The guidelines for guest costumes at Disneyland and other Disney parks have been a constant source of debate for many years. For a long while it seemed as though the official rules were very lax, with many adults entering into the parks in full costume during any time of year. I remember seeing one gentleman fully dressed as Indiana Jones, complete with satchel, holster, and religious artifacts, regularly hanging out in Adventureland.
More recently, with security growing tighter and tighter, Disneyland Resort has clarified its rules and restrictions regarding adults in costumes in its parks. As recently as this past December, Disneyland instated a new policy enforcing a ban on all costumes for guests over the age of fourteen.
This recent evolution in the parks’ dress code, along with more thorough search processes having been implemented at the parks’ security gates, has left regular guests wondering what will become of the annual Mickey’s Halloween Party, a nighttime event held throughout the month of October, wherein all guests of any age were previously invited to dress in costumes of their choice.
The answer came last week in the form of an unheralded update to the Mickey’s Halloween Party page on Disneyland’s official website. Under the section titled “Costume Guidelines,” it reads:
“While we encourage creativity, we also value safety and good judgement. Please take a moment to read over our latest rules and regulations:
- Costumes must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable or violent.
- Guests who dress like characters may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for other Guests.
- Costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
- Costumes may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another Guest.
- Layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged and may be subject to additional security screening.
- Costumes may not reach or drag on the ground. (e.g. full-length Princess dresses).
For Guests Ages 13 and Under
Costumes and some masks may be worn, as long the mask does not cover the entire face and eyes are visible.
For Guests Ages 14 and Older
- Capes may be worn if the length does not go below the waist.
- Themed T-shirts, blouses, sweatshirts and hats are acceptable.
- Acceptable accessories include: transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords and tutus. Headwear may be worn as long as it does not cover the face.
- Masks of any kind may not be worn.
Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry into, and/or removed from, unless his or her costume can be modified to meet the above standards.”
So how do we interpret this modification in policy? It doesn’t outright say that costumes are or are not permitted for adults, but does provide a very specific list of what is and isn’t acceptable. You can’t wear a mask, but if you can put something together with a themed t-shirt, transparent wings, a plastic light saber, and a tutu, you’re good to go. So basically don’t dress as Kylo Ren, but do dress as a Kylo Raver.
Seriously though, it’s probably a smart move if you do your best to abide by Disney’s rules. There are ways to work within these guidelines and still put together a fun and recognizable outfit, similar to what fans have been doing with the increasingly popular DisneyBound movement. And, if you want to dig a little further into the official rules for Mickey’s Halloween Party, the Disney Parks Blog still says it’s okay for adults to wear costumes to the event, although that information may not have been updated for some time.
As with any day at Disneyland, the key to enjoying Mickey’s Halloween Party to the fullest is to have fun while helping Disney ensure a safe, secure environment for all guests by abiding by the guidelines the park sets down. If we can manage that, a good, spooky time is pretty much guaranteed for all this Halloween season.
The specific 2016 dates for Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland have not yet been announced, but check back to the event’s official website for more information and ticket purchases once they go on sale.