Disney Is Updating Cast Member Dress Code To Be More Gender-Inclusive

by Valerie Williams
Kent Phillips/Walt Disney World Resort/Getty

Disney Parks will now allow cast members more freedom of gender expression in their personal attire as part of a new inclusion initiative

Disney Parks cast members have pretty important jobs when it comes to how guests experiences the brand’s parks. They provide, by basically all accounts, immaculate service, making sure to give people the kind of memories that make a vacation truly magical. That’s why it’s pretty great that the company is looking at ways to make sure their cast members can feel most comfortable while at work by changing their uniform policies to allow for more freedom of gender expression including hairstyles, costumes, tattoos, nail styles, and jewelry.

The dress policy changes come as part of a larger initiative at Disney to promote inclusion, which will be the fifth of their previously-named “Four Keys.”

“Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency. Like The Four Keys before them, The 5 Keys – with Inclusion at the heart – will continue to guide us as we interact with guests, collaborate together, create the next generation of Disney products and experiences, and make critical decisions about the future of our business,” says Josh D’Amaro, Disney Parks chair, in a blog post.

The company says they’re looking to add more representation to their leadership and as an extension of that, they’re going to update uniform policies regarding their cast members. “Our new approach provides greater flexibility with respect to forms of personal expression surrounding gender-inclusive hairstyles, jewelry, nail styles, and costume choices; and allowing appropriate visible tattoos. We’re updating them to not only remain relevant in today’s workplace, but also enable our cast members to better express their cultures and individuality at work,” D’Amaro explains.

“Moving forward, we believe our cast, who are at the center of the magic that lives in all our experiences, can provide the best of Disney’s legendary guest service when they have more options for personal expression – creating richer, more personal and more engaging experiences with our guests,” D’Amaro says.

He also mentions other efforts the brand is making to bring inclusion to the forefront. “We’re reimagining our attractions to be more inclusive, like upcoming enhancements to Jungle Cruise and new adventures with Princess Tiana. We’re celebrating the diverse and inspiring stories of our cast and fans with creator collaborations and exciting experiences, like The Soul of Jazz exhibit at Walt Disney World Resort.”

“This is just the beginning as we continue to work toward a world where we all belong – including a more diverse and inclusive Disney Parks, Experiences and Products,” he says. “There’s more to do, but we’re committed to listening, learning and making meaningful improvements.”

According to Deadline, it was only in 2012 that Disney even allowed cast members to have beards, so this kind of progress is pretty exciting less than 10 years later.

“The world is changing, and we will change with it, and continue to be a source of joy and inspiration for all the world. We’ll never stop working to make sure that Disney is a welcoming place for all.”