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Prepping for a Disney World trip at Dollar Tree

Prepping for a Disney World trip at Dollar Tree

Disney World and Dollar Tree? Yep. I know, we’ve heard all the complaints about dollar stores – how they can be a little dirty and messy, and how sometimes it is impossible to find what you are looking for.

But have you been to Dollar Tree? It’s like the Neiman Marcus of the dollar stores. They’re usually clean, organized, and they have lots of great stuff to pick up before your Disney World trip.

Luckily for me, a new one just recently opened in my small hometown. I scoured the shop for the best Disney trip finds.

Here are some ideas…

Before your trip

Whether your vacation is just a few weeks away or a few months (or more!), you can find lots of stuff at Dollar Tree to help build anticipation for your trip.


Things like stickers and construction paper can be used to make countdown calendars and chains. Or, if you have a child working towards earning something special for a trip (like souvenir money), stickers can also be handy to use on homemade behavior or chore charts.

Package of construction paper

One of our favorite countdown calendars is quick and easy to make and uses a frame like these…

5x7 photo frame

Or, you can buy a magnetic frame like this…

4x6 magnetic photo frame

Take a frame, add some Disney flair (we used a piece of Disney-themed scrapbook paper), and then use a dry erase marker to easily keep track of how many days left until your trip. Here’s an example of a finished version…

Disney World and Dollar Tree

Want more countdown ideas? Make sure you’re following the WDW Prep School Counting Down to Disney World board on Pinterest.

Disney-themed movie nights

Another fun thing to do before your trip is to have Disney-themed movie nights, and you can find all sorts of cute things at Dollar Tree that you could use for that, like these items in the party section…

Princess themed plates and napkins
Mermaid themed plates and napkins

Even something as simple as adding a themed napkin or a color-coordinating tablecloth can make it feel more festive. And if you want to go all out, try theming a meal or snack around the movie (for example, you could serve spaghetti and watch Lady and the Tramp or serve something with apples and watch Snow White).

Disney-fy your PB&J

Using a cute SpiderMan sandwich box or Disney character plastic cup is an inexpensive way to add a little Disney fun to the everyday prior to your trip.

Spiderman sandwich container
Disney character plastic cups

As an added treat, if you’re using these cute bags for lunches, consider adding in one of these fun Disney trivia lunchbox notes, too.

Disney character plastic lunch bags

Keeping kids occupied on the journey

Whether you are driving or flying, when it comes to Disney World and Dollar Tree, you’ll find lots to keep your kids occupied.

Travel-friendly craft supplies

Depending on your child’s age, pipe cleaners can be fun and will keep kids occupied while they twist and shape the fuzzy wires into shapes.

Craft pipe cleaners

Activity books & coloring books

Activity books and coloring books are another great find at Dollar Tree.

Crayons aren’t always car-friendly (speaking from experience of having to clean up melted wax more than once), but if you’re flying, they usually don’t cause much of a problem.

Disney themed coloring books
Toy Story activity book
Disney themed jumbo crayons

Small books like this DuckTales comic book are easy to slip in a backpack or carry-on and provide entertainment for both younger and older children.

DuckTales comic book

Travel games

As a child of the ’80s, I am extra excited about Colorforms making a comeback. These classic games are Colorform style. For those of you too young to remember, these stickers are reusable and perfect for travel. Lightweight and easy-to-pack, two of these made their way into my cart for my preschooler (and me!).

Candyland and Guess Who Colorforms travel games
Battleship and Monopoly Colorform travel games

There was also an extensive collection of typical travel games. Checkers or Go Fish, anyone?

Travel games


Stickers are a good option for travel by both car and plane. Never underestimate the amount of time a toddler can be kept occupied with a simple notebook and a pack of stickers.

Disney princess stickers

Snack time

These travel-sized packaged food items are great to keep the hangries from ruining your travel (or your day in the park)!

