Monday, October 26, 2009

Disney World in Style and Comfort

Hello? Blogland? Are you still there?

Sorry for the break. I went to Disney World for a week, but didn’t think it safe to publish my plans on the interweb beforehand. I hope you were entertained with the Year Three round-up posts I scheduled to publish during my absence.

I don’t have much in the way of outfit photos to share. I packed comfortable, casual pieces that you’ve mostly seen over and over again. That doesn’t mean, though, that I was totally off duty. I did lots of people watching at the four parks and also reflected on my own vacation style strategy. And now, I bring you:

My Top Ten Tips for Visiting Disney World in Style and Comfort

1. Bring at least two pairs of comfy shoes. I spent six days walking around the parks. Even the most comfortable shoe starts to wear on your foot with repeated wearings. If you bring at least two pair, you can alternate each day to give your feet and the shoes a break. As most runners know, shoes need a day to recover to give you the most cushioning and stability.

2. Start early, end late, and take a break in the middle. If you are staying on property, you’ll want to take advantage of Magic Hours, which means a long day. Even without Magic Hours, you’ll want to hit the parks early to ride your favorite attractions while the weather is cool and the crowds are light. After lunch, head back to your hotel for a rest. I used this time to nap, swim, or read. Once you’re refreshed, return to the park (perhaps with a fresh pair of shoes!) and party till it closes. Once again, you’ll be taking advantage of the cooler temperatures and lighter attendance. And Disney at night is magical.

3. Bring a crushable, brimmed hat. First of all, a hat is sun smart. Second, it will keep the water out of your eyes in case of rain showers or a drenching on Kali River Rapids. Finally, it hides the bedhead from your afternoon nap.

4. Wear a handsfree bag. I alternated between two bags: my leather hip bag and a small, cross-body satchel. I was able to leave my bag fastened to my body for every single ride and had no fear of leaving it behind. I didn’t have to tug at the straps all day as I would with a traditional purse. I didn’t have to sling it off my back to reach inside as I would with a backpack. I understand that backpacks and totes may be necessary if you are travelling with children, but also carry a handsfree bag on your body for your valuables.

5. Carry a ziplock bag inside your handsfree bag. Orlando is prone to thundershowers (although I stayed dry on my trip!) and certain rides can be a bit wet. A quart-size ziplock can be used to keep your cellphone and wallet dry inside your purse. I fastened a gallon-size plastic bag around my SLR camera to ride Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids without worry. The plastic bag that comes with your Disney World purchases will also work in a pinch.

6. Try on your vacation clothing before you go. And look in the mirror. Vacation is supposed to be relaxing and fun. It isn’t necessary to put on a fashion show for your fellow vacationers and I am not judging the crocs, logo tees, and cropped pants that were common apparel. I cringed, though, to see many (mostly) women wearing too-tight tops that hugged every roll and too-small shorts that persisted in crawling into bodily crevices, despite frequent tugging. When vacationing, we often pull out clothing that has sat disused in a drawer for a few months or even years. Take time, before you go, to try it all on and make sure it fits comfortably. If it doesn’t, don’t take it.

7. Bring a cardigan or other cover-up to the park. Even if it is 90 degrees outside, you can be absolutely miserable waiting in the cold, dark Pirates queue or dining at Le Cellier. The air conditioning feels refreshing at first, but becomes uncomfortable with prolonged exposure. I agree that wearing a cardigan tied around your waist for the rest of the day is a little unattractive, but I’d rather be dorky outdoors than cold inside. On the first day of the trip, Magic Hours were until 1 a.m. I didn’t bring my cardigan or jacket to the park that afternoon and ended up buying a hoodie at about 7 p.m. because I was freezing. And that’s how I ended up with a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt.

8. Pack snacks. I was on the dining plan, so I got a snack a day, and there were healthy choices available, but I was glad to have additional options in my handsfree bag. I stashed a nutrition bar, dates, and almonds in my bag each day. I usually ate the bar as I walked around and the dates and almonds were perfect to sneakily munch while in line or even on a tame ride. The snacks kept my blood sugar stable, provided me with fiber, and kept me from binging on the less healthy options available for purchase.

9. Don’t take your whole wallet. I left my wallet at home and took only three cards and some cash. The smaller bundle fit in my bag (while leaving room for snacks!) and reduced fumbling at the cashier.

10. Plan wet rides just prior to breaks. No one wants to spend the day soaked. Even if your clothes fit and your shoes are comfy, they can chafe when wet. And your cardigan will do you no good in the A/C if it’s wet, too. Get in line for the rides with splash potential just before your afternoon break. That’s likely to be the warmest part of the day, and you can change during your break if you get soaked.

Finally, here’s a little fashion mash-up of what I wore to Disney World.


Jody said...

Did you stay at The Boardwalk Inn? We went in 2008 and stayed there. I recognize that couch you're posed on. They have some lovely furniture there. I also took a picture in that same phone booth.

Aradia said...

Welcome back!
I really like your leather hip bag. Is it vintage?
I don’t like sweatshirts usually but your Mickey Mouse hoodie looks good with that camouflage skirt.

gina said...

Fun pictures! I've done Disney a few times with my family and always enjoyed it!

