TouringPlans is pleased to welcome guest author Ted Wioncek III.
It goes without saying, Walt Disney World has strict rules about guests showing up to the parks dressed like a Disney character, and for good reason! But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun by dressing in the likeness of your favorite Disney fairytale fantasy. It’s called Disneybounding and it is all the rage around Disney parks, far and wide. In case you’re unfamiliar, Disneybounding is a unique way of expressing your personal love of Disney through the art of fashion. Fans use clothes to recreate the outfits of their favorite Disney character without crossing over into the costumed realm. It doesn’t matter if you’re feeling Belle one day and Cruella the next, you just have to get creative. Don’t worry, we’re here to help with some Disneybounding tips to get you started. Ready, set… let’s play!
- Inspire Yourself: Disneybounding is fashionable, fun, and freeing. This isn’t just about looking like your favorite character; this is about embodying their essence. That being said, we urge you to stay away from searching for inspiration from other Disneybounders on social media. Unless you are really well-versed in Disneybounding, you’re more likely to copy than create. On the other hand, if you truly don’t know where to start, sites like Pinterest can provide a variety of resources.
- Start at Home: You don’t know it yet, but your closet is filled with a cast of Disney characters just bursting at the seams to be let out and be seen. The thing is, you’ve just never looked at your clothes quite that way before. Do you own a red shirt and brown belt? That’s Gaston in the making! What about a purple top and green pants? Meet Ariel, everyone!
- Hit The Thrift Shop: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were onto something, y’all. Thrift Shops are a fantastic and affordable place to find a few items for your key accessories. And unlike Target and BoxLunch, they are littered with gadgets, gizmos, whoozits, whatsits, and thingamabobs that no one else will be wearing!
- Consider The Climate: You’re probably thinking this tip has to do with the extreme heat the Sunshine State proudly boasts. Well, yes – and no. Depending on the time of year, Orlando temperature typically varies anywhere from 52°F to 91°F. So, before you put the finishing touches on your attire, be sure to check the forecast!
- Strike A Balance, Strike A Pose: You may be struggling with going too literal. Don’t worry, that’s normal. But if you find yourself striking a pose in a mirror only to find an off-the-rack Spirit of Halloween look-alike staring back at you, you might need to dial it back. It is a gentle balance, but once you find it, you’re dialed in.
Hint: You’ll know you’ve got it right when you can walk into a store and most people just assume you’re in normal clothes, while a fellow Disney-fanatic spots you from across the way and compliments your exceptional ensemble!
- Dig A Little Deeper: One of the best things about Disneybounding is that allows out-of-the-box thinkers to really shine. If you’re new to Disneybounding, we challenge you to think beyond the obvious color schemes and as Mama Odie would say, dig a little deeper! Think about what your chosen character represents, rather than simply how they appear, though appearance is a great place to start!
- It’s Not Princes and Princesses: If you’re a seasoned veteran, let’s level up our Disneybounding game by going to the next level. Chances are, you’ve already tackled your favorite animated hero. However, have you considered theme park specific characters, such as Figment or Rover from Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress? Let’s really see you use that, imaaaaaagionation, imaaaaaagionation!
- Say “Cheeeeese!”: You’ve put in the work, now it is time to get the picture-perfect moment! Again, creativity is key! Are you Disneybounding as Captain Hook? Plan for a picture with Peter Pan! Dressing as Spaceship Earth? Take a photo at Magic Kingdom Park and caption it “I think I took the wrong Monorail!”
- Have Fun!: More than anything, Disneybounding is about having fun and it comes with a welcoming and supportive community. So, whether you’re Disneybounding squad-deep on your next trip or holding down the fort by yourself, you’re never really alone. Dress with pride, snag that photo, post your pics, and just wait for your fellow Disney fans to fawn over your latest digs.
- Lastly, we have provided a condensed Shopping List to help get the ideas flowing! Below you will find some of the less “obvious” choices out there to keep in mind. Feel free to skip this part if you’re worried about us getting in the way of your process.
Shoes: Shoes can play an essential role in your Disneybound. A simple pair of black and white two-toned shows can easily mimic that of Alice from Alive in Wonderland, whereas nothing sells a Minnie Mouse ensemble like a pair of yellow heels. Make sure your footwear can’t be misconstrued for another character.
Ears, Hats, and Headwear: A bejeweled pair of classic Mickey ears can really help dial things up a notch for your wares! Consider throwing on some shells for Ariel, a red headband for Snow White, or even a few flowers for Lilo.
Accessories: Take your pick; handbags, backpacks, necklaces, earrings! Any one of these items can help bring it all together. Thinking of sporting your latest C-3PO? Try gold jewelry while throwing on the addition of an R2-D2 backpack. Want to do rock a Stormtrooper getup? We wouldn’t suggest it, it’s likely to be a shoot and a miss! Get it?! 😛
Disneybounding is a wonderful Disney way of sharing both admiration and self-expression. Go the distance and enjoy your journey. Feel free to tag us in your latest apparel. We can’t wait to see what you’ve cooked up.
Do you Disneybound when you visit a Disney park? Let us know in the comments.
Ted Wioncek III is a Walt Disney World Annual Passholdin’-D23 lovin’-DVC card carryin’-Theme Park Journalist, whose work has garnered him a reputation as a “master in storytelling.” He specializes in theatrical review, food critique, travel planning, and double-blind Dole Whip taste testing. Ted lives in sunny Florida with his beautiful wife, Kimberly, and their adorable rescue beagle, affectionately named, Professor Indiana Bones. You can contact him at TheRealTraderTed@gmail.com. You can also enjoy his tips for visiting the parks at his YouTube channel, The Disney Passport.