Fur character costumes

PymParty

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hey guys,
I am starting this new thread as I have questions that I have been asking myself for a long time : Who designs and builds the fur character costumes ? How are they made ? Do every parks around the world share the same costumes or designs and, if so, where do they all come from ?

I have so many questions on this topic and there is absolutely no infos or behind-the-scenes footage of fur costumes on it anywhere on the internet. The quality of Disney park's costumes is much better than most of its competitors (I would say Universal comes close) and Disney has an enormous quantity of different character costumes that we rarely see (Jumba from Lilo & Stitch or Bullseye from toy story comes to mind) and in specific parks, so I am interested to learn more about the logistics behind all of it !
 

wdwmagic

Administrator
Moderator
Advertisement
Without getting too far into it, Disney makes them in-house. I believe the heads are still made on the West Coast, and the costumes are made on the East coast. They are then distributed to the parks worldwide.
 

brb1006

Well-Known Member
You can thanks Bill Justice for creating Disney's costumes/walkaround characters at the parks. Before 1961, the characters looked very off model. Here's an article discussing this by Jim Hill. He designed 35 costumes for the character in 1961, with much more showing up in later years.

Recently Jim and @lentesta did a special episode discussing "The History of walk-around characters at the Disney Theme Parks" (however, it's a Subscriber Exclusive Podcast). Hopefully somebody upload a link to that special podcast since Jim has a very interesting discussion about how the walk around and meetable characters became a thing.
 
Last edited:

PymParty

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So, if I get it right, the international parks need to buy ( or rent ?) the costumes to WDW which will produce them and ship them over. So can the parks order anything / anyone or must they be in the catalog. The Asian parks have many of Duffy's friends (StellaLou, Cookie...) but they don't exist at WDW, strange that the costumes were built there...
The logistics behind these trades must be crazy.
 

Walter Elias Disney

Well-Known Member
So, if I get it right, the international parks need to buy ( or rent ?) the costumes to WDW which will produce them and ship them over. So can the parks order anything / anyone or must they be in the catalog. The Asian parks have many of Duffy's friends (StellaLou, Cookie...) but they don't exist at WDW, strange that the costumes were built there...
The logistics behind these trades must be crazy.
It is all about cost....the needs and wants...who wants to buy specific character fur heads.
 

Robbiem

Well-Known Member
Also the Keys to the Kingdom Tour used to pass by the costuming department at the entrance to the Utilidors, that was an interesting peak at some of the costumes in storage and some information about how they are managed day to day.
I remember doing this in 1999 as a free bonus from the magic kingdom club. It was really neat to see the utilitors and the costume department. I remember being told that face characters like Cinderella all have synthetic hair while animatronics like the presidents have human hair wigs.
 

Katelynbird

Active Member
I do imagine that the creators and artists who originally drew these characters or who are drawing them now are part of the team that gets these costumes of an exact likeness of the character. Take Stitch for example, he looks exactly like he does in the movie. I would imagine the artist who made the drawing of him had a major part in getting this costume exact. This goes for everyone of the fur costumes. They are utterly amazing. They look just like what we see on the movie screen.
 

PymParty

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I do imagine that the creators and artists who originally drew these characters or who are drawing them now are part of the team that gets these costumes of an exact likeness of the character. Take Stitch for example, he looks exactly like he does in the movie. I would imagine the artist who made the drawing of him had a major part in getting this costume exact. This goes for everyone of the fur costumes. They are utterly amazing. They look just like what we see on the movie screen.
While i mostly agree that some costumes are amazing, I don't understand why some costumes are also really bad. For example, Woody and Jessie's costumes are absolutely horrible and not resembling the characters, yet they have been used daily for years all around the world. I can't believe the artists who created them for the movies are thee ones who designed the costumes... I don't understand why they don't design new versions.
 

*Cinderelly*

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
I have heard many rumors or maybe they are not rumors and are truths that Disney Fur Costumes are equipped with some sort of cooling system inside. Is this actually true about the costumes?
 
Top Bottom