So what’s a girl to do when she’s never cosplayed before in her life and suddenly she has to find not one, but multiple outfits for nearly a week of filming and photography? Panic. Panic and go through every item of clothing she has to see if she has ANYTHING that is useful. I didn’t need full blown cosplays that take weeks to put together. Hell, I barely had a week to prepare! What I needed was something inspired by Disney characters. But how was I to do that?
The answer apparently is called DisneyBounding.
So what is DisneyBounding? The idea was started by Leslie Kay, who had been a long time Disney and fashion fan and wanted to combine the two in a fun and easy way. Her site disneybound.co even describes the idea as:
DisneyBound is meant to be inspiration for you to pull together your own outfits which work for your body and wallet whether from your closet or local mall.
And that’s it! It immediately reminded me of ‘closet cosplay’ in that you look in your closet and see what you have that reminds you of the character you wish to portray. And that’s exactly what I did when Alston told me we should match our outfits for all our Disney days. He liked what I was doing with The Nerdventurists and wanted to collaborate, I thought that was a great idea and we quickly got to thinking about what we could do. People dangerously left us alone and suddenly we had hatched out a plan to go to all the Disney parks around the world. Yurp. That’s a thing. And not only that, these Disney Adventures were going to be done in style. Cosplay DisneyBounding style.
I sort of panicked. I have never cosplayed before. With curly hair and glasses, there aren’t a lot of options open to me, so I had never really bothered. Alston on the other hand had done amazing cosplays of various sorts, always looked nice, and I was going to be an embarrassment in all our photos. He assured me that I wouldn’t and eventually I sent him a photo of a 1950s red dress I had. Minnie Mouse, maybe? He agreed and a few days later we were off to LA.
I was so nervous at first. I kept straightening my dress, fixing my ears, and generally felt super self conscious. But then people kept coming up to us saying how cute we were, they were taking photos of us taking photos. I didn’t feel as weird. I felt cute instead. Yeah, I was a fucking adorable Minnie Mouse-esque lady! We were practically oozing adorableness, we should embrace this! And so we did. By the end of the day I had “got” it. I knew why people cosplayed; point blank, it’s fun! You get to sort of become a character, you get to look good and people tell you that you look good/cute/amazing/insane/etc. Who wouldn’t like that? But at its core, it’s just a really fun time.
So when it was time for Walt Disney World in Orlando, I didn’t have nearly as many reservations. We were going to Star Wars it up by being BB8 and R2D2. The first day was the more casual of the two, and ht eonly thing I had to do was find an orange dress (which was surprisingly not as hard as I thought, and I found this cool sorta military/sciency esque number on sale, hollah!) And even better, Dapper Day was happening while we were there. The level of excitement Alston had couldn’t be contained and he quickly MADE ME A HAT so I could be a 1920s BB8. HE MADE ME A HAT.
Dapper Day was an event in itself because so many people were just dressed SO BEAUTIFULLY! That whole self consciousness came rolling up again, but I quickly ignored it because I had an amazing hat and felt freaking amazing this day. Even if I was really really hot under that (synthetic) fur. Alston did have a hat… he just lost it on Splash Mountain (RIP R2D2 fedora). But the fact was, we had a lot of fun, people recognized what we were trying to do, and I really just felt quite good about myself. Which is always nice.
I have a lot of respect for people who do this constantly and more extensively. I was stressing out just from this, I cannot imagine having to actually construct outfits and sew them and try and find replicas of things. I am immensely in awe of all of you. I hope one day I’ll graduate from closet cosplay to something bigger, but until then, I’ll have fun with this and see if I can’t do some more of it.
If you want to keep updated on Disney Adventures, head on over to The Nerdventurists, my travel site. Things will be rolling out across the summer for sure. In the meantime, have a funny photo when I got scared shitless because storm troopers snuck up on us.
Noriko Sugiura was our amazing photographer and camera lady and we wouldn’t look nearly as good without her mad skillz. Also make sure to check out Alston’s fashion site!