8 Clothing Items You Should Never Wear at Disney Parks, Experts Say
Avoid these shirts, shoes, accessories, and more when going to the Happiest Place on Earth.
If you're planning a trip to one of Disney's famous theme parks, the last thing you're probably thinking about is what you're going to wear. Chances are you're too preoccupied mapping out all the beloved rides you want to hit and narrowing down which Disney snacks you'll be munching on. But the Happiest Place on Earth can quickly become a miserable experience if you're not dressed properly: Certain poor clothing choices can make it hard to get around the parks, or even get you denied entry altogether. To help you avoid any sartorial mistakes, we consulted the experts. Read on to discover eight clothing items you should never wear at Disney parks.
When you're at a Disney park, chances are you're going to be walking a lot. But don't let the desire to find comfortable footwear put other problems in your path.
Kelly Kimple, travel expert and CEO of Adventures in Good Company, tells Best Life that she always recommends attendees "avoid wearing shoes that are prone to falling off," like slip-on sandals or flip-flops. "They can be a tripping hazard on rides and crowded pathways," she warns.
Matt Brandabur, founder of the popular blog Adventures of a Disney Dad and travel agent with The Magic for Less Travel, adds that these types of shoes usually don't end up being that comfortable either.
"People just don't realize how much walking the Disney theme parks entail. Sandals often can't hold up for comfort when you walk 20,000 steps in a single day," he says.
Flip-flops and slip-on sandals are not the only footwear you need to avoid. You might think high heels or heeled booties will complement your park outfit nicely, but "don't be fooled by Instagram," Sondra Barker, travel expert and content creator for Cuisine and Travel, cautions.
"Anytime you see someone at the parks in fancy heeled shoes, it's because they brought them in a backpack and stored them in a locker," she says. "They are only taken out for the picture."
When it comes to tops, you should steer clear of those that stay on solely by being tied.
"Shirts that tie around the neck and back are restricted at Disney theme parks because they can easily fall off," Barker says, noting that "you will likely be asked to purchase a shirt to change into."
In fact, this happened in May 2022 to one park-goer who posted about her experience in a viral TikTok video.
"Guys, it happened, I got dress coded at Disney. I was told to leave or get a shirt. So now, we're getting a shirt," TikTok user Nicole DeLosReyes said in the video.
In a comment she further explained, "At entry, I got stopped and was told they don't allow tie-front tops. I had to either leave and change or buy merch."
Inappropriate graphic tees
If you want to wear a t-shirt, pay attention to anything that is printed on it. Hans Mast, a travel expert with over 15 years of experience at Golden Rule Travel, says that you should never wear graphic tees with offensive or inappropriate images or slogans.
"Certain things can offend other guests, including families with children," Mast explains. "Disney parks aim to create a family-friendly atmosphere, and such clothing can disrupt that ambiance."
Disney confirms in its guidelines that employees reserve the "right to deny admission to or remove any person wearing attire that is considered inappropriate or attire that could detract from the experience of other Guests."
According to the rule, that can include any clothing with "objectionable material, including obscene language or graphics."
Disney also lists "clothing that touches or drags on the ground" as inappropriate attire in its guidelines. As Scott Poniewaz, travel expert and founder of the travel benefits company EXEC, explains, this is largely because floor-length clothing can pose as a safety risk for park-goers.
"Not only could it get caught in the machinery of rides and result in nasty injuries, but other people could also tread on it, or fall over it," Poniewaz says.
Nylon shirts, on the other hand, aren't prohibited by Disney's rules. But they should still be avoided as they can be a bad material choice in the California or Florida heat, according to Michael Nemeroff, clothing expert and CEO of Rush Order Tees.
"You'll be doing a lot of walking while you explore the theme park—so you can also expect to get on a good sweat. The problem with nylon is that it's terrible at absorbing moisture and keeping you cool," he shares, adding that you'll likely end up feeling "wet, sticky, and uncomfortable on your trip."
Instead, Nemeroff recommends opting for cotton shirts at Disney World or Disneyland.
"Cotton is thick and pretty absorbent," he says. "You'll be free to move around without worrying about any sweat marks on your clothes or overheating under your fabric."
When it comes to accessories, the smaller, the better. That's because as with floor-length clothing, oversized accessories can easily become a safety risk at Disney parks, according to Kimple.
"Large, dangly earrings, long necklaces, chunky bracelets, and oversized rings can get caught on things and become a hindrance," she notes. "You don't want anything getting caught up in the rides."
Clothing with sharp or pointy accessories
You will need to watch out for any accessories on your clothing as well.
"I can't stress enough how important it is to avoid wearing clothing with sharp or pointy accessories," Hammer Tsui, travel expert and co-founder of the travel blog A Fun Couple, says.
According to Tsui, clothing adorned with things like sharp studs, spikes, or metal protrusions can be uncomfortable to wear, and also dangerous to other guests.
"While navigating the park's bustling crowds, these pointy accessories can inadvertently jab or scratch fellow visitors, causing unnecessary discomfort or even minor injuries," he says. "Some rides and attractions have seating with delicate materials that can be easily damaged by sharp objects, which could possibly result in ride closures or repair costs."
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