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The Crazy Costs Behind Cast Member Costumes at Walt Disney World

From the training held at Disney University to the shocking speed of Magic Kingdom’s Space Mountain, Disney Guests are always searching for the hidden secrets behind their favorite Disney Park.

If you’re lucky enough to have worked at a Disney Resort, you know how well Disney protects its secrets and backstage magic, including its elaborate array of costumes across its theme parks.

Every Cast Member at Disney wears their own “costume”, an outfit that matches the environment and theming of the area they work in, but how much do these uniforms actually cost?

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Each of the Walt Disney World theme parks has its own costuming warehouse open 7 days a week. The costume department for Magic Kingdom is the largest, and features rows upon rows upon rows of magical costumes.

During my time as a Cast Member, this building was so overwhelming. The imposing warehouse is located backstage near the Disney University, and when you walk in you’re met with what can only be described as a “costume library”.

The building houses costumes from every role. From Magic Kingdom custodial and Frontierland attractions, to Fantasyland food and beverage and Tomorrowland security – this warehouse has it all! So many colors and fabrics filling the aisles.

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Cast Members are permitted to check out up to five complete work costumes at a time, plus accessories like a jacket and hat and gloves, if your costume has one.

When your costume gets dirty or wrinkled, you can just trade it in for a clean one. So yes, basically a costume library!

This facility stores more than 15,000 costumes, and some of them have a hefty price tag. But which costumes are Walt Disney World Resort do you think are the most expensive?

Attractions hosts in Disney’s Hollywood Studios? The new Space 220 restaurant servers in EPCOT? Or the Kilimanjaro Safari Guides in Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

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Well, Disney Tips has the answers! According to Cast Members, the most expensive costumes on property are probably not what Guests think.

When a Cast Member checks out their costume, they must scan a bar code, thereby attaching the wearer’s name and responsibility to it. That way, Disney can keep up with their merchandise, reducing the risk of losing a Cinderella dress or Tower of Terror hat.

This prevents these outfits from popping up on eBay, which would most certainly get the Cast Member in trouble.

The most popular or iconic Cast Member costumes therefore have often artificially increased pricing attached. If one of these items went missing, the Cast Member is responsible for paying that price to replace it.

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At Jock Lindey’s Hangar Bar in Disney Springs, the leather jackets the Cast Members wear are in keeping with the aviation theme of the bar. The leather jackets are similar to those that our military members wear, albeit with an amazing Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar patch on the back.

The dining location is themed as a 1940s airplane hangar, with plenty to look at both for fans of the Indiana Jones films starring Harrison Ford, and for those with only a passing acquaintance. There’s an assortment of creative and delicious appetizers, flatbreads and tacos on the menu, along with signature alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

These Indiana Jones inspired outfits have an expensive price tag. According to Cast Members at the Disney Springs bar, the jackets cost over $800!

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Over in Magic Kingdom, the Haunted Mansion costumes are famous for their ghostly look and creepy appearnce, so much so that merchandise, paintings, and shirts have been made to represent these Cast Member outfits.

According to Cast Members working at the Haunted Mansion attraction, the heavy green coats that the maids and butlers of the mansion wear cost $1000. It makes sense considering how appealing these would be to take home!

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A surprisingly expensive costume is found over in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom.

Aloha Isle is everyone’s favorite spot for a refreshing and iconic taste of Disney’s famous Dole Whip. The costumes worn by Cast Members are beautifully colorful and in keeping with the theme of the area, and their silk coats apparently cost $300!

Interestingly, it seems Cast Member coats are the most expensive item, with even the jacket worn by those working at Star Tours in Disney’s Hollywood Studios costing $150.

And for those who are wondering, yes, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror costumes worn by the bellhops are incredilbly expensive. I know I speak for many Cast Members when I say I have definitely tried on one of those iconic hats in my time.

In order to achieve the authenticity that they wanted for the Tower of Terror theme, Disney spared no expense on the bellhop costumes that the Cast Members wear. According to the bellhops working the front desk of the hotel, each costume costs over $1,000 to produce, complete with greatcoat and pillbox hat.

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Now, we all know that the Disney characters at the theme parks are real. From the Beast and Stitch, to Mickey Mouse himself, there are many Cast Members who are friends with these characters around Walt Disney World.

According to one Princess Fairytale Hall Cast Member, it is in fact Princess Elena’s elaborate dress that costs Disney the most to make. It is covered in Swarovski crystals, perfectly fitting for any princess!

And not to be outdone, the Stormtroopers over in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge are also costly for the First Order, with the costumes covering a haptic suit that enables the Stormtroopers to interact with suspsicious looking Guests.

So, were these the costumes you imagined to be the most expensive at Walt Disney World? Though Disney has a lot of outgoings and expenses everyday with running the theme parks, it seems its Cast Member outfits are a huge undertaking in its creation of the magic.

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who loves to enjoy Disney's theme parks with a Mickey Premium Bar in hand! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her Air Force pilot husband. Find her children's book at @thebearandthehug_book