Hey everyone! Long time no talk and I am SO sorry! The end of my first university semester and busy holiday work schedule took a toll on me! I feel like I neglected something that I am passionate about. I am wanting to blog more before I start the spring semester. Comment down below letting me know what posts you want to read in the next couple months, that would really help this girl out!
This blog is actually another Disney themed one, sorry not sorry! I wrote a paper for my American Studies class this past semester that's about the Disney fan community and how Disneybounding is a form of showing their love and passion for Disney. I studied Disney fan behaviors in the parks, interviewed popular Disney media influencers, and used my won experience and gained knowledge to gather all my material for the essay. It was fascinating to hear everyone’s intake on Disneybounding and what the Walt Disney Company means to them. I hope you enjoy my paper and don't critique it too harshly! ;)
A HUGE THANK YOU to Voice actor, Youtuber, actor, and media influencer Maxwell and Youtuber, media influencer, and Disney inspired fashion designer Tiffany Mink for letting me interview them for my paper and helping me! They are awesome, extremely nice Youtubers who talk about everything Disney on their sites! Tiffany also has her own awesome Disney inspired clothing line, Whosits and Whatsits! Please go check out their pages and Tiff's clothing line!
Disneybounding and the Disney Community
The Disney community is very large and has various types of personalities and ages in it, so people can bring in different qualities and attributes to the community. The fans enjoy Disney and all that the company offers for example, films, theme parks, stories, characters, merchandise, and television shows. A way for Disney fans to express their love and passion for Disney is that they can dress up in costume or representation of something that is from Disney. One way to do this is to Disneybound, which is when someone casually dresses in similar colors and exhibits characteristics of a character or something that is Disney and not just wearing a replicated costume. To gather data about dressing up and their intake on the subject, one may ask people questions while inside the Disneyland Resort whether they like to Disneybound or not and why. Also by interviewing a few popular media influencers that are in the Disney fan community. The audience for conducting interviews and gathering information about dressing up in the Disney Parks and about the Disney community are first Disney fans of all ages, Disney bloggers, Youtubers, and journalists. Millennials are also a part of the audience because they are very expressive and in tune with technology and social media that Disney has taken over. The Disney fan community displays strong feelings about the Walt Disney Company’s franchise by Disneybounding at the Disney Parks, while using their own fashion style to create an outfit that represents a Disney character or something Disney to bring joy and creativity while being in the Disneyland atmosphere.
The Disneyland Resort Park is inspired by America and the wholesome, classic feel of the country in all of the lands. Disney Fans of any major franchise or media company for example, Star Wars and Harry Potter, consist of many different types of people and ideas together to enjoy that one group or genre. Disney has their fan community just like theirs. These fan groups all become excited for new films or news coming out about their favorite, become nostalgic about past events, and feel inspired after watching or reading their favorite character. The fans get a warm, fuzzy feeling and feel complete when watching their favorite film or show. They feel complete because it is the media that they enjoy and resent with. Disney fans are a part of that fun culture that do and feel all of those things and feelings the other genre fan groups have. Disney fan culture has been popular over many decades and the group keeps growing every year. The Disneyland Resort Park is inspired by America and the wholesome, classic feel of the country is surrounded in all of the lands at the parks, which the fans enjoy. The fan community have been growing tremendously over the past ten years because Disney now owns many different large companies like Marvel and ABC and expands their range of releases. For example, Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009 for $4.24 billion. This was huge for the Walt Disney Company because this gave them to rights all of the stories of the famous comic book characters and their stories. Disney is now able to help Marvel Entertainment with creating and filming epic adventurous films that fans can be thoroughly interested in and can joy. Each Disney fan is unique because he or she can enjoy their favorite film or character and their reasoning for it can be different than another person in the community. This is including individualism in the fan group and each person in the fan group should be encouraged to be unique and creative. According to Disney media influencer and voice artist Maxwell Glick who I interviewed said, “I’m so happy to be part of this community. I get to be my absolute self, and be accepted into such a positive, loving community. I love that I can share what I love with people who love it just as much as me!” This is how a large amount of Disney fans feel about being a part of the Disney fan community, it makes them welcomed by everyone and admired. Judging off of other Disney fan experiences, there are no facts appeared in this type of fan culture because it is all about how each fan interprets Disney films and characters that people can relate to. This is going off of Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove perspective of dissecting oral history in American culture. People like to dissect Disney fans and why they enjoy and admire the franchise so much. Disneyland was inspired of the ‘American dream’ to have the small town, comfort feeling to it so visitors may feel welcomed.
