When you are in the planning stages of your Disney vacation, you might start thinking about what to pack and wear in the parks. It can be hard to cover all of your bases. You’ll want to feel stylish and cute in photos but also feel comfortable to spend those long days getting on and off rides. You might be thinking that anything goes in the casual nature of this vacation destination; however, there are some huge mistakes you won’t want to make. Take it from someone who has made all of them.
Don’t Prioritize Style Over Comfort
This is the biggest consideration I can think of. I love a good outfit, even a Disney Bounding extravaganza, but you know you’ve crossed the line when it inhibits your ability to enjoy your time in the parks. If you’ve seen the Disneyland episode of Modern Family, you know what I mean. Other than heels, keep the practical things in mind, like easily damaged materials as you get on and off rides and the breathability of materials; some of them feel like you are wrapped in plastic! It’s easy to become overheated in the Walt Disney World climate, especially if you aren’t used to it. Try to keep comfort and function at the forefront of your mind while you are planning. If I am going for a specific look, I like to keep a layer underneath so I can strip off the fancy and just be casual when I’m hot and questioning my choices around early afternoon. This one is important for kids too. Character costumes are adorable, but also hot and difficult to manage.
Don’t Wear New Shoes
I take it back; THIS is the best advice I can give you. I’ve said it before, and I will keep saying it until the end of time. Do not wear brand-new shoes to Disney. There is so much walking involved in your Disney Parks vacation, and the exploration deserves a known and worn-in footwear option. You’ve only got to make this mistake once to realize that you don’t mess with unknown footwear at Disney. Get your two most comfortable pairs of shoes and alternate them. Sneakers for me, though some swear by flip-flops; if you haven’t walked several thousand steps in the shoes you are considering, they shouldn’t be your main park shoes.
Don’t Be Fooled By Morning Weather
If you wake up in your Disney Resort and think it looks like a beautiful day with a cool breeze, don’t commit to that spirit jersey; make sure you’ve got a layer underneath because the weather there is untrustworthy! Mostly sunny with a side of tropical storm is usually in the cards, and especially through the summer months, you are going to want to consider layers. Just as quickly as it can heat up in the afternoon, a cool change can leave you buying an expensive last-minute cover-up on Main Street, USA, that you hadn’t budgeted for.
Don’t Over ‘Do’ Your Hair
I know we all want to feel good in those PhotoPass-captured moments, and while I have nothing against fabulously elaborate hair in general, just hear me out first to make sure your efforts won’t be wasted. Have you heard the phrase, it’s not the heat; it’s the humidity? A cliche at this point, I know; however, it’s never more true than in Florida. If your hair type is different than what you are styling it to be (i.e., beating super curly hair into submission with a straightener), consider embracing your natural hair. The Orlando weather will likely take your ultra-smooth locks and turn them back into a frizzy mess without even waving the Fairy Godmother’s wand. And my friends with straight hair, those curls you worked so hard for, might start dropping out before your first photo. Try styling your hair without too much heat so that when the unpredictable Orlando weather comes, and she will come, it doesn’t ruin your look.
Keep Your Makeup Game Simple
If you are the kind of person who can set a full face of makeup and manage to keep it straight in all weather conditions, I bow down to you now. Go forth and be fabulous. If not, there are a few things to consider before you plan your makeup for your trip. Sweat is your worst enemy and more than once, I’ve ended up with makeup melting down my face. These days, I like to go with some light foundation, a bit of bronzer, and a good mascara, with a setting spray to keep things tidy. Keep it simple and skip the lashes, and layers of contour, or, keep a small compact with you along with a few face wipes so you can keep it fresh throughout the day.
What are some of the outfit-planning mistakes that you’ve made in the Disney Parks? Share them below and help those making their first trip outfit decisions.
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.