25 Dollar Store MUST-BUY Items for a Disney Cruise

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25 Dollar Store MUST-BUY Items for a Disney Cruise

When one of your family’s most favorite hobbies is to travelOpens in a new tab., and you find yourself packing your bags every month or two for the next adventure, you get pretty good at shopping for (and/or stockpiling) supplies.  One of my most popular travel posts of all time is this list of Dollar Store Must-Buy Items for a Disney World vacationOpens in a new tab..  Ever since I published that post, it had been on my to-do list to write a Disney CRUISE specific shopping list.  And here it is!

Dollar Store Disney Cruise Must Buy Items

As I gather supplies for an upcoming Disney CruiseOpens in a new tab., I usually make a mega packing list in my life plannerOpens in a new tab..  If necessary, I place an order for supplies with Amazon Opens in a new tab.and then I usually stop at the grocery storeOpens in a new tab. for food/snacks and ALWAYS make a trip to the Dollar TreeOpens in a new tab. for random particulars.  The dollar store tends to be overlooked by some for vacation necessities, but I am here to tell you: DON’T OVERLOOK THE DOLLAR STORE.  Whether you’re heading to a beach, a theme park, going by plane or by car or in this case, BY SHIP, the dollar store is a traveler’s best friend.

More Disney Cruise Posts I have written:

Before you book:
The 5 Dates You MUST Know Before Booking Your Disney CruiseOpens in a new tab.
3 EASY Ways to Save THOUSANDS of Dollars on a Disney CruiseOpens in a new tab.

Before you board:
8 Cool Things to Do on Your Disney CruiseOpens in a new tab.
15 MORE Cool Things to do on Disney CruisesOpens in a new tab.
Cruise Carry-On Bag Packing List (And What You Don’t Need)Opens in a new tab.
Free Printable Disney Cruise Cabin Door DecorationsOpens in a new tab.
DIY Disney Cruise Tervis TumblersOpens in a new tab.
The Ultimate Guide to a Halloween Disney CruiseOpens in a new tab.
Disney Cruise Line Vacation REVEAL Video – Surprise Scavenger Hunt – Halloween on the High Seas NYCOpens in a new tab.
Disney Cruise Vacation Countdown FREE PrintableOpens in a new tab.
The Ultimate Guide to Disney Cruise Fish Extenders + Lots of Ideas and FREE PrintablesOpens in a new tab.

Disney Cruise Reviews and Cabin Tours:
Disney Cruise Lines Review – Magic 3-Night Bahamas from Port Canaveral (with a Kid and a Baby!)Opens in a new tab.
Disney Cruise Lines Review – Disney Dream 3-Night BahamasOpens in a new tab.
Disney Halloween Cruise Review – Magic 7-Night Bahamas from NYCOpens in a new tab.
Disney Magic Cruise Ship Concierge 1 Bedroom Suite Cabin 8032 Video TourOpens in a new tab.
Disney Dream Cruise Ship Concierge Cabin 12506 ReviewOpens in a new tab.

Disney Cruise Ship Dollar Store Must Haves:

Check out the items that I always stock up on at the dollar store before we board a Disney Cruise Ship.

1. Pirate Costume Accessories Opens in a new tab.– If you’re heading on a Disney Cruise in the Caribbean, chances of a Pirate Night on your sailing are pretty good!  Before our last cruise (and near Halloween) we found all sorts of pirate accessories (eye patches, bandannas, hooks, etc) at the dollar store.

dollar store pirate costumes

Red Bandana

2.  PonchosOpens in a new tab.Bad weather can blow in almost without warning when you’re out on the ocean.  The same holds true if you’re cruise ship is stopping at a tropical port (Florida included!).  We have yet to take a trip to Florida and not get rained out at least one afternoon during our stay.  Rain showers and storms blow up over the theme parks frequently.  Sometimes they literally build on top of the parks and you have little-to-no-warning to take cover.  You can absolutely find ponchos in every theme park gift shop or hotel store.  And I guaranteed you that you will absolutely NOT find them for $1.  Stock up at the dollar store before you leave town.  Get one for every member of your family and also consider picking up extras to throw over strollers, luggage, etc.  We gave ponchos to the adults in our Fish Extender group on our last cruise!

Rain poncho

3. Dry Erase BoardOpens in a new tab. – If you have never cruised before, get ready to find dry erase boards on many cabin doors on the ship!  Dry erase boards are a great way to communicate plans and current locations for friends and family on your cruise.  Don’t forget – your cell phones won’t work on board and that includes text messaging.  Slap a dry erase board on your door and enjoy this antiquated-yet-effective communication method (most cabins on Disney ships are magnetic, minus Concierge level cabins on the Dream and Fantasy).

dry erase board

4.  ToothbrushesOpens in a new tab.Unless you’re a couponer and you work the drugstore and/or coupon deals to get free toothbrushes, you know that buying toothbrushes for the whole family can add up.  I tend to replace our travel toothbrushes after most trips because the thought of them rolling around the toiletry bag for months grosses me out.  Pick up toothbrushes on the cheap at the dollar store for trips.  You won’t feel terrible throwing them out at the end of vacation because they didn’t cost much.  Save the costlier toothbrushes for your home bathroom. For a week or so away most of us can settle for a simplistic model.


