In 1949 when Walt Disney was dreaming about DISNEYLAND, he originally believed that it would feature his characters as statues. Guests would be encouraged to pose alongside the statues to remember their visit to the Magic Kingdom.
By 1955, however, it became clear that this wouldn't be good enough for DISNEYLAND. But how else could the cartoon characters be represented in the park? Strapped for cash and facing a deadline, the park borrowed costumes from the Ice Capades to use on opening day. These costumes were designed for skaters who would be viewed from afar by audiences, not for close up viewing by theme park guests.
They weren't the greatest solution, but they would work. Walt Disney quickly put his Imagineers to work designing costumes and they've never stopped trying to improve them since.