Packing for Disney World, on the surface, seems like it should be pretty easy. Florida is a southern state, and if your trip is in the month of May, then you of course can expect quite a bit of sunshine.
But it’s actually not quite the easy as it may seem. After all, it can rain in Florida at the drop of a hat, so you always have to be properly prepared. On top of that, when you factor in everything from water rides to walking shoes to formal wear (for more high end restaurants that require dress codes), figuring out exactly what to wear for Disney World in May is a bit more complex than it would initially appear on the surface!
But in this article, I’m going to help you discover everything you need to know to properly determine what are the absolute essential clothes you must pack (or buy) for your upcoming Disney World trip in the Spring.
So let’s get started!
Comfortable Disney World Outfits
While spending the day in the theme parks, it is important to make sure you have the most comfortable Disney outfits available. Lightweight clothes are a must if planning a May vacation as the weather will stay warm throughout the whole month.
For women, a comfortable outfit to wear during this time would be a romper-short set. Rompers are a great choice because they fit all body types and help women feel secure in all the right places. They are very comfortable walking in as well.
Another great choice for females to wear during a May vacation is a maxi dress. A maxi dress is one of the best items of clothing because you put on one outfit and you are set for the whole day and evening. If visiting at the start of the month then jeans may be a good option for a comfortable Disney outfit.
For men, Lee’s Modern Series Extreme Motion is an affordable and comfortable pair of jeans to wear in the heat. These jeans stretch, breathe and help to wick sweat. They are described as the perfect lightweight jeans. If visiting at the end of the month, when the weather is 5 degrees warmer, jean shorts may be the better option for a comfortable Disney outfit.
When traveling with a baby who is also newly walking, pack comfortable walking shoes for them. A great walking shoe for toddlers is Joinfree Toddler Sneakers. These sneakers are lightweight and breathable to help keep your little one’s feet nice and cool. They also have a durable toe design to help protect those little toes. Of course, they are non-slip as well.
Hats are also a necessity if traveling with babies. Hats are beneficial for the whole family. Hats can help prevent sunburn and heatstroke, plus when it gets too hot just fill that hat with water from a fountain and put that hat right back on your head for a cool break!
When looking for the perfect hat for yourself or your family, look for UV protection and water resistance. A great example of a hat to wear in Disney is the Ordenado Waterproof Sun Hat. This hat comes in different colors, is lightweight and comfortable, and best of all foldable so you can easily pack it in your backpack.
Best Clothes to Wear in Disney World
When thinking about the best clothes to wear in Disney World the most important factor for me, is comfort. This is an outfit that, most likely will be worn all day. That means all that sweat, rainwater, and sticky ice cream drippings will stay with you all day.
Before packing, try on everything that is going in your suitcase. One way to make sure your day starts off miserably is realizing you packed all your pre-baby weight clothes! Walking around The Magic Kingdom in shorts that are two sizes too small, will make a vacation un-magical real fast. Traveling around The World Showcase is also not the right time to break in those brand new sneakers that were brought for this vacation.
For the best, non-painful, and non-blistering experience, break in those new walking shoes at least two weeks before the vacation. My go-to walking shoes are the Asics GT-2000 9. These shoes are made for both men and women and were designed with road surfaces in mind. They are breathable, lightweight, and comfortable.
The best part? I didn’t have to break them in and there were no blisters the first few times I wore them. I would still recommend walking in them at least two weeks before your trip though, to get your feet used to them. Look for clothing that features “moisture-wicking fabrics” as well.
Moisture-wicking shirts help pull the sweat off your skin so it is not sitting directly on you. Under Armour Men’s Tech 2.0 Short-Sleeve T-Shirt is a perfect, moisture-wicking, shirt. It is soft and comes in a variety of different colors.
What to Pack for Disney World: Dress Code Awareness
Certain Disney dining locations require a “business-casual” dress code. All counter service restaurants and most table service restaurants, such as Chef Mickeys, Cape May Cafe, and Ohana have a “resort casual” dress code. A “resort casual” dress code in Disney means come as you are.
Shorts, jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, and sandals are all welcome. All table service restaurants inside the theme parks require the resort’s casual dress code except for Takumi-Tei and Monsieur Paul in Epcot.
These two are part of Disney’s Signature Dining restaurants, and those restaurants all require a “business-casual” dress code. For men “business-casual” is khakis, jeans (in good condition), collared shirts, and an optional sports coat.
For women “business-casual” are capris, dresses, skirts, and blouses or dress shorts. If your plan is to spend the day in the parks before your dining reservation at one of Disney’s Signature Dining Restaurants, my recommendation is to take time in the middle of the day to go back to your room to shower and dress for dinner.
If there is no room in your schedule to go back to your hotel then just wear your dinner clothes to the park. Of course, you can wear a button-down and a tie and dress pants or a cocktail dress or evening gown but that would be ridiculously uncomfortable and hot. Women can wear a maxi dress or a business-style romper.
