Featured List

One Little Spark of Inspiration

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Last night we went to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom, where John debuted his Dreamfinder costume. The weather and some logistical issues prevented me from wearing my Figment costume (the Hurricane's winds would have ripped my wings off), but I promise I'll still post pics of it as soon as I take some decent ones. (And yes, I'll get some with John in costume, too!)

In the meantime....meet Dreamfinder:


This costume definitely separated the Dizgeeks from the casual Disney fans; people either shrieked for joy or just stared in puzzlement. (Most tragic was the cast member who kept calling him - not the plush - "Figment." Stab me in the heart, why don't you.) Throughout the night he was also called Dream Weaver, Dream Catcher, Abraham Lincoln (??), and Mr. Monopoly. Heh.


The Party is so dark and crowded that it's hard to see all the costumes, so it wasn't until we were waiting in the Castle forecourt for a friend that John actually drew a small crowd. They all wanted a picture with him, as opposed to just *of* him, which I loved, and I was glad to be out of costume so I could take their pictures. "This is my childhood, right here," one woman enthused, while another began ranting about how terrible the new ride is. (Ha!) I think as many guys wanted pics with John as gals, though, and working cast members everywhere pointed and gave him a thumbs up - even ones in the parade. One survey-taker chased John down by the train station just to shake his hand, and even though the CMs couldn't come out and say it, most gave him a grave nod that said, "Yes, we miss him, too."

Great, now I'm getting all misty over here.

Quick, more pictures!!


To recap: the costume was my idea, but that's about all the credit I can take. John was immediately on board with it, and within about a week he'd sewn the entire suit from scratch. (Since I can't sew a straight line to save my life, I stuck to just cutting out all the fabric pieces for him.)

This was the first item of clothing John's ever sewn, btw, proving yet again my man can do anything. :)

Since it's probably been a while since you've seen the original Dreamfinder, here are two of the reference photos we worked from:


 It seemed every photo I found of DF had him with slightly different beards and hats, so we just did our best to make what we had work. (The curly beard would have been impossible, so we went with the straighter version.)

We found a thrift-store suit jacket to use for a template - cutting the front and back to make the tails - and then spent a few days searching fabric stores for the best vest option.

Of course we included the bright pink lining. It's just about standards, you know?

I found the spats, gloves, and bow tie all online, along with the vintage Figment plush. (You would not BELIEVE how much nicer the original Figment dolls were than the ones they sell now. Or, ok, maybe you would.)

The cheap top hat we originally purchased at a costume shop was way too small once we got the wig on John. It perched on top of his head and looked like someone had attacked it briefly with a shrink ray. So John made a new one.

The process is deceptively simple: just roll a piece of posterboard (ours is a specialty plastic, but it's the same thickness) into a tube, and then sew a slipcover for it from felt:


The brim is more plastic posterboard, rolled to give it a curve and cut into a donut shape, covered with more felt:

To connect the two, cut slits in the felt all around the brim interior and glue them inside the hat:


Here are the two hats side-by-side - you can see how much larger John's had to be:


The beard and wig were the hardest part, if you can believe it. We tried a couple of different wigs before settling on a mullet style that already had the feathered portion in the front, so I just had to trim the back. The beard was a steal at only $15 with shipping (here's the link), but it took about a gallon of hairspray to wrangle it into shape. I even made curly ends for the mustache, although they don't show up very well.

They don't make ginger beards at all - or at least not that I could find - and wigs were impossibly rare, too, so I bought both in blonde and we dyed them with alcohol inks.

The only thing left was penciling in John's non-existent eyebrows with some auburn powder, and Dreamfinder was complete!


This has been such a fun process, and it was sweet waking up this morning to see one or two Disney people already talking about the "awesome Dreamfinder" at MNSSHP last night. I know it's a very select group of people who can and will appreciate our labor of love, so I'm glad I get to share it here with you guys!

Stay tuned for more pics from the Party, plus my Figment costume!

Posted by Jen at 6:04 PM Labels: , ,

63 comments:

  1. OMG! That is the best costume! Awesome job. I have that FIgment fluffy along with a pic with me, The Dreamfinder and Figment from 1989 when I was a kid.