Disney fans can meet up in the park, for example on Main Street U.S.A. and decide to wear similar clothes during their meetup for everyone to see. They can also go see events together like the opening day of a new attraction or parade. They meet up with other Disney fans to have a connection or bond with someone who has similar interests as them and to feel welcomed. They whole community can bond together by being in social media groups, like on Facebook, where they can share news or opinions to others. Fans can share Disney Park news on the page and can show excitement about something, like a new ride or land coming in soon. They can also coordinate meetups in the parks or at a film showing on the page and spread information that way.
Another way fans can show his or her passion for Disney is by dressing up like their favorite character, land, food, or concept from Disney, whether while its vising the park or not. There are many ways of doing this for instance, doing cosplay, Disneybounding, or just simply wearing Disney merchandise. Cosplay is intentionally dressing as close to the character or concept as possible with the help of costuming, wigs, makeup, and detailing. Disneybouding is when someone wears a casual outfit representing a Disney character or idea that they could also wear outside of the Disney Parks. Many visitors in the Disney Parks buy and wear Disney merchandise, like a t-shirt, to support Disney and be in the Disney spirit.
Disneybounding is a new idea of creating at the Disney Parks and is involved in the Disney community. The term Disneybounding is not legitimately defined, however a creator of it Leslie Kay did make it up in a Senior Fashion class she was in. The concept of Disneybound was born soon after that and Disneybound started around the year 2012. It is the idea of mixing Disney and fashion together to create a unique, personalized outfit where he or she can wear the outfit in the Disney Parks and outside of the parks. The person can buy or make their outfits affordably from the store, a mall, and their own closet. Material culture is a large contribution to Disneybounding because it includes adornment, like clothing and jewelry, used for decoration and admiration. Maxwell Glick, from mentioned before, said “Disneybounding is using your own fashion style to create an outfit that represents a Disney character! Doesn’t necessarily have to be a character, it could represent a Disney place, food, and more, but that’s the general idea.” Disneybounding is very popular in today’s social media because that is an important way to show off outfit ideas that he or she has done. There are many Disneybound themed accounts on social media sites, like Instagram, where they can have thousands of followers on there to see the inspiration. A large amount of the fans that are in the Disney community are annual pass holders to the parks, so that makes them devoted to Disney and recent visitors. It became a big concept and art in the last decade and is widely popular at any of the Disney Parks across the world. There are six Disney resort parks in the world: two in the United States, one in France, two in China, and one in Japan. It was occurring in the parks because in all Disney Parks there are certain rules to follow about wearing costumes and certain outfits. Essentially, the Disney Parks website states that people over the age of fourteen cannot wear costumes, masks, cloaks, and have excessive clothing or minimal clothing in the parks. These are considered inappropriate attire and the cast members can result this to rejection into the parks if a visitor have any of this attire. Disney fans choose to Disneybound in the Disney Parks because the Disney Parks also banned any exact costume being worn inside the park by someone over the age of fourteen. They did this because Disney takes their ‘character integrity’ seriously, meaning that they want their Disney characters that are inside the park to be authentic and is actually the character in the films and media. The parks do want their guests to dress exactly like the characters because it may confuse children who the ‘real’ character is or not ‘real’ and it could make it into a bad situation.  They would rather avoid any situation like that to happen than for it to occur and cause a scene or riot and be clear in the rules for everyone to follow. This makes sense to establish this rule and it is known to visitors when attending the parks. Exceptions for people over fourteen years old to wear costumes is during the Halloween party events that take place in September and October. Some rules still apply like extra clothing and violent toys and inappropriate items, but costumes are allowed at this time. These rules slightly differ for each park in the world because of the society around the certain park. Rules can be different at the Shanghai Disney Resort than in Disneyland in California. This is when the concept of Disneybounding evolved and started in the parks. Disneybounding is a replacement for annual passholders and visitors to show their passion and creativity.
