Children under 12 can dress in costume at the Disney Parks, but what about the rest of us who’d like to show their DisneySide but can’t go full out in costume? DisneyBounding! By using clothes from your own closet, you can create the unique look of a certain Disney character that you can wear to the Parks. So what are the DisneyBounding rules to follow to get your look fabulous? Here are some DisneyBound ideas everyone in the family can use!
Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you! This post originally published on Aug 17, 2015.
What is DisneyBound?
DisneyBound uses everyday clothing in a way that represents a chosen Disney character. DisneyBounding isn’t costume or cosplay. DisneyBound is about creativity and uniqueness. One look on Pinterest DisneyBound and you can see how many interpretations people are able to come up with based on one character’s “look”. DisneyBounding is great for any day visits to the Disney Parks, but also especially during the Dapper Day events, Halloween Time, and Christmas season.
Is Disneybound Allowed in the Disney Parks?
Yes! While adults and anyone over the age of 13 cannot wear a costume in the Disney Parks, all guests may Disneybound! Since you’ll just be wearing regular clothing, there is no issue with Disneybounding (so long as you don’t pretend to be a Cast Member in the parks & your clothing meets the Parks general guidelines for taste and appropriateness). Disneybound is really fun year-round, but especially during the Halloween season. You’ll feel “dressed up” but not in a costume.
DisneyBounding as a Group
To me, this seems like the most FUN way to Disneybound, when everyone in the group dresses to represent a particular character in a single theme. The ideas are endless – think Inside Out, Alice & Wonderland and Toy Story.
What Are the DisneyBounding “Rules”?
I came up with a few DisneyBounding “rules”, using the Fab 5 as examples, that make dressing as your favorite character fun and easy. My DisneyBound ideas are clothes you can wear at the Parks, so these are comfortable and practical but still fun (not a high heel in sight!)
How will you DisneyBound? Here are some ideas!
1. DISNEYBOUND RULE – Patterns are a Plus
Does your character have a recognizable pattern, like Minnie and her polka dots? Wearing red and white polka dots will almost automatically link you to Minnie, but what other prints can you find that are a similar match to your character? How about green fish scales for Ariel, purple and pink stripes for the Cheshire Cat or tiger-stripes for Tigger!
- Tigger – Women’s Leggings Black and Orange
Disneybound DIY Tips
Can’t find the right thing? Consider making it match with a little creativity on your own. Fabric Paint is ideal and very easy to use, even if you’re a beginner. Paint your own over-sized white leaves on a red tunic just like Lilo’s. Paint the details of Anna from Frozen’s dress on a t-shirt. Create a handmade stencil to make the print on the fabric yourself (use non-stretch cotton for best results).
2. DISNEYBOUND RULE – Colors Give You Character
What are your character’s main colors? No need to be exact on either colors or matching identical pieces, just a general idea of that character’s look, like the Goofy character with his green hat, orange top, brown vest and blue pants. The Inside Out characters are perfect for DisneyBound because they each have identifiable colors!
What other characters use color dramatically in their look? How about Elsa in her sparkling ice blue gown and silver snowflakes? Or Ursula in a swirl of black and purple. As long as you keep with these color tones, you can mix up the design of the outfit as you please.
- Ursula – Womens Swing Tunic Top in Deep Purple, Metal Starfish Hair Clips and Shell Necklace
- Dopey – Knitted Beanie Cap in Dark Purple, Drape Tunic Top in Lime and Minnetonka Women’s Back Zipper Bootie
3. DISNEYBOUND RULE – It’s All in the Accessories
What is the most eye-catching piece of your character’s look? For Donald, it’s his bright red bow, front and center. With thoughtful accessorizing, you can relax on the other pieces (because you probably don’t want to dress in full sailor suit!)
If your character doesn’t have a definite spotlight piece, feel free to use that character’s image in one of your accessories (like on a hat , shoes or jewelry). These fantastic Disney-themed Vans are a perfect accompaniment ( VANS x DISNEY Sneakers). Think candy hair accessories for Vanellope from Wreck It Ralph, Jessie’s red cowgirl hat from Toy Story or a chunky turquoise necklace like Pocahontas.
- Vanellope –Rainbow Candy Fashion Hair Clips
- Jessie – Toy Story Jessie Cowgirl Hat
- Poncahontas – Blue Turquoise Stone Necklace
How Can You DisneyBound on a Budget?
Everyone should start with a character. Do a little research to see what colors and accessories work well for that character. Then hit your own closet first! Pull out pieces that work for your character. Your next stop could be a thrift store or even just put a call out for something needed between your friends. Someone could possibly have the perfect cowboy boots for your Woody ensemble and you can avoid having the purchase them!
Vanessa at See Vanessa Craft has some really adorable & easy DisneyBound ideas for girls!
4. DISNEYBOUND RULE – Cute, But Not Costume-y
5. DISNEYBOUND RULE – Leave Literal Interpretation to the Littles
Literal interpretations lends themselves more towards costume than DisneyBound, like the Mickey example here. This is best left for the kids, who look simply adorable (whilst a grown man, not so much!)
Kids up to age 12 can dress in costume inside the parks on a regular day (no need to wait for the Halloween Party!) Feel free to let little ones go all out with complete costumes in the park, so long as they’re comfortable. And be sure they are wearing real, comfortable shoes and not dress up costume shoes.
READ MORE: Best outfits for dressing kids for Disney vacations!
6. DISNEYBOUND RULE – Character Details Make You More Recognizable
As a bonus, I threw in Pluto! A Pluto DisneyBound could be pretty plain, if you dress in head-to-toe yellow. If your costume is vague or the character you chose doesn’t have much of a standout look, like Pluto, consider adding in character details. A Pluto hat, jewelry or MagicBand wrap with a custom design to add to your look.
You could also go a subtle route and choose one accessory if your character is dressed quite over the top like Sully from Monsters Inc. or Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. Keep your costume simple and show off these cool accessories.
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