Hey guys,

So I'm a member of a few online groups for people to ask questions and share tips and advice about their Disneyland Paris trips, and one thing that I see come up a lot is questions around Disney's costume rules. I thought this was something I'd like to try and address, and give people all the info they need in one handy place, so here we go.

So what is Disneybounding? Founded by Leslie Kay the idea is that you dress in day to day clothes but try to match the colours and accessories to imitate your favourite Disney characters. Not to be confused with Cosplay - the idea isn't to look like the character, but simply to create an outfit that's inspired by a character. Many Disneybound groups believe the key to keeping Disneybounding successful and widely accepted in the parks is to ensure it is kept separate from cosplay.

Image: @MitchellDisney - twitter

So how did Disneybounding come about and why does it need to be kept so separate from cosplay? Well to answer that we simply need to look at the parks dress code, in this case I have looked at the Disneyland Paris website, regarding dress up the rules are as follows;
We also reserve the right, at our own discretion and at any given time, to refuse a visitor the right to wear any type of costume, makeup or tattoo, especially if it is likely to offend, shock or scare children and a family-orientated public, that Euro Disney AssociƩs S.C.A. would consider as inappropriate or if it would impede the operation while posing as or portraying any character in costume. The same rule applies for accessories considered to breach security or be a danger in our attractions (capes, sticks, etc.).

Costumes and masks may not be worn by any visitors ages 12 or older (unless required for medical purposes). When worn by younger visitors, masks must provide unobstructed peripheral vision at all times with openings that allow the eyes to be fully seen.
The non-respect of this dress code may prevent access to the Parks.
Private special events may have specific guidelines, which can be find in publicity or information materials relative to the event. Private special events may have specific guidelines, which can be find in publicity or information materials relative to the event.

So essentially the rules are quite clear, if you're 12 or over, you can't wear a costume into the park unless its for a special event where this has been specifically permitted, for example run Disney events and the Halloween Soiree. There are many reasons for this, but the over riding factor is guest safety and character integrity. If you're wearing a convincing character costume younger guests can become confused, and any of your actions while dressed int his way could reflect Disney in a poor light.

Image: @auroraschateau - twitter

But of course, children aren't the only ones who like to dress like their favourites, and that's where Disneybounding comes in, it's the best of both worlds, a way to represent your favourite characters while complying with the park clothing guidelines, and more importantly it's really fun!

Image: Jess - Disneybound UK

So how do you plan your Disneybound outfits? Well the first thing to do is pick your character, because you're not trying to look like an accurate representation of them this part is actually quite fun as you have free range of pretty much any character, your imagination is the only thing holding you back!

Image: @gracepainter - twitter

Once you've picked your character you need to work out what the characters key colours are, so Minnie Mouse wears a red polka dot dress, Goofy is known for his orange top and green hat, Belle is known for her Yellow (Golden) dress. You get the idea, once you have your key colours and accessories it's time to raid your wardrobe.

Image: Jess - Disneybound UK

That's the thing about Disneybounding, unlike cosplay it doesn't need you to spend a lot of money, find exact colours or styles, you can use the clothes and accessories you already have at home to build up your outfit to fit the theme/character you're aiming for. And if you do need to buy extras, places like Primark, H&M and the supermarkets can be a goldmine for you as you can buy lots of basics in a whole range of shades at really affordable prices to build up your options.

But it is all well and good hearing what I have to say, it is always best to hear from an expert. So I went to my friend Jess, shes an admin for the Disneybound UK group and she was happy to share her top 5 tips with me!

  1. Disneybounding is about using your own style to represent a character with their colour scheme, you don't need to go out of your comfort zone to Disneybound.

  2. It's about representation, not replication! A Disneybound is about being inspired by a character, you don't need to wear wigs or use props.

  3. Remember it's about keep it street style and not just something you would wear for Disneybounding, one thing I always say is if you wouldn't wear it out to the shops, to town, to the pub or on the school run then don't wear it as a Disneybound. For dapper day think wedding or a party.

