Fashion Geek Chic Park Hopping

What is Disneybounding?

What is Disneybounding?

If you’ve followed me on Instagram or Facebook for a minute, you’ve probably seen the term “Disneybound” used in my copy or as a hashtag. Or perhaps you’ve seen me post an outfit that reminded you of a character or a movie? Maybe you’ve been to the parks and did a head turn because someone walked by looking like a human Daisy Duck.


/ˈdiznē bound/
the practice of wearing an outfit that evokes your favorite Disney character. These styles are not cosplays, but instead are “everyday” clothes, combined in such a way as to make you look like a fashionable version of your favorite character, theme, ride or even snack.

Disneybounding is a Disney-specific version of casual cosplay where you dress in everyday clothing inspired by your favorite characters, rides, treats, or even walls! Some folks have created what I consider rigid rules around what is considered a “Disneybound”, but really, it’s your own unique fashion interpretation of your inspiration.

You might be wondering why Disneybound, right? Why not just cosplay your way through the parks. That’s a great question. I’ll let Disney’s website answer that for you:

Inappropriate Attire

Disney reserves the right to deny admission to or remove any person wearing attire that is considered inappropriate or attire that could detract from the experience of other Guests. Attire that is not appropriate for the parks – and which may result in refusal of admittance – includes but is not limited to:

  • Costumes and costume masks, which may not be worn by Guests 14 years of age or older.


1. Specific Halloween and Christmas Events.
2. Some outfits inspired by Star Wars.

What do these rules mean?

Disney formalized these rules in the early 2010s, very close in time to when Disney fan Leslie Kay says she accidentally coined the term “Disneybound”. Obviously, casual cosplay predates the term “Disneybound” and creating casual outfits of your favorite Disney characters was happening before 2011, but the DisneyBound Tumblr (and more so now Leslie’s official DisneyBound IG account) really helped to bring more eyeballs and give a name to what was already happening within the cosplay community. 

Disney is very protective of their brand and the experience you have within the parks. If non-employee adults are in full costumes, it’s very possible they will be mistaken for a costumed cast member and then not give a child the experience Disney wants to create. Really this is all about the safety of the children, as well as the safety of their own reputation.

So, what does this all mean? Plainly, without almost any exceptions, if you are 15 years old or older, you aren’t allowed to wear a costume, but you can wear things inspired by characters. With the opening of Batuu in for Disneyland and Walt Disney World, Disney posted a blog making sure folks know that there will be a smaller bit more leniency with Star Wars outfits, but there are fine lines you can’t cross. It was all pretty straight forward, though. You are allowed to bound as a character or wear Batuuan attire. You are not allowed to wear robes or any sort of military attire, no masks, blasters, face paint, elaborate headwear, no armor. And, of course, no full character suits.

How do you Disneybound?

Truly, the premise is simple. It’s casual cosplay, right? So, you pick your character (or ride, etc) and find everyday clothing items and accessories that are inspired by the character (or ride, etc) you chose. 

For instance, if you love Ariel from The Little Mermaid like I do, you can put together an outfit with green mermaid print, purple to match her shells, red to match her hair, and cute Flounder purse, some fork or seashell accessories. People all over the parks will know you are Disneybouding as Ariel. 

You can create an outfit based on more than characters, too, like I mentioned. I’ve dressed up like the ride Haunted Mansion before. People have dressed up like Disney garbage cans, too. Or a Dole Whip. Or even your favorite Disney wall! There really are no limits to your creativity. Obviously, the deeper the cut, the less likely you will be universally recognized but the superfans who do recognize you will likely have their day made!

Don’t get too caught up in “rules” about how to Disneybound and just make sure your outfit abides by Disney’s costuming rules. And most important of all? Have a lot of fun. 

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