Men can wear dress shorts and a polo shirt. These outfits will guarantee a comfortable day while also staying within the business-casual dress code for dinner.
Victoria and Albert’s Dress Code
Victoria and Albert’s is a Disney Signature Dining restaurant located in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Victoria and Albert’s offers American food with hints of different flavors from around the world. They offer a seven-course menu at $185.00 per guest, $250.00 if paired with wine.
They also offer a ten-course meal which costs $340.00 per guest, $385.00 if paired with wine. The dress code at Victoria and Alberts is proper attire. Men are required to wear sports coats or dinner jackets are required, but ties are optional. Women may wear a cocktail dress, paint suit or skirts and blouse.
Disney World in May
Disney World in May is consistently hot, with nearly every day reaching over 80 degrees, no matter what time of the month you visit. The daily highs can fluctuate between 87 degrees and 90 degrees. At the end of the month, the weather is five degrees warmer than it was at the start of the month. The average start date for Florida’s dreaded rainy season is May 27.
By the end of the month, the chance of rain jumps from 22% to 43%. Those dreaded afternoon storms usually last for about half-hour and sometimes are a welcome respite from those muggy May mornings.
Crowds in Disney in May
Historically the crowds at Disney World in May stay at about average or even below average crowds. Crowds will usually pick up on Mother’s Day Weekend but then drop back down until Memorial Day Weekend. Memorial Day Weekend is considered the start of summer and many states, including Florida, have already started summer vacation. The crowds during this weekend are high and will stay consistently high throughout the rest of the summer.
Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival is happening in May, so you can expect the weekend crowds to pick up a bit as locals come to spend their day off walking the world and sipping wine. Also the unofficial Star Wars holiday, May the Fourth be with you, also happens during May, May 4th to be specific.
Since Hollywood Studios has a whole land dedicated to Star Wars, you can expect high crowds on that day. If you aren’t a fan of Star Wars and can care less about any specialty items for sale, then I would suggest skipping Hollywood Studios this day and going on May 5th instead.
May the Fourth Be With You
You do not have to be an avid Star Wars fan to know the quote, “May the force be with you.” You also do not have to be an avid Star Wars fan to celebrate “May the fourth be with you.”, an unofficial Star Wars holiday celebrated by fans to commemorate their favorite space opera. This is different than “Life Day”, which falls on November 17 and is a Cookie holiday, similar to Thanksgiving or Christmas.
A great place to celebrate the holiday is at Galaxy’s Edge, in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Galaxy’s Edge is a Star Wars-themed area of the park where you can fly in the Millennium Falcon on the Smugglers Run ride, grab some blue milk at Oga’s Cantina, and maybe even catch Chewy working on the Millennium Falcon.
- You can even build an amazing light saber at Savi’s Workshop!
Although Disney does not officially celebrate the holiday, there are unofficial fan-led events you can find on social media. Even though Disney doesn’t celebrate the holiday with any events they do offer specialty snacks and drinks for the special day. Some of these specialty snacks include a lightsaber churro, a red and blue churro served with a sweet chocolate sauce.
The fight for good and evil comes together on the Galactic Swirl funnel cake, served with strawberries, space dust, and candy rocks. For adults, the Cosmic Rum Punch is available to wet your whistle while a non-alcoholic beverage option, Jettison Juice, is available for little ones and those.
The fun doesn’t end at Galaxy’s Edge, Disney Springs also offers specialty snacks for May the fourth be with you as well! At Amorette Patisserie you can find The Child mini dome cake and at the Ganachery, you can buy a Millennium Falcon chocolate cake pop, and finally over at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is the Millennium Falcon Soft-Serve Sundae which is, vanilla ice cream, tinged with gray, with chocolate cream cookie crumbles, brownie bits, chocolate stars, chocolate syrup and a chocolate coin on top imprinted with the Millennium Falcon.
The best part about the specialty snacks from Disney Springs and The Polynesian Village Resort? There is no park admission required to sample these treats! Some other options on what to wear to Disney World in May are your best Star Wars attire! Celebrate the holiday in your t-shirt honoring your favorite character!
Flower and Garden Festival
During the spring, Epcot offers its annual event, Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival. The event usually runs from the beginning of March through the end of June.
If you have ever been to Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival or Epcot’s Festival of the Arts, you can expect a similar setup with the Flower and Garden Festival. You can pick up a festival passport at the front of the park or any merchandise location. A festival passport is your guide to all the topiaries, gardens, and outdoor kitchens.
A version of the passport is also available on the My Disney Experience App. All throughout the park, you’ll find topiaries of your favorite Disney characters. Sorcerer Mickey can be found at the entrance to the park, Bambi and friends can be found over by mouse gears and the Three Caballeros can out course be found in the Mexico pavilion!