  4. There are no rules for Disneybounding as long as you aren't breaking the Disney park rules! Just be yourself and have fun, make sure you know what the park rules are and that you aren't crossing over to a cosplay.

  5. Join the community! There are online groups on both Facebook and Instagram who are really supportive and great to find inspiration, ask for advice and share your bounds. Jess can be found on Disneybound UK and they have recently opened a new lounge on Facebook where they give advice. Disneybounders Unite is also a group run by Leslie Kay, founder of Disneybounding.

If you want to find out more from Jess or any of the Disneybound team, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Image: Jess - Disneybound UK

So that's the basics covered, have you tried Disneybounding before? Are you inspired to try now? Who's look would you most like to try? As always drop us a comment!

Hoodsie xx
Hey guys!

Feels like I have been writing some really heavy stuff recently! Not in a bad way, but with so much new coming to Disneyland Paris in 2018, there's a lot of ground to cover and a lot of analysis and opinions to be given, I decided I'd give myself a little break from that and write something a bit lighter! I was trying to think what things I could cover, and then without really noticing this idea came to me, and I thought it would be interesting to see other people's views, so I hope once you've finished reading you'll drop me a comment with your ideas.

Today I'm going to cover 5 Disney Parks items I wish were sold in Disneyland Paris, now I have no real connections here, so please don't think these things are actually coming to the parks any time soon, of course if they do happen to materialize after I've published this, I will be happy to take all credit!

So lets get started...

5. Novelty pop corn buckets.

Now this one technically is something DLP already sells, but the range and the availability is so poor compared to other Disney parks that I honestly feel like they're not even trying.

Out of the ones I have seen so far, the Asian parks in particular seem to really make the best ones of these and the biggest variety, my favourite is probably the recent Buzz Lightyear one where he is in his box, I think it's so cool and would be happy to be seen wearing one. There are a few Duffy ones which I'm finding particularly difficult to resist! But I will stay strong, for now!

4. Alex and Ani bracelets

I know right, how cute are these? Alex and Ani bracelets are available online but in the US Parks you can get exclusive Disney versions, I love how simple they are, and I like that it looks equally good wearing just one, or mixing a couple up together to represent your favourite parks.

Price wise I find Alex and Ani to be better value than Pandora, and I feel they are quite subtle and adult, if there's anything DLP needs it's more reasonably priced adult merchandise and these would be a great start, I'd love to have one with Sleeping Beauty's castle or the Earful tower on!


3. Ear hats

Raise your hands if you've ever had a headache from wearing Mickey ears in the park but refused to take them off because it feels wrong not to wear ears?

So I guess I'm not the only one who does this, I love Mickey ears, the park ones are generally a little too small and do need to be worn in, which isn't the end of the world. And I feel comfortable now that I've found my go to ear makers when I want something special that I can't get in the parks. But fear not, this isn't the only option for super adorable headwear! Ear hats are a much more comfortable way to show your Disney style and come in so many designs now that it's criminal that Paris still don't have them. They did for a while sell some light up ear hats that worked in connection with Disney dreams, but we've never really had the full range, certainly not in the 8 years I've been visiting.

Not only are they really cute and comfortable, but you can also have them embroidered in some of the parks too with your name and that's just the icing on the cake!

2. Mystery pin packs

I love pin trading. Disney puns are so cute and so addictive and a really cool way to show off your Disney style, I always end up adding to my collection during a trip and seem to spend hours looking at them on Instagram and Etsy.

So imagine my surprise when I found out I could combine my love of pins, with another addictive hobby of blind bags! That's right some of the parks sell mystery pin packs, themed around films/seasons or events it's a great way to expand your collection and also add some extra fun trying to hunt down a full set!

The pin packs I've seen can work out at really good value and there's always something in each set I'd be happy with. And if you don't like the pin you got? That's ok because now you can trade it with a friend, guest or CM for something you do want. This is a super fun idea and I would pick up one or two packs on pretty much every trip if I could! Pretty please?

