Dapper Day at Disneyland is an event I have been hearing about for years, looking enviously at pictures of people in their finest vintage duds at the theme park. It’s really a very simple idea: let’s all show up at Disneyland on the same day, all wearing 1940s-1950s-esque clothing and enjoy the park together. That idea has grown into a two-day vintage expo and collective visit to the park that gathers thousands of vintage geeks from all over.
Last Sunday my friend Kristin and I got to experience our first Dapper Day at Disneyland. It was a glorious, wondrous way to be in the happiest place on earth.
The big question we faced was what to wear? I have a lot of options. The main parameters for me were : (1) looking totally fly and (2) being able to run around the park all day and night and enjoy all the rides. I settled on my seersucker-esque outfit, cobbled together from various items I picked up over the years. It seems very appropriate for being at Dapper Days, from the other photos I had seen.
My day at Disneyland started before 8am, opening time for the park. Kristin wasn’t arriving for an hour or so, so I decided to get a couple of photo shoots in with the official park photographers while I was waiting. I have never used the official photographer stations before, which seemed silly in an age when we all have amazing cameras in our pockets. Let me say, it’s kind of worth it, particularly if you get the $10 MaxPass, which includes all of the official photo stations.
Right at the entrance, I got several nice shots, showing off my outfit.
This virtually enhanced pic with Tinkerbell is kind of the best.
Walking around the park, I was a little shocked at how few people were in vintage attire. Indeed, for most of the guests, they had no idea it was Dapper Day or why there were gaggles of folks in dresses and suits walking around. I suppose I should have guessed that. Nevertheless, I got lots of “So what is happening today?” questions from people.
But slowly as the day wore on, more and more Dapper Day folks began showing up in force. What’s wonderful about Dapper Day is how inclusive it is. I saw people of all ages, all races, all sizes, sporting their best approximation of vintage attire. There were some fairly thrown together outfits that consisted of a button up shirt, clip-on suspenders, a clip-on bowtie, and some sort of hat. And there were others that were clearly hand-made or gently preserved rare vintage finds that someone had worked on or hunted for painstakingly.
I loved seeing entire families all dressed up together, from the parents to teenagers to babies. And the older couples with their matching outfits were just adorable. I was with my people.
After getting my initial photos done, I headed over to Tomorrowland to get my scifi ride fix. On the way, I managed to get my feet wet, from a sudden downpour earlier that morning. No worries, the Star Wars gift shop had just the item to keep my feet happy!
After two quick visits to Space Mountain and Star Tours, Kristin had arrived. We of course got our pictures taken in front of the castle.
One thing I found surprising was how few seersuckers I saw in the park. To me, a seersucker is a natural for Dapper Day. In fact, I only encountered one gentleman toward the end of the night wearing an actual seersucker suit. And he happened to be a friend of Kristin’s!
I love this pic of us on Space Mountain!
Dapper Day at Disneyland was everything I could have hoped for — a beautiful day in my favorite theme park with hundreds of fellow vintage folks. If you love dressing old-timey and all things Disney, you have to make a trek for Dapper Day. I’m already planning my next visit!