Super-Dapper-fragilistic-expi-a-la-Fashion by Erika Gaeta
The Main Street Mouse annual meet-up is upon us, and I don’t know about you, but I am so incredibly excited to be joining in on the fun! As a guest blogger for TMSM, I definitely made it a point to pencil in some TMSM time on November 12th to meet the rest of the staff and of course, all of you out there in the TMSM Fan Nation. So don’t be shy, come say hello! You’ll be able to tell exactly who I am based on what I am wearing to the park, and I’m fully prepared to get some side eye stares and questions as I walk through Magic Kingdom. Many of you will meet me and wonder why in the heck I am so dressed up to be at a Disney Park. I promise you, there is a reason for my fancy attire, and it’s called Dapper Day.
When the norm to survive the Florida heat and Disney park adventures is comfortable clothing like leggings, shorts, jeans and Disney tees, there are two days a year where that norm is replaced with fashion fabulousness. People step out in style to the parks wearing outfits that are reminiscent of the time Walt Disney himself lived in. The idea? To be Dapper. You may be asking, “But what does that even mean?” Well, it’s all about taking fashion from vintage inspired styles and making a statement that represents you; almost like wearing your Sunday best to stroll down Main Street. It’s about dressing smart and carrying yourself with style and grace.
Dapper Day originally started at Disneyland California in 2011, and has grown exponentially in the last 5 years. It is not sponsored by Disney, but recently some “dapper” style merchandise, mostly pins with iconic characters in dapper clothing styles, have begun appearing on the shelves to commemorate the event. If you’re feeling like this is right up your alley, but you’re worried about missing it this year, no need to fret; it is celebrated bi-annually; once in the spring and once in the fall at both Disneyland and Disney World. Even Disneyland Paris has gotten in on the dapper festivities in the autumn season, bringing high fashion and couture to the five incredible lands at the park.
Last weekend, Dapper Day was held at Disneyland California with over 20,000 people coming to the park dressed in fashions from the 20’s all the way through to what is considered “contemporary-chic”. You don’t have to stick to one time period to be a part of the event, which is the beauty of participating. Dapper Day at Disneyland also brings an expo where participants can browse through a marketplace teeming with shopping opportunities for the very stylish or nostalgic. Rumor has it that Disney World will get an expo too in the next year or two.
This year, Disney World’s Dapper Day also happens to fall on November 12th, and will be taking place at EPCOT; a first for the East Coast soiree. Usually, Dapper Day is celebrated at Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios, but given the immense amount of construction taking place at the latter, moving the event to EPCOT was a solid choice, especially with the projected attendance numbers. This year participants at EPCOT can “travel the globe” in style, and swing dance to the sounds of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy when they perform at the American Gardens Stage as part of the “Eat to the Beat” concert series.
Dapper Day at Disneyland and Disney World includes some traditions lending the opportunity for fun group meetups and photo ops usually scheduled at the Riverboat known as the “Mark Twain Mixer” or the Carousel, affectionately called the “Dapper Derby”. In recent years, the party doesn’t stop when one leaves the park; other unofficial events known as “Follies” invite guests to visit nearby Disney resorts for drinks and dancing. It’s a spectacular affair of the best dressed to mingle, meet, and make new friends!
You will often see people “Disneybounding” on Dapper Day as well; dressed to the nines and looking wickedly fashionable in clothing that may strike you as familiar in some way. If you don’t know what Disneybounding is; here is a quick explanation: Disneybounding is a term coined by Leslie Kay who started the trend with her travel blog. It is another way to dress up and show your love of Disney by wearing trendy clothes that represent a Disney character, ride, icon, or landmark. There are whole social media sites dedicated to putting together Disneybound outfits; but Leslie’s was the starting point. She’s gained some serious Disney love working often with Disney on blog content, filming segments for DVD re-releases of Disney classics, and with Run Disney too. You can google ‘Disneybound’ and most certainly find something Leslie has put together, especially for events like Dapper Day when the trends are all vintage inspired.
I personally, haven’t missed a single Dapper Day since 2013, which is when the event first made its way to the East Coast at Magic Kingdom. There is a wealth of information about Dapper Day online, including the schedule for upcoming events at the parks (www. http://dapperday.com). So back to how you’ll know it’s me; I will be dressed in dapper attire and will be splitting my time between the TMSM meet-up and Dapper Day festivities at Epcot. My Disney family and I are Disneybounding as well. We are taking a page from the Dapper Day theme of traveling the globe in style and ‘bounding as the countries in the World Showcase. Will you be able to guess what country I am? I sure hope so! Here’s a hint… until we meet TMSM friends, I say “Arrivederci”!
Erika Gaeta lives in Florida, is an annual passholder and is a guest blogger for TMSM. Her most memorable moment at Disney was getting engaged at MNSSHP on Halloween in front of the Haunted Mansion. She promotes random acts of kindness whenever and wherever possible. Erika enjoys working on unique Disney inspired gifts, as well as curating and creating one of a kind mouse ears in her small shop inspired by the spirit of Imagineering.
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