To execute a Disneybound outfit, one does not need to raid a high-end fashion store, he or she can take pieces from their own closet or hit up the mall for material. There are no specific rules for it, but the whole idea is to dress casually for representation of a Disney character or concept in your own way. In the words of social media influencer and fashion designer of ‘Whosits and Whatsits’ Tiffany Mink, she said “There aren’t any rules in Disneybound just like there aren’t any rules in fashion. The ONLY rule with Disneybounding is to not wear a costume. Like I said, it’s about fashion. Costumes are prohibited in the park per Disney Parks and Resorts rules. Disneybounding should not be used as a way to ‘get around the rules’, but as a fashion statement to showcase your fandom for a character. People who push Disneybounding into costume territory and call it ‘Disneybounding’ gives the Disneybound community a bad rep.” Tiffany makes an excellent point about mixing costuming and Disneybounding together and having that affect the Disney fan community and their work on building up the purpose of Disneybounding. The whole purpose of Disneybounding is to dress up in character in your comfortable way with using your own wardrobe and style. Dressing in costume is cosplay and that is prohibited inside the Disneyparks and cosplay is not the purpose of Disneybounding. According to an article in Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, they writers think that cosplay is, “Cosplay in a modern subculturist context is often used to describe the activities of dressing and acting as characters from manga (Japanese comics), anime (cartoon animation), tokusatsu (special-effect movies or television shows), video games, science fiction/sci-fi, and music groups.” Cosplay is widely popular in many fan communities, including the Disney community, and several fans participate in it at conventions and fan interaction events. For cosplay, people use extreme artistry by using costumes, wigs, makeup, accessories, and extra items to resemble as close to the character as possible so they can look and even act like the character. At conventions and events, extremely well-done cosplays get photographed and receive recognition and even awards because of their execution of similarity and accuracy to the character. On the other side, Disneybounding is similar to cosplay in the sense of dressing up and portraying a character or concept, but it is not replicating them. Disneybound brings in more in diversity, creativity, calmness, and is less expensive.
Tiffany Mink, a Youtuber, a fashion designer, and clothing brand owner, Disneybounded as Animal from The Muppets for 2016’s Dapper Day event at Disneyland. She wore a red textured, vintage dress and paired it with a tan purse that has a print of a mouth on it.
Steps to Disneybound is to first, choose a character or Disney concept to base an outfit on. Next, is to research the looks of that character or concept. This is important so he or she can notice all of the minor and major details involved and can base their upcoming outfit on that. Third, the person should look at all of the different techniques used in Disneybouding, which some of them are color blocking and using accessories, and decide what to pick out to wear. Color blocking is dressing up in the color schemes as the character, like in all blue colors for the character Stitch. Then, the person needs to find the items he or she are going to wear, whether it is in a clothing store, online, or at home in their closet. It can cost little to no money for the person Disneybounding. Then, they can pick out accessories to complete the out and also to check out the Disney Parks’ rules to verify if their outfit is okay to wear inside the park. Finally, it is time to show off the Disneybound and hope everyone gets who they are trying to portray! While being in the part, it can be like a guessing game on who they are trying to be, especially if it is a lesser known character, and it can be fun. Disneybounds can not only be worn in Disney Parks and events, but outside of Disney as well like at school and outings! Anywhere someone can dress up in Disneybound outfits. Popular characters people portray his or her Disneybound outfits on are Peter Pan, Ariel, and Snow White.  This is because all three of these characters have simple colors involved and they each have a recognizable accessory that resembles to their character. Peter Pan’s colors are green and brown and his accessory is his pointed hat with a red feather on the side of it. Ariel’s colors are red, green, and purple and her signatures are her scales and shell bra. The colors blue, white, red, and yellow represent Snow White with a bright red or poisoned red apple to go with it. Outfits can vary during the different seasons, so the clothing options may differ between wearing a long sleeve and pants outfit during winter and a dress in the summer. Many characters are done for Disneybounds and they are all unique in their own way because of the person creating the outfit along with executing their own take on it.
