by Makena W.
Some people (mostly parents) panic and stress over how the family looks when they get their pictures taken. My family and I have a reputation for our clothes when on vacation. We always match! Let me explain that this all started as a safety measure. My mother always thought that if something were ever to happen to my brother or me, she would freak out and not be able to remember what we were wearing that day. As a way to ensure that she would always be able to answer this question, she has always dressed us in the same colors. Then, as an extra precaution, she would dress herself similarly so if she were to lose both of us, she could just look down and say, “They were wearing the same colors as I am”. At first, people thought she was crazy but after they saw how great the pictures looked when we got back, they swiftly changed their minds. Whether my brother and I are wearing the same design, or the whole group is wearing the same color, it’s easy to tell who we came along with. We have been called “the White Shirt Family” by a famous trash can, complemented by characters and Photopass photographers, and even on one occasion got our picture taken by another guest! Here are a few stories about my vacations where the clothes got all of the attention.
I distinctly remember a parade when I was 5. My brother and I were wearing red and white shirts while waiting on the parade route. From the pre-parade entertainment to the characters marching, we were approached by a lot of them. All of them commented on how we looked. Usually it was something like, “Oh, how cute. You match.” I was surprised when my mom told me that it happened before because I didn’t remember but when we got home and I looked in the photo album, I saw lots of pictures of us talking to characters in parades!
Our first cruise was no exception. By the second day, the crew would comment on the “color of the day”. It was fun when our wait staff would try to guess the next day’s color. They were completely surprised when my family went the entire cruise matching every day and night!
When we went to WDW in August of 2011, we matched every single day. Our grandparents even flew down for a few days and they decided to join in the matching fun too. We were in the Magic Kingdom pretty early on a Sunday morning, so not a lot of people were in the parks. We all wore white shirts and khaki shorts. We were hanging out in Tomorrowland (my favorite land) when we saw Push the talking trash can, who I also love. As I mentioned before, not a lot of people were in the park so Push saw us first and came up to us. He noticed our white shirts. He said “Are you guys together?” When we responded that we were, he proceeded to sing “The white shirt family, the white shirt family…” To this day I will catch myself singing this when reminiscing about our previous trips.
Definitely the most…unique…encounter regarding our matching outfits also occurred on the August 2011 trip. We were on our way the Downtown Disney on the first night of our vacation. We were all wearing pink as we hopped on the Disney bus. This was the type of bus where there are two rows on the edge of the bus that face the center of the vehicle. As we were sitting on the side next to the door, a lady and her daughter (who had to be probably 15 at the time) sat and talked. I love when people talk about their plans for the day, who they hope to see and what they want to do so I always have my ears open. That’s when I noticed something weird about these two ladies. The mom whispered something to the daughter and she looked at me. I saw that in my peripheral vision, so I looked back which made her drop her gaze shyly. The mother then took out her phone, held it up in the air as if searching for service, then texted someone. As we reached the first stop at Downtown Disney (I believe that there are two) the mother and daughter got off the bus, but not before the mother came up to us. “You guys look so cute!” We get this a lot, and replied accordingly. But then it went up a notch. “I took your picture and sent it to my boyfriend, see?” She then proceeded to show us a picture of the four of us. You could tell it was a candid shot, because I was looking down and nobody else noticed that she was taking a picture. “Isn’t it cute? I asked why we don’t do this when we come to the parks.” At this point in the conversation, the whole bus is silent-everybody is staring at us waiting for our reactions, while looking at each other-appalled by what this lady just did. Luckily, the bus driver heard all of this. “Ma’am, are you getting off here? Because I have to move the bus in a few seconds. Please depart.” You might think that this sounds like a normal spiel, but she looked at my mother and winked before turning back towards the wheel. The lady left and the entire bus erupted in laughter as soon as her feet were off the bus. That is CERTAINLY a moment I will never forget.
I am going to end with a story from the WDW Radio Cruise. Of course, every night my family (along with another family who traveled with us) dressed in the same color and style of clothing for dinner. On formal night, we all wore teal and black. When meeting Minnie in her fancy attire, the Photopass photographer and Minnie herself insisted on the whole family getting in a group shot, even though my parents didn’t like being in pictures. They said that we all looked “too nice” together to NOT have a picture taken. I was flattered! Looking back, I’m glad that he made them do it because it is my all-time favorite family portrait!
These are just some of our experiences with our matching clothes. I recommend doing this, especially if you have small children so that if you lose them you can say “they are wearing THIS shade of green exactly” while pointing to your shirt. It also makes for great family photos and everlasting memories (as you can see). As annoying as it can be sometimes to return a shirt because it is one shade off (my mother had a horrible time finding the exact shade of coral in boys and girls shirts and has been known to carry around a marker that she compares to every piece of clothing on the rack looking for the ‘perfect’ match) or not being able to wear a shirt that I want because it doesn’t match the color scheme, it pays off in the long run with awesome pictures and Christmas cards. In fact, when my aunts and uncles visit Walt Disney World, they have completely changed their habits and they now match, too!
I hope each and every one of you has a happy holiday and a joyous New Year. Oh, and make sure that they are MAGICAL, too!
See ya REAL soon! ~Makena