ORLANDO, Fla. – Workers at Disney’s U.S. theme parks will be allowed to grow beards and goatees for the first time ever, Disney officials said Monday.
The change in Disney’s facial hair policy will apply to workers in Florida and California starting next month, said spokeswoman Andrea Finger.
Facial hair was prohibited on theme park workers when founder Walt Disney opened Disneyland in California in the mid-1950s. The company revised its policy in 2000 to allow moustaches, provided they were grown on vacation and not at work.
Starting Feb. 3, beards, moustaches and other facial growth will be allowed.
Reaction from rank-and-file workers has run the gamut, said Donna-Lynne Dalton, a spokeswoman for Teamsters Local 385, which represents costumed workers, laundry workers and parking attendants.
“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,” she said.
Disney periodically reassesses its grooming requirements, and officials decided now was a good time to revise their facial hair policy, Finger said.
The policy change also allows workers in areas without visitor contact to have casual Fridays.