Is A Kilt A Costume? Busch Gardens Says So, Denies Entry To Man Wearing Scottish Garb

He recorded a video after the incident and shared it on Facebook.

He recorded a video after the incident and shared it on Facebook, explaining he’s simply proud of his heritage.

UPDATE: Busch Gardens says kilts are now welcome at the park, whenever guests want to wear them.

After the story of the kilt-wearing man who wasn’t allowed into the park hit the Internet, Busch Gardens posted a statement on its Facebook page (h/t to Consumerist reader Shea), announcing that though it has to “adhere to a strict no-costume policy” during Halloween events, it’d changed its mind on the topic of kilts.

“We regret any confusion this has caused, and have clarified that kilts are permitted in our parks during these special events, just as they are on a typical day. We welcome our kilt-wearing friends out to enjoy Howl-O-Scream,” the park’s statement reads.


What passes for a costume for one person might just be considered a normal outfit for others, but at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA, there’s no gray area when it comes to men wearing traditional Scottish garb: a park guest said he was denied entry because he had a kilt on.

That goes against Busch Garden’s anti-costume policy, the park said, especially during its Howl-O-Scream Halloween event.

But the Norfolk, VA man says he wasn’t trying to dress up as anything other than who he is. He’s of Irish, Scottish and English descent, and six years ago, he started wearing a kilt about every other day to do things like go grocery shopping and other mundane, everyday tasks, to show his pride.

“I’ve been a customer for decades and a regular pass holder, and this has left a terrible stain on the honor of my culture as well as my ethnic pride,” he wrote on his Facebook post along with a video of his outfit.

Busch Gardens’ official costume policy says the park doesn’t allow costumes any time of the year to “ensure the safety of guests and team members,” but especially not during Howl-O-Scream.

“The park does not wish to alienate anyone who wears traditional clothing representing their culture or heritage,” Busch Gardens said in a statement. “However, if the clothing could confuse guests into thinking the wearer is part of the official Howl-O-Scream experience then we will not allow it in the park.”

Kilt-wearing man denied entrance to Busch Gardens [WVEC-13, link includes autopay video]

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