One of the most sacred things about Disney Parks is the character experiences. Cast Members who are “friends” with Disney’s most iconic characters follow strict guidelines for character integrity that work to keep the magic alive for Guests.
While preserving magic is a top priority for most Disney Parks visitors, some fanatics take things too far. For example, for a brief time, Attractions Magazine advertised selling this shirt on their Twitter page:
To the untrained eye, this may look like nothing. It’s wildly unfashionable and can make you wonder why anyone would voluntarily wear it, let alone pay money for it. The caption on the tweet reads:
The rolling black bags, the black gym shorts, and the iconic “Basics” t-shirts. If you frequent Walt Disney World, you have probably seen this discreet Disney Entertainment cast member costume shirt. Now you can own a version yourself (with less sweat).
The grey shirts with carelessly placed barcodes and RFID tags are what costumed Disney characters wear around the tunnels and underneath their wardrobe. The grey shirts are specifically worn by character performers inside sculpted costumes, meaning you can’t see their faces or hear them talk. The barcode and tags are for costuming inventory purposes.
The tweet refers to the black bag used to carry the cumbersome costumes from place to place throughout the parks. It is EXTREMELY rare for performers to travel through Guest areas with these black bags, wearing the barcoded shirts. In fact, they are instructed not to unless there is truly no other option.
Maybe some Cast Members lazily wore these shirts in the Parks on their lunch break, or maybe Attractions Magazine has an inside source who modeled it for them. Indeed some Guests would enjoy the novelty of owning similar apparel, but Cast Members were livid.
Cast Members were quick and adamant about the product’s immediate removal. First of all, a Guest walking around the Park wearing this is a shattering of Disney magic. Most importantly, immediate safety issues arose. Cast Members fear some Guests would blend in and purposely breach Cast only areas.
In response, Leaders in the backstage areas of Walt Disney World Resort have reportedly asked workers always to carry their Disney IDs. They hope it will help weed out anyone who managed to purchase the fake shirt if necessary.
The tweet didn’t last long online because Attractions Magazine reconsidered and willingly took it down. It looks like it is no longer for sale.
Guests can still buy clothing resembling onstage costumes worn by Cast Members, sometimes including printed-on name tags. Hopefully, some Guests will learn to respect the backstage boundaries Disney sets and realize it is for the good of everyone’s experience.