When you think of Disney World, one of the first things that comes to mind is heat. Disney World, especially during the summer months, is extremely hot. Considering you will be spending most of the day outside, walking around and waiting in lines, it is essential to know how to dress for maximum comfort and functionality.
You see people wearing all kinds of different things in the summer. Some dress up, some dress down. Some barely dress at all. Others wear such odd clothing combinations that you must resist the urge to stare or take a picture to show your friends. After all, without a picture, no one would believe it.
Here are a few basic guidelines to dressing for Disney World in the summer to ensure you will be as comfortable as possible and able to enjoy your vacation.
Loose Clothing with Thin Fabrics
Wearing thin, lightweight fabrics is essential to dressing properly for a hot Disney day. Shorts are a great choice, provided that they are not too long, which can lead to increased hotness, and not too short, which can be irritating.
Loose tee-shirts can be quite comfortable on a hot day. The only drawback is the risk of unwanted tan lines. While spending all day outside in the strong Florida sun, tans are likely, even with use of the strongest sunscreen. If you find a Farmer’s Tan undesirable, beware of tee-shirts.
Tank tops will decrease the risk of odd tan lines, but will increase exposure to the sun. Tee-shirts provide more sun protection. If you go the sleeveless route, be cautious of the risks of sunburn. One sunburn early in the trip and you can be very uncomfortable the rest of the week.
While it can be very tempting to bring an extensive bag for a day touring Disney World, try to resist the urge and travel as light as possible. Everything you bring is just one more thing to lug around in the heat all day. You will feel cooler with as little stuff as possible.
If possible, try to get by on no bags at all. Keep the essentials- room key/tickets, money, and phone- in pockets with zippers. If you have extra room in your pockets, you can consider tossing in some lip balm or mints or whatever extraneous item on which you rely.
This will free up your hands and be just as secure, if not more so, than carrying a bag. This method will also allow you to use the entrance for guests without bags and bypass the security line on the way into the parks.
Selecting the proper footwear for Disney World in the summer can be immensely challenging. Traditionally, the best shoes for Disney World are considered to be broken-in tennis shoes. Tennis shoes do offer superior support and comfort for a long day on your feet.
But in the summertime, on the hottest of days, your feet may begin to fester and boil inside a pair of socks and shoes. If you do not want to suffer through the heat of socks and shoes in summer Florida weather, there are a few other options to consider.
Personally, I like to bring one pair of Crocs, one pair of Sperry sandals, one pair of Birkenstocks, and one extremely lightweight pair of helium sandals. This way, I can alternate different pairs of shoes throughout the week, preventing the same spot from getting more and more sore.
Whatever you choose for shoes, make sure it is a pair that is not new and bring other options, in case your feet need a break from the same pair of shoes.
Hats and sunglasses
Protection from the sun at Disney during the summer is key to a comfortable trip. The sunshine is bright and it is strong, especially if you are not accustomed to it.
Hats provide good protection from the sun. On a sunny day, the top of your head can become very hot, due to the sun shining down directly on it. Hats can provide at least a bit of shade for your face as well. There may be a reason why everyone at Disney World wears Mouse Ears.
Sunglasses help protect your eyes from the bright sun. At Disney World, there is a lot to see. You don’t want to let the sun get in the way of the beautiful views.
The only drawback to bringing hats or sunglasses, of course, is the risk of losing them. On many of the rides, it will be necessary to remove your hats and glasses, creating an ample opportunity for you to forget to take them with you when you get of the ride.
If you do lose your hat or sunglasses, there is a fair chance it will turn up again, thanks to Disney’s Lost and Found system. For more information of recovering lost items, check out my article, Finding Your Way Around Disney World’s Lost and Found.
The bottom line for dressing for a hot Disney day, is comfort rules. Pick whatever will be most comfortable, even it if requires sacrificing fashion. You will see it all at Disney World when it comes to clothing choices. Even if you tried to stand out by dressing strange, you probably couldn’t do it. Wear what works.