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Why you need to make matching T-shirts for your next group trip to Disney

Aug. 03, 2021
7 min read
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Chances are, if you've visited Disney in recent years, you’ve seen them.

Those matching Disney T-shirts for groups — a pervasive trend that comes in endless incarnations and doesn't appear to be going anywhere, particularly with the ongoing popularity of multigenerational travel.

They’re usually festooned with some version of a castle silhouette, Mickey ears or Minnie bows and sport one-liners like “Best vacation ever,” “Most Expensive Day Ever,” “Disney Christmas” or perhaps even “Let’s get matching Disney shirts...said no man ever.”

Some matching Disney tees are handmade at home on fancy cutting machines (though you'd often never know it, they often look so professional). Others might have been ordered in mass off Amazon and Etsy.

There are tie-dyed and hand-etched versions and T-shirts personalized with names, a favorite character or anything else that fits the particular theme park occasion.

And you’ll see them on everyone from grandparents and gaggles of siblings and cousins to pint-size Disney-goers wearing onesies that mirror their parents' matching T-shirts.

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Photo courtesy of Darren Cater

For Ontario, Canada, family blogger Kevin Wagar of Wandering Wagars, a multi-family trip to Walt Disney World in early 2020 inspired his sister-in-law to have matching T-shirts made for their group of 40 people who had gathered in Orlando from points around the U.S. and Canada.

The estate of the family’s patriarch paid for the trip for everyone, said Wagar, who said the matching T-shirts were an additional way to commemorate the occasion and him.

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“He loved spending time together as a family and wanted to ensure that his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren could spend a vacation where everyone was together," said Wagar.

The T-shirts were red for the kids and white for the adults, with "Cousin Crew" printed on the front and “with love, Grandpa Pete," scrawled on the back on the shoulder.

“It was the only time we have done something like this,” said Wagar. “But it certainly helped bring us together and made it easy to find each other in a busy place.”

There are many reasons people wear matching T-shirts to Disney

Photo courtesy of Darren Cater

Keeping track of your crew is one reason to wear matching shirts during a Disney trip. That's also why you’ll often see the tees in bright colors -- think yellow, green and bright red —-- meant to stand out from the crowds.

Especially during peak season (Wagar's family visit was on New Year’s Day 2020), wearing matching T-shirts can be a good way to visually keep track of where your stream of fellow humans is going -- whether's that off for a bathroom break, waiting in line for a ride or detouring to a cart selling cotton candy.

Families also have other reasons for wanting to do the matchy-matchy thing at Disney.

“It does make you feel a bit more immersed in the Disney bubble, too, during your vacation,” said U.K. blogger Darren Cater. His site, Next Stop WDW, has an article featuring 20 Disney-inspired T-shirt designs you can purchase off Etsy that include Star Wars, My First Visit and even Mickey-meets-coffee-themed tees (picture mouse ears and a knockoff Starbucks logo).

“It's a fun thing to do, especially with younger children,” said Cater. “T-shirts are something fun to buy that builds up the excitement for your vacation” (as if all those new Disney attractions launching in 2021 weren’t enough).

Some families go so far as to make a different matching shirt for every day or every different park, which can make packing and deciding what to wear each day that much easier.

And it's hardly only families with kids getting in on the matching T-shirt action.

Now that her kids are grown, said Kelly Hunter of Dallas, Texas, “we still do matching or coordinating couples’ shirts designed for each day and each park,” even on adults-only trips.

Where to buy matching Disney T-shirts

A quick Google search for “matching Disney tees” (and similar variations on that theme) brings up a stream of suggestions for outfitting your group, including Disney’s official merchandise site, Etsy and Amazon, among others.

On ShopDisney, the “official site for Disney Merchandise,” there’s a page where you can “complete the look” with matching and family tees that start from around $16 for a youth-size Toy Story T-shirt to $34.99 for a personalized Star Wars-themed adult T-shirt printed with your family's name (look for discounted prices on several T-shirt options, too, when you buy more than two).

Amazon pulls up enough options to make you dizzier than a ride on Space Mountain, with more than 1,000 options for matching Disney-themed T-shirts for family vacations, bachelorette parties, Valentine’s Day and other occasions that say things like “I’m done adulting, let’s go to Disney” and "Her Mickey."

If you're looking for a personal touch, Etsy has customizable options where you can add your name to a simple design of silhouetted Mickey Ears ($9.99) and many more elaborate customizable creations, too.

How to make your own matching Disney T-shirts

Photo courtesy of Lisa Manderino

Looking to DIY your own Disney tees for an upcoming group trip? It can be a good way to make something truly unique and perhaps even save money, too.

RV Blogger Cindy Scott said a friend she’s traveling to Disney with this fall bought an electronic cutting machine -- the Cricut Air Explore 2 -- off Amazon for $179.99. The plan is to personalize T-shirts for everyone in the group with their favorite Disney characters, said Scott.

“She realized once she bought two days’ worth of T-shirts’ for all of us on Etsy, it would pay off the machine,” said Scott in an email to TPG. “And she can still use it for other projects after the trip like labels, decorating water bottles, masks, etc.”

And while they might sound complicated to use, Cricut machines and comparable brands like the Silhouette Cameo make it easy to create heat transfer vinyl designs (akin to iron-on designs that can be pressed onto a T-shirt) for your own matching T-shirts, said blogger Lisa Manderino of Planning Away.

“They have their own programs that allow you to download images, resize and format your design,” she said.

Fonts are available for download (often free) on websites like Dafont, where you can find Disney-inspired fonts. Then you upload your images and designs into the cutter's program and format them for the size you need.

When you have your design perfected, said Manderino, you can print it out onto vinyl heat transfer paper, then iron the designs right onto the T-shirts, using parchment paper as a barrier.

How’s that for some DIY Disney magic?

Featured image by Shutterstock
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023