A few days ago, the Disney Parks Blog posted this video, which shows the costumes that cast members will wear in the new Fantasyland expansion, including Storybook Circus.
If you are familiar with Disney Parks terminology, you know that since in-park employees are “on stage,” they are called cast members, and they wear costumes, not uniforms. That means that costumes are everywhere, and consequently, this list of things to do if you love costuming could mean going to see every unique costume in the parks! Since that would take forever, I’m going to highlight just a few attractions and experiences with wow-worthy costuming. Since this list is subjective, be sure to point out in the comments any experiences you think I overlooked.
So, here are six things to do in Walt Disney World if you love costuming.
1. it’s a small world
This Fantasyland attraction is the place to see hundreds of international costumes. There are nearly 300 dolls and animals inside, representing more than 100 nations. If you want to know more about how the costumes were researched and created, you simply must listen to Lou Mongello’s interview with Disney Legend Alice Davis. It’s a fascinating story.
2. Beauty and the Beast—Live on Stage
I simply love the costumes in this show. From the hot pink ballgowns, to the woman disguised as an ice cream sundae during “Be Our Guest,” it’s visually delightful.
3. Finding Nemo—The Musical
As much as I love Beauty and the Beast—Live on Stage, it doesn’t win the prize as my favorite musical in Walt Disney World. That honor goes to Finding Nemo—The Musical. Costuming animals is understandably difficult (do you try for realism or just representation?), and in my layperson’s opinion, this musical’s combination of puppetry and costuming is brilliant.
4. Studio Backlot Tour
While what you see on the Studio Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios changes periodically, depending on which films the studio is promoting, you’re pretty much guaranteed to see at least some film costumes. When I was there in 2008, I got these photos of costumes from Enchanted. (Sorry for the flash.)
5. Voices of Liberty
This a cappella singing group can be found performing in the American Adventure pavilion in World Showcase in Epcot. I love how their costumes change throughout the year. In the winter, they look ready for some old-fashioned caroling.
I talked about DiVine in my post on street theater. Her costume allows her to blend perfectly into her environment, until she decides to make her presence known.
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Every day in Walt Disney World could be a costuming-themed day, because there are costumes everywhere you look, but if you to want to spot all the costumes listed in today’s post in one day, you’ll have to visit all four parks. I’d suggest starting in Magic Kingdom and visiting it’s a small world first. Then head to Animal Kingdom, because DiVine is most often found between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. When you get there, ask a cast member when she might make an appearance, and work in seeing Finding Nemo—The Musical either before or after finding her. Then, it’s a toss-up between Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot next. It depends on what the Times Guides say. Today, for example, the last showing of Beauty and the Beast—Live on Stage is at 5:45 p.m. and the last performance by Voices of Liberty is at 5 p.m. So, in this case, I’d go to Epcot first and then over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Studio Backlot Tour also tends to close early, so you’ll need to check the Times Guide and watch the clock.
Where are your favorite costumes in Walt Disney World?