What do Merlin the Magician, King Stefan, six of Snow White's seven dwarves, and some workers at Disney's theme parks now have in common? Beards.
For the first time in Magic Kingdom's history, employees at Disney's theme parks in the U.S. will be allowed to grow beards and goatees, Disney officials announced Monday. The changes at Disneyland and Disney World will begin early next month.
However, despite the new policy that allows facial hair, employees will still need to follow a strict dress code that Disney encourages as part of its Disney Look. The LA Times reports the new beards will be kept short and need; facial hair will need to be shorter than a quarter of an inch.
The Disney Look, an important part of the theme parks' brand, is clean, natural, polished and professional, the company's site claims. The conservative dress code outlines the importance of appearance for Disney's costumed and non-costumed cast. The company refers to all employees who interact face-to-face with visitors at the park as part of the Disney cast.
Disney Look guidelines are periodically reviewed in relation to industry standards, as well as the unique environment of our theme parks and resorts. 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, spokeswoman Betsy Sanchez said.
The company's strict conservative dress code prohibits international body alterations such as tattoos and body piercings, bleached or dyed hair, extreme hair styles, neon nail polish, as well as other restrictions.
Regardless of the position you hold with us, when you take pride in your appearance, you become a role model for those around you, and you convey the attitude of excellence that has become synonymous with the Disney name, the company dress code reads.
Since Disneyland first opened in Anaheim, Calif. in 1955, facial hair has been prohibited at Disney's theme parks. In 2000, the company revised its policy to allow employees to grow mustaches. However, workers could only grow the mustaches on vacation and the company still maintained strict rules on bushiness, width and length.
Disney's most recent changes to its' Look came in 2010 when the company decided to change more conservative policies regarding men and women's wear. Since 2010, female employees are allowed to wear skirts without pantyhose and sleeveless tops (assuming the straps were at least three inches wide) and male employees can wear more casual shirts and leave them untucked.
You're having people going 'Yahoo! Cool!' and you're going to have the traditional Disney workers - who have their own supply of pixie dust - that doubt Walt would approve, Donna-Lynn Dalton told the Associated Press. Dalton represents costumed workers, laundry workers and parking attendants at the theme park as a spokeswoman for Teamsters Local 385.