I have no qualms about wearing competitor's shirts. I can almost understand Robert's Disney/Universal rule, because of their proximity in FL and CA. However, I wear my El Toro shirts to KD, Hershey, and anywhere else, just like I've worn my Son Of Beast and Millennium Force shirts to non-Cedar Fair parks. Most often this year, I've been wearing either my Walking Dead shirt or one of my Coasting For Kids shirts.
My bigger rule is to try to pick shirts that are interesting, unique, and maybe a bit subtle. I hardly ever buy the "stats" shirts, and instead usually opt to get more conceptualized versions of attractions. For example I have an Expedition Everest shirt that has a snow swept mountain with some torn track and a giant hidden Mickey in the background. There are no words on the shirt at all, but to fans it is immediately recognizable.
Anyway, just some thoughts...
I will say, however, that any family that chooses to outfit all four members (adults included) in "Thing 1, Thing 2, Thing 3, and Thing 4" t-shirts looks absolutely ridiculous. Period.
Our Jungle Cruise skipper called us up to the front of the boat to see the crocodiles and told the rest of boat they'd be ok as the crocs only ate little boys with Knotts Berry Farm shirts on.
The main rule I follow, however, is this: No matter what park I'm visiting, I always wear some type of theme park related shirt.
I personally love to wear my Disneyland Hoodies at WDW. I have a beloved Stitch that gets lots of comments on it. Not the reason I wear it but it gets people talking. I don't usually wear any character t-shirts because, well, I just don't wear t-shirts. Hoodies, now that is another creature all together. I usually get caught without a jacket when the temp gets unseasonable cooler. I attempt to get one dated only to remind me of how stupid I was and maybe I might learn my lesson. So far, I have 4. As for my husband, he wears character, not park, shirts. So when we go to any Disney property, Grumpy is the attire for the day. The nice thing about that is that most people will leave HIM alone because, okay let's admit it, he looks Grumpy!
I would NEVER wear a competitor's shirt to a park because I agree, I think it is rude. Why rub it in the employee's face that you went to the OTHER place first.
I share many of the same "rules" as well. I saw a family with "Thing" shirts, as from Cat in the Hat, from Universal Studios Hollywood wearing them at Disneyland. It's just kind of weird. I've also seen entire tour groups wearing Mickey Mouse shirts at Universal parks. Funny stuff.
One other personal rule I have: If I wear my Dole Whip shirt, then I feel as though I really should enjoy a Dole Whip. :-)
This year is the 40th anniversary year and I'll be wearing mine from the 30th.
Would I would wear to a park though is a TPI golf shirt. Now, that would be proper attire for any park.
Any chance of you doing another run of TPI shirts, Robert? Put me on the list for an XL if you do.
My policy is to not wear park shirts to parks, but sometimes I catch myself doing it without meaning to (mostly when I need cold weather clothes and inadvertently wear a Dollywood hoodie or a Universal fleece). The absolute last thing I would want to be seen as is an enthusiast. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with being an enthusiast. But you don't want to be labeled as one of THOSE enthusiasts. You know who I'm talking about. The guy who stands in line for a coaster complaining about how at (insert park here), they have smoother ride ops and don't stack trains. The guy who freely tells people his credits. No one likes being around those guys, and they're a blight on the enthusiast community. I'd rather look like a dumb member of the GP than be looked at like one of those guys. If you don't have the first clue who "those guys" are, consider yourself lucky.
The one thing that always drove me insane was when I would go to enthusiast events and see the "most obscure t-shirt" contest. It's a variation on the "who has the oldest Halloween Horror Nights shirt" game, where the guy with the Wild Izzy shirt tries to look cooler than the guy with the Banshee shirt. Newsflash - you're both winners in the "I don't want to be seen around these guys" contest.
What does this mean when you park hop? Do you avoid the park if you're wearing a particular park's T-shirt? If I'm wearing a Disneyland T-shirt, do I only visit DCA for the day? This gets complicated when you visit Orlando. Maybe just wear Tokyo Disneyland T-shirts if you have one handy.
As for wearing a Disneyland T-shirt to Universal or Knott's, why not? It might be rude, but to me, I paid to visit Universal and Knott's. I spread my wealth around. If the employees are rude to me, it is their problem. Sorry, I'm visiting the parks at my leisure. I can dictate what I want to wear.
Now, I given up buying the park T-shirts. I prefer to wear plain shirts. My old shirts are at the Salvation Army. Wearing logo shirts are a waste of time and money. There is absolutely no opportunity to wear Disney T-shirts, theme park or generic, outside of visiting the parks.
Then again, I do not have too many theme park specific T shirts. I will wear a Disney shirt to a Disney park. Not sure if that is really the same thing!
If it is clean and goes with the shorts (95% of the time it's shorts since I live in Orlando) I've picked out, then it is acceptable.
Outside of that, any further thought on the subject is overkill....
On a separate subject entirely: I always use my Disney Visa for purchases everywhere I go to amass my Disney Reward Dollar fortune. Most every time I pull out the card at USF, the cashier at the store looks at me and tells me "wrong card" and I reply in a somewhat cynical fashion "Would you rather have me use the Disney Visa here or use a Universal Studios Visa at Disney?" That usually ends the conversation! :P
I'll wear a Disney shirt to a Disney park, but my Disney shirts are non theme park specific (vintage mickey, standard character tees, etc.)
I actually like to see all the different "theme park inspired" fashion choices people make.
Overall, I guess I'm of the wear what makes you happy camp,you're there to have fun!! Sure some may wear a different theme park shirt to a different park, but many times it's just because they're on vacation, & they've recently bought it, so they will put it on!! All in good fun!
Wearing a Transformers and a Harry Potter T-Shirt at Disneyland and a Carsland T-Shirt at Universal would be good cross promotional needling.
Personally, I don't buy Theme Park Shirts unless I'd be willing to wear them outside of the park. But I'm in agreement about not wearing a competitor's shirt to a park.
Only time I've been approached by someone outside of a park while wearing a Stitch shirt was in Hawaii. And it was more of a "I like your shirt bra!"
No, I think you forgot that people are talking about the rules and think they are quite silly.