A huge trend in the Disney parks has been percolating. It involves creative Mickey ears, accessories, and lots of glitter – and it’s called Disney Bounding.
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What exactly is Disney Bounding? It’s dressing up as a character with a contemporary twist (so park guests don’t confuse you as a cast member). We caught up with Disney aficionado and Disney bounding expert Emily Garcia. She has bounded as Jasmine, Gaston, Mickey, and Ariel, just to name a few!
Emily first fell in love with Disney at a young age while watching the Barbie’s 35th Birthday at EPCOT VHS. Since then, she’s been to Disneyland Paris, Disneyland in California, and is now an Orlando Resident and Annual Passholder at Disney World.
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“I’d say 50% of my life involves Disney in some form or fashion,” says Emily, “from my friends to social media to my ‘second job’ i.e. my Etsy shop, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!”
Emily has put together her tips for Disney bounding like a pro even if you’re just starting out:
1. Do your homework: Check Instagram and Pinterest for bounding ideas and look at the character’s on-screen looks as well as their in-park wardrobe.
2.Double dip: Buy pieces that you can wear for Disney Bounding or in your everyday life. Example: I purchased a knee-length white skirt that I can use for multiple DB outfits, wear out to dinner with a cute top or pair with a button up top for work. It’s the best way to justify buying new pieces!
3. Speaking of double dipping—- build a foundation: Add to your wardrobe and reuse “foundation” pieces. Foundation pieces are those in common Disney colors like black, white and blue that can cover multiple characters. Purchasing say a black top as a foundation piece means you can reuse it for multiple character bounds.
4. Have a Disney bounding go-to resource: Mine is Amazon Prime. I find 99% of what I wear in the parks on Amazon because it’s easy, cheap and fast! I don’t have to run around stores in the mall looking for items AND there are reviews to help me make up my mind on what to buy or not to buy. Saves you time and effort!
5. Always have an “anchor” piece: For each outfit have something that really drives home who you are IF you want people to immediately realize you are Disney bounding. Accessories are great for this and can easily tie everything together. Example: With my Snow White outfit I wore a large red belt with an Apple buckle. Lots of people like to carry around tsum tsum sidekick characters or wear Mickey ears as anchor pieces.
6. Stay within your comfort zone: Choose clothing/pieces you are comfortable with i.e. if you do not want to show your stomach- don’t wear a crop top just because you are Disney bounding as Ariel. The fun of Disney bounding it putting your own twist on the classic color palettes. Modify the character’s look to match your own style. I feel most comfortable in skirts and dresses so even when portraying Gaston during a Disney bound I still wore a skirt instead of his iconic riding pants.
7. Embrace your crafty side: You wouldn’t believe what you can do with a little hot glue and determination! DIY is a great way to up-cycle things you already own and save money! It is also comes in handy if you cant find an particular piece. For example, it was really difficult to find something that represented Princess Elena and wearing all red just wasn’t going to cut it so I just added rhinestones to my outfit that matched the flowers on her dress- it turned out perfectly! Quick and cheap!
8. Disney bound with friends: Nothing is more memorable that representing an entire cast of characters from your favorite film! Plus you can usually get away with being less obvious in what you are wearing as an individual since as a collective group, people will get the idea.
9. Your new best friends = Bloomers and spanx: *If you want to wear skirts or dresses. The parks can be windy and getting on and off of rides can be tricky- wearing bloomers and or spanx gives you extra insurance your unmentionables will remain just that. Also twirling is much easier when you aren’t worried about exposing yourself.
10. Don’t skip the dress rehearsal: Nothing is worse than being in a crowded park, hot AND uncomfortable. Test out the fit of outfits around your home to make sure you will be comfortable in them all day.
11. Pointy feet: Practice poses your character normally does and make sure you visit that character in the parks if you are able to. Nothing is better than snagging those magical photos for your scrapbook.
12. The Golden Rule: The most important thing is enjoy your time in the parks! You don’t have to go all out and spend a lot of money to Disney bound successfully- just have fun with it!
If you love Emily’s style and are looking for some inspo, check out her adorable Etsy shop!