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Dressing Up For Disney: It Ain’t Just For Kids

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Many of you are probably well aware that most Disney park vacationers wear a specific sort of outfit: Jeans, T-shirt, maybe a flip-flop or comfortable pair of sneakers. Sadly, this typical attire is not considered the height of glamour, and some of us like to take it up a step. So for those of you that think your vacation outfits are meant to stay in the realm of boring and predictable – fear not! You can have just as much fun dressing up for a Disney vacation as kids do, and I am going to prove it as best I can. Here, my fellow readers, is some tips for rocking your own personal and fun style while at Disney!

Important – Don’t Break The Rules

I notice that a lot of adults tend to not “dress up” for the parks because of a few rules that Disney enforces about dress code. The general idea is that the Disney company does not want you, the adult wearer, coming dressed as one of their characters from top to bottom, and getting confused for an official representation of their brand. This is not only due to messing around with the views and opinions of their IP’s, but also because they don’t want other guests mistreating you or any sort of unfortunate mishap happening. But the important thing to keep in mind here is Disney is only wanting you to not come in a legitimate costume. For example, I come head to toe in fancy sparkly dresses all the time at the parks, but I never come dressed as Tinkerbell, like this girl did back in 2012. One of the elements that helps cast members distinguish a guest from those that are trying to dress as a Disney character for foolish/wrong reasons, is by dawning one of their signature headwear items aka Mouse Ears! This is why a lot of my outfits feature one of my custom made head pieces, just so I stay on the safe side of “the law”. Just be careful with your outfit choices, and you should be good to go!

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Belle Disneybound Collage by Dalin Rowell


Some of you internet savvy folks might have heard the term “Disneybounding“, a fashion trend that started as a response to Disney’s strict adult clothing guidelines. The basic idea behind it comes from the wearer’s passion for a specific character. Let’s say for example you love Ariel from The Little Mermaid – her signature colors are green, red and purple. So in Disneybounding, if you want to represent your love of the ocean themed princess, pick items in those colors and wear them together. Bonus points if you can coordinate them in the “pattern” that said character wears them, or if you can add accessories that match the character, like seashells, roses, apples – etc. This is also a great way to bring about your creativity in the outfits you (or even your entire vacation group) can come up with together. I personally love seeing rare characters represented, like Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers or Darkwing Duckand anyone that can pay tribute to those Disney Afternoon characters are a hero in my eyes. So pick a character, or one for each day, and have some fun!

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Kingdom Couture and other Disney Fashion Collections 

For those that want something a bit more “mature” or modest, there are a lot of Disney themed clothing collections from all over the world that can give you that unique bit of magic in your wardrobe. Disney has a few of their own via the Disney Store website – the newest one being Kingdom Couture – a collection that features shear, comfortable fabrics with very soft and classy designs. Personally, not all of the items are for me (since “simple” is not a word in my category or wardrobe) but a few of the selections, including the stunning Kimono top above, are really worth the price. If you’re looking for something a bit more colorful and on a budget, Hot Topic has a fantastic and ever-changing line of Disney themed products, including cute dresses and jewelry. And if you’re looking for something even more unique and cool, look into the clothing from both Disney Store Japan and Secret Honey. They make really interesting and creative pieces that can work for a range of sizes and styles. You’ll have to find a Japanese shopping service to shop from them, but it is definitely worth the hassle.

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Disney Japan Merchandise

Though I mentioned this above, I want to take a moment to sing the praises of Disney Store Japan. Why? Because unlike its American counterpart, the Japanese side of the Disney shopping brand has taken on an identity that is both ridiculously adorable and full of character pride. In Japanese culture, the world of “Kawaii” (cute) and themed mascots continue to rank in the millions, and Disney is definitely getting into that market. Though you’ll need a shopping service to buy anything from the store, it is absolutely worth it. One of my personal favorite things to do is buy one of the plush keychains that also doubles as a pin and pin a different character to my outfit each day. It adds something fun that the walk around characters in the park can notice and get excited about, and it makes an outfit just a bit more special. If you’re not wanting to have anything pinned on you, then just wear the keychain version on a purse or bag that you have instead to show it off to all the Disney cast members and magical character friends!

Disneyana Buttons/Merchandise

If you want something a bit more “unique” and simple for your outfit, why not head to the magical world of Ebay or Etsy. Why not grab a plushie from Captain EO and pin it to your shirt? Or how about an old sleeping shirt and cutting off the sleeves or adding extra fabric? There’s tons of fun things to find and make an outfit pop. I found a bunch of awesome buttons made from old Disney Golden Book illustrations and use them a lot in my outfits. There’s lots of different things you can find and make interesting when it comes to a Disney vacation outfit – trust me, even that Aladdin lunchbox from the 90s could come in handy.

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Photos taken by Dalin Rowell

These are only but a few fun and simple suggestions for what can turn your typical Disney vacation attire into something different and exciting! Be creative, and see what you can come up with. I sure make a point to dress up when I can at Disney, even though it might be a bit different than what the kids/people expect at the Happiest Place on Earth. But seriously, this is your vacation! Why not wear the best outfits that’ll be a part of those memories that’ll last a lifetime?


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