    Bring back the Dreamfinder!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! This is FANTASTIC> I can't wait for part two! :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. I second the difficulty in finding an auburn wig. I did Black Widow for Dragon*Con and had to get a long straight auburn wig and cut and curl it. The bangs weren't exactly how I wanted either. But I think it came out good in the end.
    John looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is fantastic!! You and John did a great job. I can't wait to see Figment too! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love every little thing about this!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dreamfinder and Figment were such a huge part of my and my younger sister's very first trip to Disney World, my sister talked about Figment and the original Dreamfinder ride for YEARS after. And I mean *YEARS.* So much so that when she got married 3 years ago, my wedding gift to her was a Figment plush. She stared at it, confused, for a second or two before her eyes filled with tears and she cried out, "Oh, my god, FIGMENT!!" It was 20 years after that Disney family vacation.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awesome! We just had the pleasure of meeting Ron Schneider, the original Dreamfinder, at an event at Epcot earlier this month. Looking forward to seeing your costume!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have to say, it just made my heart so happy to see the completed costume! I remember seeing Dream Finder back in the day in Epcot and Figment was always my favorite character. I'm so happy that John got such a great reaction to the costume! Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is AMAZING! So very impressed! I remember Dreamfinder fondly--and I *hate* the new ride. The old one was MUCH better! Wishing I could live in Florida so we could go to WDW year-round.

    ReplyDelete
  10. WELL DONE!!! And kudos to John for the sewing. You make me proud. :D

    ~AB
    BellaLise

    ReplyDelete
  11. That very figment plush is sitting in my closet!! I loved that ride and I'm so sad they've done away with it. But what a nice homage to a great thing (and John, I can't believe this is your first major sewing project - BIG thumbs up!!)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Jen and John -
    You are both truly fantastic. This costume has made my day....life? Yeah...probably life. Thanks for bringing up happy memories of my childhood.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You guys are awesome. I really miss the old version of the ride. My favorite part was actually the carousel in the pastel room. Plus there used to be waaay more Figment! I remember the Dreamfinder character in the park and the guy must have had a fake arm with his hand in Figment as a puppet, because I remember him moving.
    John did an awesome job on that costume. I hope you guys are planning on going to MegaCon again. I hope to see you there (I may be in costume this year).
    I hope your king pig charm is holding up well. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I feel so completely out of it, Jen. I didn't even know about Dreamfinder until you mentioned it on this very blog! But John looks very dapper in his Dreamfinder costume and you both did excellent work in putting it together.

    Applause! Applause! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, how much I LOVE this! My first trip to Disney was as a teenager in the spring of 1983, not long after EPCOT opened. I loved everything, but I especially loved Figment! I had a stuffed Figment from then, but he was sadly lost somewhere along the way...
    And John, from a sewer, I am BLOWN AWAY that this is your first big sewing project!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Looks awesome. Wish I could have gone down to Disney. Tell John I need sewing lessons, please. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've heard rumors that the original Dreamfinder posted a picture of John on his Facebook, but they're not up anymore :( John looks absolutely fabulous!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. PERFECTION!!

    I was SO excited when I saw that there was a new post. I've been anxiously awaiting the big Dreamfinder reveal!

    I'm SO sorry about mean ol' Sandy preventing you from wearing your costume last night. I was really looking forward to seeing the completed Figment, too, and seeing both of you together! I can wait a little longer though, maybe. Eeeeek! Not tooooo much longer....please.

    John did an amazing job with the suit and vest, and you both did a great job with the beard, wig, and hat, as well.

    Thanks for thinking of having John go as Dreamfinder, and thanks to John for being all into it. I'm sure you made every Dizgeek squee like crazy.

    Did you see any other Dreamfinders while you were at MNSSHP? Looking forward to your post about, and photos of, the Party.

    ALSO...I just today stumbled across your Geek a Week interview and thoroughly enjoyed listening to it, but I'm puzzled because I don't remember you mentioning it here at all. Did I miss a post, or are you going to talk about it later? Seems like something that huge (or even the trading card artwork alone) would've had you buzzing with joy and squealing (via your keyboard) "Hey, you guys! Guess what website I'm on!!" Anyway, I hope I'm not spoiling a future surprise reveal or anything, but I know all your fans will want to check it out. You were well-spoken, brilliant, witty, and funny during the interview (and always, I'm sure), and I think the trading card is super cute, just like you.

