DisneyBounding is essentially using a Disney character as an inspiration for an outfit. A person picks out pieces from their wardrobe that have similar colors, styles, etc. to the character, and wears it to a Disney park or venue. They can spend as little or as much money on it as desired, and can modify the outfit to best fit their body type. For example, if someone wanted to do Minnie Mouse, they could use a red shirt and yellow sneakers they already had. For the bottom, they could go out and buy a polka dot skirt. If they didn’t like skirts, they could buy pants instead. While ordinary people may not know it is Minnie, dedicated Disney fans will surely recognize it! Some people are more casual, whereas others are more ornate about their DisneyBounds. Some people sew all of theirs and others buy all of theirs. That’s all ok, and it’s about what makes you feel comfortable. What makes DisneyBounding so fun is having diversity, and seeing everyone’s different interpretation of a character.
Let me get this straight: DisneyBounding is NOT cosplay. Disney parks have a strict age limit about wearing costumes to the park. You can get denied entry or asked to leave and change. DisneyBounding is supposed to be a way to still dress as a favorite character, but not be in costume. Many people—including myself—have crossed the lines somewhat, but the overall outfit should not look like you’re attending a convention or a Halloween party.
My DisneyBounding Story
Making a DisneyBound
I honestly haven’t counted, but I know I have all of the princesses and Frozen. Then I have some of the classical characters like Minnie and Daisy. And then I have other characters like Pinocchio and Giselle. I estimate around a hundred! With my newest additions from the summer, they take up around 4 large plastic storage boxes—and that’s with stuffing the boxes as much as possible!
2. How can you afford to keep making/buying DisneyBounds?
A lot of people have the misconception that you have to be super rich in order to keep buying clothes. But it’s all about being resourceful. For my DisneyBounds, I get my clothes mostly from Amazon, Ross’s, TJ Maxx, and hand-me-downs. I also use inexpensive but durable fabric, or fabric around my household, for sewing. It isn’t a convention cosplay contest or a job interview, so as long as it holds up for Disneyland, it’s all good. Also, I don’t splurge on shoes…I have one pair of shiny silver sneakers that I call my “princess shoes”. I wear them with mostly all of my princess Bounds. Lastly, I try to reuse the same “base” outfit for multiple characters and just change up accessories. For example, my yellow dress works as Jane from Tarzan and Honey Lemon from Big Hero Six! Never feel like you have to spend a ton of money on DisneyBounding, just use what you have or make do with whatever you can afford!
3. How do you not die of heatstroke/frostbite/discomfort at Disneyland when wearing DisneyBounds?
I try to keep my DisneyBounds, especially the dresses, knee length. Firstly, it looks less like a full Disney costume (which is banned for adults). Secondly, it’s also to keep me cool for a hot day! I know I tend to wear leggings/stockings/tights under my costumes, but for me, it’s a personal preference. I can tolerate it, but others may not be able to. I always remember to keep hydrated, stay in the shade, and wear sunscreen when I am DisneyBounding. For winter time, I tend to choose characters that have longer sleeves such as Elsa’s coronation dress, or I wear fleece-lined leggings underneath. To me, all of my DisneyBounds are comfortable, but you know your body best. If you can’t stand to wear something, don’t wear it! I always know my limits in terms of body temperature and how my body feels. Sometimes I’ll bring a change of clothes if the weather is really not suitable.
4. Where do you buy your material and accessories from?
There aren’t many fabric stores in Hawaii near my house, so I mainly get my fabric and ribbons from the Walmart 10 minutes away. When I’m at Chapman, I go to Joann’s for more specialty material. In terms of accessories, I just shop at every day accessory places such as Hot Topic, Target, Forever 21, American Eagle, etc. Amazon also has a great assortment as well. As for my plush props, I get them at Disney Parks or Disney store.
5. Have you ever been made fun of for DisneyBounding?
Occasionally I do see people snickering and pointing fingers at me, and I know that not everyone thinks DisneyBounding is an art. People have ridiculed me for it. But people are going to mean to you for lots of other things anyways in life. This is how I express my creativity and love for Disney, and if they don’t like it, they don’t have to look at me. I’m not bothering them. There are much worse things in the world I could be doing. Sometimes it gets me down, but then I think about how many people truly love my hard work and enjoy seeing my outfits. I also think about how much joy this brings me.
6. Are you ever too old to DisneyBound?
Nope! DisneyBounding is for all ages! People think that it’s for kids because they see all the little ones at the park wearing the kiddie costumes. But there are so many ways you can show your love for a character besides an expensive kiddie costume! Also, you’re never too old for Disney! I’ve seen babies to the elderly with canes DisneyBounding. You pick whatever you usually wear, and match it up to a character. For example, a white sundress and a pink waist belt would be very age appropriate for a college student wanting to be Marie. Wear whatever you want!
7. What is your favorite homemade DisneyBound?
My favorite would definitely have to be my Soundsational Parade court dancer. That took around three months, and I wore it for Spring Dapper Day 2017. The looks on the parade dancers’ faces were priceless, and one of my favorite Disney moments to date.
8. What is your favorite store bought DisneyBound?
Definitely my Cinderella dress from Hot Topic! I love the embroidery, and the way the skirt flares out every time I spin! It’s also extremely comfortable as well.
9. Are you going to pursue a fashion degree?
It’s something that I’ve considered, but I’m going to stick with my bachelors in marketing right now. I’ve looked into the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and it’s something I may do after graduating from Chapman, or later on in life. I do know that I definitely want to continue in fashion, whether it be a hobby or a career!
10. Can you ever have too many Disneybounds?
Nope! I have around a hundred and still have plans to make more! Have as many DisneyBounds as your wallet and closet can afford!