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In this complete guide to DisneyBounding, I’ll share what this trend is all about, tips to make it easy, and give you some great ideas and inspiration to help you get started.
All of my Disneybound advice, tips, and tricks will help you save time, save money or make your Disneybounding experience at Disney parks or a Disney Cruise even more magical.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- What is Disneybounding
- Disneybounding History
- How to Disneybound
- How to get started with Disney Bounding
- Disneybound for Couples
- Disneybound for Kids
- Disneybound for Guys
- Best Disneybound Outfits
What is Disneybounding?
Disneybounding is a style based on dressing up as Disney characters while remaining within a dress code that allows entry into the park.
Essentially, the idea is that you can look like your favorite characters without having to wear a full-on costume. It’s considered an intermediate step between cosplay and casual attire.
You can do this by choosing your character and then picking out clothes in that character’s color scheme.
For example, if you want to dress like Moana, you could wear a blue shirt with white pants and sandals, and then accessorize with a necklace made of seashells or sea glass.
Need more examples? if you were trying to dress like Mickey Mouse, you might wear red pants and a yellow shirt. If you were trying to dress like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, you might wear a yellow dress with your hair in a braid. If you were trying to dress like Ariel from The Little Mermaid, you might wear a green top with white pants and sandals.
How did Disneybounding start?
Disneybounding is a way of dressing up as your favorite Disney characters without wearing a full-on costume. It was started by Leslie Kay, a blogger and Disney fan, who wanted to find a way to dress up in a way that would let her into the parks without violating the “no costumes” rule.
She loved being able to show off her love for Disney in a socially-accepted way, so she founded a blog called “Disneybound,” where she could share all the outfits she had created. The blog blew up, with thousands of fans sharing their own “Disneybounds” online. Kay began posting original outfits biweekly, and even wrote a book about how to Disneybound.
She says she just knew “there was a way to dress like your favorite characters without slipping into full head-to-toe recreations.” Now, there are enough Disneybounders out there that they even have their own meetups at conventions like D23.
How to Disneybound
The idea is simple: you dress in colors and styles inspired by your favorite character. For example, if you were dressing as Peter Pan, you could wear green pants and a green shirt.
If you were dressing as princess Jasmine from Aladdin, you might wear a long blue skirt and maybe a gold headband.
How to Get Started with Disney Bounding
First of all, you’ll need to choose your character and theme. Are you going for a character from a specific movie? Or are you feeling more like a specific color scheme today? There are so many options: you can go for iconic characters, like Elsa or Maleficent, or something more subtle, like Jasmine from Aladdin or Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
Once you’ve settled on the theme, it’s time to start sourcing pieces to bring your outfit together! You may have some of the pieces in your closet already—whether they’re hand-me-downs or things you bought yourself—but if not, try out thrift stores and consignment shops first. That way, you’ll be able to get really creative with your outfits while also keeping the cost down. Of course, if you find a piece that’s perfect but it costs too much at the thrift store, there are always ways to get creative with DIY projects as well! Who says you can’t dye an old pair of shoes with food coloring?
The easiest way to get started is to look in your own closet for items you can repurpose.
For example, if you wanted to dress as the Little Mermaid, you could wear a blue skirt and a purple top. If you want to do it right, you can even add a red wig!
Once you’ve found some pieces that match up with your chosen character’s look, add some accessories for the finishing touches. Maybe Minnie Mouse would get red gloves, or Elsa would have some sparkly blue shoes.
If you really want to go all out, consider getting into hair and makeup as well! You can do makeup and hair that represent the character without being a caricature (for example, if you’re doing Bambi, pick a shade of brown eyeliner and use it on your lower lash line).
Watch this video for more ways to step up your Disneybounding game:
How to Disneybound Couples
Disneybounding is all about creativity—and so are the best couples costumes. So if you can come up with a clever way to tie your outfits together, you’ll be golden.
Here are a few tips to help you disneybound as a couple.
Choose a theme: Do you want to go for the same general aesthetic across all four outfits, or do you want each outfit to be unique? Do you want the two guys’ outfits to match and the two girls’ outfits to match, or vice versa?
Look for inspiration: Do you want a couple with a very obvious connection between their outfits, like Ariel and Eric, or do you want more general inspiration, like Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket? Or maybe you just love a character’s outfit so much that it inspires your own outfit, like Ariel’s dress in “Part of Your World,” or Belle’s dress in “Be Our Guest.”