    Thanks for all the laughter and joy you bring us with Cake Wrecks and Epbot!

    Hope you guys have a very happy Halloween with lots of adorable trick-or-treaters!

    KW

    ReplyDelete
  19. So when are we starting the John Yates fan club?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Awsome job on the costume to both of you.

    Like Mary Ann above I'm also a sewer. For your first sewing John give yourself a HUGH pat on the back!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I still have no idea what this character is from, but well done!

    How bad is it I thought your reference to a purple dragon with orange wings was Spyro? <.<;;

    ReplyDelete
  22. This makes me so incredibly happy! I loved the Dreamfinder when he was at Epcot!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Amazing...I got all teary reading this. You guys are awesome

    ReplyDelete
  24. I remember this ride from the early 80's and I remember being so afraid.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Has John lost weight? He's looking very trim!

    I was down in Florida a few weeks ago and that ride really makes you realize that Eric Idle can make *almost* anything better. Almost.

    (I don't want to be Anonymous, but if I put my name in it overlaps my comment and freezes the whole thing. Boo!)

    -Louisa

    ReplyDelete
  26. Absolutely fantastic! John makes a perfect Dreamfinder! Although I'm too young to remember Dreamfinder, I can see that the costume is awesome! I wish I had the creative talent that you guys have!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Pure awesomeness!

    I only got to go on the original ride once. :(! Being a SoCal girl, Disneyland is my stomping ground. But I loved Dreamfinder and Figment so much that my small plush Figment was my souvenir from that trip.

    After reading this post, I had to go pull him out. Of course, my 5-year-old had to know who the dragon was and why I got him out of my closet. I told her that I had just read a story about him on the internet. She then INSISTED that I read her this post as her bedtime story. So, congrats, Jen -- you're now a children's author! ;-) (She thought the costume was really cool, too!)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow, John looks fantastic! I'll admit to not knowing who Dreamfinder was until just this post, but I've also never been to the parks.

    And thank you so much for sharing the process with us - I love to read about costumes being put together. And the instructions on making the tophat will come in handy for a cosplay I'm working on! :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. So...I love you guys. That is all. ~Heather

    ReplyDelete
  30. That is just so awesome!!! I love Dreamfinder and miss him!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think that Figment is my all time most favorite Disney character, EVER. And to see the love and dedication that y'all put into creating Dreamfinder.. It just cements that the day I stumbled upon Cake Wrecks was one of my greatest days on the Internet. ;-)

    I can't wait to see your Figment costume... darn pesky hurricanes.. and to think, it had been such a quiet season!

    ReplyDelete
  32. You guys did some amazing work on that and I can't wait to see yours. Hard to believe John has never done any sewing because about the last, first thing I would suggest anyone try is anything with sleeves! Does anyone ever wander over to Epcot in their costumes and if so, what kind of reaction do you suppose he would get there?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Ab-so-lute Perfection. I'd heard rumors about your Dreamfinder and one of my fellow Laugh Floor Monsters sent me a picture, but I relished this detailed look at what you accomplished. My admiration and CONGRATULATIONS!! -- Ron Schneider

    ReplyDelete
  34. AWESOME!

    Everybody now! "Imaaaaaaaginaation..."

    ReplyDelete
  35. That is AMAZING. I'm a little sad that we went on a separate night, because I'm afraid I would have demanded pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  36. We looked for you but the party was so packed we never found you :(

    ReplyDelete
  37. I have a picture with the Dreamfinder, Figment & I at WDW when I was 12. It was the highlight of my trip & I saved up all my $$$ just so I could buy that very same plush. Thanks for bringing back a little bit of my childhood.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Great Costume! I would love to see the Figment costume as well. My daughter, would be in heaven if they came out with a Figment costume. He is her absolute favorite. I just wish I had an ounce of sewing ability.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Jen, I imagine my story about this character will be very sad for you... He was the only character I saw the whole time we were there, the only time I've been to WDW, and I waited to get a pic with him (even though I didn't know who he was--any character was better than nothing, right?), but rude people kept pushing in front of me. I was a shy kid, and my parents didn't help, so I eventually gave up and we left without any pic with a character. I was 11, and this is one of three memories I have of the place. The others are disappointment that the castle had nothing of interest inside, and getting a mickey mouse sweatshirt because it was surprisingly cool that day. I was happy when you started posting about your costumes, because I finally had a name to put to that one rare memory! I still haven't looked him up, so I still don't know anything about him, but at least I know his name, so I CAN look him up.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Was that THE Dreamfinder who just posted above? WOW WOW WOW SQUEEEEEEEE


    Wow.