5. Glow SticksOpens in a new tab. –  Glow sticks are so much fun for pirate night on the ship!  Stock up for less at the dollar store and let the kids load up on glowing jewelry before you head to the Pirate Deck Party!  We gave glow sticks to the tweens/teens in our Fish Extenders group!

Glow Sticks

6. CupsOpens in a new tab., TumblersOpens in a new tab., Water BottlesOpens in a new tab. – All of your drinks (minus alcohol) on a Disney Cruise are INCLUDED in your cruise fare.  Disposable cups are offered at most beverage stations, but they tend to be small and don’t keep your hot drinks warm for too long.  Throw a cup or two in your luggage – I love the water bottles and plastic tumblers for the kids and Bob and I always bring a travel mug for coffee!

Cups and tumblers

7. Snack ContainersOpens in a new tab. and Plastic Snack BagsOpens in a new tab. – These are great for tossing random snacks in for the kids to eat during shows, down time in your cabin, whenever.  Toss some dry cereal or baked goods in snack containers or bags while you’re at the buffet – you never know when you might need a snack to throw at the kids.

I also use plastic bags throughout my packing routine.  I use gallon sized bags for packing individual outfits, toiletries that I am worried might leak, etc.  I ALWAYS pack an extra gallon bag into the diaper bag for holding dirty diapers, clothes that diapers have leaked on, wet clothes and bathing suits, emergency barf bags, you get the idea.  Bumps and bruises can be soothed with instant ice packs – just put ice from the beverage station or your cabin steward into a sandwich bag.  I pack individual road trip activities in different sized bags as well – this would come in handy if you’re driving or flying to your port.

I recommend buying a box or two in sandwich, quart and gallon sizes.

snack containers plastic bags

8. Popcorn ContainersOpens in a new tab. – Oh!  One of my favorite items from the dollar store that I totally just grabbed on a whim before our last cruise.  I LOVE (like, in an obsessive way) fresh popped popcorn.  I can’t seem to turn it down!  On a Disney Cruise, you can buy a big souvenir popcorn tub and then enjoy really cheap refills throughout your trip.  I bought my souvenir tub on the first day on the ship.  Before each show, we got the tub refilled, then dumped that refill into these cute popcorn containers – one for each kid and another for Bob.  Then I went and got a second refill well, just for me.  I told you – I LOVE POPCORN!!

Mickey Mouse Snack Boxes

Kids with Popcorn

9. Trash Bags Opens in a new tab.– It’s always a great idea to pick up a box or two of trash bags.  They are so helpful for collecting that unavoidable mountain of dirty wash throughout your trip.  Disney Cruise Ships all have coin operated laundry facilities on various decks.  Trash bags make great laundry bags in a pinch.

Trash Bags

10. Plates and NapkinsOpens in a new tab. – Room service is FREE on Disney Cruises and is available pretty much around the clock. We found it super handy to have some extra plates and napkins in our cabin so that we could divvy up the food to the kids!

plates and napkins

11.  TissuesOpens in a new tab., Hand SanitizerOpens in a new tab., and Wet WipesOpens in a new tab.Boogers, snot, phlegm, poop, pee.  Add dirt, blood, excess suntan lotion and more to that list.  You can never have enough tissues, wipes or sanitizer!!  Stock up at the dollar store.

For tissues, I like to get a couple big packs of the smaller travel packs.  I stick the smaller packs EVERYWHERE – one in the diaper bag, purse, car, different luggage pieces, etc.

Soap and water are always going to be your best line of defense against germs, including the dreaded norovirus that likes to fly around ships.  In a pinch, hand sanitizer will do the job.

tissues sanitizer wipes

12.  Mesh Laundry BagsOpens in a new tab. While I tend to use trash bags to gather my dirty laundry on vacation, mesh laundry bags work wonderfully too.  ALSO – if you are going on a BEACH trip… grab a mesh bag or two.  Use it to toss the sandy toys in at the end of the day.  Much of the sand will fall off the toys and out of the bag BEFORE you get back on the ship, keeping the majority of the sand OUT of your cabin.

mesh laundry bags

13.  BatteriesOpens in a new tab. You probably make sure that you have packed your eleventy billion charging cords for everything from phones to tablets to Kindle Readers.  But don’t forget to throw some extra batteries in your bag for any random electronics that you might want to run and not be near an outlet.


