We are experts on Disney Halloween costumes. Wait, you’ve seen our past costumes? Okay, you know “expert” isn’t the right word, then. We’ve had some fun with our costumes and despite not being especially crafty, some people seem to like some of our costumes…for some reason (presumably the same reason anyone likes this blog: they are certifiably insane).
This year, we’ve been trying to come up with some cool costumes for both Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World and Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland (Disney’s “naming team” really worked overtime to distinguish the two parties!).
In the process, we’ve inadvertently stumbled upon other ideas and also some general “rules” that you might want to follow when putting together your own costumes. These range from relatively simple things like being mindful of the weather, to specific costume ideas you might use if you can’t think of anything else.
Here are our tips, costume ideas, and things not to do when it comes to Disney Halloween costumes…
Disneybounding – Since Disneybounding really exploded and went mainstream, we’ve noticed some people doing it for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I am a huge fan of the creativity that goes into Disneybounding, but to me, it seems like a way to infuse a dash of Disney into a regular, everyday outfit.
Halloween is not about regular outfits, and one of the big advantages of the Halloween Parties is that you are allowed to wear an actual costume into the parks, not just a regular outfit that evokes the look of a character. Save the Disneybounding for another day, and go for an actual costume on one of the Mickey’s Halloween Party nights.
I want to stress that this is just a suggestion–Sarah has Disneybounded to the Halloween Parties because it was an economical and practical (read: heat & humidity-friendly) way to wear something more than just ordinary clothes to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. If you love Disneybounding or wouldn’t otherwise wear a more elaborate costume, by all means, Disneybound!
Human Disney Parks Characters – Now, if you don’t want to buy or make an expensive costume, there are a number of human characters in the attractions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World that wear relatively normal clothing with costumes that could be pulled off pretty easily, so long as you can find clothing that’s a close-enough fit, and the right accessories.
Think the hairy-legged pirate on Pirates of the Caribbean. You can probably find a close-enough outfit for him on eBay or at Goodwill (his shirt and pants are pretty standard), but what’s really going to define that costume is the leg hair and the big jug of rum. Simply get a pair of skin-colored tights and glue some synthetic hair onto them. Boom, instantly recognizable costume among Disney fans.
One year in college, I dressed as Dreamfinder for Halloween. I’m not very crafty, so my costume wasn’t exactly the best, but I was pretty pleased with the results at the time (I am too mortified to share photos of my costumes from college–suffice to say, you’d understand why I’m proud of this one if you saw them all). However, the fine folks over at Epbot did a much better Dreamfinder; follow their example if this costume interests you.
Any human character from the parks (or Disney/Pixar Animation–Carl or Russell from Up are other easy ones) who has a distinct look will work like this. You can go as simple or as complex as you want. Someone like the disco scientist from Spaceship Earth (or really any EPCOT Center character) would be easy, whereas one of the Haunted Mansion ballroom dancers would be fairly complex to pull off.
One of my costumes this year is a human Disney Parks character, but I’m not going to share that just now, as I’ve never seen this costume, and I’m hoping to be the first to do it!
Stay Cool – If you’re going to Florida for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, you need to remember that it will likely be hot and humid, even at night. I cannot stress this enough. It’s something about which I didn’t think when I bought my Beast costume a few years ago, and I was miserable the entire time I was outside.
If you make a really elaborate costume that happens to be hot and are going to the Halloween Party primarily to show it off, more power to you. One of the big draws of the Halloween Parties for us is seeing the creative costumes other guests make. There are some really talented Disney fans and cosplayers out there who do incredible work making their costumes. These folks make my costumes look like they were thrown together by a horde of drunken chimpanzees (which probably isn’t far off from the truth).
However, if you’re going to the Halloween Party primarily to enjoy the entertainment and have fun in the park, I’d highly recommend opting for something functional, and as close to an ordinary outfit in terms of bulk. Wearing something heavy won’t just make you hot–it’ll be annoying as you try to navigate the parks.
Yeah, But It’s A Family Park… – The advice to “stay cool” doesn’t mean that you should opt for a costume with as little fabric as possible. This is a family theme park, not a frat kegger. I mention this because there are some times when I’ve been a bit taken aback by some costumes I’ve seen, wondering how they were allowed into the park in the first place.
Don’t Be Too Clever – I feel almost bad about offering this advice, since being clever should always receive accolades. However, sometimes attempts at being clever are about as successful as the backstory in Chester & Hester’s Dino-rama. If most people need a verbal explanation to “get” your costume, you might want to rethink it. For example, a few years ago, I went as an unemployed, “Hitchhiking Elf” seeking work at Haunted Mansion Holiday. By the end of the night, I got rid of the hitchhiking elements, and was simply an elf.
If you’re planning on doing Disneyland, Walt Disney World, or any of the international parks this Halloween season, make sure to consult our Halloween at the Disney Parks post for resources to help you plan your Halloween itinerary, meet characters, and more!