    I had a Figment, too, bought the week before EPCOT (as it was called) officially opened. My friend's father worked at WDW and families got to go to the soft opening while the cast worked out the kinks. We went twice.

    So, did John enjoy being the costumed one getting photographed as much as you enjoyed Dragon*Con as Lady Vadore? And did you find it as cool to be there with him as he said it was walking around with you? Next time, I hope you two get to go dressed together but it's probably good for you that one wasn't in costume each time. It must have been fun watching each other get so much attention. :D

    -Barbara Anne

    ReplyDelete
  41. I have to say that when you first posted about this costume I was a little confused, because I only got to ride that ride once, when I was six. I've been to Disney twice since then, but after they redid the ride. Which SUCKS now. So I don't have much of a memory of the Dreamfinder. But I still have my original Figment plush, but it's the small one. Actually I think that's the only stuffed animal from my childhood that is still with me.

    ReplyDelete
  42. John looks GREAT!!! I applaud not only his mad sewing skills but the willingness to step into the role of a Disney icon. I got to meet "my" hat-flinging Dreamfinder (Mr. Logan) at that D23 event & gave him a great big teary hug because I was so ecstatic to see him. I would've given John one too so please bear hug him for me. The Dreamfinder was a huge part of my childhood & I'm sure everyone who ran into John just for a moment was transported back into those magical times at the Imagination pavilion.

    ReplyDelete
  43. That is totally wicked! Awesome job!

    I love that the two of you pay attention to details with your costumes too. The fabrics, the colors, the finishing details, etc are spot on. Ever think about going into the costuming business because I have a few I'd like have made. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  44. Seeing Dreamfinder makes me misty eyed as well. My first and brightest memory of Dreamfinder is an informal meet & greet with him and my aunt in her wheel chair the year before she passed away of breast cancer. I'm sitting in her lap at 5 or 6 years old and we are both grinning like fools. That was the first time we'd been to EPCOT and it was just before or after my 6th birthday. Such a wonderful, bittersweet memory.
    John pulled the costume off beautifully. Thank you for bringing that moment back to me and have a wonderful Halloween.

    ReplyDelete
  45. OMG I am so, so glad I saw this post. My office is having a Halloween party and I was in dire need of a costume idea. I am totally doing Hipster Snow White.

    John's costume is amazing! Can't wait to see yours :D.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I have to share that I called my super awesome dad on my lunch break today and he told me that I HAD to look at your page today. I told him that I saw it last night and then I got to totally geek out about the original DreamFinder posting on here and he completely understood. I have always had a thing for Figment and I still have to ride Imagination just to see him even though it has been butchered beyond recognition. I do have an mp3 of the old song though so that does help. You guys did a great job with the costume and I wish I could have been there Friday with my friend who was directly across from you guys watching the parade. She was thoroughly impressed as well. Love!

    ReplyDelete
  47. OMG...my hubby and I LOVE Dreamfinder and Figment. (And miss the old ride terribly.) I'm so sad we weren't at the same MNSSHP. John looks FAB! Can't wait to see pics of you in your Figment outfit!

    Becky, a fellow Dizgeek!

    ReplyDelete
  48. First of all, may I give you both kudos, and unto John I say "WERRRRRRK!" Turn those Party City bitches OUT! You know you've done a good job when not only do other guests think you work there, but the *employees* come to get a picture with you! I used to dress up every time I went to Star Trek: The Experience, and every time either happened, I positively vibrated with happiness and pride. :)


    Dying synthetic hair is total madness, you weirdos-- I'm STILL trying to figure that one out. I've never heard of anyone doing that in all my years of weirdo costuming; y'all two are, like, geniuses or some junk. And I would never have known that hat was homemade if you hadn't told me!