In addition to the topiaries, there are themed gardens scattered throughout Epcot as well. The topiaries make for beautiful photo opportunities, especially the Beauty and The Beast topiary in the French pavilion. The photo opportunities don’t have to end when the sun goes down, the gardens and topiaries are illuminated with lights at night.
Some topiaries do have a photo pass photographer there to take your picture for you, but not all so don’t be shy to reach out to a nearby cast member to take a group picture for you. My favorite part of the Flower and Garden Festival is the outdoor kitchens.
Similar to The Food and Wine Festival, The Flower and Garden Festival has small, outdoor food locations, in addition to the usual offerings at Epcot. An example of one of these outdoor kitchen locations is, “The Citrus Blossom”, which is located near the Showcase Plaza.
One of their offerings, a poached lobster salad, is served with a grapefruit and rose vinaigrette and an avocado yuzu Panna cotta. Pair that with the Orange Sunshine wine slushy and you’ll be a happy world traveler! There is so much more to this event than just gardens and food though, there are special activities for children such as Spike the Bee’s Scavenger Hunt. This activity costs $7.99 and can be compared to I-Spy books.
Once the hunt is completed you return your finished card to the Port of Entry of a surprise. I have not done this particular scavenger hunt but in the past, I have done the Holiday Festival, where the surprise was an ornament, so the surprise is a small item along those lines. My not-so-favorite part of the festival is the butterfly garden.
As a child I had a bad experience in a butterfly garden at the Museum of Natural History, so as beautiful as they are, I wait at the exit for my party. Music is another huge part of this festival. B.C (before Covid) Epcot used to have concerts daily in their American Garden Theater featuring bands such as Daughtry and The Marshall Tucker Band, but due to social distancing guidelines this year Epcot switched it up a bit, and on Friday through Monday evenings, local Orlando bands would perform and sing hits of yesterday and today.
Other entertainment options throughout the festival include The Voices of Liberty and the Jammin’ Gardners (Jamminators)
How to Prepare for Weather Changes
The weather in Central Florida can change rapidly. It can go from sunny to rainy in a matter of minutes. It could also be raining and sunny at the same time, and there could be dark, gray, clouds to the west, and bright blue skies to the east.
When planning a Disney vacation, every guest should know how to prepare for these weather changes:
1) Check the weather on your smartphone every few hours, as an afternoon thunderstorm can always randomly show up and put a temporary damper on your fun day at Disney.
Seriously–it happens more than you think.
Checking the weather every few hours to see if rain has come into the forecast will allow enough time to change attraction times and rearrange any outdoor plans that are scheduled for that time.
2) Schedule indoor attractions and dining during peak rain times. Afternoon thunderstorms usually happen between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. The best thing to do to avoid the rain during this time is to schedule indoor attractions or dining reservations. When it comes to dining in Disney World the most popular reservation times are breakfast and dinner, so finding a lunch reservation shouldn’t be too difficult.
I prefer lunch reservations to breakfast or dinner ones. If you are an all-day park person then a table service lunch reservation could also be the perfect break in the day. Great indoor attractions to schedule during this time would be The Carousel of Progress, Monsters Inc Laugh Floor, Frozen Sing-A-Long, Beauty and the Beast Sing-A-Long or It’s Tough to be a Bug.
3) Buy ponchos before the rain starts. I once watched a father of a family of five-run into a gift shop as the first rain dropped. He wasn’t the only dad with that idea and before he knew it he was in the middle of a long line full of dads, moving from one foot to the other impatiently waiting for the line to move.
Just as he got to the front of the line, thunder boomed and lightning struck as he ran out with his five ponchos. By the time everyone had their poncho opened, and on, the rain stopped and everyone was complaining about how hot they were in the ponchos and were peeling them off their bodies. Whether you plan on buying ponchos in Disney World or at the dollar store, just buy them before the rain, so you can use them!
4) Outdoor attractions will be closed if there is lightning within a specific area. If there happens to be lightning within that area during a parade or nighttime firework show, it will be delayed until the lightning is a safe distance away, but if the lightning is sustained for a long period of time, it will be canceled.
If there is light rain but no lightning, the attractions will stay open and the shows will go on. Plan an extra day on the tail end of the vacation to make up everything that was missed. This way if Harmonious was rained out, there is another chance to catch it before the vacation ends.
5) Nighttime blankets. Even in May, the evening temperature might drop making the evening cooler. If that happens while you are waiting you can just take your blanket right out of your bag and warm up.
A perfect blanket to use for this is Magellan’s Luxetravel Blanket. It is a lightweight, stretchy blanket that folds into a pouch and can then be used as a pillow! It’s even small enough to fit in some handbags. It is also multifunctional, you can use this for airplane rides, road trips, or for nap time for your little one!
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