Imagine walking into EPCOT and noticing that it seems like EVERYONE is wearing hats, suits, dresses and petticoats, heels, jewels and in general dressed to the nines. “What in the world is going on?” you might ask yourself. You might even hear the following ringing out as all the people dressed up shout “Happy Dapper Day!” to one another in appreciation of one another’s getups.
This is something that could happen to guests at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort twice a year (and has even branched out to Disneyland Paris this year!) Founded in 2011 by LA Designer Justin Jorgensen (Justin J), Dapper Day has become a tradition for many, myself included.
The designer shares his story on the Dapper Day website, where he describes looking at concept art of Disney parks where it showcased guests “dressed to the nines.” He organized an event at Disneyland showcasing not just vintage style, but contemporary and unique style, as well.
While the first event was small (only 100 people participated in the first event), as word grew, the events did too, expanding to include an Expo at Disneyland Resort with a marketplace of clothing and accessories and popup shops at Walt Disney World Resort and with thousands of participants each year.
Now, you can see dapper style in the parks daily around the world, but Dapper Day brings out even more style.
When are the events?
Events are held twice a year at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, and Disneyland Paris Resort. Please note that Disneyland Resort Dapper Day Expo requires an additional ticket to attend.
Dates have already been announced through Spring of 2024 for Disneyland and through 2023 for Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris Resorts, but historically they attempt to stick to similar dates each year if planning for 2024. The dates are as follows:
Saturday and Sunday, November 11-12, 2024
Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7, 2024
Walt Disney World Resort:
Saturday and Sunday, December 2-3, 2023
Spring Outing on Saturday, May 13, 2023
Autome 2023 on Sunday, September 10, 2023
So what happens?
While it is my dream to attend Disneyland Resort’s Dapper Day, I cannot speak to that, but I’ve been to Fall and Spring Dapper Days.
Typically the fall focuses on Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort and the Spring events feature EPCOT and Magic Kingdom. This often helps inspire the looks as the guests often use the park as inspiration (for example there is always a lot of animal print and khaki at the Animal Kingdom event).
The meetups allow you to mingle with people that love fashion and style. You can join various groups to plan for Dapper Day. I’ve personally made so many friends during these events, and even families participate, so it’s not just for adults!
Why should you participate?
There is just something magical in recreating the feeling of excitement, wonder, and — most importantly — the style of that era of bygone days when Disneyland first opened its gates.
One major draw of Dapper Day is that the event does not require an additional ticket to attend. It is an unofficial event completely unaffiliated with the Walt Disney Company, created by fans, for fans!
Things to Consider
Some things that you should consider if you’re planning to attend a Dapper Day event and what to keep in mind:
Plan ahead – Not only will you need tickets to the park, but you also need to plan your look. This may include visiting vintage stores (or my favorite Amazon) to plan all the pieces of your look. Please remember these are not costumes and that costumes are not allowed in Disney parks except during the Halloween party-ticketed events.
Consider the weather – Especially in Florida, it’s going to rain. As a local, I know this and still didn’t plan for the torrential downpour that left me soaked on Dapper Day this past weekend! It can also have some severe shifts in weather so you may need to add a jacket to your look. Be flexible!
Think about your style – The 50s and 60s are the typical eras that most use as inspiration, but the point of the celebration is to celebrate your personal style, as well. So if Steampunk is your choice, do it up! Have fun with your look!
Get Memory Maker – The photos are the best part of Dapper Day, in my opinion. Make sure you take advantage of all the photo opportunities. The PhotoPass photographers LOVE to get creative with their photos and this is just a great way to document your fun!
Meet New Friends – Remember that people travel just for these events. It’s a great way to make new friends. I have met so many people and love hearing “Happy Dapper Day” ringing throughout the parks. Also, if you have a similar style, people will want pictures with you and you will strike up conversations with people about where they found pieces or how they created part of their outfits. It truly is a fun experience.
This is truly an event that I think EVERY Disney fan should participate in at least once! And of course, letting a travel GENIE specializing in Disney from Friend Like Me Travel Co. is the BEST way, in my humble opinion, to plan your Dapper Day adventure. So if you’re ready to “step out in style” in the future, let’s get started planning today!
Ready to Plan a Vacation?
Friend Like Me Travel Co. helps busy families just like yours plan the vacations of their dreams and provides services completely tailored to you and your needs. Click below to get started and one of our Genies will be in touch!