Corporations do. Clubs do. Schools do. Bands and sports teams do. Even families do. Often while at Walt Disney World one sees groups – of every size imaginable; small or large – wearing custom T-shirts. (The shirts also are of every size imaginable, but if you’ve been paying attention to the restaurant reviews on this site, you’ll understand.)
Motivation to do so can vary and overlap. Matching shirts can help a group remain a group while in a large crowd. Shirts can identify their occupants, celebrate a common accomplishment, or perhaps promote a cause. Regardless of your reason, it’s sure to express your DisneySide.
DIStracted Tip – Exercise discretion. Many areas of Walt Disney World, including the Parks, enforce a dress code that prohibits clothing that could be distracting or offensive. There are also a handful of Signature Dining sites that permit T-shirts, but you might feel more appropriately dressed in nicer attire. These restaurants are typically at resorts or Downtown Disney – not within the Parks.
The “D5 logo” above was developed by my daughters and me for a 2014 visit. Although it was to be just the three of us, we wanted to wear matching tees. As soon as we started planning the trip, my 6-year-old dubbed it the “Daddy Double Daughter Disney Date” which became D5. Ultimately we never did use this abbreviated version, opting for the full version below that my older daughter and I preferred. The theme was straightforward – three of us were to visit all four parks. We kept our design simple with solid black silhouettes against a splash of muted color. We never fully clarified, but I’ve assumed that I’m the cute one in the middle.
Style is subjective, so you must sift this advice through your own filter. But I recommend using “Waltograph” sparingly, if at all. (Waltograph may be more commonly known as the “Disney” font, and is loosely based on Walt Disney’s signature.) It is instantly recognizable by most. But what it gains in familiarity it quickly loses in legibility. Full phrases or proper names in this font can be difficult to read and cluttered in appearance.
DIStracted Tip– Draw your inspiration from the Disney Imagineers. Look at fonts and treatments used throughout the Parks and Resorts on signs and elsewhere. They are heavily themed but they are also typically clean and decipherable at-a-glance. Pay attention to color as well. You may be tempted to use neon colors and script fonts, but consider if that look is a prevalent one at Walt Disney World.
We have used a couple other designs for larger family reunions. The first was inspired by a family tree. We were a relatively (pun intended) small group of 12, but hailed from six states with six surnames. You’ll likely recognize the tree. The branches were pruned to correctly represent family connections – marriages; siblings; generations; etc. This of course was lost on casual observers, but was very meaningful to about 0.0024% of the Guests at Walt Disney World that day.
A similar event for our extended family resulted in a more playful approach, with a nod to the “Mad Tee Party” itself, as well as an acknowledgement of our common you-were-all-thinking-it-anyway diagnosis.
We at Magical DIStractions would enjoy seeing your ideas, past and present, for custom T-shirts as well as hearing your feedback on what you’ve seen here.