Princess Dresses in the Parks?


DIS Veteran
Jan 27, 2015
Last time I was at Disney was before all of the princess dress-up costumes became popular. Do kids really wear the dress-up dresses in the parks for an extended period of time? I was planning on packing a few just to wear to a princess breakfast on top of shorts and a t-shirt for my girls. My oldest daughter is 7 and is already "too cool" for princess dresses. But my 4-year-old still loves them. But I couldn't imagine my kids being comfortable and going on rides in those dresses. Do you actually see kids in the dress up shoes too?
Princess dresses are fairly common. The cheap plastic shoes, not so much. If you daughter wants to wear a princess costume, let her - but take a change of clothes in case she gets uncomfortable.
My girls were 7 and 9 on our trip and both wore a princess dress to breakfast (along with a glittery headband and glittery ballet flats, no plastic shoes, that would be so uncomfortable!). My 9 year old wanted to change after but my 7 year old stayed in hers all day and she just soaked up all the attention the cast members gave her ;) our dresses were from the Little Dress Up Shop so more comfortable than the typical costumes but I think she would have wanted to stay in it either way. They were fairly common, we definitely saw other little girls in princess dresses.
My oldest would not want to wear one in public at all. My youngest might, but we have princess pajama type outfits and I just got her an Elsa dress that could be a costume that she can wear. Just can't imagine her wanting to stay in it all day and not get itchy and hot.

we always brought stuff to change out of or into the princess dresses- never the plastic shoes.
My daughter has brought princess dresses from home our last 2 trips. We let her wear them if she wants but we always have a change of clothes handy and she wears comfortable shoes regardless.

It depends on your DD. At ages 2, 3 and 4, mine wore Princess dresses from open to close in the parks. (at age 2, she insisted on it every single day of the trip too- she refused all regular clothes). They get a lot of attention from CMs and guests who call them Princess and compliment their dresses, and once my DD got a taste of that, she wasn't taking the dress off. By age 5, only wanted to wear a Princess dress all day on BBB and CRT day, but that day, she still wore that dress from open to close that day. Other than that day, even if we went to Akershus, she usually just wanted to wear a regular dress, not a Princess dress. That lasted through age 7. At age 8, she was pretty much over Princess dresses even though she still liked the Princesses- she wanted to wear her Anna Dress to meet Anna and Elsa at DL and then to have a Princess meal after that, but when we went to WDW later in the year she didn't even want to wear her Anna dress to meet A&E- she wore a Frozen T-shirt that day instead.

If your DD wants to wear her Princess dress all day in the parks let her. My DD never had any trouble going on rides or anything else with the dresses. I agree with the sensible shoes though. Princess shoes are not good for walking at WDW! You will see lots of little Princesses with tennis shoes underneath!
As an alternative, if you, or someone you know, sews you could make cotton sundresses in a style and colors similar to their favorite princess. A friend of mine made absolutely beautiful but comfy dresses for my girls on our first trip in the style of Aurora and Ariel (in her mermaid colors). We went to a breakfast at Akershus, did a fake BBB in our room and had the girls wear their regular sandals. I know lots of people say their daughters wear their princess dresses all day but mine wouldn't have. My oldest especially gets irritated by heat and itchy things
Check out Their costumes are reasonably priced, machine washable, and not itchy or glittery like other princess dresses. I'm going to order form them for my girls for our September trip.
I am trying to get mine out of heels. My DD is 4 she wears real heels or wedges everyday! No joke it is sad we came from the beach yesterday and she refused to wear her sandals or flip flops. I have just learned to laugh and shake my head at my lil fashion model in training.
Looks like you're going on July or August. I'd definitely have a change available. My daughter stayed in what she wore for BBB in summer; but not July heat. She wasn't wearing one of those dresses and she had a camisole and shorts underneath. Princess themed t-shirt and pettiskirt/twirl skirt may be a nice alternative as well. They're really cute and can be worn any time. Here's my daughter's Frozen one from our last trip. Anna and Elsa loved it.

Our DD at the age of 7 wore hers during a princess meet in the morning and for a short time after but got itchy and hot after a while in the August heat. So she took the dress off and had shorts and a tank top underneath and was wearing comfy shoes.
My 5 year old would wear a princess dress all day, every day. In the parks she usually wears a tank top and light shorts under it, with crocs or sneakers. Have fun!
On our last trip my 5 year old wore a princess dress all day long the first day. After that she only wore the desses for meals and a little bit after, then wanted to change. I found sparkly princess tennis shoes that she wore with and without the dresses.
Check out Their costumes are reasonably priced, machine washable, and not itchy or glittery like other princess dresses. I'm going to order form them for my girls for our September trip.

Thank you so much for posting about this website!!! I've been looking for a pink princess cape and I am so excited by these reasonable prices!
My daughter has worn dresses to the park but I always have a change of cloth for her. She was 2 at the time and she loved it. We are going now on June and she will be wearing dresses again especially when we eat with the sit to eat with the princess. She loves to wear princess dresses so this will be fun for her. I also do have a change of cloth each day because it will be hot. Another good idea is to go on Etsy and find shirts there that have princess or disney like and just use those colors similar if you kids dont want to dress up. For example what I do is that her change of cloth would consist of teal shorts and a purple tank top (using the little mermaid colors) and that way she feels she has the little mermaid on. Just an idea for you to do.
DD3 wears dresses, both cotton "play" dresses and costume dresses, almost every day at home so I'm just assuming she'll want to wear them at WDW. We have the Elsa dress and the Belle dress from Highly recommend them! Great fast shipping. Comfy, not itchy dresses. All machine washable. I'll probably buy at least 1 more dress from them before our November trip depending on what DD wants to be for Halloween.
We just got back from a trip celebrating my little girl's 7th bday. Kicked it off with BBB on the 1st day. She got a new princess dress and she wore that dress every day all day! I think it really depends on the child.
I made my niece's dresses as the Disney ones were itchy and to hot for WDW. If you don't sew you can purchase hand made dresses or even find some nice nightgowns, dresses at Target, Walmart, etc. that are less money than Disney dresses and are more comfy.


Dreams Unlimited Travel is committed to providing you with the very best vacation planning experience possible. Our Vacation Planners are experts and will share their honest advice to help you have a magical vacation.

Let us help you with your next Disney Vacation!