Packing for the runDisney Dopey Challenge

A few years ago, I wrote a post about packing for runDisney’s marathon weekend. I even included a fun video to help be your guide, and I thought packing for TWO races (Goofy) would be the most I would ever pack for. Check out that link if you want a super extensive packing list! But today we are talking about the runDisney Dopey Challenge.

packing for rundisney Dopey Challenge

Fast forward to 2014 when I ran the inaugural Dopey Challenge. I felt pretty prepared going in but learned a few tricks that may help you pack and be prepared for 48.6 miles. When running the runDisney Dopey Challenge, remember you will need FOUR of most things. This can get quite confusing when you may also need park clothes, nice clothes for dinners, etc. Here are my best tips for packing for the runDisney Dopey Challenge itself.

1.) Ziploc Bags:  You will need four sports bras, four pairs of socks, four outfits, etc., and it can get confusing as to which you want to wear for what race. To minimize confusion (and a messy suitcase) pack the items you need for each race in a ziplock bag or two, and label the bag with a sharpie. Be flexible. The year I ran one race ended up being way hotter than another, so I ended up switching up what days I wore what costume because one was cooler than the other.

2.) Carry on your shoes: If you are flying, be sure to carry on or wear your running shoes. Most other items are replaceable, but you don’t want to run (especially four races!) in new shoes if your bags get lost! I also carried on my costumes, but feel I would have been ok had I not had them now that I have done the challenge.

3.) Extra running shoes: I brought three pairs and rotated them out for the races. This helped me not get blisters badly on the early days, which would have made the full miserable on day 4. Also, in case one pair gets soaking wet, muddy, etc. you will want to have a backup pair for the other races, or for going to the parks.

4.) Lots of fuel: I take fuel/GU every 4ish miles, so between my husband and I we consumed a lot! (They also sell GU etc. at the expo but don’t try anything new for the race!) Also, keep in mind your hydration. I think runDisney does a great job of providing liquids on course so I have never brought my own water bottles, but you do you if that’s what you are used to doing!

5.) Recovery aids: In between each race there are certain things you can do to minimize stiffness and aches for the next race. I brought my traveling stick/foam roller, ibuprofen (do not take ibuprofen before a race, take Tylenol if you must!) compression socks and pants, and Biofreeze. You can also bring extra Ziploc bags for ice at your hotel or just take an ice bath.

6.) Gear for multiple weather scenarios: It’s Florida in January. You literally never know what it will be. I have run in 17 degrees and snow flurries, and ran an 85-degree marathon, all the same weekend in January a few years apart! Bring throw away gear just in case, as well as rain gear (related: tips for running in the rain.) and make sure you have layers especially if you have certain costumes you are wearing. Don’t plan a costume that only looks good with long pants in case it’s hot, and vise versa, don’t only plan one with tank tops or you may freeze! have options just in case.

I hope everyone has a wonderful race experience in January at the runDisney Dopey Challenge!

For information on runDisney events, registration, and dates be sure to check out

Packing List for the Beach

On Sunday Bobby and I leave for Destin, Florida for his annual conference. Today I started thinking about packing, and decided to write everything down, which led to the idea for this blog post. I know a lot of people heading to the beach so hopefully this will help spark something you may have forgotten to pack!

Please note I am not listing things you would bring on ANY trip with you like your toiletries, etc. but just more specifically for the actual beach. Enjoy!

packing list for beach

Packing for the Beach:

  • Sunscreen
  • Swimsuit
  • umbrella or tent
  • beach towels
  • hat
  • sunglasses
  • cooler (preferably with wheels or backpack style works well)
  • Frisbee/volleyball/buckets/beach toys
  • personal fan /batteries
  • bottled water/drinks
  • snacks
  • beach chairs
  • book/magazine
  • camera and memory card
  • beach bag
  • aloe vera/after sun lotion
  • lip balm with sun protectant in it
  • bug spray
  • beach cover up
  • flip flops/water shoes
  • snorkel gear/fins/floatation devices
  • flashlight (for nighttime, obviously)
  • bag for trash/empty bottles
  • mat or towel to set personal items on


QOTD: What would you add to this list for a day at the beach? (and wow I just realized we bring a lot of stuff when we go to the beach!).

Packing for a Walt Disney World Trip

It’s no secret that I love traveling to Disney destinations. There is a lot of planning work involved (which is what I do for a living of course), but there is also a lot of packing involved. The climate in Florida can make packing a challenge, and depending on what you plan to do on your visit to central Florida your list may look a little different than mine. I did however want to put together a basic list of things to think about packing. I do NOT go into super great detail as far as kid and baby items because that can differ so greatly depending on the age of your kids, but hopefully this list will help get you started and think of a few things you had not thought of before.

I have broken my list down into two parts, one for items you may need in the parks, and another for items for the resort/your hotel stay. Happy packing!

For the Parks:

  • Backpack —> The easiest way to carry everything
  • Camera/charger
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen —> LOTS, and reapply!
  • Ponchos —-> For pop up showers + rides you may get wet on.
  • Water bottle —–> There are fountains in the park to refill a bottle
  • Hat/visor
  • Walking shoes —-> COMFY shoes!
  • Comfy clothes
  • Jacket —-> Even if it’s hot outside, the A/C will be blasting inside!
  • Snacks —> You may bring food into the parks, but no glass.
  • Hand sanitizer —-> bathe in it.


Extra points for Mickey luggage!

For the Resort:

  • Phone/charger
  • Makeup
  • Toiletries —-> No hairdryer needed
  • Nicer clothes —-> For nicer dinners out
  • Swimsuit
  • Running clothes —-> for dorks like me
  • Ziplock bags —> for snacks, random loose items, etc.
  • Extra bag —-> to use as carry on you can fill with souvenirs
  • Book/magazine —-> for at the pool/on the plane
  • Garbage bag for dirty clothes —> Easiest way to transport home.
  • Toys for kids/keep busy
  • Lysol —–> We spray down the room, doorknobs, TV remote, etc.

Don’t forget, I am a Disney travel planner and would love to book your next Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney Cruise vacation for you! Email for details.

Related: Sign up for my My Disney Experience and Magic Bands FREE E-course

QOTD: What would you add to this list? Get to packing for a Disney Trip!