Animal crackers
Blow pops
Trail mix
Beef jerky
Fruit snacks
Snack size cereal bags

Tinker Bell Gift ideas

Tinker Bell gifts are a popular little extra that some people like to do on their Disney World trips. If you haven’t heard of them before, it is basically a little surprise that “Tinker Bell” leaves for someone.

Looking for items to use as Tinker Bell Gifts? Look no further!

Gift bags

If you want something to put your little gifts in, you can find all sorts of gift bags in a variety of sizes and colors…

Assorted colored gift bags
Small party favor bags


These little figurines are cute and would be great for kids 3+…

Disney small plastic figurines

Or these bag clips that could be added to backpacks or even a stroller handle.

Disney princess bag clips

Remember the Tsum Tsum craze? These Disney and Marvel cuties were only $1.25.

Assorted Disney Tsum Tsums

Art kits

Oh, what a variety of Disney-themed art kits were available! From stamp kits to shrink n’ play to painting suncatchers – they all make great Tinker Bell Gifts.

Princess art activity set
Encanto themed paint art activity
Disney themed stamp art activity kits
Disney Shrink n Play kits
Disney Princess dress designer activity
Disney Princess foil art activity
Disney Princess sun catcher pain activity sets
Disney themed art board set
Disney themed paint your own art posters
Disney themed 10-pack crayons


Want to practice number sense, basic words, or shapes and colors? Check out these cute Disney flashcards.

Disney themed flash cards

Magic towels

Magic Towels are always a lot of fun. It’s a towel (well, a wash cloth sized towel). That’s magic.

Magic Towel display

Glow sticks

Kids love them. They can help settle the nerves of those unsure of the dark. Buying glow toys at Disney World costs about a bajillion times as much (rough estimate).

Is this where people shop before going to a rave?

Are raves still a thing?

Assorted glow sticks


Maybe not the smartest for when traveling, but at $1.25 each if you lose a piece (or 3) it isn’t a huge financial loss. Plus, they are packaged compactly for easy transport.

Fun twist: if you have older kids that find these puzzles too easy, to make it more challenging, try buying several puzzles and mixing up the pieces. This is also a fun activity to do while at home and watching Disney movies in preparation for your trip!

Disney puzzles
Disney themed 100-piece puzzles

Need something to do during downtime at the resort or when it’s raining outside? Try a 500-piece version.

Disney 500-piece puzzles

Small toys

Disney-themed play dough, colorful necklaces, and bubbles! At this price, you might even want to have extra to hand out to someone at the parks who needs a pick-me-up. Go ahead and be the hero.

Disney playdough
Colored bead necklaces
3 small containers of bubble solution

Useful ideas if traveling with babies or toddlers

Pre-soaped disposable dish cloths

If you travel with a supply of sippy cups and child-sized silverware or if you always have your lucky coffee mug with you, then you have probably spent some time washing things out in hotel sinks.

At Disney World, lots of people get the cute reusable mugs, but if you toss yours into a backpack or into the basket on the bottom of a stroller you may wish you had a way to wash the dust and grime (and milk – yuck!) off.

To make it easier on yourself, take some of the towels like the ones below, cut it into smaller pieces (big enough to wash a cup out with, for example. You could also do this with a sponge, if you prefer), and then add some dish detergent to the pieces you’ve cut and let them dry completely.

Once dry, stick the pre-soaped pieces in a baggie and you’ll have everything you need to wash that sippy cup without having to pack a bottle of soap.

Brillo reusable wipes

If you can find white disposable towels (white works better so you don’t have to worry about colors transferring), you can also make your own stain wipes to use on clothes. Just make sure you use heavily diluted laundry soap or something gentle like Woolite.

Stroller cover

If you have a stroller but you don’t have a cover for it, a shower curtain and some heavy clips like the ones below work very well!

Plastic shower curtain liner
Plastic chip clips

Bath fun

Baths are a great option for a wind-down for little ones – and a necessity after being coated with stickiness from heat and Mickey bars! Make them a bit more fun with bathtub finger paint, crayons, bath bombs, and character-themed body wash and shampoo all tailored to kids (or kids of all ages, no judgement).

