Dapper Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland

Usually I go all out for Dapper Day, but this year was…well, I just wasn’t feeling it. A lot of stuff was going on around this point in my life. Long story. But I still wanted to participate, just without a lot of sewing.

I ended up putting together a really simple outfit out of items in my closet. I had a black strapless Forever 21 dress with big fabric flowers on the skirt that had just been sitting around for ages, and I decided it would be perfect. I based my outfit off of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, so I added a thin black cardigan and a red belt with a silver heart shaped clasp. The red tights were from Target and the black flats with the red hearts were from Modcloth too (but from via eBay). And of course there was a petticoat stuffed up there too; it’s not Dapper Day if I’m not swathed in chiffon ruffles.

My hair was surprisingly successful. I used my little mesh donut from Target to shape my bun (since I have the WORST BABY FINE HAIR EVER) and I curled my bangs back from my forehead and pinned the ringlet in place. I sprayed the whole thing to death with hairspray and surprisingly it all stayed! What a miracle for Florida.

Dapper Day was held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and a bunch of us Icon cast members (current and former) went together. It was also the final day of operation for the Backlot Tour, so we rode it together. Honestly, while it’s sad that the attraction closed, it took up a lot of space without offering a lot to do. I’m looking forward to Toy Story and Star Wars opening up in the now-vacant space!

Also I bought a Sven plush. That happened.

Disneybounding 101

Ah, Disneybounding. One of the best and most controversial trends to pop up in recent years. Personally, I love it, but some people are divided on the topic, since there’s such a wide spectrum of possibilities.

 

For those who don’t spend all their time in Disney parks and feel a little out of the loop, Disneybounding was created by a blogger named Leslie Kay. Its a specific style of dressing in a manner influenced by a Disney character, film, or attraction. For instance, if I wear a yellow skirt, a navy top, and a red bow in my hair, I can be fairly identifiable as Snow White. It’s a great way to compromise when you can’t fully dress up to go to the parks.

 

Why can’t you dress up for the parks? That’s a great question! There’s a rule in place that no one over the age of fourteen can dress up for the parks. A lot of people think that’s unfair, but it’s really a great rule. Let’s say that five-year-old Jenny goes to Magic Kingdom for the first time, and she’s so excited to meet Cinderella. So they get to Fairytale Hall, and it’s a forty-five minute wait, and Dad isn’t too excited about that. But wait! A teenage girl in a Cinderella dress is standing outside Fairytale Hall. Close enough! Dad sends little Jenny up there, and Cinderella puts her phone away long enough to take a picture and scribble an autograph. But that’s not the same. It’s not the same at all. And imagine this- if Jenny goes up to “Cinderella” and the princess swears at her and says she’s just trying to have fun and leave her alone. Jenny would be heartbroken, right? Disney magic ruined. So yeah. Save your costumes for Not So Scary, when the party wristband can set you apart from the real characters. Maintain character integrity!

 

So that’s where Disneybounding comes in. It’s a great way to “dress up” as those beloved characters (or even attractions!) without being in full costume. The best way to do that is to pull from the color schemes of the characters- yellow, navy, and red for Snow; aqua, purple, and red for Ariel; red and white polka dots for Minnie Mouse. You get the idea. A lot can be done with makeup and hairstyles as well, although wigs should be avoided. Not only does that send you into costuming territory, but really, y’all. It’s Florida. It’s swampland. Y’all are gonna sweat to death.

 

Another way to pull inspiration is through accessories. I’ve used a necklace with a gold comb on it for Rapunzel, and a necklace with a thimble on it for Wendy. A lot of Etsy sellers create beautiful bows, custom ears, and themed flower crowns as well that can make you intsagram ready in no time. Some of my favorite shops are Ever After Bowtique, Soundsation Ears, and Magic by Courtney; all three of those shops are run by fabulous ladies who do good work.

 

But Caitlin, you say, have you ever Disneybounded? Have I ever! Here’s some examples.

 

I put together a Disneybound pajama outfit for the 24 hour day at Magic Kingdom the one year I went (RIP, but mostly RIP to the cast members who worked all night). I wore a white tunic from Target, lavender leggings from Walmart, and cream lace shoes from Payless. I made the flower crown myself, and the satchel was a gift from my friend Carrie (Pascal was hers but she lent him to me for the night). Her pajamas bound was even cuter- green plaid pajamas and bear slippers, because she was Merida!

My hipster Kylo Ren disneybound is probably my all time favorite. The dress is one of my faavorite Modcloth purchases, the Bells of London, Ohio dress made by Dear Creatures. I wore it with black low top converse style shoes and made myself a flower crown- the best part is the hidden Darth Vader.

I had a blast running around Studios and taking pictures, especially when I went to Starbucks. I had a conversation that went like this:

 

Barista: What’s your name?

 

Me: Can you please…can you please write Kyle Lauren on it?

 

Barista: …

 

Me: …

 

Barista: Okay.

