Disney Parks announced last week a change in it's park cast member dress code, allowing for more personal expression and introducing "gender flexible" costumes for non-binary cast members.
The change comes as part of the company's newly enforced commitment to inclusivity.
"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," wrote Disney Parks chairman Josh D'Amaro in a blog post.
Disney parks will also reportedly "begin removing gender references for staff costumes," and will introduce "gender flexible" costumes for non-binary cast members.
D'Amaro said that the dress code update comes as a way to remain relevant in the workplace and to enable cast members to express their identity.
"We’re looking at other traditions, too – including the policies that guide how our cast members show up for work. Our new approach provides greater flexibility with respect to forms of personal expression surrounding gender-inclusive hairstyles, jewelry, nail styles, and costume choices; and allowing appropriate visible tattoos. We’re updating them to not only remain relevant in today’s workplace, but also enable our cast members to better express their cultures and individuality at work," D'Amaro wrote.
He believes that cast members can provide the best service by connecting with customers through their personal expression.
"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," D'Amaro continued.
D'Amaro added that this change was just the beginning in a more diverse and inclusive Disney Parks.
"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. There’s more to do, but we’re committed to listening, learning and making meaningful improvements," he wrote.
This change to the long standing strict dress code comes with the introduction to a "Fifth Key" cast members are asked to abide by.
The "Fifth Key", according to D'Amaro, will be about principles of inclusion.
"And 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. 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," he wrote.
"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," D'Amaro continued.
The "spirit of inclusion" will be infused into the parks with the reimagining of Splash mountain, modeled after the controversial 1940s movie "Song of the South," as well as with enhancements to Jungle Cruise.