Disney Parks is updating its policies to allow cast members to wear gender-inclusive costume choices, have visible tattoos, and more as part of changes intended to create "a place where everyone is welcome". Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products Chairman Josh D'Amaro announced these changes in a blog post on Tuesday that outlined the company's addition of a fifth "Key" to their traditions, one of Inclusion.
The Key of Inclusion joins Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency which have "guided our approach to guest service for more than 65 years". The addition of Inclusion comes after the company sought input from cast members around the world starting in 2019 about how to "bring a greater focus to inclusivity and belonging" to the cast.
"Inclusion is essential to our culture and leads us forward as we continue to realize our rich legacy of engaging storytelling, exceptional service, and Disney magic," the post reads.
In order to create magic for everyone, we must include everyone. Our Chairman shares an update on how we’re building a Disney where all are welcome and everyone belongs: https://t.co/r5rNKUWE25 pic.twitter.com/n8VseLfadu— Disney Parks News (@DisneyParksNews) April 13, 2021
According to the post, Disney Parks is reimagining various attractions to be more inclusive, including enhancements to Jungle Cruise and new adventures with Princess Tiana. The changes also extend to cast member policies, which is where the shifts to costume choices and other forms of persona expression come in, a major shift as Disney Parks has a long history of fairly strict guidelines in that area -- for example, park workers weren't allowed to have beards until 2012.
"We're looking at other traditions, too – including the policies that guide how our cast members show up for work," D'Amaro wrote. "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."
It isn't clear exactly how or when these new policies will take effect, but it sounds like there could more changes in the future, with D'Amaro noting in the post that there is more to do.
"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 wrote. "There's more to do, but we're committed to listening, learning, and making meaningful improvements.
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. I'm excited about where we're headed, and we'll have more to share soon. Thank you for joining us on this journey."
What do you think about the changes to Disney Park's cast member policies? Let us know in the comments.