 

So then flash forward to when they’re calling my name.

 

Barista: I have a venti peach green tea lemonade for…Kyle Lauren?

 

There was a dad wearing a Star Wars shirt leaning against the bar. He looked at the cup, then me, then back at the cup, and he started laughing hysterically. “Come on!” he chortled. “Kyle Lauren! Kylo Ren! It’s so funny!” Thank you, random dad. The barista might have looked at me like I had twelve heads, but I appreciate your laughter.

On St. Patrick’s Day a while back a bunch of us met up in our best green disneybounds. I chose to go as Pascal, so I wore a green dress from Pink Rose, a brown Faded Glory belt, a pair of Nicole sandals from Ross, and a Forever 21 flower crown that had been admittedly rather sparse, but I spruced it up with some extra blooms left over from another project.

Elsa is always one of my favorite cosplay choices, especially when my sister and I are disneybounding together. For Frozen Fever Elsa, I wore an aqua tank and white shorts and a flower crown made by my sister. As an extra surprise, she ordered the Frozen Fever bows from our favorite Etsy shop, Ever After Bowtique, and added them to the backs of our crowns. You can also see that Lindsay went a little more intense with her disneybound- she cosplays as Anna and has made three of her outfits so far, so she wore the vest from her Frozen Fever cosplay, but styled it with street clothes.

Our first Anna and Elsa Disneybound was a lot more intense. This was when the movie had only been out for a few months and the princesses were at their first meet and greet location in Epcot. Lindsay usually likes to wear wigs, so she wore her Anna wig, but the rest of her outfit was clearly street clothes in Anna-inspired colors, which balances out. I wore a dress from Ross and sparkly shoes, and we both wore the park tiaras. I also styled my hair and makeup to be Elsa-inspired.

For another example, I custom ordered a beautiful set of holiday Anna and Elsa bows (also from Ever After) for me and my sister. To be super honest, I don’t have any full photos of our outfits and I don’t remember what we wearing, but aren’t these bows cute? Amber custom made them after I had a terrible experience ordering from Caleigh’s Crowns (which has now closed), and not only was she brilliant to work with, she delivered them to us personally in cute holiday gift bags with candy canes!

I don’t always disneybound as just Elsa- this was my adorable Kristoff inspired outfit! I wore an embroidered peasant top and a gray skirt, both from Forever 21, navy leggings, my black Hamish boots from Blowfish, and my Kristoff bow from Ever After Bowtique. And of course I posed with a troll. I think that’s like a rule or something.

This is a sweet and simple Alice in Wonderland disneybound- a blue dress from Target, a white lace top from Forever 21, a blue bow from Ever After Bowtique, and my trusty iCarly sandals. It was cute, comfortable, and just identifiable enough.

Dapper Day is another great opportunity for subtle disneybounds! I’ve documented my Queen of Hearts, Queen Elinor, Rapunzel, and Wendy themed outfits before, but my very first one was a simple disneybound of the house from Up. I wore the Air of Adorable dress from Modcloth with the same Modcloth oxfords I wore for Rapunzel, plus a small petticoat, the Grape Soda pin, and a borrowed vintage hat. It was subtle, but effective.

You don’t even have to be at Disney for a disneybound! I went to Unviersal in a Hogwarts student disneybound (who else is a Hufflepuff?) I wore my Record Time dress in black from Modcloth, a yellow coat from Forever 21, black tights, black combat boots from Charlotte Russe, and a black hair bow from Forever 21. It was a great time (and my wand fit in my coat pocket!)

Here’s another example of a more subtle disneybound. I bought my sister these matching shirts from Tee Public for Christmas, and we styled them to be the stepsisters from Cinderella. She wore a lime green tank, aqua shorts, and an aqua bow to be Drizella, and I wore purple shorts and a pink bow to be Anastasia. (Even better, our mother disneybounded as the stepmother! We don’t have any pictures, unfortunately.)

And just for fun, here’s one of my favorite meet and greets in a Disney inspired outfit. I wore my Arendelle crest shirt from Tee Public and my Kristoff bow from Ever After for a VIP meet and greet at the Frozen singalong for my birthday. Clearly I had a little bit of fun (and was super embarrassingly excited to meet Kristoff!)

What are some of your favorite Disneybounds? Do you have any tips, tricks, or rules for disneybounding? Comment below if you want to see a follow up blog or video about disneynounds, and maybe you’ll be featured!

 

Dapper Day Queen Elinor from Brave

Fall Dapper Day is somehow always harder to plan for. Dapper Day in the spring naturally lends itself to soft pastels and fluffy petticoats, but picking something in a fall color scheme is harder. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s just me.

I went through multiple options for my Dapper Day attire until I finally settled on Queen Elinor from Brave. I love the character and I hadn’t sewn anything in that rich green color before. I also decided to make it easier on myself by making a skirt and cape instead of a dress.

