As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
Welcome to the first stop on Magical Blogorail Green. Today we are sharing ideas on what to wear at the Disney Parks.
If you aren’t a fan of the matchy-matchy Disney shirt – or if you think families who dress alike at Disney are nothing short of silly – then you may want to just move on and skip this post. Why? Because we are THAT family. We dress matchy-matchy. This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about our matchy-matchy Disney shirts; and it probably won’t be the last.
Today, I thought I’d share a 3-fold post, including the evolution of our matchy-matchy shirt obsession, why we choose to dress matchy-matchy, and the inspiration behind some of our recent shirt designs. So, throw on your Mickey t-shirt, and let’s get started . . .
The Matchy-Matchy Evolution
Many years ago, when we were making plans to take some good friends along for a Disney vacation, I spent a lot of time on the Disboards. And one of my very favorite boards over there was the design boards. People would request the designers to come up with something that they could put on a fabric transfer and iron on to t-shirts for their group. I couldn’t take the peer pressure, so I decided to order a few designs for our trip too. I also got sucked into the DIY swirly Mickey head project as well.
Our next two visits, though full vacations in their own rite, were business trips. We didn’t even consider making matchy shirts (looking back now, I’m kinda surprised!)
But, when we planned our trip for January 2012, the kids resurrected the idea of making matching shirts and we ended up making 5 sets!
The kids and I went back to Disney later that year. I thought we’d go “in street clothes” but they had other plans. So, we made 3 more sets of matching shirts, and reused some from earlier in the year too.
The monster had been created . . . and it’s been matchy-matchy for us ever since.
Why We Dress Matchy-Matchy
I’m sure other families would list different reasons for choosing to dress alike at Disney, but here are a few of our favorite reasons:
- It’s fun. And, Disney is all about fun!
- It’s a great family activity. While I admit that, when it comes right down to it, I often have the bulk of the work involved in creating our matching shirts, it’s been family affair to come up with designs, colors, styles, etc. And, I always work in our main living space so we’re all together sharing in the fun and watching for the results!
- It makes it easy to find each other. Whether we intentionally separate or we accidentally lose each other, knowing what everyone is wearing makes finding each other so much simpler (and, if you forget what those in your party are wearing, you just have to look down!)
- It makes for great family pictures. Disney is often the only place that we get family pictures (thanks, PhotoPass photographers!) and having the matching shirts always makes the pictures look so put together.
- It generates lots of attention. Not that I’m an attention-seeker (I’m not!) but I do enjoy the looks, questions, and compliments that our shirts have generated over the years. When you create something and have someone ask “Where did you get your shirts?! I want one!” it makes you feel good! (We’ve even had some Cast Members ask about our shirts and take pictures, but more on that later.)
Recent Shirt Inspiration
On our last family vacation to Disney, we went a little crazy and created 8 new shirt designs! Yes, I said EIGHT. That’s 2 per park. Here’s what inspired our recent designs:
- The first design was one that I had seen on Pinterest and decided to recreate. We made the reverse stencils using freezer paper and the Silhouette machine. We chose all turquoise-colored shirts, and we painted them with white paint. While the stencil was pretty detailed, these were easy and fast to create once we got the stencil weeded. I love that, while these shirts match, they each contain a different member of the Fab Five. These shirts worked great for our first day at the Magic Kingdom.
- My kids are kinda crazy about the Avengers and, since Disney has the Marvel franchise now, I figured it would be acceptable to create an Avengers-themed shirt for one day. We chose navy shirts with a silver paint (we discovered how awesome,versatile, and professional-looking this paint is!) The only problem was, I couldn’t decide exactly which park would be best for these shirts. Based on our other designs, this one ended up being an Epcot shirt.
- My girls kept seeing Pumba and Timon shirts that said either “Hakuna” or “Matata” on them. I said that we could easily use those as inspiration to design our own (which I think turned out much cuter than the originals!) We chose black t-shirts and gold paint (which is equally as cool as the silver!) It made sense to put Simba on Ian’s, with the quote “No Worries” but it took me awhile to decide what to do for Brian and me. Eventually, I decided on a silhouette of Pumba, Timon, and Simba. Brian’s shirt says “What a zoo!” while mine has the original tagline for Animal Kingdom – “Nahtazu“. It generated some fun attention and “what does that mean?” questions.
- Hollywood Studios . . . duh! We had to make Star Wars shirts. But, what is so fun about these is that I looked at the logo one day and saw our last name. So, that’s what we did. Tan shirts, black paint (along with some black sparkle spray paint to make them look like outer space), and the letters of our last name made into the Star Wars logo. These shirts were awesome; except that I think they confused people (who probably thought we were just bad spellers!)
- Our second day at the Magic Kingdom was our Christmas Party day, so we NEEDED Christmas shirts. The Disney Store sold a white one with a red shiny snowflake on it, but seriously? Who wears white? Not this messy girl! So, we designed our own red and green shirts with red accents (glittery ones for the girls!) When it got cool in the evening, we simply put long-sleeved white tees on under them and they were great. (These shirts were done with vinyl transfers and I was NOT impressed. I prefer paint as it lasts (these peeled up and didn’t last).
- Monsters University was the inspiration for our second Hollywood Studios day. We chose gray shirts and wanted to do the MU logo on them, but I was unable to find just the right color of paint. It was either too royal or too teal. In the end, I went with the lighter of the two colors (and wasn’t thrilled with it). But, the designs did turn out nicely. And, on the back of each shirt — a different sorority logo (we chose what best suited each of our personalities.
- My least favorite shirts were the ones we designed for our second day at Animal Kingdom, inspired by our love of UP! We chose orange t-shirts and put the Wilderness Explorer logo on them. Problem was, because the design was somewhat layered, the paint bubbled a bit. I was SO disappointed in these shirts and almost didn’t pack them. But, the good news is that they showed up great on photos and the Cast Members LOVED them. One even took our picture to send to Disney marketing – she said they’d been begging for a WE inspired shirt design. They were jealous that we had them!
- I love retro Epcot designs, so that was our final inspiration. We took the colors of the original Epcot logo – purple, blue, red, yellow, and orange, and bought us each a t-shirt in a complimentary color. Then, we put the logo design on them in a white, done in a vintage style. I LOVED the way these turned out and the fact that they matched but were all a different color.
And despite the fact that I told Ashley we weren’t making matching shirts for her Girls Only 21st Birthday Trip, I ended up giving in to her begging for “just one shirt!” Inspiration for this one was a long time in coming, but then it finally hit me:
I hope you’ll agree with me that the whole matchy-matchy thing is just plain fun! I wouldn’t do it just anywhere, but at Disney . . .
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Green | What to Wear at Disney Loop:
- 1st Stop – Heidi’s Head | We are THAT (Matchy-Matchy) Family
- 2nd Stop – Saving up for Disney | Comfortable (But Still Cute) Clothes to Wear at Disney
- 3rd Stop – Two Moms and a Mouse | From Head to Toe ~ Dressing for Disney Parks
- 4th Stop – Superheros and Teacups | From Baseball Caps to Mickey Ears: What to Wear on Your Head at the Disney Parks
- 5th Stop – Mommy to All Girls | Dressing for Disney