The Art of Disneybounding

by Lisa Stiglic, contributing writer

Disneyland Resort is in full spook-tacular mode currently for Halloween Time. Every year guests ask if costumes are OK to wear inside Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. The Resort has strict guidelines stating that anyone over the age of 13 is not eligible to wear full-on costumes—save it for younger guests or for Oogie Boogie Bash. No need to worry though. You can still channel your favorite character throughout the year by Disneybounding.


Not quite a full-on cosplay (costume role-play) Disneybounding is emulating the passion (or obsession) you may have for a certain Disney-themed character by using fashion–clothes and accessories mostly–in a subtle manner. Disney fan Leslie Kay came up with the idea a few years ago while prepping for a trip to Walt Disney World Resort. She wanted to display her love for Disney, so she created an ensemble pallette portraying a favorite character. After a few posts on her then-travel site…Disneybounding was born. Today, Leslie manages the Disneybounding account on Instagram. Be sure to check it out for hundreds of inspirational Disneybounding ideas.


It's not hard to Disneybound. In fact, many guests find it a creative outlet and ask others to join in the process. Most characters have their own hue connection which automatically triggers an image of that character. Red with white-polka-dots? Minnie Mouse. Gold with red? Winnie-the-Pooh. Purple top, green bottom? Everyone's favorite mermaid—Ariel. Just start from the top and work down. For example, Mickey Mouse's color scheme is black (top), red (shorts) and yellow (shoes). Mickey fans have created dozens of ensembles with these colors intact—a black t-shirt, red pants, and bright yellow sneakers. Or pair a red dress with a black sweater, black tights, and yellow flats accessorized with red/black sunglasses, capped with the classic mouse ears. The possibilities are limitless.

MousePlanet contributing writer Todd Pickering displayed his inner Mickey while at D23 Expo last month. Love the tie! Photo by Todd Pickering.

You don't need a lot of money to Disneybound. Peek in your closet for inspiration and go from there. And use the same color scheme for different characters. Yellow is most associated with Belle, but can also be a base for Simba or even Tarzan's Jane. Thrift stores and vintage boutiques are great places to purchase accessories or even base colors on which to build your ensemble. Pins, necklaces, hats, purses, and socks can complete your character inspiration. If flyboy Peter Pan is your character of choice, add a sword pin or red feather earrings to complete the look. These little additions add just the right amount of pixie dust to the whole Disneybounding idea.


Everyone has their own personal favorite Disney character, movie, or even park attraction—all which can be inspiration for Disneybounding. Mickey and Minnie are the most common, but fans are extending their creativity and showcasing characters from every Disney branch, including some old favorites. With almost 60 (!) animated classics in the Disney vaults–from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Moana–there are hundreds of characters to lend Disneybounding influence (not to mention all the live-action characters, like Mary Poppins). And you can switch up each character—there's no right or wrong way to Disneybound.

Lynlee Beckett and her daughter Anabelle share their love of Winnie-the-Pooh and his best friend Piglet. Photo by Lisa Stiglic.

Sisters Lilianna and Kareena Elizarraras pose with Moana in their Hei Hei and Moana Disneybouding outfits. Photo used with permission by Brandie Davis.

Moving beyond the Disney classics, Pixar has 21 films in it's coffer, which means yet another grouping to inspire Disneybounding attire. Woody and Buzz and the Toy Story gang are extremely popular characters right now, due to summer's release of Toy Story 4. And, now that Disney owns Marvel and Star Wars, you can spot fans repping all super heroes from Captain American to Spiderman to Groot. The Star Wars universe has its own legion of followers as well. Rey, Yoda, and the original Nerfherder—Han Solo—are trending characters to channel. (With the newest acquisition of Fox, even Bart Simpson is now prime to Disneybound but just remember, no skateboards allowed in the Resort.) Even the Disney Channel and Disney XD have some great models for Disneybounding. Phineas and Ferb anyone?

And Disneybounding is not just limited to characters. Fans have displayed their love for Disney Parks' iconic foods and attractions.

