Halloween celebrations start early in Japan, and both Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea will be debuting new Halloween parades and shows on September 10. But it’s not just the new performances that have Disney fans excited, but also the rare relaxing of the parks’ infamously strict cosplay restrictions.
Generally, Tokyo Disney Resort prohibits all but the youngest visitors from dressing up like Disney characters, but during the Halloween celebration, from September 9 to October 31, it extends the cosplay privileges to guests of all ages. However, it’s not a complete free-for-all, and the parks have released a set of guidelines that cosplayers are still asked to follow, which spells out which characters and costume points are allowed and which aren’t, with the rules grouped into four major guidelines.
1. Dress up like a Disney character
This sort of seems like it should be common sense, but if you’re going to cosplay at Disneyland, it has to be as a Disney character. Thankfully, the parks take a broad interpretation of the term, with characters from well over 100 Disney animated and live-action movies and TV shows, as well as video games, fair game (the complete list can be found here). Even cosplaying as characters from minor or forgotten franchises like The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, Cool Runnings, and Race to Witch Mountain are allowed, and if you want to cosplay as Bruce Willis’ character from 2000’s The Kid, that’s OK too. Also acceptable are characters from Disney and Pixar animated shorts, such as Feastor Bao.
The entire Star Wars franchise is also on the cosplay-OK list, as is video game series Kingdom Hearts. However, in the case of Kingdom Hearts, guests are asked to refrain from cosplaying as characters from “other companies,” so it seems like the Square Enix original characters from the franchise are barred, though if you want to dress up as Mickey Mouse wearing his Tetsuya Nomura-designed, zipper-intensive outfit, apparently that’s OK.
Finally you can also dress in the outfits of characters appearing in Disneyland/Disney Sea attractions and parades, though cosplaying in replicas of the parks’ attendants and other customer service employees is not allowed.
2. Avoid dangerous items and heavy makeup
You can’t have anything that conceals or outright disguises your identity. That means face paint, masks, and fake noses are all out, as are simulated blood, scars, or anything else that could be mistaken for an actual injury that needs medical attention. Fake beards and mustaches are also prohibited, though real facial hair is fine, so if you were planning to go as Captain Jack Sparrow, now is the time to stop shaving.
Speaking of swashbuckling, you’ll also need to leave your cutlass and flintlock at home, as costume weaponry is not allowed, nor are staffs, and wands over 60 centimeters (23.6 inches) in length or helmets, sports equipment, or musical instruments of any kind.
3. Overly revealing costumes and full-body tights are prohibited
The cosplay community at large may be fine with some added sexiness for popular characters, but Disneyland and Disney Sea ask that you remember that the parks are, first and foremost, family destinations. Strapless tops, bare midriffs, swimsuits, and underwear are all prohibited, which effectively bars Ariel and Jasmine’s most commonly seen outfits from "The Little Mermaid" and "Aladdin." Even if they provide full coverage, contour-hugging bodysuits are similarly not allowed, and yes, the parks have seen ahead and closed one loophole by specifically stating “You may be refused entry to the Park if you wear these kinds of costumes, including wearing full-body tights with underpants that look like Mickey Mouse’s pants.”
In addition, while the dresses with long trains or hoop skirts worn by Disney princesses might look gorgeous on the big screen, they can be stumbling hazards and impede the mobility of other guests at the parks, and are also on the please-do-not-wear list.
4. Remember your manners
Finally, Tokyo Disney Resort asks that you refrain from changing your clothes or applying costume makeup in the park’s restrooms, restaurants, or other common-use areas. While there will be temporary cosplay changing areas set up inside the parks, the smartest option would probably be to get into costume at your hotel or home so that you can arrive at the park gates already in your full costumed splendor. Tokyo Disney Resort also make the all-purpose statement that you may be denied entrance if your costume may harm, upset, or inconvenience other guests, or impede the parks’ operations.
While those work out numerically to a whole lot of rules and requests, they’re really not so unreasonable, and boil down basically to “dress as a Disney character in a way that’s faithful to their intended depiction, make sure the staff can identify you and you won’t cause unnecessary panic or injuries, and remember to be considerate of the guests who aren’t cosplaying. All in all, that’s really not too much to ask in exchange for all the dreams and magic that Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea provide.
Source: Tokyo Disney Resort
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