It seems like every Expo the cosplay gets even better!
Maybe one of the most appealing aspects of “costume play,” or cosplay as it is known, are the limitless possibilities to create what you want and to show your love for something you adore and/or admire. And the number of interpretations of Disney cosplay are tremendous. Everything from classic cosplay to crossover cosplay to interpretative cosplay and who knows what else are all out there to see. Some people dress up as real life versions of their favorite characters. Some people blend two different costumes together like Jedi Elsa or Captain Spider-Man. And some create the look of their favorite characters in different timelines or scenarios – like the Disney Princess Brides! We don’t actually get to see too many of them on their wedding days, but that doesn’t stop these creative geniuses.
I had the chance to cosplay at D23 before giving it up after Mickey’s Halloween Party in 2015. My wife, Cassie, made for me an amazing Russell outfit from UP! I had so many compliments when I put it on, I wore it over and over. Even classic artist Greg Horn said he thought it was great when I wore it at ComicCon back in 2011. But over time I started to lose key components and I finally decided after 2015 to retire it. I still haven’t been able to convince Cassie to make me another. It took so much time and effort to get all the patches just right, make a hat that looked authentic, create the cravat and badges, and find the right kind of shirt and shorts. Plus, even if I could convince her,there just aren’t that many portly Asian characters to begin with to match my frame. Still, doing cosplay was so much fun. The happiness you bring to others simply by embodying one of their favorite characters is fun.
Over the years, I had the chance to meet some wonderful cosplayers who do some pretty amazing work. Reini is the absolute best Regina ever (from Once Upon A Time). CheyAnne Harris embodies Elsa as well as so many other Disney princesses. And at the Expo this year, I had the chance to talk to Holland Tayloe Gedney. I asked her about the process of getting started and she said at times it was a challenge, but that was part of what she liked about it. “I don’t know what I’m doing! I never actually studied sewing. I took one class recently, so I think for me everything’s pretty difficult. I’m learning as I go…I find that fun!” As an actress and model, doing cosplay was a natural fit and ended up becoming her own business. While we were getting ready, a number of people kept coming up to Holland and it was obvious how well liked she was. I asked her if the cosplay community was as tight knit as it seemed. “Especially Disney cosplayers,” she told me. “I came here two years ago, really knowing nobody and I met all these people. Everybody is so nice because we’re all bonded with Disney and with Disney teaches you kindness. I feel when I’m here with Disney people I can trust them to be kind….I feel such an enriched life from all the friends that I’ve made.”
Disney cosplay is rich in reward no matter what your level of experience. What will you dress up as?