Bath paint and bath crayons
Bath bomb
Disney themed body wash and shampoo

Post-its for automatic flush toilets

The automatic flush toilets can wreak havoc on the nerves of little ones. Toss a pack of these post-it notes in your purse to cover the sensors on the toilets.

Disney World and Dollar Tree

Character autograph book

Using a slim journal as an autograph book for character meets will both save you money and backpack space.


Themed night lights

Sleeping in an unfamiliar space can sometimes be hard on little ones. A fun, and inexpensive, nightlight could make bedtime more palatable.

Disney themed nightlights

Pacifier and clips

If your baby or toddler loves their pacifier, you can never have too many. Grab a few of these (and the cute clips, too!) so you aren’t caught in the middle of “it’s a small world” without one.

Disney themed pacifiers and pacifier clips

Hotel room organization & everything else

We use many of these items on our trips – so much so that we’ve included many on our Walt Disney World Packing list.

Laundry supplies

This can be a controversial topic, but many people do prefer to do laundry on vacation rather than return home with a suitcase of sweaty clothes. If you fall into the Clean Camp, be sure to pack a mesh laundry bag and grab a travel-sized version of detergent.

Mesh laundry bags
Travel sized Tide

Clothes storage and organization

Speaking of clothes, keeping a hotel room organized can make the space feel more relaxing. Using an over-the-door shoe organizer or a collapsible shelf organizer takes up very little space in your suitcase, and provides extra storage in your room.

Fabric organizers

Sleep aids

No plan to rope drop? Happen to get a room facing a bright outdoor light? Using clothespins to make sure those curtains stay completely shut can help you get some beauty sleep.


Maybe your significant other wants to stay up late and catch the Disney bedtime story channel and you just want your peace. Then pack these eye masks and you can both get your rest.

Eye masks

In room cleaning

If you intend to buy a reusable mug, have a little one who is using bottles, and/or you don’t care for the bar soap in hotel rooms – and you don’t want to use the pre-soaped-dish-cloth idea we outlined above – check out these easy to travel with sized options.

Travel sized Dawn dish soap
Scrub buddies sponge
Liquid hand soap

Shower puff

Shower puffs are handy to take and at $1.25 each you can toss it when it is time to come home.

Shower puffs

Wet wipes

Wipes. All sorts of wipes. Wipes for your hands. Wipes for ice cream spills. Wipes for the seatback tray on the airplane…

Hand wipes
Huggies travel sized wipes package
Travel size Clorox wipes

Hair care

Between the humidity and the heat, chances are high I’m going to be putting my hair up at some point each day. At just $1.25 each, I can pack a few of these and be ok if they don’t make it back home.

Hair ties

I have long, thick, hair. So after a shower, tying it up in a microfiber cloth speeds up the drying process. These inexpensive ones are easy on the wallet and suitcase space.

Microfiber hair wrap

Eye care

I have officially reached the age where just my contacts aren’t cutting it. Whomp, whomp. I did buy readers (for $20!) at Disney. Packing a pair or two of these will help keep headaches at bay without paying Disney gift shop prices.

Reading glasses

Grabbing an eye glasses care kit is smart. Whether it’s for your sunglasses or regular thick glasses (raising my hand), having it on hand makes cleaning them a snap.

Eye glasses cleaner and lens wipe

Microfiber cloths

Throw a few of these fast-drying, thin, cloths into your backpack or stroller to help clean up spills or dry a seat off after a frequent Florida downpour.

Mircofiber cloths

Food helpers

If you have multiple people in your travel party, a drink carrier or food tray could come in handy.

Close up of red six-cup holder
Paper snack tray

Not a fan of paper straws? Me, either. Disney doesn’t provide plastic straws anymore. So, you might want to bring your own.

