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What’s an Adult to Wear to WDW Parks Without Getting Turned Away at the Gates?


by Tiffany J. L. Alfonso
(Tampa Bay)


Have you heard of a teenager from my area who was forced to change at Disney’s Animal Kingdom because of her Tinkerbell costume?


If you haven’t, here’s the story. The teen, whose name was April Spielman, was surprising her boyfriend from Arizona with his first visit to Walt Disney World. They spent months to make their costumes – she as Tinkerbell and he as Peter Pan. They went into Disney’s Hollywood Studios wearing them without problems.


But they were turned away from Disney’s Animal Kingdom by security guards still wearing them. Though they were given free clothes to change, as well as free FastPasses, nothing consoled that girl’s sorrow over her shattered dream.


Issues like these are not new. A woman from England named Natasha Narula wore a wedding gown and her daughter, who then was under 10 at the time of their visit, wore a bridesmaid gown to Disneyland Paris. The latter was let in but her mother wasn’t. She denied that they represented any Disney characters (her dress looked like Giselle from ENCHANTED) and they were from a secondhand store.


Well, I know that Disney has rules stating that adult Guests aren’t allowed to wear “Adult costumes or clothing that can be viewed as representative of an actual Disney character.”


In light of this story, how can an adult dress for the parks showing his or her Disney spirit without being forced to change before entering the parks?



Queen Amidala at Disney Hollywood Studios

You could dress up like this Photo by wbeem

Dad’s Disney can be silly sometimes Answer




This is a tough one. I’m not on Disney’s side on this one. Disney has gone overboard at times when it comes to character protection and copyright infringement.


Yes, it is now and it always has been, Disney’s policy to not allow guests to dress like Disney Characters when entering the parks. (See the official dress code here.) Of course they don’t have any problems when guest dress in Star Wars Costumes for example. Shouldn’t they enforce George Lucas’s trademarks as much as they do their own? But that’s a different topic for a different day.


There are times, like during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party that the rules get relaxed a bit, but for the most part you have to stay away from any costume that looks like a Disney character.


So what would Dad recommend? You could dress up like a Universal character if you just have to dress like a character. (Something Harry Potterish should really set someone off. But from what I’ve seen those would be pretty warm.) You could dress up like one of the Marvel characters (Disneyish but not part of the ban). But Marvel characters are mostly hulky guys and that’s pretty hard to emulate (except for Dad who is a real hulky guy.)


Dad is not a big fan of costumes. One reason is safety. Masks cut down on visibility. Some costumes have parts that stick out and bump other people. April’s costume had wings on it that could have caused problems if they hit a child in the eye or something.


You can read April Speilman’s story here.

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Dad’s Bottom Line


What it boils down to for me is (and remember I’m a guy) for anyone over 10 years old, outside of Halloween, costumes aren’t necessary or even all that cute. Yes, April looks a bit like the Tinkerbell in the comics (but not at all like Julia Roberts), and it’s a bit cute, but costumes can be dangerous, uncomfortable and they are totally unnecessary.


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Comments for

Oct 02, 2014 DisneyBound
by: Anonymous There’s something called Disneybound. You dress up in regular clothes that look like a Disney characters. For example, a purple dress, flowery leggins and boots to look like Rapunzel. Some are pretty obvious, some are more intricate. It’s actually pretty cool, and more fun than wearing a real costume.

Mar 02, 2014 This Post Is Almost Wrong
by: Anonymous As a former cast member, I just wanted to let you know that the issue is not copyright infringement, it’s a safety concern. If you let adults dress up as Disney characters, you’re opening the door for that one creep to get a scarily accurate costume, and lure children away from their parents by pretending to be a Face Character. Obviously, this is less likely to happen with characters that aren’t directly under the Disney brand, since parents and children would already be suspicious if they were to spot a Harry Potter character in Disney World. Bonus concerns come from Disney’s fear of getting sued if someone in a costume was to do something stupid or illegal, and the parks could be held responsible – this is the reason that even during Mickey’s Not So Scary guests in costume are not allowed to pose for photos with other guests.

Have a magical day!

Apr 01, 2013 There are adult dress up option
by: Crystal I have seen a ton of pins on Pinterest with “Adult” outfits to wear that are Disney. They are not a costume but a cute outfit that represents that character without actually dressing up as the character. I don’t think Disney would have an issue with any of them since you don’t look like the character.

Jul 01, 2012 Squeaky Wheels
by: Anonymous This topic has been discussed on other sites for weeks now and the consensus has been that the girl, etc were in the wrong & that Disney was wrong to compensate them in any way. First, where we’re the girl’s parents in this? Odd enough that they let a 15yr old bring her boyfriend in the first place, but the girl was showing far too much skin in that costume & is it usual for teenaged boys to agree to dressing as Peter Pan?neither of my sons would have done it! Disney makes the rules very clear & this family should have been sent home and told to ditch the costumes if they wanted to get into the parks. To give them free shirts, shorts and shoes,etc AND all of those FastPasses was rewarding bad choices and to have us believe that the girl was that traumatized is garbage. Did you hear that the family is so “upset” about the “treatment” they received that they are moving to Hawaii??! Looks like they didn’t know that Disney has a presence their too!!

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