This group of fans celebrate their fondness of Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room during a past Dapper Day event. Joining the flock is Walt Disney World Resort's Orange Bird. From left to right, Sierra Barletta (Orange Bird), Meredith Placko (Gigi), Jesse Thaxton (Barker BIrd), Tally Smith (Fritz), Kit Chester (Pierre), Mac Beauvais (Michael), and Megan Porch (Jose). Photo by Lisa Stiglic.

Personally, I'm not a full-fledged Disneybounder myself—I'm a bit of a fashion faux pas—so I tend to just wear a favorite Disney shirt topped with mouse ears or a backpack. But I can easily spend an afternoon at Disneyland Resort searching for guests who do Disneybound then try to guess which character they are modeling. My personal favorites are secondary characters who are still part of the Disney magic, albeit at a minimal level.

Disney aficionado Kareena Elizarraras, displays her love for the Pixar short La Luna with her Disneybounding outfit. Photo used with permission by Brandie Davis.


Disneybounding is not just limited to individuals. Grab a partner and channel a Disney duo—Mickey and Minnie, Belle and Beast, Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde—be creative!

Regular Disneybounders Jeff Elizarraras and Brandie Davis show-off their outfits as Wreck-it Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz. Photo courtesy of Brandie Davis.

Steven and Millie Tan are familiar sights at Disneyland Resort with their Disneybounding characters. They channeled Carl and Ellie from Pixar's Up at this year's D23Expo. Photo by Todd Pickering.

If going as a group, play it safe with The Fab Five (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto) or the Winnie-the-Pooh cast. Or choose one of your favorite Disney/Pixar/Marvel/Star Wars movies and build from there. There are so many fun options.

Posing for a perfect Pixar picture, Robert Mayeda (Marlin) and Lanie Dela Torre (Dori) represent Finding Nemo while friends Jasmine Dela Torre and Jim Tran make up the well-known duo of Woody and Buzz from the Toy Story pictures.


Although popular year-round, Disneybounding fans really love showcasing their character creativity during Halloween Time. Again, adult costumes are only allowed during the Oogie Boogie Bash, while kids under the age of 14 are invited to wear costumes any time of the year. Guests 14 and older are invited to Disneybound during Halloween Time or anytime at Disneyland Resort. A reminder however: Anyone Disneybounding or wearing a costume still needs to adhere to Disneyland Resort costume guidelines as follows per Disneyland Resort website:

  • Costumes should be child-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, or violent.
  • Guests may wear masks, but masks must not obstruct vision and eyes must be visible at all times.
  • Guests who dress like Disney characters may not pose for photos or sign autographs as that character.
  • Costumes should not drag on the ground.
  • Costumes should not contain sharp objects, pointed objects, or materials that may accidentally strike another guest.
  • Costumes should not contain any weapons that could be construed as weapons of such.
  • Costumes may only be worn to Disneyland Resort Halloween event for which they have valid tickets.


With such a vast repertoire filled with beloved characters, Disneybounding knows no bounds. Challenge yourself to to 'bound alone or with a friend to represent Disney's dynamic duos. Make it a group effort and showcase an entire movie. Have fun with it. I'll be looking for you!



  1. By carolinakid

    I prefer real costumes.

  2. By candles71

    We Disneybound. It's become part of the excitement building leading to trips. Donald (in Mexico) got really excited when he noticed the girls were the 3 Cabelleros, especially the one that was Donald. Even Whistler and M will bound when the girls ask. We were 6 of the 7 dwarves.

  3. By jerm

    Quote Originally Posted by carolinakid View Post
    I prefer real costumes.

    Real costumes are not allowed in the park.

  4. By candles71

    Quote Originally Posted by jerm View Post
    Real costumes are not allowed in the park.

    Or most work places and there are people that Disney Bound irl.

  5. By carolinakid

    I mean the kinds of costumes people wear to the Halloween parties. That’s what I mean by “real” costumes.

  6. By chahn

    The office manager at my chiropractor is Disney bounding all month to see if the doc can identify the movie she’s dressed for. She was Indiana Jones last week when I went in.

  7. Discuss this article on MousePad.