Naperville Business Lawyer Discusses Adult Costume Policies at New Star Wars Park

costume, Naperville business law attorneyIf you are a business owner, you are probably faced with difficult decisions on practically a daily basis. Such decisions made difficult by the fact that regardless of the choice that you make, there is likely to be someone who is unhappy with the outcome. For example, if you decide to extend your business hours, your customers might be delighted but your employees will probably not be so happy about working later.

As a business lawyer and a business owner myself, I realize that business owners must always operate in the best interest of their company, even if some decisions might seem puzzling to an outsider. A good example of this can be found at the new Star Wars theme park in Anaheim, California, where adult guests are not permitted to dress up as their favorite characters.

Protecting the Brand

At the end of May, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park opened in Disneyland Park in southern California. The park features rides and attractions built around the iconic space franchise, with promised fun for guests of all ages. As with all Disney Parks, Galaxy’s Edge also has numerous souvenir and gift shops where visitors can buy all sorts of licensed products, including official Star Wars character costumes—but there is a catch. If you are 14 years old or older, you will have to wait until you leave the park before dressing like Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, or Kylo Ren.

The issue is multi-faceted, but the rule is in place primarily to protect the Star Wars brand. It is also a rule that exists in other Disney Parks as well. At Disney Parks, including Galaxy’s Edge, employees—called cast members—often make public appearances in costume to allow guests to take pictures and to meet their fictional heroes.

Consider a scenario in which any adult could dress up like a popular Star Wars character. It would not be unreasonable for a child who did not know better to approach a costumed guest for a photo. Cast members are specially trained to protect their associated brand—as well as to ensure guest safety. Another guest could potentially cause all sorts of problems by making a rude gesture in a picture, for example, or making a child uncomfortable.

An Emerging Solution

While the no-adult-costume rule has been in effect at Disney Parks for many years, it is not hard to understand why it is now more of an issue than ever before. Older teens and adults are much more likely to wear full Star Wars costumes than costumes associated with other, more traditional Disney properties.

According to Disneyland’s official rules, however, adults are permitted to engage in what has become known as “bounding.” Bounding or “Disney bounding” means putting together an outfit of normal, everyday attire inspired by the style and color of a particular character.

Park officials say that they will only take action if guests look too much like costumed cast members, but even then, a guest will not necessarily be asked to leave. Instead, a guest will be “encouraged to de-costume.”

Get Help From a DuPage County Business Lawyer

If you have questions about the best ways to protect your company’s public image, an experienced Naperville business law attorney can help you find the answers. Call 630-756-1160 to schedule a consultation at the Gierach Law Firm today.


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