Once upon a time, a girl started a Disney Bounding blog. The idea behind that blog – dressing like Disney characters (or even just Disney themes in general) on your trips to the theme parks – became something of a phenomenon…and now Disney has opened what could be considered an official Disney Bounding store: The Dress Shop at Disney Springs.
The Dress Shop opened on Friday March 31st, and while it had been in the works for quite some time, even I didn’t know about it until the day it opened – and I live in the Orlando area and am a Disney annual passholder!
But I digress. The moment I found out that this store was open (and saw the merchandise pictures that were posted on Disney blogs), I knew I needed to make a trip out to Disney Springs…and soon! Thankfully I was able to visit today, and while the experience proved disappointing in one particular way, overall I’m really happy with The Dress Shop and what they have to offer.
First, while they have plenty of Disney Bounding styles (focused on iconic Disney rides like Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Tower of Terror, as well as on specific Disney movies/characters like Alice in Wonderland, Belle, and Mary Poppins), The Dress Shop also features a lot of vintage-style dresses that aren’t Disney themed. While certain sizes of many styles were sold out, most of the dresses come in XS-3XL, which is honestly more inclusive than I expected.
Speaking of things that were sold out, though, therein lies my biggest complaint – the dress I wanted most was this gorgeous green Enchanted Tiki Room themed one, but after not seeing it on the racks and asking a cast member, I found out that it was sold out on the first day. She also mentioned that many people were buying more than one of this particular dress – at least one guest bought something like TWENTY of them! To be completely honest, I could tell that this cast member was waiting for me to get upset with/possibly even yell at her, which is just sad. (And obviously I did nothing of the sort.)
Clearly Disney should have foreseen stocking issues like this and drawn a line in regards to how many of a certain item people could purchase, because I was told that it would be at least May before they have that dress in stock again (and even that isn’t certain); additionally, they likely won’t be selling any of the items available in The Dress Shop online. Understandable, but again, in that case Disney should have put a cap on how many of one item people could purchase. (Especially as, not surprisingly, a lot of those Enchanted Tiki Room dresses made their way onto eBay – but as I write this article, even on eBay the only two sizes still available are 2XL and 3XL.)
I myself tried on the Pirates of the Caribbean dress because I used to work at Pirates and still harbor a great love for that attraction. From trying this dress on I can say they run pretty true to size – I am almost always in this weird space between a Medium and a Large; due to the high neckline on this dress I went with a Large even though it *is* slightly big on me. I only wish they’d had more than just the dress and headband for Pirates-themed items! There was a Vera Bradley purse on the shelves in the little Pirates-themed area, but it had a Mickey head imprint on it – so it wasn’t a true Pirates of the Caribbean purse (unlike the Haunted Mansion, Tower of Terror, and other themed purses they had).
There are also plenty of Dooney & Bourke Disney-themed purses at The Dress Shop, as well as some classy Mickey jewelry (this coming from someone who really isn’t a Mickey Mouse fan at all). You can also buy fake flower corsages and boutonnieres, which I’m a bit confused about, but hey, the arrangements are pretty.
In the end, even this girl on a budget couldn’t say no – I treated myself to that Pirates dress, and the matching headband as well (my 20% annual passholder discount definitely helped). I have to be honest, I absolutely would have bought the Tiki Room dress if it had been available…so maybe it being sold out was for the best, in the end. And to be honest, when I checked out I felt almost like royalty – the cast members not only seemed happy to be there (they were friendly, helpful, and quick at their job), but to top it all off, everything gets wrapped up in special paper and placed in a nice paper bag.
Let’s just say that I’ll be back for some more shopping as soon as that Tiki Room dress returns…and I’m definitely happy that this Disney Bounding thing has become something like mainstream; not only does it mean we get well-made and gorgeous clothes to drool over (and maybe purchase), but it also means that they’re available for many more shapes and sizes. The prices aren’t cheap (dresses run $98-160), but take it from someone who spent quite a bit of time perusing and inspecting – they’re definitely high quality.
So I’ll keep my fingers crossed for even more gorgeous merchandise items (especially if they’re Pirates of the Caribbean themed!), but in the meantime, if you’re visiting Disney and enjoy vintage style fashion or Disney Bounding in general, I definitely suggest checking out The Dress Shop at Disney Springs.
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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