14. BubblesOpens in a new tab. – Love ’em or hate ’em (and most kids LOVEEEEE them), bubbles make great boredom busters with minimal mess.


15. ClothespinsOpens in a new tab. – Bathrooms on Disney Ships have retractable laundry lines across the showers.  Bring some clothespins so you an easily hang up wet bathing suits, etc.


16.  Travel BottlesOpens in a new tab. – Always a good idea to grab some of these for trips, even if you’re not flying (and thus bound by airline restrictions).  These bottles make it easy to portion out shampoo, etc in smaller increments.  Most, if not all, Disney Cruise ship cabins have two bathrooms so this is an easy way to split up your toiletries.

Travel Bottles

17. EarplugsOpens in a new tab. Earplugs come in handy for fireworks, loud shows, or even when you end up in a cabin with a very loud SNORER.   At just $1 for a multi-pack it’s smart to grab a pack just in case they are needed.


18. SpongesOpens in a new tab. and WashclothsOpens in a new tab. – Half of my family prefers bar soap and washcloths… the other half prefers sponges and body wash.  Pick up a couple of each and toss ’em out at the end of the trip.  At just $1 each they will work great during your trip, but they are totally disposable and there’s no lugging anything wet home in your luggage.

sponges and washcloths

19. NightlightsOpens in a new tab. and FlashlightsOpens in a new tab.Maybe you have a kid who is afraid of the dark, maybe you don’t.  If you do, pick up a little nightlight before you head out on vacation so you’re not scrambling at bedtime in your cabin.  If you DON’T have a kid who is afraid of the dark, consider picking up a small flashlight.  These are nice to leave on the nightstand in the event that your kid wakes up and needs to get to the bathroom, etc. in the middle of the night.  Unfamiliar surroundings and furniture can lead to bumps and stubbed toes!

flashlights and nightlights

20. First Aid This and That Opens in a new tab.– Extra thermometer, bandages, triple antibiotic cream… all are good ideas to toss in your toiletry bag.  Pick up many of these standard items at the dollar store at a super low price.

first aid dollar store

21. ChapstickOpens in a new tab. – Keep those lips moisturized!  I hate how dry my lips tend to get when we stay in hotels or cruise cabins thanks to the dry air.  I always take a least one chapstick or lip balm with me!

chapstick dollar store

22.  Reusable BagsOpens in a new tab. – Bags are great for pool and beach bags to carry on and souvenir bags. I found a bunch of Disney branded bags at the Dollar Tree that would be perfect for your cruise.

Disney bags

23. Playing CardsOpens in a new tab. – Hopefully you are able to carve out some time to relax while you’re on board… I know this can actually be tricky at times because there is SO MUCH to do on a Disney Cruise!  Take along a pack or two of cards – always fun to grab a table in the lounge and watch the ocean as you play some card games!

playing cards

24. Pill OrganizerOpens in a new tab.Great for vitamins and other medications, but think beyond that!  These little boxes are wonderful for things like safety pins, travel sewing kit pieces, etc.  They also come in handy for kids’ crafts you might be packing for boredom busters.  Rainbow loom bands, beads, Shopkins and other little novelties will fit in these compartments.

pill organizer

25. SouvenirsOpens in a new tab. It’s so easy to fall prey to pricey Disney gift shops.  Souvenir prices run steep so I like to bring souvenirs with usOpens in a new tab. that I have gathered at clearance sales, consignment sales, etc in the months leading up to our trip!  Saves at TON of money and the kids are every bit as excited.  I found little figurines at Dollar Tree, along with a bunch of other character-laden merch.

disney toys at dollar tree

Copy this list and take it with you to the dollar store!

1. Pirate Costume Accessories
2. Ponchos
3. Dry Erase Board
4. Toothbrushes
5. Glow Sticks
6. Cups, Tumblers, Water Bottles
7. Snack containers and plastic snack bags
8. Popcorn containers
9. Trash bags
10. Plates and napkins
11. Tissues, hand sanitzier, wet wipes
12. Mesh laundry bags
13. Batteries
14. Bubbles
15. Clothespins
16. Travel bottles
17. Earplugs
18. Sponges and Washcloths
19. Nightlights and flashlights
20. First Aid Supplies
21. Chapstick
22. Reusable bags
23. Playing cards
24. Pill organizer
25. Souvenirs


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2 thoughts on “25 Dollar Store MUST-BUY Items for a Disney Cruise

  1. This is a great list and thank you so much for writing this article but from what I read on the Disney cruise line frequently asked questions you are not allowed to use over-the-door hooks. I will, however, be acquiring the rest of the items.

    1. Wow!! You are correct – I just looked into this one and found the official DCL notice telling guests not to bring them. Really appreciate you sharing the info – will remove it from my list! :)

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