Glad to hear you had a good time! I actually was so caught up in the 3rd year round up that I didn't notice you weren't posting new pictures, and you are one of the first blogs I check every time I log onto Google Reader.

Lemondrop Marie said...

Love the telephone pic, fab tips if I ever get another vaca...

Anthropologie Addict: Natalie said...

I just wrote a love letter to a guy, he called and invited me to disneyland thursday, you helped. I posted about it in my anthropologie blog and then I found yours. so thankyou!

Sarah R said...

I snorted as soon as I saw the first picture. That awful carpet at OIA. It is seizure inducing, is it not? (Sorry, I live in Orlando!) Glad you had fun!

Kasmira said...

Jody - I stayed at Port Orleans Riverside, but I walked through the Boardwalk a few times, and YES that is the couch from the entryway! It is enormous.

Aradia - I ordered the bag from Happy Cow. They make their items from recycled (pre-consumer) leather.

Sarah R - the first pic is actually taken in CVG (Cincinnati's airport), but I don't doubt that Orlando has the same carpet.

Kim said...

What timing! Even though I'm originally from FL, I now live a few states away but I'm leaving in the morning to go to a family reunion in...wait for it...DISNEY! We're staying at Fort Wilderness, but still, the tips you provided are really useful and things I tend to forget after not being there for awhile.
Hope you had a great time; it looks like you did!

KayeStar said...

:( I live right next to Disney, should have went last week to catch a Kasmira sighting!! You look quirkily lovely as always!!

Stephanie N. said...

Haha, I'm not a big fan of things Disney, but you make it look fun! And that hoodie is pretty cute. Thanks for sharing your tips. They're great things to remember for any trip. Note to self.

Anonymous said...

a few other non-fashion-related disney tips:

(1) grab fast-pass tickets for the popular rides. you can ride the less-popular rides while waiting for your time to come up, then just walk to the front of the line.

(2) when given the option between 2 lines for the same ride, choose the left line. i read in a non-disney tourbook about disney that studies show most people unconsciously tend toward the right line, thus making the left line slightly quicker -- and from my experience, for the most part it was true! it wont save you hours, but a few minutes here + there helps!

Sheila said...

Some great travel tips! Sounds like you had a great time - and good to have you back!

Tina said...


Okay now that I have that out of my system, let me say how amazing you looked in your casual duds. I would have been in tennies and cargo capris the whole time I think. You've given me something to strive for next time I go on vacation.

Janni said...

How fun! You were in neck of the woods! It's funny to actually recognize the picture spots you had. Being a Floridian and having had many trips to Disney, I totally agree with all your tips! I even learned a few. So thanks!! Oh and I cringe when I see women wearing heels, like real heels, to Disney World. What are they thinking??? It's a theme park, not date night.

sabina said...

Great tips! i especially like the one you posted in your introduction: bloggers should never post about upcoming trips, rather post about past trips. this is an excellent security tip.

packing two pairs of comfortable shoes saved me on a whirlwind europe trip. i'm so glad my travelling partner-in-crime had such wonderful foresight!

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

Looks wonderful.

Anonymous said...

We should coordinate our blogging better. :-) Kevin and I were in Disney the 15-19! We stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter this time (Riverside on the last trip). We were primarily there for the Epcot Wine & Food Festival, of course. Yum! Check the wine blog - we kept posting videos of the experience!
We bought 7-day non-expiring tickets - this guarantees we'll be going back to use them again. I just love Disney!
I'm glad you had fun.
- Michelle

Lorena said...

tks fior the tips my H and I are searching for cheap flights... to hopefully make it there before Christmas!
I PROMESS I WILL TRY ON evertyhing, to avoid any uncomfortable clothes and appearing on WHAT NOT TO WEAR....!

Aradia said...

Hi again.
Thanks for the info on Hip Bag. I look for it.
And wanted to let you know I borrowed your burgundy/mustard color combo from your “call-me-joanie” post!
Hope you don’t mind much!

Mary said...

i really want that watch. its so cute!

Rosie Unknown said...

Sounds like an awesome trip! I have always wanted to visit Disney!

Kasmira said...

Mary - I bought the watch at an antique market, so keep your eye out for Disney watches at antique, thrift, and vintage sales. Mine was only $5! (And then I spent $10 on a battery change - but still not a bad deal.)

Jan-nini said...

I just got back from Disney yesterday. I love that place. Did you do the Food and Wine Festival?

Kasmira said...

Jan-nini - I was at Epcot for the Food and Wine Festival, but only sampled because of table service reservations elsewhere.

James said...

I would like to say that you really made my day, it's wonderful when you just look around the web
and find something like this, reminds me of that ''How to make a dinner for a romantic...'' by Elsa Thomas,
you're a wonderful writer let me tell you!!! ñ_ñ

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Liz said...

i found your blog via kendieveryday from her disney post and i have to say i'm so glad i found your disney post! i live in orlando now but when family visits they obvioulsy want to go to theme parks and every time i find myself miserable b/c i either am giving up comfort or style or by the end of the day, feels like both! i loved your tips and suggestions and although it's practicing common sense, sometimes you just need someone else to tell you haha. and i am now in love with that leather hip bag and had no idea a cute/cool reinvented fanny pack existed :)