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Disney Announced Big Changes To The Ways Its Park Staffers Can Dress

The company said the changes on things like tattoos and jewelry will also permit staff more freedom of gender expression for things such as costumes and hairstyles.

Posted on April 13, 2021, at 4:42 p.m. ET

Guests wearing face masks stroll on Main Street in front of Cinderella's Castle in Disney World
Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Disney announced more inclusive changes to its uniform policies on Tuesday for staff members who work at the company's theme parks, loosening restrictions on things like tattoos, nail styles, jewelry.

The changes, announced as part of a new companywide commitment to inclusivity, will also permit staff more freedom of gender expression for things such as costumes and hairstyles.

"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," Disney Parks chair Josh D'Amaro wrote in a blog post.

Under the new policies, park staffers, or "cast members" as they are called, will have more flexibility "to better express their cultures and individuality at work," D'Amaro said, including having appropriate visible tattoos.

The company will also begin removing gender references for staff costumes, a Disney spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. This will mirror the flexibility already afforded to cast members in the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge section of Walt Disney World, where staffers can personally mix and match styles and accessories themed to the movie series.

Tuesday's changes come as part of an effort by the company to promote inclusivity as a fifth "key" or pillar for its corporate culture in its parks, along with safety, courtesy, show, and efficiency.

Last year, the company announced plans to overhaul its popular Splash Mountain ride, which had been originally themed around the racist 1946 movie Song of the South. Instead, the log cabin ride will become a bayou-inspired tribute to the 2009 animated movie The Princess and the Frog, which featured Tiana, Disney's first Black princess.

In January this year, Disney announced plans to remove racist depictions of Indigenous people from its Jungle Cruise ride.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.