Confessions of a Disney Travel Planner: How I Shop for Disney World



It’s not secret here…  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE planning my family’s wardrobe for vacations.  I’ve been serious about my Disney wear since my first trip at 14 years old.  (Oh, friends…  I’m going to have to dig up some pictures.  I thought I looked so cool in my Goofy ball cap and denim halter top.)

I love fitting into the theme of the day without being too obvious about it.  My precious family is so sweet to indulge me in this obsession…


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Gregg once agreed to wear matching plaid shirts with me to the HoopDeeDoo review.

As soon as we leave Disney World, I am usually starting to plan our next trip.  I always keep a goal in mind when planning our trips.  ( Example: this trip will be heavy on Magic Kingdom, this trip we will enjoy all the seasonal activities or this trip we will enjoy our resort.)  There are several ‘mock trips’ and ‘must do’ ideas I jot down in the notes section of my phone leading up to my next personal booking.  I also start to plan for any special activities I want to work into the ‘wish list’ for that trip.  If we are doing a holiday party, I think way ahead on how we can all match as a family.

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(It’s not a huge deal if not everyone wants to cooperate.  This sweet Minnie Witch was supposed to be Tiger Lily, but she fell in love with this costume and I couldn’t refuse.)

I plan our dining 180 days out.  At that point the bones of the schedule are pretty much set in stone….  and that’s when the shopping begins! I pick a theme for each day of our trip and start to search out great deals.

An example trip schedule:

Day 1- Epcot (Mickey Mouse theme)

Day 2- Magic Kingdom (Princess theme)

Day 3- Rest Day, breakfast at ‘Ohana (Pineapple theme)

Day 4- Hollywood Studios (Star Wars theme)

Day 5- Animal Kingdom (Elephant theme)


I like to think outside of the box.  Princess day doesn’t necessarily mean princess costumes.  Now that the girls are older we spend the whole day at Magic Kingdom without a break and princess costumes can get quite hot and itchy.  There are so many adorable comfy princess outfits out there on the internet.  The ones above came from Adorable Essentials and I plan to buy another set for our upcoming trip.

Cute and COMFY is always the theme of any day of our vacation.

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We are not a matching shirt kind of family.  At least not all of us as a whole.  We are much more into color coordinating.  So instead of wearing Mickey Mouse t-shirts, we opt to wear Mickey inspired colors.  I can usually always shop in our closets to find something in red, black and white.

Old Navy and Gap are also great for finding coordinating family outfits.


I shop early!  As I said before, I begin shopping shortly after the 180 day mark.  I keep idea themes in mind and watch for things to go on sale or to stumble upon a deal I can’t refuse.  All of our clothes stay tucked away in a hiding spot in my closet so they can be fresh for our trip.  (And so they won’t disappear…)

I used to keep a spreadsheet going on my computer, but I find the note section in my phone easier to use since it is always handy.  Once I have purchased the outfits for a certain day I write ‘DONE’ so I will know which days I still need to cover.  (So far on tour next trip I have Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Epcot and a free day covered.)

The month before we travel, I put all of the outfits together and make sure we have shoes to match and let the girls give me ideas on any accessories they would want to add to it. (My two littles love character necklaces and Big Sister likes to pre-plan any special hairstyles.)  Sometimes we even crank up the music and have a pre-trip fashion show.

Dressing for Disney always a little more magic to our trip. I can’t wait to show you some of the things I have found for our next adventure!


3 thoughts on “Confessions of a Disney Travel Planner: How I Shop for Disney World

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