So, this one time, I thought it would be a really fun idea to make Chloe and Clara and their three cousins matching Disney character outfits for a family trip to Disney World. Let me explain. I was pregnant with Clara and I hated being pregnant, so I was looking for a distraction. I had no idea that this “distraction” would spiral into the nonsense of sewing 40-some dresses AND making hair bows to match. It became this MAJOR thing and I look back on these photos and feel like I owe everyone around me an apology for the torture I put them through. Don’t get me wrong, I love all things Disney and the kids had lots of special experiences and attention because they stood out, but if “extra” were a degree, I think we can all agree that I would have my doctorate. Before we get to the photos, let me preface them by saying this was FAR before social media and good quality cell phone photos, so these pics are not blog quality. Okay, let the extravaganza begin.
We started our trip at the hotel, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the first of MANY Disney character wardrobe changes. These were two-piece outfits with a tank top and matching skirt and I'm certain that I made them wear fluffy slips underneath. And let's please note the hand-crafted hair bows and CROCS. Clara is already over it.
Please meet Chloe's cousin, Katie. And let's take a moment to acknowledge the major sunglasses moment happening, as well as what could be a selfie before there were selfies. So beyond her time.
The first of many Emma meltdowns. To be fair, she was only four and may have been confused as to why she was forced to wear such Disney character nonsense.
Day Two of our trip to Disney World had us visiting Animal Kingdom which means, clearly, that animal print Mickey dresses were in order.
Climbing up a faux rock and acting super dramatic about it. I was secretly upset that the Disney character dresses were covered.
Unexpected rain at Disney World had the kids wrapped in plastic. Katie has me concerned for her safety in this photo.
These Disney character sundresses were just a play on classic princess dresses. Perhaps they were a Disneybound before that was a thing? Chloe is Aurora, Emma is Cinderella, Katie is Ariel and Clara is a little pixie, Tinkerbell. See those little slippers with the poof? I made those, too. Yep, I told you this spiraled out of control.
Okay, so one of my family's greatest stories about me comes from the day I was working on Chloe's Aurora dress. I was around 8 months pregnant with Clara and had just dropped Chloe off at dance. I went home to finish sewing the bodice of her dress and I was using a new sewing machine. As I was adding the ruffled straps, my machine kicked forward and SOMEHOW, my thumb got trapped under the needle and it locked in the down position WITH MY THUMB ATTACHED. I started mentally panicking and was trying so hard to use the manual wheel to free my thumb. BUT NOPE, it wasn't happening. I managed to pull the sewing machine to the end of the table and reach for the house phone (this was before we lived and breathed on our cell phones) and called 911. They call went something like this: “I have an emergency. I am trapped in a sewing machine and I am pregnant and starting to panic.” Her response? “Excuse me, ma'am. Did you say you are trapped IN a SEWING MACHINE?” “Yes, yes I did. And I can't get out. Can you please send someone to help?”
A few minutes later, two fire fighters arrived and had to pry my hand free from the machine. You will be relieved to hear that there was no permanent damage to my thumb and (thankfully) I was able to resume sewing the next day, but I will never live that down. And no Disney character dresses were hurt in the process. Phew.
Hollywood Studios day gave me the opportunity to be super creative. I did black and white Steamboat Willie dress with a bright “technicolor” ruffle back. It was my nod to Disney cartoons transitioning into color. So meta.
Closer look at that ruffled back.
Can we please note the braid-and-ponytail-with-a-hairbow combo that would become a Dance Moms staple a year later?
Annnnnd, we did a mid-day costume change because, why not? An Incredible feat, if you ask me. This was truly one of my favorite Disney character looks.
Epcot day saw another shirt and skirt combo. I'm pretty sure this Mickey printed fabric was actually a bed sheet that I cut up. Very Maria from Sound of Music.
I'm so sorry that I made you wear these hand bands. I love you and hope you can forgive me someday. XO, Momma/Aunt Kissy
Breakfast at Crystal Palace with the Pooh gang had us in Pooh characters attire, naturally. Dylan opted for a Pirates of the Carribbean t-shirt because I think he was completely over it.
More back ruffles and a hug from Pig-Pit. Clara was dressed as a tiny Heffalump but cried the entire morning, so she ruined all of my Disney character group shots. Diva.
That evening, we had dinner at World Showcase and wore our Minnie dot finest. Now, I had moved into making matching flip flops.
Rare Marc sighting! And the most “mom” haircut I have ever rocked. I'm pretty sure this is the trip where my mother-in-law told me that I had “let myself go.” That is a true story and it's a good thing I really like her or I would have been supremely offended.
Mike Wazowski! These Disney character eyeball dresses still make me laugh.
Always a great sport.
Our last dinner took us to the Grand Floridian with Cinderella and the Stepmother and Stepsisters, so we totally dressed the part.
Anastasia & Drizella. They were determined to catch the Prince's eye.
Clara was dressed as the bad cat, Lucifer. The Stepmother LOVED her and kept petting her throughout the meal. Kudos to the actress who played that role that night, she was amazing.
And, finally, the last photo from the trip. Anyone who has been to Disney World knows that Disney characters very RARELY will take a photo with another character and guest because then everyone will want that and it's logistically very hard. So, imagine our surprise when, at the end of the meal, our server asked us to wait out in the garden. The entire cast left the restaurant (and all of the other guests) and joined us for the ultimate group shot. I wish so much that I had a higher quality photo of this because it really was special.
Well, thanks for taking this journey down memory lane with me. This will go down in history as one of the most insane things I have ever done, but the matching Disney character photos made it all worth it. I hope you loved it and again, apologies for poor quality photography! Thanks for reading and sharing!