Disneyland fans from everywhere weathered the heat in the parks while wearing their Sunday best Friday Sept. 12 to celebrate Dapper Day.
Dapper Day is an unofficial event founded by Justin Morgan in 2011, originating at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.
“I felt that people were in need and wanting a reason to dress up and honor the original feel of the parks,” said Justin.
He felt that many people were tired of seeing attendees dressed down so casually.
When Disneyland first opened in 1955, there was actually a set of “preferred” dressing guidelines.
Ladies were suggested to wear patterned dresses with hemlines well below the knee or shirts and blouses that covered most of the arms and legs. Men were to wear nice trousers, collared shirts, leather shoes and suspenders or a sweater.
Going to the parks felt like an event one would prepare for weeks ahead of time. People wanted to look their best when attending the parks. Now a days you go to the park and it’s not uncommon to see men and women in workout clothes, mismatched outfits and ill-fitting clothing.
There seems to be little to no regard for the park nor the patrons in it.
Disneyland goers wanted a day to bring back the panache of the early days of Disneyland, to have a day where attending really felt like an event again.
Morgan saw the need for this and brought back the idea with diligence and grace.
The first Dapper Day was held February 2011 at the Disneyland Resort. There were about a thousand in attendance in their best clothing, most dressed with a 50s and 60s flare.
Bright colored clothing, fluffy skirts, high heels, suspenders and hair spray up-dos continued to dominate event after event.
Dapper Day soon spread on to DisneyWorld Orlando and Disneyland Paris.
This fall’s event at Disneyland, nearly a quarter of the park attendees were Dapper Day participants. It was nearly impossible to estimate the number of actual participants. Participating patrons met up on the Mark Twain Riverboat or around the King Arthur Carrousel with an after party Folly at a nearby restaurant.
New this year was the Dapper Day Expo at the Grand Californian Hotel Convention Center. The expo had everything from a styling suite to photo booths to portrait artists. Vintage shops from all over Southern California attended, bringing actual vintage clothing, vintage inspired clothing and accessories and much more. There were ice water pitchers everywhere to keep everyone cool in the 100 degree weather. The expo proved to be a great success and will continue in March for Dapper Day in the spring.
“In the future, I hope for more cooperation and acknowledgement from Disney in assisting the event,” Morgan wishes.
Besides the discounted hotel rooms and ticket prices for those on the Dapper Day email list, Disney has no hand in the event.
For now, the events are solely set up and executed by Morgan and his team of volunteers. Disney cannot acknowledge unofficial gatherings unless they see fit. It’d be a matter of, if Disney acknowledged one event, they’d have to acknowledge other ones such as “Bat Days” and “Gay Days.”
Dapper Day will continue to be an unofficial event for now but will still be as enjoyable as ever.
If you’re interested in learning more about Dapper Day and attending the spring event, you can check out Dapperday.com.