Plastic straws
Krazy plastic drinking straws


If your Dollar Tree has a $5 section, you may find some Disney t-shirts. Here’s a few:

Disney themed t-shirts

Protection from the weather

Central Florida is often hot and rainy (and sometimes it’s even cold!). Dollar Tree has you covered.

Handheld fans this inexpensive means you could grab one for each person in your party.

Handheld fan display
Open purple handheld fan

I used to make fun of my mom for using a shower cap. Now the joke is on me. I see her wisdom when I strive to protect my blow out.

Shower caps

Yes, central Florida can get cold. If you are traveling during the winter months, packing a few of these can help you hang longer in the parks.

Travel sized hot hands

Storage bags

Super useful, and available in small packages, check out the plastic storage bags. Bringing different sizes of these bags can help separate items, provide a place for leftovers, and give you somewhere to protect your phone on water rides.

XL plastic storage bags
Hefty gallon size bags
Glad quart freezer bags
Glad snack size bags

Travel-sized supplies

Whenever possible, I fly with only a carry-on suitcase and backpack. So, my goal is to use as many travel-sized products as I can find. Dollar Tree for the win.

A variety of shampoo, conditioner, face and body wipes.

Travel sized toiletries

Small containers of over-the-counter medicine.

Display of over-the-counter medicine

Character band-aids help even imaginary boo boos.

PJ Masks themed band aids

I think there’s no such thing as too many Kleenexes.

Travel sized Kleenex

In case a sink isn’t nearby, hand sanitizer is a decent substitute.

Hand sanitizer

Dollar Tree also sells even more Disney stuff online. You can have it shipped for cheap, plus you can have stuff sent to the store closest to you for free. One caveat: items are available online by the case only. If you have a group you are purchasing for, it can still be worth it.

Dollar Tree sign New Items Weekly

The inventory at Dollar Tree changes frequently. Sometimes you might also be able to find pop-up hampers and ponchos (two items that are staples on our packing list). The variety is part of the fun! Happy hunting!


See! We told you Disney World and Dollar Tree go well together! Have you discovered any great finds for Disney World trips at your local Dollar Tree? Tell us about it in the comments.

Terry AH

Sunday 23rd of February 2020

Awesome list! I love my local Dollar Tree! Another thing we find handy are reusable water bottles. Sometimes I see them with Disney characters on them. You can fill them with water and freeze them to use as ice packs and when they start to melt you can drink the water. The ones we have have a large open screw top lids that are easy to wash. Also recommend buying a small dish liquid to wash these out daily and whatever else you may need to wash.


Monday 1st of April 2019

We got some cute floppy topped wide Mickey pens that were easy for characters to hold to get their signatures and they loved playing with the top, some Dollar generals have cute Disney character frames and notebooks that some kids get signatures in or write notes in about their trip


Sunday 16th of September 2018

I see a lot of recommendations to bring ponchos, but how many ponchos do you recommend bringing? 1 per person per park? Or is 1 per person enough for the trip?


Friday 23rd of February 2024

@Carissa, I think that will depend on the quality of them. I got some on Amazon (a not super expensive 5-pack) and they were good enough I could have used them for days. I still have 4 left because I actually only bought them to ride splash mountain and in case of rain (which we were able to avoid). If you get the really cheap $1 ones maybe plan for extras just in case they rip or get lost.


Wednesday 4th of April 2018

Thank you very much for this list! I really appreciated the idea of the post it notes to cover the sensors in the washrooms! My 4 year old has a really hard time with those toilets!


Saturday 2nd of September 2017

always love this list! Just looked on Dollar Tree's online Disney selection and the nightlights are a great idea - always good to have one of those in dark hotel rooms/bathrooms. The ponchos are not only good for wet rides like Splash Mountain but also good to sit on for wet pavement for parades, etc.

I don't go anywhere without my anti bacterial hand gel. Not sure if you can get at Dollar Tree but love the travel size ones (some with clips for backpacks/purses) at Bath and Body Works. Always stock up during their semi-annual clearance sale.