1.Spirit jerseys

Now let me start by saying, at first I didn't get what all the fuss was about. Then they started bringing out more colours and by the time pink and rose gold were released I knew I wanted one. I was super lucky and when Soph and Sophie went to WDW a couple weeks ago they picked up and brought me back this classic Minnie Spirit Jersey! It is just the cutest and most comfortable thing! They're kind of baggy but that's the style however I will say I'm short and usually an 8/10 on top and I got an extra small jersey which is perfect!

They're currently on sale in both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California, and have the name of the resort across the back. But I would so love them to come to DLP so I could represent my favourite park when I'm out and about and I would be buying a few different colours too.

Remember "that grey sweatshirt"? Well let me tell you spirit jerseys are set to be way bigger and it would be criminal for whoever decides what parks carry which merchandise to not get in on the craze!

So that's my top 5, would you buy any of them? What do you want to throw your hard earned cash on that Disneyland Paris don't stock? Drop me a comment!

Hoodsie xx

Once again a massive thank you to PennieK and Davidatdisney for providing some of the photos!
Hey guys!

Wanted to do something a bit different today than an opinion piece or a review, one thing I always find super useful when I'm planning a trip is looking for other people's experiences to help me plan things, especially when I am trying something new. So that's what I thought I would do today!

Pic credit: @rebeccav1991 instagram with permission!

One thing that I was particularly unsure about doing for the first time, was driving to Disneyland Paris from the UK, and it's also something I've seen people ask a lot of questions about recently, so I decided to share my experience in an attempt to help and reassure you guys. Fingers crossed eh?

So I drove to DLP in November 2017, and that was my first time driving outside of the UK, I had been driving a fair few years at the time, I passed my test in 2010, and I like to think of myself as a fairly confident driver I've done long drives before and use my car to get all over, so I was actually kind of surprised how nervous I was to drive in mainland Europe for the first time. I couldn't tell you what exactly I was so nervous about honestly, possibly just a fear of the unknown, but getting over that fear and actually doing it is something I'm personally really proud of, and I feel it's opened doors for me.

So where do we start? Well first of all you're going to need to decide how to cross the Channel, now I've only driven to DLP once myself and I went by Euro Tunnel, you can check out the availability and prices for the day you want by visiting the Euro tunnel/Le Shuttle website. I found that the earlier mornings and the later evening crossings were generally the cheapest, and this also meant maximum time in the park which is always fine by me! We managed to save as well by doing such a short trip, we only went for the one night and as such were able to qualify for the Day trip ticket type. Other levels of ticket after that are Short stay saver - only for trips of up to 5 days, must be used with a short stay saver return ticket and non refundable, Short stay Flexiplus - again only up to 5 days but allows amendments to the day and time of travel, dedicated check in and executive departure lounge. There is also a Standard and Flexiplus option for stays longer than 5 days, these additional tiers are a higher cost again.

Now the nice thing about Euro Tunnel, is that we were able to use our Tesco Clubcard vouchers to make part payment, and each £10 in vouchers was worth £30 against the crossing, so we made a huge saving doing it this way, the only slight downside to booking with Clubcard vouchers is that you can't book online so you will need to phone them, but that was quick and hassle free, and then I just submitted our passenger info (names of all travellers and passport numbers DOB etc) online afterwards. You get emailed a confirmation to print and take with you, and that's pretty much it.

So you need to be at the Tunnel at least 45 mins before your scheduled departure, though you can turn up up to 2 hours before, so once you know your crossing time the next thing to do is decide how you're getting there/when you need to leave, I live about 3 hours away from the tunnel, and also would need to make a detour in order to pick up the friends I was travelling with. As we had a fairly early crossing we decided the easiest way for us was to travel to Folkestone the day before and get somewhere to stay for the night so we weren't rushing in the morning. We managed to find a great place using the comparison websites and all 5 of us stayed for £55 for the night just a short drive from the tunnel. This worked perfectly for us, it broke the driving up so I wasn't too tired, it was really affordable and was a big relief not to need to do it all in one go.

