What do you wear? Do you worry about UV protection?

I’m a pasty white British person who burns at the mere mention of sunshine. Luckily we don’t get any in the UK.

So naturally I’m terrified about Orlando in August.

I’ve bought a decent hat (Tilley T3) and went shopping for super-lightweight t-shirts and shorts today. But now I read that you need UV protection in your clothing and the t-shirts don’t have it.

Any Florida experts able to advise on what’s safe and comfortable to wear?

Oh, PS I also bought Crocs, which I heard are good for walking, cool, easy to clean, and dry quickly when wet.

I have never worn a shirt with UV protection before. I would just say to re apply sunscreen constantly and pick a high SPF. Good luck!

Just go for a really high factor sun screen, and apply frequently. Drink plenty, keep your hat on and take breaks as needed. It’s very hot in August, and this is not a lounging around a pool holiday, you will be walking, lots!! The queues are frequently shaded and have mister sprays, everywhere has AC. Think about a hand held mister spray too.
As for crocs, I’m not sure they are the best thing to wear for the parks. I find them uncomfortable. You might be better with open trainers, don’t forget blister plasters too. My DH is a runner and uses duct/gaffer tape on blister hot spots, rather than plasters and says it’s brilliant.

If you are an easy burner, make sure you re-apply your sunscreen in the frequency it recommends… maybe even note it in your touring plan. If you are getting overheated, take advantage of something air conditioned or out of the sun. Make sure you bring more than 1 pair of touring shoes. We used sneakers rather than Crocs or sandals but my DH only brought one pair, his feet swelled and he had terrible blisters.

When you see the “UPF” rating for clothing it doesn’t necessarily mean that the cloth has been treated with sunscreen, and not seeing a UPF label doesn’t mean the cloth offers no (or even not enough) protection. It’s just a rating of how much the fabric blocks UVA/B rays, and the labeling just means that fabric/style has been tested. Very heavy, dense fabrics are generally high UPF even though they haven’t been treated with anything. You can, however buy treated fabrics, which might make a lighter, airier fabric more protective and you can also buy a laundry additive that will treat your clothes in the wash, and usually last through a number of washings.

That said, one article I read had an interviewee who was a textiles scientist and she said that when she tested her family’s t-shirts that had all been washed a number of times using regular detergent all of them had UPF of 30-50+ without any special treatment. There’s also no reason not to apply SPF under your clothes if you’re worried. I definitely wouldn’t be going out and buying a whole new shirt wardrobe, unless all of your shirts are mesh tank tops. My sister’s a super pasty ginger and she’s never gotten sunburned under clothes even when we’ve gone on southern Mexico beach vacations in January, when she’s as white as she gets (we’re from the middle of Michigan, so not as far north as you but not too far off and she’s so pale she’s almost translucent) and unprotected skin gets pink within 15 minutes or so!

I like Crocs sandals (not the clogs) because they do dry quickly and they’re fairly comfortable, but my favorite footwear for WDW are broken-in Keen or Teva hiking sandals or a broken-in pair of what you’d call trainers. I do have some Sanuk yoga mat flip flops that were surprisingly comfy through two different trips last year and they have a mens version too, if you’re into flip flops.

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I live in Texas. Here’s what I do:

  1. Wear short sleeves, shorts, sock, shoes. I can go with or without a hat.

  2. Apply 50+ SPF sunscreen everywhere. The most missed are the feet, ears, and neck. If you plan at all to go to a water park, don’t forget your feet/toes. The parts that burn first are the nose, ears, cheeks, and shoulders (top of head if you’re bald). Reapplying to those areas are first priority. Reapply sunscreen during downtime (like when you’re waiting in line for a ride or sitting before a show). Don’t worry about wearing UV protected shirts. If you wear sunscreen, it will be enough. Reapplying every 2 hours during the middle of the day should be fine. Mornings and evenings, every 4 hours should be fine.

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Do I apply sunscreen to my whole body? The idea of putting a t-shirt on over a slimy sunscreened body seems a bit icky to me!

I wouldn’t worry about anything behind your shirt/shorts.


Yeah… that would really be an abundance of caution, when just a handful of thought will do. That said, a dry spray sunblock would be the way to go if you really felt the need to do that. If your clothing is opaque then I really wouldn’t worry about it.

If you’re worried about the shirt you bought being too thin then maybe go exchange for some with a tighter weave… if you can see daylight through the fabric when you hold it up then it’s not the best option. If it’s cotton then make sure you wash it a few times, because that actually tightens the weave even more. Maybe try to wear shirts that have a double layer at the shoulders (where many people get burnt the worst) if you’ve got any, or double up a couple of very thin layers (like a light undershirt under a light cotton or linen safari-type shirt). You’re going to sweat like it’s your job no matter what you wear, so just embrace it and drink more water.

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Also, a lot of people forget about your eyes. A good pair of sunglasses is key! Especially for those of us with light eye colors. The sun can do a lot of damage to the retina if not protected!


What about layers? Does it get colder in the evenings? Do you need something to warm you up in air-conditioned buildings?

