(Ricky and I behind Cinderella's Castle in Walt Disney World. We are "Disneybounding" as Mary Poppins and Burt!)
For the first time IN FOREVVEERRRRRRR…. (Ha! Just kidding. That is a Frozen reference. See how I did that? No?? Watch some Disney movies, dude!)
ANYWAY, for the first time last week Ricky and I went to Disney World with friends who introduced us to Disneybounding.
I've been there with my family a zillion times, but when you go with fanatics like these two, you can find all kinds of zany fun you never knew possible. Mostly because they know all the inside info—and we’re not just talking about hidden Mickeys.
Greg and Krystal knew the fastest routes around the park, the best scavenger hunts to win glittery, limited-edition pins, and to top it off, they taught us how to Disneybound!
(Our whole Mary Poppins crew: Krystal as a penguin, Greg and Ricky as chimney sweeps, and me as Mary. See Krystal's shoes? She sharpied a pair of Target chucks real quick in the car! That's commitment.)
What is Disneybounding? So glad you asked! Plenty of great articles have been written about it (I will link the best below), but essentially: it’s dressing up as a character without wearing a “costume”. I worked three Christmas seasons at Hong Kong Disney, but never learned about Disneybounding until this trip. Krystal, where have you been all my life??
In a nutshell, the parks don’t allow anyone over the age of fourteen to wear a costume. Thank goodness, really—I mean, what if little Timmy thought that cigarette-smoking teenager with the tattoos ACTUALLY WAS Cinderella??
So, creative people from all over the world have been expressing their love for Disney by visiting the parks in a color palette reflective of their favorite characters outfits, incorporating “normal clothes” you can find at thrift shops and around the house.
COULD ANYONE, ANYWHERE, HAVE MORE BUDGET-FRIENDLY FUN? Well…assuming they don’t have to buy park passes for eight or more children, I suppose.
We saw so many nerds like us trying to get in on the action; we began chasing people down for photos. Actually, Krystal gets much of the credit here for chasing down Bounders—she is fearless and unrelenting.
For example, we met this adorable couple dressed as Snow White and Dopey. They embodied Disneybounding 100 percent. The right color palate + well placed accessories = smiles all day long.
(Bonus info: Snow White and Dopey had just gotten engaged that day. Congrats, kids!)
Some people do a combo of their own clothes with the addition of a Disney-themed set of “ears”. Purists might say that this does NOT count as Disneybounding, but come on people; those faces spell F-U-N.
(Maleficent and Aurora: "If you don't like our ears, go be a REAL nerd somewhere else please".)
Minnie says the same!
We ran up to this lady clearly dressed as Merida—and she laughed, “I wasn’t even trying to Disneybound!”
Well done, ma’am!
This guy here was NOT trying to Disneybound, but he sure is a dead ringer from Josh in The Sound Collage (my band).
(Weird. Just plain weird.)
Hey Belle, what’s new on the French countryside?
For maximum impact, groups and families can get in on the Disneybounding fun by taking on groups of characters from their favorite movie—all the main characters from Toy Story, for example, or this group of fairies from one of Tinkerbelle’s spin-off movies:
So how can you get a fast pass on the Disneybounding train?
Research your favorite characters, and make a list of potential pieces in your closet that could work. What color is their top, bottoms, or dress? Do they have an accessory like a certain type of hat, or bowtie, or shawl? Is there a prop that could make it more fun? Then scour second hand thrift stores for inexpensive ingredients to add for the perfect Disneybounding outfit!
For more expert advice on Disneybounding, check out these resources: