Dapper Day 2016’s Darling Celebrations at Disneyland

Yesterday was a slightly more tolerable Sunday at Disneyland. Oh, the two-hour waits for rides and claustrophobia-inducing crowds were still there, but at least prettying the chaos were eye-catching duds that boosted nostalgia into the park’s already quaint atmosphere. Only on Dapper Day, Disneyland’s bi-annual celebration of classic wardrobe, will you see a 1950s-looking greaser couple in line for a churro killing time by taking selfies on their iPhones. 

Not everyone in the Disneyland park got the memo to wear their Sunday best, as the casuals outnumbered the dappers (and a shout-out to all the Goths celebrating Bats Days, too!). Still, those who did dress glamorously grabbed the attention of all in attendance. Even children were feeling the dapper: at California Adventure, a couple dressed in Great Gatsby flare pushed their baby around in an old-fashioned pram. This cuteness overload garnered a crowd around the family for photographs so large that you would’ve thought Beyonce, Jay-Z and Blue Ivy made an appearance.  

Mickey and Minnie Mouse were dressed for the occasion, too! Mickey wore a newspaper boy outfit—suspenders, bow tie and cap included—no doubt synergy with the upcoming production of Newsies at the Segerstrom later this month. Minnie, meanwhile, looked darling in her flapper dress and cloche hat as she sassily posed with stylish fans.  

For first timers like Fernando and Hilda from Los Angeles, Dapper Day was especially fun for the eye candy. “I especially enjoyed looking at people’s outfits.” said Fernando. 

While some folks enjoyed good ol‘ fashioned Disneyland fun at the park, others were getting some serious shopping done at the Dapper Day EXPO, a nostalgic marketplace at the Disneyland Hotel’s exhibit hall. The best of the best vintage shops, pin-up fashion lines and hairstylists offered an array of classic rarities such as Mary Jane heels, cat-eye sunglasses, wiggle dresses and other throwback treasures, all under a single roof. It attracted both casual shoppers who probably got lost on their way to downtown Disney and serious clotheshorses stocking up on beloved vintage treasures. A die-hard woman was even overheard saying, “People just don’t take pride in their appearance anymore.” 
SanTan’s own Suavecito Pomade was also representin’ at the EXPO with a silver camper that also doubled as a barber shop, where young lads got hooked up with a clean cut and some hair grease. Just across the way behind a large cloud of hairspray, a makeshift salon primped women up with bouncy victory curls and perfect cat eye liner. And SoCal locals weren’t the only ones in on the Dapper Day tradition: people from all over the world flew in to participate in the fun. A man working a booth at the EXPO said he met several people visiting from Japan and England, all dressed to the nines. 

While Disneyland wasn’t decorated any differently, live jazz acts dotted throughout the resort definitely added some classic nostalgia to the day’s overall theme. High-energy jazz emitted from every Disney stage, while the upright bass was spotted more times yesterday than anywhere outside that old-school Tom and Jerry cartoon.
Aside from throwback fashion, era-appropriate “Disneybounding”—color-coordinated outfits resembling Disney characters—was also a common sight.
If only Dapper Day’s celebration of good fashion and simpler times also included throwback pricing, but alas, the stark reminder of inflation in 2016 hit you as soon you exited the park and were asked to pay $18 for parking—YIKES! Anyhoo, great Dapper Day for all, and see everyone in the fall!

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