I am here to tell you how to pack Princess Dresses in a Carry On.

You’re going to Disney World! 

Now comes the panic of packing.  


20 Princess Dresses in 1 Carry On


*Disclaimer: I will say dresses but do in fact mean character outfits* 

**These babes love some Star Wars and Toy Story**


I am here to tell you that you really can be prepared for every princess meet, castle pic, and Instagram post.



  “How?” you ask. By very thoughtful packing and a few pointers from a mama who knows how to do this.  

I can teach you how to fit 20 full-size princess dresses into a carry-on, while keeping everything else glitter-free! 

Read on to learn my wicked ways to pack Princess Dresses in a Carry On

We frequently travel to Disney World.  A couple of years we were even pass holders.  Being half a country away from such a magical place means that we had to maximize luggage space in as few bags as possible.  When you travel with 2 kids and a stroller, there is no desire to max out on the number of luggage pieces you have to drag through parking garages either.  



You may have a few questions already and I will happily answer them.  This girl loves to talk Disney! 

You may be asking yourself why I would be taking 20 dresses on a trip? 2 princess loving girls over 10 days.

You may be wondering how we decide which ones to take?  I assure you, 20 is not the entirety of our collection.



I will happily share our full process of the pack and go princess.



How we plan which dresses to take

First, you need a Disney vacation planned.  Regardless of whether you plan yourself or use a Travel Agent, you will need dates for said trip.  In this example, I will be using June 4th -14th. I have many planning tips for why I would choose these days.  If you would like me to go more in-depth, leave a comment below. Also, be sure to subscribe so you are the first to know when I post more Disney Planning tips.

These dates mean that I need 11 days of dresses for 2 girls, including 2 travel days each. That equals 22 dresses if anyone is counting.  

Next, we reference our favorite resource for planning all things Disney World:

Kenny the Pirate


This is an invaluable resource for free!!! We have used his crowd calendars and have never been steered wrong.  His tips are beyond compare. Kenny does offer a paid subscription service called Character Locator, found here www.characterlocator.com. I have been a subscriber for years and always look and feel like a Disney expert based on his sage advice.  I can not stress enough how much these resources can help your whole trip.

So, we head on over to Kenny’s crowd calendar for June and search for our dates. I see that these dates are all color-coded (Thanks Kenny!) “Heavy Crowd Days”  cuz…. Summer y’all! 

I love to print the calendars for our days.  They include hours, showtimes, best/worst park recommendations.  All of the info you need to start planning is free on the sheets! Trust me when I say that Kenny gives these golden nuggets for free because his paid service offers SO MUCH MORE! Just invest the $10 and do it! 

So, I sit down with my dates and my highlighter and pick the parks I wanna do on which days.  This usually works out to a few days in each park. We love to arrive and depart with Magic Kingdom.



Once I have chosen our parks on which days, I look at what characters are in those parks.

Magic Kingdom: Princess Heavy

Hollywood Studios: Toy Story and Star Wars

Epcot: Princess

Animal Kingdom: Usually filler dress day


I make a list of who we will see around the parks and at table service character meals.


Then, I look at which dresses we have for which size kid.  They can honestly get away with sharing most of them these days.


Finally, we let the girls choose which dresses to wear on which days based on who we will see.  


*Bonus Tip Coming Up* Why you should bother to pack Princess Dresses in a Carry On or any other suitcase


Packing the Dresses to Fit in A Carry On


Gather your supplies:


You will need pile of selected dresses


A small suitcase


Your plans, A sharpie and zipper bags, extra hands if you got ‘em, rubberbands


pack Princess Dresses in a Carry On


Description of fold and roll:

  • Lay dress out flat

pack Princess Dresses in a Carry On

  • find the center point
  • flip dress inside itself at mid point <—-This helps contain glitter! 

pack Princess Dresses in a Carry On

  • fold in thirds toward center

pack Princess Dresses in a Carry On

  • roll from folded edge to hem
  • tucking in sides as you fold

pack Princess Dresses in a Carry On

  • Bind with rubber band

pack Princess Dresses in a Carry On

  • Tuck into bag

pack Princess Dresses in a Carry On

  • Add accessories if needed
  • Label with park day and park
  • Compress and zip
  • Put in suitcase
  • Repeat as needed


Side note: when we pack and go, I do not bring special shoes for each outfit.  I feel like it takes up so much space and honestly is a waste. I would rather not have blistered feet. We wear our normal shiny light up shoes, crocs, or waterproof hiking sandals.  It is hot and wet almost all the time so proper footwear is much more important than matching the dress. Honestly, most are so long you don’t see much shoe. 



The benefits of going through so much effort to dress the part really does add to the magic.  Planning ahead and packing smart makes your mornings so much easier. Yes, it is hot to be in a dress all day. Which is why sometimes we aren’t.  My girls love to dress up every day we are there but we have them wear an undershirt and shorts so we are prepared to ditch the dress if we need to.  They can be hot and uncomfortable. If you bring along your labeled bag, you can also easily fold them back up and tuck them away under the stroller or back into your backpack.  We have also been known to not put the dresses on until after scanning into a park on those unbearably early days.  

The dresses can be stored in the bags in the suitcase or drawer, labeled by day, or pulled out to hang on the hooks provided in the on-site rooms.


Before and After Pack Princess Dresses in a Carry On


Getting all 20 dresses in 1 carryon is easy when you have the magic tricks at your disposal! 

pack Princess Dresses in a Carry On


Bonus Tip! 

Dressing Up gets you Pixie Dust!

Believe it or not, dressed up kids get more pixie dust! That oh so special Disney treatment.  I mean, probably. I always feel like my kiddos get special attention from the characters when dressed as those characters.  Merida will point and wave from atop her float to my mini Merida and every cast member you pass will bow and greet your littles with an over the top “hello princess.” 

Elena and Cinderella will stop the meet and greet to take a group pic with both my girls, 


Pack 20 Disney Princess Dresses into 1 Carryon


My little Snow White was also gifted a free pretzel for being the prettiest Snow he had ever seen. 

Pack 20 Disney Princess Dresses into 1 Carryon


We once received an ice cream sundae that was a special delivery from Snow White who had seen my fair princess and knew that she deserved an extra special treat.  We were already in line to order ice cream and planned to pay when met with this gift.  

Pack 20 Disney Princess Dresses into 1 Carryon


My little Rey was in charge of defending the Launch Bay then received a special Chewie meet and Greet.  Not Kidding, was asked to do it again later that day by another cast member. We declined and encouraged them to share the magic with another padawan. 


Pack 20 Disney Princess Dresses into 1 Carryon


For all of the above reasons and because dressing up can really make anyone feel special, I encourage you to pack the dresses and outfits! Embrace the effort it takes, make your life easier by being efficient, and remember they won’t want to dress up for much longer. 😥

Pack 20 Disney Princess Dresses into 1 Carryon



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