So once you get to the tunnel check in is super easy, pretty much a case of handing over your booking confirmation and then you get a little hangar to go over your rear view mirror that has your boarding letter. You go through passport control, make sure to have them all open to the right page and without covers on, then you can park up for a while until your boarding letter is called. Both Folkestone and Calais have a departure terminal which is a bit like a service station, it has shops, a few places to eat or just sit and relax and of course toilets etc. Just need to keep an eye/ear out for when it's your turn to board.

Once you're on the train the crossing itself is just 35 mins, you can get out of your car to stretch your legs, and there are toilets on the train, but other than that there's nowhere to go, so it's pretty much a case of sitting back and relaxing for a while. Once the train arrives in Calais everything is sign posted and it is so much easier than I had realised. Now I used a sat nav to get from Calais to DLP and it was pretty much all motorway, the drive took about 3 hours in total and there were plenty of service stations along the way if you needed to fill up or take a break!

Now unfortunately this is the part where I have to apologise for being totally useless, at the time I actually did this, I never really thought about writing about the experience or using it to help others, so when it came to getting from Calais to DLP, I blindly followed my sat nav without paying a whole load of attention to the route we were taking. So sadly I can't tell you which route we took, what I can tell you is it's pretty much entirely motorway, and french motorways are much easier to drive on and much quieter than in the UK.

The route we took was a toll route which was really easy, you took a ticket at one end, then paid by card at the other end. I think we took 2 slightly different routes between going there and coming back but paid around €22 in tolls each way, make sure you budget for this! Petrol wise I used about half a tank on my 1.25L Fiesta going each way, so I topped up at the garage by Santa Fe before we left on the way home, and on the way there we found a garage in Folkestone not far from the tunnel.

Now one of the main things about driving in France compared to the UK is the things you are required to carry in your car by law. Now I hope you never need to use most of this stuff, and are never in a situation where it's being checked, but personally I wouldn't take the risk of not carrying the stuff. Our trip was massively on a budget which is why I drove in the first place, so we looked online to get everything as cheap as possible. There seems to be a lot of confusion over exactly what is needed, so let me try and clear this up, the things you require by law are;

  • A warning triangle - in case you break down you can place it before your vehicle to warn other drives.

  • High Visibility Jackets - These are needed for every passenger in the vehicle, they don't need to be worn but need to be kept within reach!

  • A GB sticker - unless you have the "euro registration plates" which already have the GB initials. We actually got a magnet, which means we can re use it on another car in the future.

  • Spare bulbs - It makes sense really a spare set of bulbs means you can switch yours out roadside - safety first!

  • Headlamp beam deflectors - As you're driving on the wrong side, you need to make sure you're not blinding other drivers! Pro tip, if you get the stick on ones, you are meant to remove the top layer once they're stuck on, we're total wallys and managed to miss this part - whoops!

  • A breathalyser/Alcohol tester - Now this is the one that's a bit contentious, the law still states that you should carry one, however as of January 2013 the fine for not having one was dropped indefinitely.
Now you can grab all of these things off the internet fairly easy and cheaply, or if you want to get it all in one place, a European driving kit from Halfords or similar will have pretty much everything you will need, you may just need to top up the amount of jackets!

Once we got to the park we used the Infinity parking, which is a perk of my annual pass I haven't really used previously, show your pass at the main car park gate and not only will you be let in for free (I believe the day charge for cars is currently €20) you get give a card to display on your dashboard with a code on the back, the Infinity parking zone is the nearest to the parks aside from the disabled parking. To get in there is an automated barrier with a key pad, enter the code from the back of your card to get in, then display the card on your dash for the day once you park up. The code changes every day to stop people sharing the code and it was so nice to be able to park so close, especially on the first day when we arrived mid afternoon.

So that's pretty much all you need to know about driving to DLP, my top tips would be to check you have everything you need for the car, if you live a long way from the tunnel on the UK side break up your trip by staying near by the night before your crossing, and finally don't over think it, it's honestly so much easier than I had let myself believe and made our budget trip possible.

Have you driven before? Is it something you're considering? Is there something you'd like to know that I haven't covered here? Let me know, drop a comment below!

Hoodsie xx