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What is the Dress Code for Disneyland Cast Members?

By Bronwyn Harris
Updated May 23, 2024
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Since its early days, Disneyland has implemented a strict dress code for employees, who are referred to as "Disneyland cast members." In the early days of the park, male workers were not allowed to have long hair, or any facial hair at all, as this was not seen as the wholesome, all-American image which the theme park was meant to convey. The philosophy was that park guests actually preferred for all workers to be clean-cut and wholesome looking. Amusement parks did not always have a good reputation, and Walt Disney wanted to set his park apart from the rest.

In fact, until the late 1960s, even male visitors to Disneyland could not enter with long hair. Workers would politely explain to the snubbed guests that the park had an unwritten dress code, which they did not meet. Sometimes women in halter tops were turned away as well.

At the beginning of the 21st century, Disneyland finally relaxed its facial hair policy enough to allow male workers to have mustaches, as long as they were neatly trimmed. Some observant Disney devotees may notice that Walt Disney had a mustache, yet it took 45 years before cast members at Disneyland were able to follow in his footsteps. The growth process of the mustaches, however, must not be seen; it is specified that mustaches must be grown while the man is on vacation.

Currently, Disneyland continues to implement a dress code, albeit one that may appear slightly more relaxed than in previous decades. Female workers may wear small stud earrings or smaller hoop earrings; men may wear no earrings. Long fingernails are prohibited, as are dirty ones or nails painted in a color that is not natural. All members' hair must be of a natural color; looking natural even if it is not actually the person's natural color. Makeup must be only on women, minimal, and natural-looking. Visible tattoos are expressly forbidden.

Male cast members are still forbidden from having long hair, although long-haired male guests are now permitted into Disneyland. Men employed at the park may not have hair that touches their ears or their collars. Sideburns may not pass the earlobes, and mustaches are allowed if they are no longer than the corners of the employee's mouth.

The philosophy behind the cast members' dress code has not changed much — the "Disney Look" is to ensure that each and every guest feels comfortable around each and every Disneyland cast member. This consideration extends farther than simple appearance. All cast members must point with two fingers or their whole hand, as pointing with one finger may be considered rude to some guests.

The rules are obviously different for cast members who play a specific character. "Face characters" may have different makeup or hair requirements to fully implement the appearance of the character they are portraying. "Mask characters," the people who are completely covered in a costume and whose actual face is not seen, may not speak.

All Disneyland cast members wear a costume that is specific to their particular "land." They are not allowed to visit the public parts of the other lands, or sections of Disneyland, in their costumes. This helps retain the feeling that guests are in a magical place, where nothing at all is out of order or unrelated to the theme. No safari costumes from Adventureland will turn up in Tomorrowland to jolt guests out of their happy illusions.

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Discussion Comments

By anon970817 — On Sep 21, 2014

Can cast members wear glasses? I can't see without them and can't wear contacts.

By anon324358 — On Mar 10, 2013

This is imposing an artificial, restrictive gender stereotype. This is sexism. I'm boycotting Disney.

By anon320355 — On Feb 17, 2013

I am a cast member at Disneyland and I can tell you that what you call a "strict" dress code is no problem for those who really want to work here. It's an insignificant small price to pay to be employed at an amazing place. A no-brainer.

For those who think it's mean, cruel, etc., you're obviously not a Disney fan, so it should be not problem for you. Don't work here!

By anon291267 — On Sep 13, 2012

It doesn't work like that! You have to look professional and proper, and that's it. I work every day with red lipstick in a Disney park and I never had any problem. Just stop trying to make everyone think it's a nightmare.

By anon177124 — On May 17, 2011

When I'm older I would love to work for WDW! These restrictions aren't really a problem for me so hopefully I can fullfil my lifelong dream and work as a character at Walt Disney World.

By anon122758 — On Oct 29, 2010

I used to work for WDW and had to leave because of the strict rules regarding facial hair. Reading the description above, I see that the restrictions have changed. This would cause me to reconsider going back to work out there as the other code requirements are not a problem for me.

By lightning88 — On Sep 04, 2010

Are there any other "cast members" in different theme parks that have to abide by similar dress codes?

After reading this, I can't help but think of those notorious pictures of cast members being escorted off the Disney property -- of course they're usually being busted for something other than a dress code violation, but still...

By pleats — On Sep 04, 2010

Wow. That is really quite strict. I guess that the happiest place on earth isn't so happy for Disney cast members all the time, then, is it?

By anon26446 — On Feb 13, 2009

if I have green eyes who should/could I be(disney princesses)?

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