There are all kinds of ways to make trips to Disney parks special, including dressing up like your favorite characters.
What some guests wear to Walt Disney World is just as important as what FastPasses they snag, which characters they meet, and which snacks they eat. And one of the most popular forms of attire is DisneyBounding.
If you’re new to the whole DisneyBound idea, keep reading to learn about why it’s different than cosplay and how you can bound as your favorite character the next time you visit the parks.
What Is DisneyBounding?
First and foremost, this form of style is not as simple as throwing on a costume from a bag that you purchased at Target. Actually, it’s quite different and takes a bit of creativity.
Blogger Leslie Kay (shown below) founded DisneyBounding in 2011. As she explained to Huffington Post in November 2017, her DisneyBound blog was originally about her general love of Disney, but it transformed into what is now known as the extremely popular form of Disney style.
In the words of Kay, “DisneyBounding is a way to express your love for Disney through fashion. It uses clothes to recreate the outfits of your favorite Disney characters without being costume-y. You could go to school or the mall in a DisneyBound and not get pegged for being in costume.”
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Not a bunny ☺️🐭 But I’ve been getting a little extra dressed up for my trips to the balcony. I found this headband on @etsy and naturally a Sorcerer Mickey #disneybound was born! 💙🌙✨ Do ya’ll usually start with a character or a clothing item when planning your Bounds? 📖 Tips like these and more can be found in @disneybooks the “DisneyBound” book, written by me, @leslieakay! 😊 Available April 14th ❤️
See? It’s very different than cosplay, which is people wearing full-on costumes. But, DisneyBound is basically wearing everyday outfits that express your inner style, could be worn on a daily basis, and, of course, are inspired by Disney.
Steps To Put A Look Together
Here are some steps to follow when you’re figuring out how to put a look together:
1. Pick a character
Do you want to resemble Belle? Are you feeling a bit darker and want to channel Maleficent? It doesn’t matter who you want to bound as, but it’s important to pick an idea and then you can go from there.
2. You can also pick another beloved Disney idea
That’s right, you don’t always have to find inspiration from just a character. Maybe you’re feeling a beloved Disney movie, a movie scene, a theme park, an attraction, a snack, and so on.
For example, check out this idea to DisneyBound as Andy’s room from Toy Story. There are so many ways to channel your creativity in a fashionable way.
3. Focus on stylistic elements
Once you select what you want to bound as, focusing on color and the type of clothing you want to wear is a good next step.
So, let’s say you want to bound as Elsa from Frozen. You’d want to select whites and blues. Think ice, cold, snow, and winter.
4. Look at your closet
What makes DisneyBounding so great is that it’s all about using what you already have. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to create an outfit. Your closet is the most obvious space to first visit.
5. Thrift stores are always a good option
If you don’t already have everything you need for your DisneyBound, then going to a thrift store could work, especially for filler pieces like accessories. Plus, this is a much more affordable option.
6. Don’t forget about accessories and shoes
As previously mentioned, accessories can really bring a DisneyBound together. Whether it’s a bag, a pair of sunglasses, a scarf, a pin, a necklace, or even gloves, accessories are key in uniting this type of ensemble.
Also, and this really shouldn’t need mentioning, but don’t forget about shoes! Again, focus on color. So, if you wanted to bound as Donald Duck, you could wear yellow converse. It’s really that simple.
Check out this Darth Vader DisneyBound by Tamerra from @magicncurls and how much her accessories play a part in her outfit.
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In a galaxy far far away 💫 . . Wow for pulling this look together last night I had an absolute blast today!! Even though I was FREEZING 😬❄️Michael and I were having too much fun as Darth Vader and Stormtrooper and the setting was of course more than fitting! . . Michael has been a lifelong Star Wars fan and has been thoroughly educating me over the years. It’s always such a joy to see him light up when we go to the parks, or watch the movies. Especially watching Mandalorian! . . Did you guys dress up for @dapperday ?
7. Try to avoid taking things literally
Since DisneyBounding is about putting together an outfit you can wear to the office or to school, you want to be as practical as possible.
Say you were feeling Fairy Godmother vibes one day. Well, instead of adding an actual wand to your DisneyBound, you could wear a star necklace to represent her magic.
8. Lastly, incorporate your own style
DisneyBounding is all about you. You want to make sure you’re channeling your style and that you’re as comfortable as possible.
Here Are Some Examples
To help you out even more, here are some great examples. Also, a big thank you to some of our followers for sending us these photos of their DisneyBounds!
Queen of Hearts & Hades
Roz, Carl Fredricksen, Dory, Mr. Potato Head, and Tarzan
Phineas, Dr. Doof, and Perry
Grumpy, Olaf, Merida, Pirate, and Snow White
Things To Keep In Mind When At The Parks
Now, even as cute as you might want to look you also want to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible, especially if you want to DisneyBound at the parks.
You’ll want to keep in mind the following:
- Make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes, because there’s a lot of walking at Disney.
- Weather also plays a major factor, especially if there’s rain in the forecast or it’s summertime in Orlando — so much heat! You definitely don’t want to wear something that the weather will make you feel uncomfortable in.
- Even if it doesn’t go with your outfit, bring an extra bag with necessities, like hand sanitizer, sunscreen, an umbrella, and whatever else you need. You don’t want to be without.
The Most Fun Times To DisneyBound
You can DisneyBound at the parks or in real life whenever you want, but it’s even more fun to do during a special event, including:
- Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- Disney Villains After Hours
These are only just a few of the many fun times to DisneyBound during a special Disney event. Keep in mind, all of Epcot’s festivals make a great opportunity as well.
Easy DisneyBounding Ideas
The DisneyBounding creations are endless, but if you’re in need of some help, here are some easy ideas. We’ve provided a handful of examples for each, but, of course, these are just a few of many options.
Belle DisneyBound (Blue & White Dress Look)
- Colors: blue and white
- Accessories: book earrings; purse that’s woven like a basket or has fringe; ballet flats
- Colors: green, red, purple
- Accessories: sea-inspired jewelry; red shoes, like Converse that will pop; Danielle Nicole bag
- Colors: purple and yellow
- Accessories: flower Minnie ears; purple piece of clothing; add a bit of green, like jewelry, to represent Pascal
Star Wars DisneyBound
There are so many ideas for Star Wars, but let’s say you wanted to do BB-8:
- Colors: white, orange, gray
- Accessories: BB-8 Disney headband; orange and white striped shirt; orange nail polish
- Colors: black, purple, green
- Accessories: red lipstick; headband with horns; green sunglasses; purple jacket (like a cape)
Snow White DisneyBound
- Colors: blue, yellow, red
- Accessories: something apple (jewelry, bag, socks, shirt); blue or yellow accents; wear something that makes you feel like one of the Dwarfs, i.e. Happy
Spaceship Earth DisneyBound
As previously mentioned, you don’t have to only DisneyBound as characters. Maybe you want to wear an outfit modeled after your favorite attraction. Spaceship Earth is such a fun choice and you could do the following:
- Colors: gray, white, silver, black
- Accessories: Castle Co. bag; metallic details like a belt; mirrored sunglasses
Finally, remember, you don’t have to wear something over-the-top. DisneyBounding is all about having fun and expressing yourself through your own personal style.