Disney Theme Parks Loosen Employee Beard Ban

When Walt Disney opened his first theme park in Anaheim, California in 1955, he wanted to distinguish it from the tawdry amusement parks that had sprung up after the Great Depression. "The Happiest Place on Earth" was to be wholesome and clean cut, and so were its employees. The notoriously strict dress code for employees, who are known as "cast members," included the rule that men must be clean-shaven.

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In the biggest shake up since 2010 when Disney decreed that female cast members could ditch their pantyhose and go bare legged when they were wearing a skirt, male cast members will soon be permitted to sport beards. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, as of February 3, goatees and beards will be allowed as long as they are shorter than a quarter of an inch. Mustaches have been permitted since 2000, when an employee reportedly pointed out that Uncle Walt himself wore one.

"Disney Look guidelines are periodically reviewed in relation to industry standards, as well as the unique environment of our theme parks and resorts," a Disneyland Resorts spokeswoman said in a statement, according to the Times. "While we are careful to maintain our heritage and the integrity of our brand, a recent review of our guidelines led to a decision that an update was appropriate at this time."

To keep cast members from fully unleashing their inner hipster, soul patches will not be allowed nor will body piercings or tattoos. Magical Kingdom guests also have a dress code: in the 1960s, male visitors to the parks were not allowed to have long hair. Today, it is g-strings, offensive t-shirts, items that are made of transparent or shredded fabric, and "clothing that can be viewed as a costume" (adults only, if you are under ten, go crazy).


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