Monday, November 14, 2011

Anatomy of a Disney World Outfit

Academia: Cary and I spent Friday at Disney World in Orlando. We are experienced theme park goers - Cary actually worked at the Magic Kingdom in college - so today I thought I'd share the essentials of dressing for a day at a theme park. So without further ado...

Sartorial: When dressing for a day at a theme park, there are two major things you need to consider: the weather and your feet. Allow me to break them down one at a time.

Weather: You're going to be outside all day, so it's really important to fully understand the weather of wherever you are. If you're going to Disney World anytime between late April and late October, dressing for the heat is crucial. You really can't overestimate how hot and humid Florida is in the summer. Wear breathable fabrics (think loose cotton), bring a poncho, and above all, don't forget your sunscreen. SPF 30 at least.

We were lucky to be at Disney World in November, which is a lovely time of year in Orlando. High temperatures Friday were around 68 degrees Fahrenheit, with lows around 50. I'm a total wimp when it comes to any temperature below 75, so layers were important for me. I started the day dressed as you see above, took the jacket off in the early afternoon, and put it back on around sunset. We saw lots of other tourists from up North who were perfectly happy in shorts and t-shirts, but this native Southerner would have been miserably cold. When it comes to winter weather, know thyself, and dress accordingly.

Feet: I can't overemphasize how crucial it is to wear comfortable shoes for a day in a theme park. You probably know that you'll be walking a lot, but what you may not be thinking about is how much time you'll spend just standing in line - usually 30-60 minutes for the most popular rides. For me, standing in line is just as stressful on my feet and back as walking, so comfy shoes are key.

I wore TOMS on Friday, and they worked pretty well for me. Sneakers are good too; I've worn my Chuck Taylors in the past. Shoes I wouldn't recommend: anything with a heel, flip-flops, new shoes. Trust me: wear your oldest, most broken in shoes. Exception: TOMS, which never need breaking in.

So there you have it, how to dress for a theme park in two easy steps. Just remember your sunscreen and your sneakers, and you're ready for a day of Space Mountain, ice cream in the shape of Mickey Mouse ears, and congratulating yourself on not buying a hoodie with Eeyore on it. Because cartoon hoodies are never necessary. Even at Disney World.

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