Recently, Disney announced some changes in their policies affecting appearances of their employees. First, for the first time in sixty years, Disney will allow male workers in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland parks to grow beards or goatees. Next, the company will allow employees to partake in casual Friday.
The new facial hair policy, which took place last Friday, February 3, is the result of the request of cast members. Prior to that, cast members were expected to present a neat, clean-shaven look - something that Walt Disney mandated in order to distinguish the Disney parks when they first opened. Prior to the newest allowance of males to sport well-groomed beards or goatees, Disney did relent in 2000 to allow for mustaches.
Though guests might now see men sporting facial hair in the parks, don't expect to see other park cast members taking part in the new casual Friday appearance code update. Only non-costumed employees who have no contact with guests can partake in dressing down on Fridays.
Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger had this to say about the appearance policy changes:
Disney Look guides are periodically reviewed, given the unique environment of our theme parks and resorts. While we're careful to maintain our heritage and the integrity of our brand, a recent review of our guidelines led to a decision that an update was appropriate at this time.