The skirt was self drafted- if I’m making a dirndl or circle skirt, you can bet I’ve drafted it myself. (Comment below if you want to see tutorials!) I made a basic circle skirt (with pockets) out of a gorgeous green taffeta I had in my stash that had been sitting around for years, waiting for the right project. The zipper came from my stash too, so I ended up not paying anything out of pocket for the skirt! I also pulled out my trusty Malco Modes skirt.

The cape was a little more complicated. I wanted to do something special with it. I bought a super basic New Look pattern for a cape and used the hood pattern piece from McCall’s 5534 (it’s out of print, but if you can find it it’s a super cute hooded bathrobe pattern). I bought a cream and green plaid and a black textured fabric, and made the cape fully reversible. I also made little ears and sewed them to the black hood. Why? So I could turn into a bear, of course! It was lightweight, easy to wear, and added just the right touch to the outfit.

I paired the skirt with a cream colored lace top from Forever 21 and a brown leather belt from…someplace. Walmart, maybe? I’ve had it since college, so who knows. The boots were bought at TJ Maxx after a long, nearly fruitless search. Really, why is it so hard to find plain brown lace up ankle boots without zippers and cuffs on them? But I found them at last and paired them with lace trimmed socks folded over the tops. My hair was straightened and I added a pearl circlet headband from Claire’s.

Dapper Day was actually scheduled to be at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the fall, but beforehand I needed to go to Magic Kingdom to meet Merida (obviously). It was by far one of the best meet and greet experiences I’ve ever had. Merida was very sweet when I came up, and in order to make things easier (I get weirdly awkward and nervous when I meet characters and I have no idea why) I blurted out “Hey, Merida, I’m dressed like your mum and I can turn into a bear.”

She stopped and looked at me in confusion, and I took off my cape and started flipping it inside out. You can actually pinpoint the moment that she realized what was going on.

It was so great. She adjusted my ears for me and we posed like bears, and then she told me to make my best mum face and scold her (but she kept sticking her tongue out at me). It was a great interaction, and as I was about to leave, she stopped me and with the most sincere expression said “you’re beautiful.” I’m not going to lie, I got a little teary walking away. It was a great moment.

After a few more shenanigans at Magic Kingdom, my friend and I moved on to Studios, where clearly photoshoots had to happen, especially in front of Great Movie Ride.

All in all, it was a really successful (and comfortable!) outfit, and one of the best dapper days I’ve experienced.

Ready When You Are, CB! My Performances on the Great Movie Ride

I fell in love with the Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios when I was fifteen years old and went on my second Disney trip (I hadn’t been since I was five!) Who knew that I would start working there as an adult?

I originally trained at the Great Movie Ride as a participant in the Disney College Program. I was only eighteen years old and it was my first job ever (and my first time away from home). It was a huge undertaking, but I loved it so much. In fact, I loved it so much that when I came back to Disney as a part timer, I immediately signed up to cross train there again (I was originally placed at Star Tours.)

I trained for the second time in March of 2014, and have been there ever since. In the past three year and half years (thereabouts) I’ve done probably thousands of shows as a tour guide, a gangster, and a bandit. And within those thousands of shows, I’ve gotten filmed and photographed probably hundreds of times. Sometimes they even pop up on YouTube. It’s a little weird, but kind of cool at the same time!

This is my original tour guide show, before the Turner Classic Movies update. I’ve got to say I miss it! It was a LOT of script to memorize, but I did really love it.

Here’s my tour guide show again, this time after the Turner Classic Movies update. (I also just have to say that it’s always so strange to hear my voice over the vehicle mic! I’ve been compared to Minnie Mouse and Snow White before. And one time a kid just asked “do they pay you to sound like that?” Thanks, kid.)

This is the first video I found of my gangster show! I was gangster trained about a year after returning to the Great Movie Ride. It really was a dream come true- but let’s be honest, it’s super tiring. That’s what happens with you run up and down stairs in heels while firing a gun (and you repeat it every eight to nine minutes).

I trained in bandit about a year and a half after gangster, and it’s SO much fun. The stage show is terrifyingly quick, but still- a lot of fun.

Here’s another take of my bandit show! (Also you can hear me hollering at people. It sucks, but when people don’t sit down or take flash photos, you have to call them out!)

I absolutely love working at the Great Movie Ride (as you can probably tell). I think I have some more videos of my gangster show somewhere, and in a box somewhere I definitely have a video of my very first tour guide show when I was a teenager!

Do you have any questions about the Great Movie Ride or about a job at Disney? Leave your comments below, and I’ll answer them in an upcoming post or a video!

‘Twas the night before Christmas,
And in Western Town
#thelittlestbandit was running around
Her stocking was hung by the chimney with care
Though she knew full well there would be nothing there
For Kate was a bandit, she’d been naughty all year,
And all she would get would be coal, no good cheer
But you can hear her exclaim, as you run out of sight
“Merry Christmas, y’all, watch out for dynamite!” (at The Great Movie Ride)