    Girl, you're so lucky; I married a Vulcan that can take care of entire computer networks without a hitch, but who after 14 years together STILL can't lace me into a corset or blouse without taking forEVer, even though it's already laced up and all he has to do is tighten and tie the bugger! "You LIE! How can you possibly be an Eagle Scout, when you can't tie knots or bows?! I KNOW you had to get a badge in that shit to be an Eagle! We're already LATE! ARRRRRGH!....oh, you're done? I love you." :)

    I'll be sending you pics of my Pug as Mops Antoinette (complete with tiny white wig!) later this week; she is hilarious!

    Cheers, and happy Halloween!

    Storm

    ReplyDelete
  49. That is amazing! It makes me want to go looking for the pic of me and my brother with Dreamfinder when we were kids! Great job to you both! Can't wait to see your Figment suit!

    ReplyDelete
  50. What a fantastic outcome! You guys are so talented (have I said that before? can't remember...).

    Now, have you fallen so in love with chin hair that you'll start growing your own?

    ReplyDelete
  51. I will have to look and see if I can find my picture with Dreamfinder. It's one of the few pictures I have of me from my one and only trip to Epcot. Thanks for the memories!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Awesome, awesome, awesome! It turned out so well! I can relate to people mistaking Dreamfinder - when I wore my costume, many people thought I was Willy Wonka! :-S

    ReplyDelete
  53. I am sooo late in commenting, but I just had to say that you two are so awesome, and I am crazy impressed with John's sewing skillz. I just took a sewing class and the whole sewing a straight line thing is NOT a no-brainer! That picture of John sewing...I thought, Is he even putting facing in there???

    *ahem*

    And also, according to your reference photos, John is the first non-scary walkaround Dreamfinder. =)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Just stumbled on this while doing research on Dreamfinder for a D*con costume. From your other posts I see you guys go as well. Will John be bringing this with him? Hope you don't mind if I use your work and tricks in mine. You guys did a fantastic job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure if John will bring it or not; he's afraid no one will recognize the character, although I've assured him some will! Maybe the fact that you're going will convince him - it'd be fun to get a pic of you both together!

      Delete
    2. Please bring the Dreamfinder to Dragon*con! : )

      Delete
  55. Omg! I am so happy I followed the links back to this post! I read today's post, which lead me to the "A Date with Dreamfinder" post, which lead me here ...


    ... and I think you just saved me a bucket of money on a top hat! I wanted to get a top hat for my fiance, but he wears like a 2XL hat size, and I was despairing over spending so much on a top hat (2XL is hard to find for a reasonable price!) Now I think I am going to experiment with trying to make him one!

    I read this post when it was first posted, and I completely forgot about the top hat part (who could forget how perfect John is as Dreamfinder?!) Ahhhh ... I love your blog! (please excuse my gushing!)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Your/his costume is amazing! He looks like he could be Disney hired for the night. I stumbled here trying to look up ideas of how to piece together a female version for my first MNSSHP this year and it's not only inspired me that this is possible but that at least someone else misses the Dreamfinder just as much as my family. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  57. What an amazing job. The details are absolutely stunning, and I'll be honest, I didn't know at first that the first picture was of John. I had to show this to my mom because she loves Figment and she thought that it was splendid too. You have brought back memories of our trip to Disney World so many years ago.

    What is weird is the person in the Mountain Dew shirt looks EXACTLY like me, but I know it isn't.

    ReplyDelete
  58. So funny! My husband and I dressed up and Dreamfinder and Figment to MNSSHP that same year as you! You blew our costumes out of the water, though! Here's a less-blurry pic.

    Most people recognized my hubby as Figment, but so many people thought I had something to do with Alice In Wonderland! Could be because my Dreamfinder rendition is a bit of a "stylized sassy steampunk Dreamfinder"... or it could be because they aren't cool enough to remember when the Imagination Pavilion didn't suck. Hehehe!

    I literally had cast members running over to me and saying that we were the best costumes of the night, which was pretty awesome. One older cast member said he had worked at Disney World for over 20 years and I was the first female Dreamfinder he had seen. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AAAAA, you look gorgeous!! I love it! You make me wanna be a female Dreamfinder, too. :D

      Delete

Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>

Related Posts with Thumbnails