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"There must be something there that wasn't there before"
I Wanna Be Like Walt
One of the big news stories from last week was the news that the theme parks would soon start allowing their employees (called Cast Members in Disneyspeak) to wear moustaches. Disneyland has always had their Cast Members sport "The Disney Look" which has always included no facial hair. According to an Orloando Sentinel article, the move is being made in an effort to make it easier to find employees as both Walt Disney World and Disneyland are having difficulties filling positions.
So what's the big deal? After all, Walt Disney himself wore a mustache. The policy was originally set to distinguish Disneyland employees from the shady amusement employees of the 1950s and surely that's no longer required. Personally, I'm ambivalent about the change. For the most part I think it's fine, I don't believe mustaches are associated with shadiness these days. I'm sure there are more than a few potential Cast Members who don't apply because they don't wish to shave their mustaches, and if this gets them in the park, wonderful. Yes, it'll be weird - very weird - seeing mustached Cast Members around the park, but I don't think it'll be bad.
Some may say first mustaches, next .... After all, there are plenty of very nice people with tattoos, piercings, etc. And there absolutely are, but the difference is public perception. The public does not perceive people with mustaches as somehow being more threatening, less trustworthy or less approachable than clean shaven people. Right or wrong, the public does have that perception of people with tattoos or piercings. And that should be the criteria Disney uses when making decisions like this. And, above all, the Cast Members Disney hires should truly be non-threatening, trustworthy and approachable. If opening the park up to mustaches widens the base of people from which these desirable Cast Members can be chosen, I'm all for it.
Be Our Guest
Tomorrow LaughingPlace.com will present our third Guest Column. This one came to us from a reader who's written an interesting story about a trip to Walt Disney World. Our first guest column was from another reader writing about changes around Disneyland in the last 40 years. Our second guest column was from legendary Imagineer Bob Gurr. As you can see, it's a diverse group. We're willing to accept guest columns on just about anything Disney related. Do you have something that you'd like to write? Just send your topic or article to Doobie@LaughingPlace.com and we'll take a look.
As mentioned above we'll have another Guest Column on Wednesday of this week. On Friday we'll have the latest edition of Guest Relations from columnist Chris Reed. This week's Trivia Contest is all about Disney Youngsters and this week's Online Poll asks the question "How often do you go to a Disney theme park?" And today we premiere our latest Guide, A Guide to Pin Trading, to help everyone get the most out of the Pin Trading programs at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
-- Doobie Moseley (March 28, 2000)
Editor's Report: Doobie's look at the world of Disney and what's coming up on LaughingPlace.com in the coming week.
The Editor's Report is posted every Tuesday.