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To keep up with the rest of the company’s descent into “wokeism,” Disney Parks will introduce a number of major measures aimed at promoting “inclusion” at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and across its American properties, including its many kid-friendly resorts.
It is not clear whether Disney will roll the same measures out at its properties in Europe, China, Japan, and Hong Kong.
For starters, Disney Parks will be introducing “gender flexible” costumes for its non-binary “cast members” — what Disney calls its park and resort employees — and will be loosening the company’s strict appearance directives, allowing cast members, for the first time, to have some visible tattoos and jewelry and to deviate from the park’s strict dress code.
Buzzfeed News reported that the company “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 new policies, the company says, will allow cast members to “have more flexibility ‘to better express their cultures and individuality at work.'”
The company will also “begin removing gender references for staff costumes.”
It does not appear that character costumes are yet affected, so its unlikely Disney’s princesses will be played by male cast members (and its princes played by women), but the company does say they will introduce some variations on location-specific costumes to accommodate “non-binary” cast members who do not want to wear specifically male or female costumes.
“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, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro said in a statement.
The costume changes are part of a major move in Disney’s overall Parks standards. Previously, cast members were asked to abide by “Four Keys.” Disney Parks management will now be adding a “Fifth Key:” “inclusion.”
“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,” D’Amaro added.
“The ‘Four Keys’ refer to a Disney training philosophy in which theme park cast members are trained to prioritize the ‘key’ elements of ‘Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency’, in that order, to ensure that theme park guests enjoy their experiences,” Bounding into Comics noted in reporting the change, which includes, D’Amaro said, changes to iconic Disney rides.
“In promotion of their new focus on inclusivity, D’Amaro pointed to how the company would be ‘reimagining our attractions to be more inclusive, like upcoming enhancements to Jungle Cruise and new adventures with Princess Tiana’ and ‘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,'” Bounding into Comics said.
Princess Tiana, the star of “The Princess and the Frog,” will become the lead figure in a “reimagining” of the Disney ride, “Splash Mountain,” previously themed after the controversial 1930s Disney feature, “Song of the South.”
“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,” D’Amaro announced. “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.”