Disneybounding in World Disney World Florida.
After about 8 months of build-up and preparations (see here), it was finally here – the time to go to Disney and with it the time to experience what it is like to participate in Disneybounding in an actual Disney Park.
In this article, I describe what Disneybounding was like, not what Disney was like in general – if you are interested in that, have a look at the respective post that is coming soon.
An outfit for every park day
We stayed in Orlando for 11 days but we didn’t go to a Disney Park on all of the days. We started and finished our trip in Magic Kingdom, visited all the other parks in between, ventured out to Kennedy Space Centre and stayed put in our resort on two days. But for every day that we spent in the parks, I had a different Disneybounding outfit.
Magic Kingdom – Ariel
Day number one and the very first visit to a Disney Park I faced in my Ariel inspired outfit. The outfit itself was very simple. It consisted of a pair of green trousers and a tank top that I had pinned purple sea shells to (that my mother had kindly crocheted for me) combined with shell earrings and a driftwood inspired necklace. It was super simple but it was still enough to be recognised. I was beyond thrilled when a Disney photographer complimented me on my shells and commented that he was glad to see I had my land legs instead of a fin so that I could enjoy walking on land in Magic Kingdom. That he started this brief conversation absolutely made my day. The second comment on my Ariel outfit I received from a true Disney style icon straight out of Wonderland; Alice herself. A Disney character had picked up on the outfit – this was all I hoped Disneybounding would be. And spoiler alert: That wasn’t the last time someone would recognise me.
Epcot – Cheshire Cat
After the absolutely wonderful experience with Alice the day before I was kind of sad that I hadn’t worn my Cheshire Cat outfit when I met her. Instead, when I wore my pink dress, my striped makeshift cattail ribbon and my cat ears, I met all the famous Disney princesses during a character lunch (which in itself made my inner child rejoice). I liked the outfit a lot, but at some point during the day I took off the ears because they weren’t comfortable in the long run and my cat tail fell off. So I was left with just a nice, simple, pink dress. Works for me! I had also started to send family and friends pictures of my outfit each morning and Cheshire Cat was recognised right away.
Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs – Sir Hiss
Probably my personal favourite. It was so much fun to wear and so comfortable! The snake print tights and dark green tank top were exactly right for the temperatures on that day and the combo worked really well for walking around and riding coasters. The character itself might have been a bit more obscure as I wasn’t recognised at all that day but Sir Hiss is near and dear to my heart and I loved the outfit and every minute in it!
Animal Kingdom – Kevin
On the day I took my Kevin outfit to the Animal Kingdom my Disneybounding experience peaked. I met Doug and Russel who immediately recognised my outfit and reacted with more enthusiasm a girl in a Kevin dress and bright yellow tights can handle. I came out of the experience with probably the best pictures taken of myself during the entire trip. That said, it was the hottest day and my Kevin dress was reasonably tight around the torso. So at around noon I had to admit defeat
and lose the dress so that I was left with the yellow tights and a beige tank top. It turned out that this was a lucky coincidence as we later had a meal with Donald and Daisy who got quite excited about my yellow legs. What a day in terms of Disneybounding! The dress itself I had worn to some events before the trip and I will do so again as I am utterly in love with it but as a theme park dress, it was simply too tight and too fragile.
Epcot (again) and Disney Springs – Alice
A light blue very much body-hugging dress after a week of theme park fast food. What was I thinking? Uncomfortable, impractical, not a good idea.
Magic Kingdom (again) – Merida
On our last park day, I had two bills to settle with myself.
Number one dates back to my very early childhood where I was placed into a children’s carousel by my parents; one where you pull a lever and your cart flies up and goes around the carousel on the higher level. Being the biggest chicken under the sun as a child I was not brave enough to fly. Not once. I just ended up going around in circles on the lower level and hated every minute of it. So it was a personal mission of mine to go onto the flying Dumbo carousel and make things right. This time, when the bell rang and the Dumbos started to move, I pulled that damn lever and flew up in the sky and that’s where I stayed for the entirety of the ride. Childhood bill settled!
The second one was a lot more recent. The first character I could have met on our first day in Magic Kingdom was Merida from Brave and – pun intended – I was not brave enough to meet her. But, on that last park day, I put on my Merida inspired dress and went and met that girl! And to my absolute delight, she, too, recognised my outfit and commented that I almost look just like her. Second bill settled!
When I read about Disneybounding for the first time, I was immediately attracted to the concept and thought this was going to be fun. And, you might have guessed it, so it was! I enjoyed my Disneybounding experience so much and I would do it again if I were ever to visit a Disney Park again. I have learned a lot about practicality and what I like and don’t like in the parks, but generally, I didn’t have complete failures because of how simple I kept it. Keeping it simple will surely mean that you get recognised a lot less but it also makes for more wearable outfits. All the outfits I wore to the parks I would totally wear in everyday life, as a combo or the individual items.
I loved Disneybounding and I am thrilled that I got to try it for myself. What an experience.
That said, Disney itself was not all butterflies, rainbows and kittens. I came back from this trip very, very confused. Writing about Disneybounding highlights the most pleasant aspects of the trip. To me, it is equally as important to highlight that there is a more critical perspective to be had as well. Have a read of my more processed thoughts about Walt Disney World soon.