Walt Disney World welcomes Dapper Day

Dapper Day, Magic Kingdom, 29th April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

It’s Dapper Day at Walt Disney World this weekend as some park guests elect to “step out in style” to enjoy a day at Magic Kingdom and Epcot theme parks.

Dapper Day, Magic Kingdom, 29th April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Dapper Day is the brainchild of Justin Jorgensen (pictured above) and the inspiration for the event is connected to a childhood experience Jorgensen had, in which his family traveled to Winnipeg, and encountered a store called “Dapper Dan”.  After taking one of the free promotional pins from the store, Jorgensen asked his mother what the word “dapper” meant, to which she responded, “It means you’re well-dressed — smart and sharp.” A self-proclaimed “eccentric” dresser, Jorgensen decided to name this idea of dressing up for a day at Disneyland “Dapper Day”.

Jorgensen then recognized a trend among his friends to “dress down” when frequenting the California park, where in other instances they dressed up as a matter of personal style. In an push-back against this relaxed park attire, Jorgensen imagined a day dedicated to “dapper” dress.

Dapper Day, Magic Kingdom, 29th April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The very first Dapper Day was held in February 2011 at the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim. Over a two-week period, Justin Jorgensen promoted the first Dapper Day outing using social media. Nearly 100 people showed up for that first Dapper Day, and the number of attendees has steadily increased each year.

Jorgensen’s photographs from the event then gained popularity on the internet, and interest grew for holding another Dapper Day event. In response, Jorgensen decided on a biannual format that would take place in the fall and in the spring. Due to warmer weather conditions, the fall event was positioned as a nighttime event, whereas the spring event would take place all day.

Dapper Day, Magic Kingdom, 29th April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The second Dapper Day event, which took place at Disneyland as well, drew an estimated 500 people. In spring 2012, Dapper Day had 1,200 participants, and more than tripled its size in the fall of that same year with a crowd of 4,500 people. Just two years after the first Dapper Day was held, over 10,000 people came to the park, donning their Sunday best to celebrate the event and at the most recent Dapper Day events an estimated 20,000 people have participated.

Jorgensen said that he first thought of the concept of a Disneyland dress-up day a decade before the first Dapper Day took place. He related that he was inspired by the Walt Disney Imagineering concept design illustrations from the early days of Disneyland. In drawings by John Hench and Herbert Ryman as well as other artists, the park’s visitors appeared to be dressed in era-appropriate clothing for sophisticated entertainment, such as a night at the opera. The men were drawn in tailored suits, the women were styled in dresses and layered pieces, and the children donned formal jackets and dresses. Many of the attractions imagined in the original design developed into the rides and parks that stand today and Jorgensen said that he simply wanted to see that full picture with guests included come to life.

Dapper Day, Magic Kingdom, 29th April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Most styles that guests wear are vintage-inspired, but they do not have to represent any specific era. It is possible to see everything from 1920’s flapper styles, to steampunk, to 50’s housewives, to 70’s hippies. Some guests even take their outfits to the next level and dress in a Dapper Day Disneybound, which is an outfit inspired by their favorite Disney character.

This year, Walt Disney World is contributing several fun experiences to the celebration. On Saturday, there will be a pop-up area of The Dress Shop inside the Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A. The Dress Shop opened recently at Disney Springs with vintage styles of dress inspired by Disney attractions and characters. The merchandise was so popular that it sold out within the first couple of days of being released.

Dapper Day, Magic Kingdom, 29th April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

On Saturday, from 10 a.m to 11 a.m. on April 29, guests can meet Dapper Day creator Jorgensen at the pop-up store. Disney Floral & Gifts will also be selling a variety of corsages and rose wands near Uptown Jewelers on Main Street, U.S.A.

Guests also can then take part in a picnic at the East Plaza Garden by purchasing boxed lunches from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Tomorrowland Terrace. Guests can choose from fried chicken, a chicken caesar salad, a Greek salad wrap or a BBQ pulled pork sandwich. Each meal also includes house-made chips, a fruit cup, Dapper Rose cupcake and a fountain beverage for $14.99. Lunches for children ages 9 and younger consist of either chicken strips or an Uncrustables peanut butter and jelly sandwich, plus house-made chips, a Go-Go SqueeZ applesauce pack, a mini Dapper Rose cupcake and a kids’ fountain beverage for $9.99.

Dapper Day, Magic Kingdom, 29th April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Some specialty treats are also being offered on Saturday just for Dapper Day. The “Hats off to Spring” cupcakes come in vanilla or chocolate and the buttercream frosting and white-chocolate-covered cookies make the most adorable hat toppings. The “Dapper Quartet” consists of four mini cupcakes (two vanilla and two chocolate) that have fondant bowties and colors to mimic the Dapper Dans.

On Sunday, the celebration moves to Epcot, where guests are invited to dress up again. DapperDay.com hosts a private event at The Living Seas Lounge from noon to 2 p.m and tickets are $50 per person to include:

** Private Undersea Viewing Lounge
** Pop-Up Boutique with Pinup Girl Clothing and Orlando Vintage, and Retromended.
** DAPPER DAY Mini-Shop and Photo Op
** DJ, Cash Bar, Complimentary Hors d’Oeuvres
** Free Limited Edition Pin Designed by Jerrod Maruyama

Tickets are still available and can be purchased at DapperDay.com. Valid park admission is required to attend this event and is not included in the $50 party ticket.

Guests can check in for the event at the welcome desk outside The Seas pavilion (near the Coral Reef Restaurant) starting at 11:45 a.m. A dress code is enforced for the event meaning no T-shirts, tank tops, athletic wear or flip flops are permitted.

Dapper Day returns in the fall at Walt Disney World on November 18th and 19th.

 

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