Walt Disney said, “You can dream and create the most wonderful place in the world, but it takes passionate people to make the dream a reality.” Walt recognized that if Frontierland, Main Street, and the Pirates of the Caribbean were going to delight millions of guests it would take dedicated, skilled, trained, and enthusiastic cast members to create the “Happiest Place on Earth”. It would also require that their dress and grooming standards be strictly set and followed for decades.
Most employers impose a dress code to keep things professional around the office. But Disney goes one step further, requiring its staff to maintain what it calls a “clean, natural, polished” look that steers clear of “cutting edge trends or extreme styles.” The company disallows things like visible tattoos or body piercings on its cast members. But now, The Daily Beast reports that Disney is relaxing a little bit by lifting its 55-year ban on beards. The article runs down some of the company’s more unusual rules and regulations for employees. No trendy eye glasses, colored hair, tats, piercings, long fingernails, goatees or moustaches.
I can just imagine the disappointment of some of the seven dwarves, the bad witch in Cinderella, Merlin, Captain Hook and Geppetto if they had to apply for a job through the HR department. And didn’t Walt have a moustache? But then, that’s what makes Disneyland different and I don’t think we would like it as much if everything was the same as in the outside world.
This is all part of the escape that the Disney brand represents, and the cast members are simply living the brand.