Disneybounding is Halloween for Lazy Moms (Like Me!)

I work really hard at finding new and creative ways to be lazy. Some genius started calling these shortcuts “life hacks” years ago. I’ve been meaning to track that person down and send him a thank you note for coming up with such a great euphemism for laziness. But, that sounded like a lot of work…so I passed.

Today, I’m passing on to you everything I know about Disneybounding, which is a new approach to Halloween costumes that will save you tons of time and money. It’s basically just using your imagination and building a costume out of things you already own to create the same basic color combinations of Disney characters. People meet you halfway and assume you are being artistic and creative instead of just being lazy. It’s chock full of wins all around!

I apparently have been Disneybounding my kids for years and didn’t even realize it. The other day my daughters—Ten and Seven—were helping me rake leaves in the front yard. Ten was dressed all in light blue, with a blue hoodie and a silver sweater tied around her waste as she tackled the leaves like a pro. Seven was wearing a purple sweatshirt and purple and green jeans that she picked out all on her own, standing to the side and watching her sister work like she was the yard supervisor (as she is prone to do, until I encourage her to join in and help). A neighbor walking bye smiled and waved and complimented me on the girls’ “super fun Disneybounding costumes”…that I hadn’t a clue the girls were apparently wearing.

But, according to the very loose rules of Disneybounding, Ten was Cinderella (in the light blue and silver coordinated colors) and that made Seven the stepsister, Anastasia (in her green and purple). The neighbor’s imagination filled in the rest, which is how Disneybounding works.

You see, none of the Disney parks allow anyone over the age of 9 to wear an actual costume at Disneyland or Walt Disney World. Small kids can dress up as princesses or pirates or whatever they want, but anyone older than 9 is restricted by the dress code and can’t wear an actual costume. I think this is to keep adult creeps from coming to the parks dressed as Disney characters and making trouble or causing confusion as to who’s a real park employee and who is just a creep dressed as Jack Sparrow for no good reason. During special events like the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween parties, this rule bends slightly because adults are allowed to wear costumes if they buy the additional ticket to that special event (which means you are paying for not only a day’s admission to the park but you are also shelling out another $100 or so for the hard ticket to the Halloween party).

Industrious Disney fans who enjoy dressing up (also called cosplaying) as their favorite characters invented a work-around called Disneybounding: where instead of wearing an actual costume, they went out and bought clothes off the rack that just happened to be the color combinations of their favorite characters.

So, if someone wanted to “Disneybound” as Ariel the Little Mermaid, she could wear green jeans or leggings, a purple top, seashell jewelry, and maybe even a necklace made of forks (or as Ariel would call them, “dinglehoppers”).

If you wanted to Disneybound as Snow White, you’d need an outfit of bold primary colors: yellow skirt or pants, blue top, red hair bow…and maybe a super fun touch like a purse in the shape of an apple or a sparkly apple pin.

My girls were out Disneybounding in the front yard in Cinderella character color patterns without my even realizing it. I just realized that I’ve been Disneybounding the whole time I’ve been writing this, sitting here in my yellow shirt and red sweater, all comfy under my blanket while typing on my laptop on the couch…I’ve been a passable Winnie the Pooh without ever intending to be.

There is a great website you can get lost in for hours called DisneyBound, where the best of the best Disneybounders show you how to put ideas together for outfits. It’s amazing how many of these items you already have in your closet. The trick is that you just never looked at these garments as potential costume pieces before. Instead of going to one of those awful Halloween pop-up stores or spending a small fortune on costumes online, it’s so much easier (and more fun) to just look through the closets at things you haven’t worn in a while and have the Disneybound site up on the screen for ideas.

Maybe instead of spending a lot of money on a whole big costume that I’ll probably never wear again, I can put a few things I already own together in a new way and add a prop or two and — VOILA! — I’ve got trick-or-treating outfits all ready to go without even having to leave my house!

We live in an age of wonders at the moment, we really do, where being lazy by nature has collided so perfectly with hipster minimalism and the creative souls who invented Disneybounding in the first place. It may have started as a way for the cool kids to sneak around Disney’s no-costumes rule by repurposing normal, everyday clothes into passable Disney non-costume costumes…but it’s become a wonderful gift for moms who don’t want to sew or put a lot of effort into Halloween, but who still want their kids to have a night of fun and imagination. Heck, it’s even better than regular costumes because you can all decided to Disneybound as a family on any given day. Some people will get that you’re supposed to be the cast of Toy Story…but most will just think you love bright colors and daring pattern combinations. Which is fine, too. The point is that you are finding new ways to have fun together that don’t cost any money, that don’t take a huge amount of new effort, and that inspire little imaginations and add everyday joy.