Explore color palettes: You can get really creative with this one. For example, if you’re going as Belle and Beast, think about the colors on Beast’s costume—as he transforms into a human again, his clothes become less saturated. So maybe your Belle costume is fairly neutral with pastel accents (like the yellow flowers in her hair), while your Beast costume is very saturated with browns and blues.
How to Disneybound for Kids
For little kids, it can be challenging to find the right clothes for them to wear.
Here are some tips for making your child’s Disneybounding experience go as smoothly as possible:
1) Make sure they’re comfortable. This is key! They should be able to run around and play just as if they weren’t dressed up at all.
2) Choose the right character. Little kids may not understand why you want them to dress up like a character they’ve never seen. Make sure they’re interested in the character you choose for them!
3) Have fun with it! Be prepared to make adjustments and changes if your kid isn’t into it, but this could be a wonderful opportunity to connect with them over something they love.
4) Keep it simple. They’re only going to be little once, so don’t sweat the small stuff. You’ll have plenty of time to make a more complex costume when they’re older.
How to Disneybound for Guys
When it comes to Disneybounding, there are a lot of options for men. If you’re stuck for ideas, we recommend starting with a character that you love and building your outfit from there.
For example, if you want to dress as Aladdin, you could start with a white button-down shirt and jeans. Then add on some accessories like a red vest and blue tam. These items help establish your character without having to completely overhaul your look. You can add in other details like gold bracelets or a genie lamp keychain, depending on how much time you have or how constrained your budget is.
Another option is to pair two different characters together. For example, if you want to Disneybound as Flynn Rider and Rapunzel, try combining their colors or styles together. You can wear brown pants with a purple shirt, or find a printed scarf that matches both characters’ outfits. In this case it also helps if they share something in common—like long hair on both ends!
An easy Disneybounding outfits for guys is Flynn Rider.
Flynn’s go-to outfit is a leather jacket, a white shirt, and pants. You could easily find those items at your local thrift store or a clothing store like Goodwill or Value Village. It would also be pretty easy to build this costume yourself by painting on the jacket with fabric paint at home.
What’s the Difference Between Disney Bounding and Cosplay?
Disneybounding is a way to dress up as a character in everyday clothing. While you can purchase special outfits for this purpose, it’s more common to just pull together items from your closet or from regular stores. If you’re going with a group, everyone can match or wear elements that coordinate with one another—this could be a color scheme, like wearing all black and white if you’re dressing up as Mickey Mouse, or it could be a theme, like wearing denim overalls and yellow shirts if you’re going as Toy Story characters. Disneybounding can be done without accessories and props—it’s more about the clothes than anything else.
Cosplay, by contrast, involves dressing up as a character from a film or TV show. It is like Disneybounding on steroids. It requires costumes that are usually purchased or made specifically for this purpose. Cosplay often involves buying or making elaborate props, too. You’ll also see many people getting their hair styled specially for their costumes, wearing contact lenses that give them certain eye colors or styles, and even putting on face paint or makeup to further enhance their costume.
Disney Bounding Frequently Asked Questions
If you dress up using regular items of clothing and don’t try to match an exact costume, this is called Disneybounding. When you create elaborate and specific costumes in effort to replicate a mirrored image of a Disney character, this is commonly referred to as Disney Cosplay.
Yes, Disneybounding is completely permitted at all Disney theme parks!
In case you aren’t familiar with the term, Disneybounding refers to dressing in a way that represents a certain character or theme from a Walt Disney movie, but in normal clothes. For example, if you wanted to represent Aladdin, you could wear a turquoise shirt, blue jeans, and a purple vest.
It is important to note that while it’s totally fine to dress up like this at Disney parks, costumes are not allowed unless you are under the age of 14. Similarly, masks and accessories that cover the face are not allowed for anyone over age 14.
While children are allowed to wear costumes, adults are not allowed to wear full-body costumes or face paint into the park. The reason is that Disney wants to maintain a clear distinction between characters and guests so that children are not confused by the presence of people who look like real Disney characters.
Best Disneybound Outfits
Best Disneybound Outfits
Your Rapunzel-inspired Disneybound outfit can include lots of different pieces! This Tangled-inspired collection should help get your creative juices flowing.
Belle from Beauty and the Beast is one of the most recognizable characters to Disneybound, as she has a variety of iconic outfits from which to pull inspiration.
Ariel from The Little Mermaid has always been a fan favorite and one of the most popular personalities to Disneybound at the parks.
4) Snow White
Whether she’s playing with her animal friends from the forest or kindly caring for others, Snow White is a true original.