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Why Are So Many Guests Getting Dress Coded at Disney World?

Have you ever been “dress coded” at Walt Disney World? While Disney Parks and Resorts have always upheld their own dress codes, Disney fans on social media have been seeing increasing posts regarding Guests who have been dress coded during their visit.

For some time, Guests who were asked to change a part of their outfit at the entrance to a Disney Park were given a voucher to purchase a new item (typically a shirt) from a gift shop. This practice was initially put in place as a form of Guest service recovery so that Guests who missed a rule on Disney’s dress code could still visit the Park right when they arrive while changing into something more appropriate, without having to trek back to their Resort.

The following video shared by TikTok user @toragrams was taken before this policy changed:

@toragrams

i mean, I kinda agree w them looking back at this video. #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #WomenOwnedBusiness #OscarsAtHome #SeeHerGreatness #VenmoSpringBreak

♬ Thinking with My Dick (feat. Juicy J) – Kevin Gates

As being “dress coded” took off on social media, and eventually became a TikTok trend, Disney moved to change the policy and began doing away with the vouchers. Now a Guest who is dress coded actually is required to go back to their resort to change.

This video, taken later by @nicole.delosreyes documents the change to how Disney is handling dress coding incidents:

@nicole.delosreyes

its real….welp? #disneyworld #dresscode #welp #fashion #disney

♬ original sound – Nicole DeLosReyes

Why are Guests being dress coded so frequently, though? And, what exactly are Disney’s rules on the matter? Let’s take a look!

 Disney’s Official Dress Code

Disney’s official dress code is as follows:

Proper attire, including shoes and shirts, must be worn at all times. Clothing that drags on the ground is prohibited in theme parks and water parks. Clothing with multiple layers is subject to search. We reserve the right to deny admission to or remove any person wearing attire that we consider inappropriate or attire that could detract from the experience of other Guests. Visible tattoos that could be considered inappropriate, such as those containing objectionable language or designs, are not permitted. There are specific costume guidelines for special events such as Halloween parties, runDisney events and while at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser; please refer to the additional policies applicable to those events.

While some of the policies in Disney’s official dress code are rather obvious, others seem to be left up to interpretation, as the key reason why so many Guests have had issues lately lies in Disney’s right to deny admission based on anything the company considers to be inappropriate.

For Disney, inappropriate clothing does not necessarily have to mean that it is offensive or revealing. One of the major reasons for turning away certain types of clothing is for safety, both of the Guest wearing the item and others around them.

food-wine-epcot-festival

Credit: Disney

Strings and Ties

Though not explicitly stated above, the major issue with Guests at Walt Disney World being dress coded has come down to strings on their clothing, particularly tops that are fastened together with ties (like halter tops and front-tie tops.)

A Guest wearing one of these items may be covered to the extent that it is considered “appropriate” but if their top is only held together by ties, there is the change that it will become untied (and therefore be too revealing) or that it could get caught on something and cause a safety issue.

While a safety issue being caused by a top is unlikely, it is possible and should be avoided, and given the number of lawsuits such a large property like Walt Disney World has filed against them on a fairly regular basis, the company may not want to take any chances.

disney-hollywood-studios

Credit: Disney Tips

Are There Other Dress Codes at Disney World?

Outside of the official policy above, and our tip to avoid wearing tops with strings and ties, the other dress code you may need to look out for is at signature dining locations.

Disney’s signature dining dress codes only apply to restaurants at Disney Resort hotels, as Guests would never be expected to dress up to that extent for a day exploring the theme parks.

If you book a reservation at a signature restaurant, be sure to check what the dress code is either on Disney’s official website or the My Disney Experience app as shorts may be prohibited, and jackets may be requested for men.

Of course, anything with offensive and inappropriate language is not allowed, but unfortunately, it does not stop some Guests from trying to wear graphic T-shirts.

And, as noted in Disney’s official policy, there are specific rules for events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, runDisney races, and travel aboard the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. If you are attending any of these events, be sure to confirm those details ahead of your visit.

We hope this helps you pack for your next trip, and that you are able to avoid being dress coded. Have a magical time, and remember…no strings!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."