Hi! I am a pale, blue-eyed American & I burn very easily. My eyes are also very sensitive to the light, so I’m always wearing sunglasses, even in winter. I think a couple things are important to keep in mind. The Environmental Working Group (EWR) has a ton of information & ratings about sunscreen that I always use. http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/

I am personally a fan of Badger-brand sunscreen for myself & my kids, and the EWR rates them very highly. You should put about a shot-glass sized amount of sunscreen on your body - I typically put it on myself & my kids once we are dry & dressed, but before we go outside. You shouldn’t feel too sticky, but if you do, stand in front of the fan or air conditioner, or even wave a piece of paper over your skin to let it absorb. I only put it on areas that our clothes are not covering, but if we had a thin strap - like a tank top or bathing suit top, I do it all over the shoulder, including under the strap.

A good hat is also a great plan. I have not tried these products, but there are items that you can buy in advance and wash your clothes in that provide extra SPF - https://www.amazon.com/Rit-Sun-Guard-Treatment-Protectant/dp/B0000Y3F6W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1497472342&sr=8-2&keywords=sun+guard+uv+protectant

Don’t forget the tops of your feet, tops of your ears, your scalp, shoulders, nose - I know these have already been mentioned but it’s easy to forget some spots when you aren’t used to wearing & applying sunscreen.

Depending on if you are a “sweaty” sort of person (nothing wrong with that, some people are more prone to sweating), you might even want to check out something that a lot of people recommend on park trips - Frogg Toggs. I have not tried them but they are cooling towels that help keep people cool. https://www.amazon.com/Frogg-Toggs-Chilly-Cooling-Towel/dp/B00IAUZ3LS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1497472568&sr=8-3&keywords=cool+frog

Good luck! I think being aware that you should be proactive about sunscreen is the majority of the battle.

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I am also very fair, with a family history of skin cancer. Be aware that peak sunburn (peak UV) hours are between 10 am and 3 pm. I try to focus on inside rides, indoor meals, and out of park breaks at those times. Even if i go to the pool during those hours, I’m better at reapplying sunscreen at the pool than in the park.

A big hat is important. Spray on sunscreen is convenient, but numerous studies show it may not provide anywhere near the claimed level of SPF, so lotion is better.

I have crocs or flip flops that i toss in my park backpack in case there’s a downpour, but for all the walking i need socks and sneakers.

I wear shorts and t-shirts, nothing special like a rash guard unless I’m at the pool. But, again, i avoid the peak sun.

I would also recommend bringing bug repellent. Disney does treat for mosquitos, but there have been Zika-carrying mosquitos in Florida, and I’d rather be safe.

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I’m also a very fair blonde hair blue eyed American. I burn within 10 - 15 minutes if I go outside unprotected. I unfortunately am allergic to many sunscreens so I tend not to use them. Most of the shirts I own do have a UFP rating of 50+ and come from www.coolibar.com. I will warn you they’re not cheap, but I don’t have to worry when I wear them. The other nice thing is that they are light weight, so I never feel like I’m suffocating or over heating even though I’m in jeans or trousers and a long sleeved shirt. I also would recommend a wide brimmed hat, and sunglasses.

As for footwear, I tend to wear trainers with socks, and throw an extra pair of socks as well as my keens sandals in my park bag so that if it either rains (or I go on Kali River Rapids) I don’t have to be as worried about my feet and blisters developing from walking around in wet trainers. I also would recommend investing in body glide, I have not gotten blisters at Disney since I started using it!

Lots of good information here, so I will add just a few things.

  • Any sun screen over SPF 30 really does not add more protection. Regular reapplication is the key here, not higher numbers.
  • I burn easily, but have never burnt through regular clothing, including light-weight runnng shirts. However, I do wear an SPF-rated swim shirt when in the water, as it is easier than having to worry about applyng sun screen all over.
  • Crocs are bad, m’kay. Proper footwear is key to avoiding foot fatigue and blisters. I go with broken-in running shoes that provide good support.
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As of August they had mosquito spray stations in all of the parks where you are encouraged to apply from a variety of deet & picaridin options. They also supplied a can of a deet-containing spray (we got both Cutter and Off during a split stay at Ft Wilderness cabins and Beach Club Villas) in resort rooms onsite.

I will typically get a little chilled, but it’s never something I’m overly bothered by, even during an extended table service meal. The only time I can remember really being cold at that time of year was in the bus after being soaked in an all-day downpour, and having a sweater wouldn’t have helped, as it would have also been soaked! On the whole I think the busses tend to be colder than anywhere else!

I’m a pasty white ginger freckly British person who burns looking out the window.

I have only ever had a problem once in Florida, and that was when I didn’t reapply suncream at Blizzard Beach. That was bad, I was covered in blisters, I don’t recommend it!

I usually use factor 50, and I don’t even reapply it, unless I’ve swum, or obviously if I’ve had a shower on an afternoon break. I wear whatever I want, certainly nothing out of the ordinary or with any added protection. If my shoulders are feeling hot, I change to a T shirt that covers them. I wear flip flops.

We drink loads of water, but I do that at home anyway.

We always go late July or August. It’s really not as bad as people make out imo. Though the humidity is horrible.

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An excellent sun screen that I use is P20 it has different factors available including factor 50. It’s quite expensive but very very good and definitely worth it. I’ve used it on long triathlons applied it at 4am all over, done a swim, long bike and a run until dark without reapplying and not burning. I know it works because one day I missed a bit and that burned but nowhere else did!! Now all our family use it and it works for everybody even the easy burners.

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My son works in construction and has a lightweight long sleeve shirt that has sunscreen in the shirt. I myself burn easily. My grandmother was born in England and I inherited the lighter complexion. I tend to burn in spots I miss.

My son got his shirt from Duluth trading company.