When Walt Disney founded Disneyland, he first created “The Four Keys:” Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency — a set of values designed to guide every decision made at the park. More than 65 years later, The Four Keys are still guiding every cast member’s decisions at every Disney theme park around the world. But that is about to change. For the first time ever, Disney is changing The Four Keys.
“When we asked our cast how we could better cultivate a culture of belonging, they suggested the addition of a fifth key: the key of Inclusion,” said Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “We’re bringing the spirit of the Inclusion Key to life across our business. We’re reimagining our attractions to be more inclusive, like upcoming enhancements to Jungle Cruise and new adventures with Princess Tiana. We’re 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.”
But the changes to the way “inclusion” is viewed at Disney Parks goes far beyond the cosmetic. Disney has updated the guidelines that cast members must follow to allow for more modern, gender-inclusive forms of self-expression.
Cast members will be able to choose their costume independent of assigned gender. If the traditional male uniform allows them to express themselves more freely, they are welcome to wear it. The same for the traditionally female costume. Men will be free to wear long hair, if they choose. Disney is even allowing visible tattoos for the first time ever — as long as they are tasteful and appropriate..
“We always look to see companies translate their principles into practice. Disney’s move is a powerful example of a company that is walking the walk on inclusion and belonging. With these changes, cast members can bring their full, authentic selves to their work,” said Out & Equal President Erin Uritus.
“It’s incredibly important that every child can see themselves represented in the greater world around them,” said John Marcotte, President of the Heroic Girls Foundation. “Allowing Disney cast members to more fully express their gender identity, will mean the world to kids who are grappling with their own gender expression and can see that the most powerful children’s brand in the world, Disney, is accepting of them for who they are and has a place for them in their parks.”