I was invited to attend the Renaissance Faire in Tampa this weekend. I happen to know the guy who plays the Executioner. Good to know people in high places. Anyway, the theme of this weekend’s Faire was “Time Traveler’s Invasion” which brought a different element of geekery to the festival. In addition to the usual 16th-century peasants, pirates, and nobility costumes one would normally see at the Faire, I found lots of Doctors (from Dr. Who), Marty McFlys (from Back to the Future), and Steampunk characters.
What is Steampunk, you ask? It’s a sub-genre of science fiction that brings Victorian elements to futuristic settings. Pretend the digital revolution occurred – only using steam power instead of electricity. Steampunk characters wear lots of goggles, gears, timepieces, and leather boots.
Need a visual? This movie would have fit into the Steampunk genre:
I saw a Steampunk Snow White at the Faire this weekend. I didn’t get a photo, so you’ll have to use your imagination – she was wearing a red and blue peasant’s blouse with a yellow lightweight, billowy dress (Snow White’s signature colors). She accessorized with leather belts, a tiny bluebird on her shoulder, and red goggles atop her head. I’m not certain what the connection to time traveling was, but this girl definitely brought Disneybounding to a new, very awesome level – I’ve never seen Snow White look so cool!
I heard from my friend the Executioner that this was the most popular weekend yet of the month-long Renaissance Faire. This inspired me to think about how Disney could leverage this knowledge to bring in more revenue during “off-peak” seasons at Disney Parks: why not have their own Steampunk honoring Treasure Planet? Disney fans could really show off their creativity during this Steampunk cosplay weekend at the parks. Sidenote: I’ve seen some really great photos of unique costumes that people break out for the D23 conference (I have not attended D23 yet, but it’s on my bucket list), so I know we’d see some fantastic creativity. The usual costuming rules would apply:
- No masks per security.
- No “standard” Princess costumes. We don’t want to confuse the kids when it comes to who is the real Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, etc.
- Keep it family friendly.
Not only could Disney generate revenue from ticket sales during off-peak seasons, they could also increase merchandise sales for cosplayers in need of additional accessories. Pins, belts, hats (thinking specifically of Chapel Hats at Disney Springs – they have a selection of top hats that are perfect for Steampunk dress-up).
I need to start getting my costume ready for this. I think I’d make a great Steampunk Belle.