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Disney in a Minute: What is a Costume?

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We’re here with a series of quick posts, “Disney in a Minute,” bite-sized nuggets of information that can better help you understand a Disney term or planning topic. Enjoy!

In most non-Disney conversation, a costume would be a fanciful or themed outfit you wear for an event like Halloween or if you’re performing in a play on stage. While those definitions are obviously correct, in Disney-speak the definition of the word “costume” is much broader.

If you’re speaking about the Disney theme parks, resorts, and cruise ships, a costume is also anything worn by a Disney cast member. It’s obvious that the hosts wearing period clothing at the Haunted Mansion (for example) are wearing costumes, but other cast members wearing costumes are the clerk behind the front desk of your hotel, the maintenance worker emptying trash cans, the bartender making your cocktail, the monorail driver, and the photographer taking your picture. And, yes, Mickey Mouse is wearing a costume; he has dozens of different options.

Consider “costume” to be a synonym for “uniform” and you’re in the right ballpark. These are just a few of the hundreds of different cast member costumes might encounter at Walt Disney World or Disney Cruise Line.

As for guests, there are some rules about what sorts of costumey costumes you can wear in the parks and on the Disney Cruise Line ships. Most of the time, guests are not allowed to wear full costumes. However, guest costumes are allowed at events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom or Marvel Days at Sea on DCL. Click here to see rules for guest costumes at Walt Disney World.

Have a question about a Disney term that is unfamiliar to you? Suggest it here for an upcoming Disney in a Minute segment.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

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