How #DapperDay made a Disneyland believer out of me
I once got in trouble with my brother for saying that, given the choice between spending the day at Disneyland or my local library, I’d choose the library.
“BUT IT’S THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH, HOW DO YOU NOT WANT TO SPEND THE DAY AT THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH?” my brother shout-whispered at me (I think he was too shocked by my proclamation to muster up an actual shout).
“I just like libraries better,” I shrugged.
You guys, I’m not a total monster. Obviously I love roller coasters set in space and churros in my mouth and twenty-three dollar mouse ears. I’m not IMMUNE to magic. I just don’t LOVE lines or crowds or having all food options be both unhealthy AND pricey. Also, have you checked out park tickets lately? Expensive times. The library never has crowds or lines that last longer than three seconds and it is free, blessedly free (Thanks tax dollars!!!)
Still, when my lovely acquaintance Kayleigh Rocheck asked me to come cover Dapper Day, Disneyland’s twice a year event where the park encourages guests to gussy up and visit the Happiest Place on Earth in their Sunday best, it sounded like like too much fun to turn down.
So I asked my next-door neighbor/former improv classmate/the beauty genius who did the makeup for my wedding/all around great friend Holly Atkins if she wanted to #DapperDay with me, because if you’re going to get a wing girl for a fancy Disneyland day, it’s a pretty smart bet to pick someone who’s just as deft at improvising her way through life as she is rocking a cat eye. Plus, next-door neighbors are the BEST to carpool with, you get to Disneyland, like, two hours sooner.
So we went and we took a bunch of pics of people posing in their cutest and something strange happened. I fell in love with Disneyland as the sun was setting just like a judgey heroine falls in love with her very frustrating/handsome leading dude an hour into a rom-com.
“I only want to come to Disneyland during Dapper Day from now on,” Holly told me. “It’s so much more magical with everybody dressed up.”
She was right, it’s true, Disneyland IS more magical when you can turn in any direction and see dudes in bow ties and ladies in poofy tulle. Maybe this is how Disneyland is meant to be experienced. When the park first opened in 1955, visitors WERE dressed like it was Dapper Day, because every day was dapper back then. Maybe the reason Dapper Day feels so right is because this is how the park was built to be experienced.
So, yes, in the end I was taken by the magic of Disneyland and Dapper Day. I didn’t mind the lines because the people-watching was so great, and crowds aren’t as anxiety-inducing when you’re constantly oohing and ahhing over A+ outfits. Like my friend Holly, now I only want to go to Disneyland on Dapper Day There are two a year, a fall and spring DD. This coming spring Dapper Day will be on May 1st, so pencil that into your iCal and start planning your outfits.
In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite outfit pics from the day:
And, of course, Holly and me, getting our Instagram on in front of Cinderella’s castle with a new appreciation for all things dapper and Disney.
Images via Kit Steinkellner