This is Maxwell Glick, a Youtuber, blogger, voice actor, and Disney fan. He wears Disneybound outfits when he goes to the Disney Parks. His Disneybound outfit is inspired from Stitch from the Disney film Lilo & Stitch! He wore a pair of royal blue pants, a lighter blue button up, and a pink and white bow tie! These colors represent Stitch and Max used color blocking for his outfit, which is a popular technique to do for Disneybound outfit.
Emotions can fire up when creating these Disneybound outfits. Possibly this occurs because it could be someone’s favorite character or attraction, bring them back to their childhood or a memory, or cause controversial opinions. Emotional connections can occur when seeing other’s Disneybounds and this can spark friendships and memories and can even make someone else’s day. This obviously involves creativity as well since Disney fans are creating outfits on characters and Disney concepts they admire or enjoy and can make them come to life with fashion. Disney fans attribute qualities to make up these creative outfits and create these concepts and others can admire the qualities. However, not everyone in the Disney fan community like to Disneybound and dress up. Tiffany explains, “It is a pretty small subculture in the grand scheme of the Disney fan base. That’s part of what makes Disneybounding feel fun and special- it is its own community among a larger one that connects on a completely different level other than just a more generic ‘love of Disney’. There’s a lot of support and positivity among each other and it’s connected a lot of people.” Disneybounding brings people together and helps makes connections, even if it is simple, and bring everyone’s personalities out through portraying their outfit. Maxwell Glick also describes Disneybounding inside the Disney fan community as having “a wonderful impact on the community! It’s so neat to see large amounts of people have the freedom and creativity to express themselves in a Disney park.” Both of these quotes from these Disney media influences describe the influence of Disneybounding in the Disney Parks and how the fans mainly enjoy doing it to show off their personality in casual outfits inspired by Disney characters and doing it in inexpensive, but great ways. Opposing views on this concept are people thinking fans that do this are too obsessed with Disney and need to tone it down. The arguer reasons that Disney is overrated and that being overly obsessed with it is a waste of time and people can spend their time doing something else than dress up in a theme park. Another argument made is spending too much money on first the theme park in general with everything involved like food, drinks, and merchandise, and as well as buying a new outfit for a character portrayal. The money can go towards bills, school, and other things that could bring them joy. These arguments can be valid for anyone, but if someone personally enjoys going to Disneyland and gets excited to connect to characters made by Walt Disney Studios, then he or she be able to do so if they wish.
Tiffany Mink dressed up for the Disneyland event Dapper Day that's held twice a year. Her outfit is inspired by the character Robin Hood and used color blocking and patterns to portray this character while keeping it classy and dapper.
The Disney fan community is a part of American culture because they attribute many different personalities, carry optimism, joy, and creativity, and strive for innovation while holding onto history and memories. Disney is spreads joy and American pride throughout the parks and also celebrates diversity. America as a country welcomes diversity and wishes for everyone to be welcoming and prideful in their own culture. Disney fan community welcomes all cultures into its joyful, positive community to celebrate all of what Disney shares and includes everyone to Disneybound to show off their personality and take on their Disney favorites. The Disney Parks visitors should be able to express their love and passion for Disney in any way they can, like dressing up and portraying a character. Disneyland fans and visitors may do this by Disneybounding to express their fashion style and creativity, while doing it in creative and unexpected ways.
Thanks for reading and I hope this blog inspires you to create your own Disney inspired outfits whether your visiting the parks or just out and about! They can be fun and super easy to create and it can help you make many memories!