When you are planning for your next vacation, every season can pose a new challenge when it comes to packing the proper attire to feel good and last the duration of your trip. If you are new to Disney or traveling there at this time of year, you might have some unrealistic expectations of what you need. Let’s run through five wardrobe mistakes you can avoid this fall in the Disney parks.
Don’t Fight the Layers.
Light layers. Say it with me, LIGHT LAYERS! It might feel like more layers are difficult to manage and make things more complicated, but it really means that you have options. Unless the forecast looks chilly, skip the long-sleeved commitment and go with a short sleeve option underneath and a cardigan or light jacket over the top.
You can avoid a backpack with something that can tie around your waist or neck and then pop it on when the afternoon cools down. It can also come in handy for that photo op where you’d like to hide your sweat stains or cover up the ice cream spill you had earlier in the day.
If you are taking a backpack and are concerned about feeling cold, check out your local stores for pants that unzip the lower leg to convert into shorts. These come in handy for kids to keep them cool and warm throughout the day. What makes these even better as layers, the lower portion can roll up super small and be placed in a zip-lock bag.
Wearing Fabrics that Don’t Dry
Even though Autumn may see some cooler weather (yes, 80 degrees on November 30th, can count as cooler weather in Orlando), it isn’t quite time to pull out those heavy fabrics used in jeans and sweaters. Lightweight fabrics are still your best friend and not just to keep you cool but to keep you dry. Whether it is sweat or a big splash from Kali River Rapids, you won’t regret having lightweight layers that can dry out quickly in a breeze. Without them, you’ll be sitting down hours later feeling like a wet sponge that has been left in a plastic bag out in the sun. It’s just gross. Trust me.
Some of the best quick-dry materials can be found in sports shops and even swimwear lines. As long as they are appropriate and comfortable, who says those board shorts must be for swimming only? If you need help tracking some down, try Quicksilver. They make a fantastic line of amphibian shorts that you can wear all day and then jump in the pool with as well.
Skipping Socks and Footwear
Be sure not to underestimate the power of good shoes and socks on those high step count days in the parks. Comfortable, supportive shoes might not be the best for your outfit, but they will keep you moving all day without regrets. Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of skipping the socks. I know they might look silly or unflattering, and sometimes they creep down until you give up altogether, but they are worth the trouble. I recently found some cheap, no-name socks on Amazon that are invisible in my sneakers but have this sticky patch at the back that doesn’t slide down my heel; they are amazing. Another option is to embrace your crazy socks and show them off. If you’re looking for options, shopDisney.com has a few fun ones that might do the trick.
Are you walking all day and struggling in your shoes? Come back to your resort and switch them out for the other pair you brought with you. It’s best to bring two shoes that are both comfortable and worn in, but if possible, completely different shapes to give your feet a nice change of pace and some relief when you swap between them.
Forgetting Your Sunscreen & Hat
It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that with the Autumn season upon us, the burden of sunburn is well and truly behind you. A: This is not true in general. B: Have you been to Florida before? Some days it can resemble visiting a tropical city on the sun, no matter the season or month of the year. Always, always — yes, they say three time’s the charm — always, wear sunscreen.
If you want to have a cap with you but hate holding on when you get onto the attractions, add a small carabiner to your belt loop and snap it on when you are headed onto a ride; that way, you can stay hands-free and make sure your hat won’t be left behind.
Carefully Selecting Your Backpack
A backpack is a backpack, right? Well, not exactly; no two backpacks were created equally. If you aren’t conscious of the connection between fabrics and weather, you might end up taking something that is the equivalent of a sauna strapped to your back, resulting in an unfortunate back sweat patch in your family photos.
Keep your body cool by making sure your backpack has a breathable material around the back where it will be pressed against your body. If you have a large backpack for the family, consider investing in a ventilation backpack spacer. These can be a cost-effective way to convert the backpack you love into something more forgiving in the humidity of the parks by creating a gap between your body and that bag.
If you are headed to the parks this season, let me just say I am undoubtedly jealous and hope you have the most magical time possible. If you are new to the challenges of Disney travel, I hope these tips gave you some ideas of ways to avoid your own wardrobe disasters. And before anyone feels offended, keep in mind I learned most of these the hard way, so any of you who have made these mistakes are in good company.
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.