World in Summer. Keep reading to know what to pack for your solo road trip to Disney World.

But you also have to be comfortable while driving so here is what you can take for both occasions:

Recommended: Top 5 Ways to Find Cheap Disney World Tickets for Your Vacation!

5. Tech Stuff

In this day and age, who can live without technology right?

Disney Magic Kingdom Theme Park Festival of Fantasy Parade Rapunzel. Keep reading to know what to pack for your solo road trip to Disney World.

Here are a few things you might want to consider packing:

  • Phone
  • Maps app
  • Your Insurance App
  • Camping app (in case you want to)
  • Power bank/Chargers
  • Universal adaptor (if you need it)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Combination lock (not very techy but just to be on the safe side)
  • Dash camera (as an extra security measure)
Keep reading learn about what to pack for Florida and how to create the best Florida Packing List solar power bank charger for your phone

Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!

6. Personal Care

Even if you are driving alone, you don’t want to look (or worse– smell) like a bum. 

My clothes laid out on the bed for my theme park packing list. Keep reading to know what to pack for your solo road trip to Disney World.

Make sure you carry these personal care essentials so you look and feel fresh throughout the trip!

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Deodorant (SO important)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Baby wipes
  • Lip balm (these are a lifesaver)
  • Shampoo, soap, body wash (whatever floats your boat)
  • Toilet paper
  • Dry shampoo (girl, you need this on a road trip)
  • Creams you use
  • Make-up
  • Razors
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Medical items

Read: Ultimate Guide to Packing for Walt Disney World!

7. Sleeping Arrangements

Look, now I don’t know if you’re the sensible kind and want to camp in the car.

Disney Fort Wilderness Campground Resort Playground. Keep reading to know what to pack for your solo road trip to Disney World.

You could have watched Friday the 13th way too many times. And while that is a great movie, the characters don’t exactly have a happy ending.

However, this shouldn’t put you off from camping. 

Just make sure you have booked your campsite beforehand and make sure you carry all this stuff.

  • Pillows and blankets (if you sleep in the car which is highly recommended)
  • Tent (if you plan on camping)
  • Sleeping bag 
  • Bug spray (for the more adventurous ThemeParkHipsters)

Or my preference which is getting a cheaper hotel room for the night with nice amenities.

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8. Other Items

I wouldn’t take these things lightly. You are traveling alone and you need to be prepared for any kind of situation.

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So don’t forget to throw these into your duffel bag! (or you can hide them in your boots like a secret agent, whatever)

  • Painkillers
  • Antibiotics
  • First-aid kit
  • Pepper spray
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Water-proof bags
  • Lighter or box of matches

Recommended: Ultimate Florida Packing List: What to Pack for Your EPIC Trip!

9. Audiobooks

An audiobook is what it sounds like: a book you listen to. It is a great way to stay safe if driving particularly.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets book on audible. Keep reading to know what to pack for your solo road trip to Disney World.

I look forward to my road trips just to catch up on my favorite stories such as Harry Potter and The Last Apprentice!

The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney on audible. Keep reading to know what to pack for your solo road trip to Disney World.

Audiobooks tend to be cost efficient and widely available on various sites like Audible, Spotify, Amazon Prime and even your local library.

Ready to start planning your next Disney World vacation? Listen to the latest podcast episode on Apple or on your non-Apple device now!

5 Easy Tips to Know When Packing for Your Road Trip to Disney World

  1. Get free parking: If you’re a regular at Walt Disney World, you might consider getting an Annual Pass or a Premier Pass. Free parking is just one of the perks you will get.
  2. Get more out of the journey: People keep saying that the journey is more important than the destination. And you can make that metaphor literal! When you are planning out your route, just look for some spots on the way that you might like to visit.
  3. Plan and fix beforehand: Speaking of planning, please plan everything out (and I mean everything). No one likes surprises on the road. Especially not from their car. SO get that fixed too,
  4. Remind yourself of your purpose: After seven hours of driving and realizing that you are nowhere close to reaching Walt Disney World, your motivation (and good mood) start fading. Put up a huge Disney something somewhere you can see so *cue inspirational voice* it reminds you of your purpose in hard times like this.
  5. Make reservations or slum it: If you’re thinking of driving to Disney, so are a hundred others. The hotels are going to be booked up completely in the peak season. So, unless you want to camp in the wilderness (for which you also need to make reservations), book well before.

Join the Conversation on the Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Community on Facebook!

What to Know Before You Drive to Disney World

Now that we have the essentials done. Let’s go through a few of the most common questions when prepping for your road trip to Walt Disney World.

Disney Liberty Square View of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Theme Park on a crowded day. Keep reading to know what to pack for your solo road trip to Disney World.

Is it cheaper to fly or drive to Walt Disney World?

Hands down, driving is much cheaper than flying to Walt Disney World. But you need to consider the fact that it is also going to take much longer to get there.

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How many days do you need to see all of Walt Disney World?

At the very least, you should set three to four days aside for your Walt Disney World trip.

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The parks are huge and there’s so many of them. You need to plan your days well if you want to see it all.

How can I avoid the parking fees at Disney World parks?

There are loads of ways you can do that– from buying the Annual Pass to parking at Disney Springs.

However, taking the Disney Springs or hotel route is frowned upon and may cost you more of your time.

Recommended: The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide

Is parking free at Walt Disney World?

Technically no, but it depends on where you park. The theme parks do charge an entrance fee at the parking gates. However, parking at Disney Springs is free.

The resort hotels no longer charge Guests staying overnight a parking fee, but if you’re visiting the hotels for dinner, then parking is free.

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Let’s Wrap This Up…

A road trip to Walt Disney World can be the adventure of a lifetime. 

Be sure to document the journey with lots of photos and be safe while making your to The Most Magical Place on Earth!

So you can be assured that if you check everything off this list, there is no situation you will be unprepared for.

Disney World Theme Park and Amusement Park Packing List
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But it’s not all on me. You still have to make sure that you plan this trip well.

Know what is the best route to take. Check if there are rest stops on the way.

Tron Lightcycle Run at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort Florida Tomorrowland with NikkyJ on a solo Disney trip. Keep reading to know what to pack for your solo road trip to Disney World.
Tron Lightcycle Run at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort Florida Tomorrowland

Figure out where you want to spend the night– campsite or creepy parking lot.  Just don’t leave any stone unturned!

Disney Magic Kingdom Theme Park Festival of Fantasy Parade with Princess Tiana of the Princess and the Frog

You are going on a vacation and it should be as stress-free as possible. And for that, you need to plan well.

How to take a Disney Road Trip Solo with Epcot monorail passing beautiful flowers.
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But enough with the ‘responsibility’ lecture. I truly hope that you have fun driving to Walt Disney World!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

Hoop Dee Doo Revue NikkyJ Dinner Show Disney World. Author bio of theme park expert Nikida Metellus.

About the Author

My name is Nikky. I’m a wife, a mother, a pharmacist turned theme park blogger, USA Today 10Best Contributor, and a writer who loves ALL things amusement park related!

Traveling alone to the parks has changed my life and I want to show how you can create your own solo theme park memories.

Connect with me on Instagram!

(Original Article Date: March 4, 2021/Updated on March 15, 2024)

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