The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Disney World Fashion

| Thursday, March 19, 2015

disney-world-webSUSAN ZHU | The Observer

For spring break, I took the long and winding road to Disney World in order to fulfill my lifelong dream of meeting Elsa. While waiting in multi-hour lines to do so (or anything else in the park for that matter), I had the opportunity to observe theme park fanatics in their natural habitat. Among the thousands of people engrossed in their iPhones walking past me were a number of bold, daring, fashion-conscious individuals who changed the way I look at theme park clothing. Here are the best clothing articles they wore, so that you too can embrace the best theme park fashion has to offer:

Cargo Shorts

Foregoing style and dignity in favor of utility and the friend zone, cargo shorts are a must-have item for Disney World attendees who simply cannot have enough pockets. Wearers of cargo shirts can often be seen wearing T-shirts with sarcastic messages on them so everyone can know how witty they are. If you’re worried about looking like every other clueless tourist in khaki cargo shorts, that’s okay because cargo shorts come in a large variety of styles to encompass a large number of personalities. For instance, if you want everyone to know you’ve “prestiged” in Call of Duty twice this week, then camouflage cargo shorts are the way to go. If you truly don’t care about style whatsoever and maybe even hate yourself a little bit, then cargo jorts are probably perfect for you. And even if you’re a College Republican and cargo shorts are not frat enough for you, this classic leg-wear comes in Nantucket red so everyone can know you come from the East Coast.


From Super Bowl commercials to Kanye West, dads are trending everywhere right now, and Disney World is no exception. Although a mainstay of vacation culture since the dawn of time, dads are still the coolest guys in the park with their timeless, carefully planned style. Dads in Disney theme parks are prepared for any situation, rocking the classic baseball cap for protection from the Florida sun’s glaring rays, sunglasses for extra sunlight protection and a college t-shirt so they can connect with the kids. Dads are huge fans of running shoes as well, because they will most likely speed walk a half-marathon through the park before the day is done. Dads can also be seen with a theme park map in one hand, a cell phone with fast pass times in the other and a massive backpack on their back, filled to the brim with water bottles, sunscreen and other important resources. As prepared as the dads of Disney are, they forego the utility of cargo shorts in favor of light, faded dad jeans. Don’t be alarmed though; These jeans have the important purpose of being a warning, much like the hourglass on a black widow, so you know to stay out of their way as they try to make it to every ride, autograph signing and photo opportunity humanly possible before their kids pass out from exhaustion at 3 p.m.

Matching Family T-Shirts

This style is perfect for when everyone wants to dress just like dad. The T-shirts, much like the faded dad jeans, are often brightly colored so you know to avoid these families from far away. And much like the cargo shorts, these shirts can work for a huge variety of purposes, including family reunions, family vacations, family getaways and family trips. From the moms who only need 50 more family photos for their Facebook to the toddlers who just want to ride “It’s a Small World” one more time, the matching tees show pride and unity in a way that your bored teenage son can’t.

Honorable Mentions

Pepper Spray Man: Nobody knows how you got past security and into Epcot with that can of pepper spray clipped onto your belt, but we’re all glad you did. Embracing your inner Dwight Schrute and your fear of people cutting in line, your style showed a determination to protect park-goers from the worst Disney has to offer. A true American hero.

The one little girl dressed as Elsa: Given the popularity of the movie “Frozen” and the recent announcement of a sequel, I was shocked to see only one girl in all of the theme parks dressed as the heroine of the film. Maybe the kids just want to stick to the classics, or they’ve already moved on to the inflatable robot Baymax from “Big Hero 6,” but I’m proud of this one girl for rocking the style of the coolest character of 2013.

Matching sororities: This is basically the same style as the matching families mentioned above, but for a more basic demographic. Sorority sisters can be seen in their pastel, frocketed T-shirts instagramming photos with their letters in front of Cinderella’s castle, sipping $15 margaritas in the Mexican section of Epcot and throwing up into the Epcot Lagoon after the fireworks show.

Emo kids: Bringing back a style that I thought had expired with My Chemical Romance, the emo kids of Disney World can be found just about anywhere there’s a charging station and some shade in the theme park, beyond ready to go home. Proudly displaying black fingernail polish, black clothing and a black heart, the emo kids of Disney World will do whatever they can to avoid embarrassing family photos.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Tags: , , ,

About Jimmy Kemper

Scene writer, Economics major, and Seinfeld enthusiast

Contact Jimmy