One of the questions I always tend to see going around social media is what to wear when you visit a Disney theme park (ie: fashion vs. comfort). If you’re wondering if you should be in full head-to-do Disney regalia, or just how dressy you need to be for certain dining experiences, this post is for you! Along with some of my own personal tips for how I dress at Walt Disney World, I’ve outlined some things you should know when planning your outfits in general.
Note the park rules
First things first, if you’re worried something you want to pack isn’t allowed in the parks (or really if you’re visiting for the first time in general) it doesn’t hurt to check out the park rules. If you’re wearing something that violates the rules you’ll be asked to change or turn your shirt inside out when you try to enter the parks, and you probably won’t want that. Since the big offenders here are graphic images and profanity on clothing or full cosplay-like character costumes, you most likely won’t run into any issues, but if you want to give the rules a quick read you can do so here.
Comfort comes first, fashion comes second
I think this tip should be a given for any travel destination, not just the Walt Disney World Resort. A Disney vacation comes with lots of walking and depending on the time of year extreme heat and humidity or even chillier temps than you’d expect in Florida. If you’re not honestly too concerned with sporting a cute outfit and you don’t have dinner reservations at a signature restaurant, pack whatever will make you most comfortable. While I do like to dress it up a little bit here and there, I’m not above wearing yoga pants or leggings to the parks.
Comfort can apply to makeup too. Saying I don’t wear makeup to the parks at all (as I’m sure you can tell) would be a complete lie, but there are days where I just don’t feel like it– especially when it’s hot. I do like to look more put together on days that I know I’ll be taking lots of pictures, but in general there is nothing wrong with just wanting to be comfortable in the parks. So if the heat or even just the thought of getting made up to go to a theme park is stressing you out, don’t worry about it. You can go to the parks in sweats with your face au natural and no one will blink an eye.
Consider restaurant dress codes
Some signature dining locations at the Walt Disney World Resorts do have dress codes. The general rule of thumb here is that if the restaurant is in the signature category and it’s located at a resort there is a very loose “dress code” that you should follow, which since jeans are technically allowed really comes down to leaving your sweatpants and leggings in the room for this one. For resort signature dining experiences you should wear at least jeans and a nice top, however more guests will usually be a little bit more dressed up than that. You’ll usually see women in sundresses or nice tops and men with at least khakis if not actual dress pants. As long as you’re not wearing t-shirt style tank tops, a bathing suit, or anything that’s ripped, you should be good to go.
Remember that signature restaurants that are located in the theme parks do not have a dress code. While some guests do dress up to go to restaurants like Le Cellier or the Hollywood Brown Derby, it is by no means necessary and you are more than welcome to wear your leggings there.
I wear dresses a lot when I visit the parks, and while this may seem like a fashion statement I’m going to let you in on a little secret… I’m still basically wearing leggings. If you’ve ever experienced the dreaded chub rub (when your thighs chafe from rubbing together while you walk) then you know how much of a nightmare wearing dresses can be. I wear workout shorts or shortened leggings under every dress I wear in the parks and I could not be more comfortable. No chafing, and a dress is usually cool enough in the summer and warm enough in the winter (at least during the day). Even if you’re not trying to sneak leggings into your outfit and still look nice, I would recommend dresses just for the comfort factor and how easy they can be to pack. I save a lot of space in my suitcase by wearing mostly dresses as each piece is an entire outfit.
Bring layers (based on the season)
Visiting in the summer? You may want to bring a light rain jacket or a poncho. In the winter the weather can really be unpredictable so I always recommend outfits that are layered so you can add or remove whatever pieces you need to be comfortable. Whatever layers you do bring, I would suggest going with items that will also be light and easy to carry (it’s also more fashion-forward than wearing a bulky jacket). If it’s going to be cold enough for you to want a real jacket, chances are you won’t be taking it off. On the whole I would bring a light fleece or rain jacket that you can easily throw in a bag if you don’t need it.
If you’re like me, you want to be comfortable but you also want to wear some cute Disney outfits that you would really only wear in the parks. The answer to this dilemma is to accessorize. Disney fashion has really taken a turn towards accessorizing in recent years. You can wear yoga pants and a t-shirt, but if you throw a pair of Minnie ears on or grab a celebrating button you’re good to go! P.S. You can find some of our favorite accessories from Etsy in this post.