(Jerome LABOUYRIE/Shutterstock)

Disney Theme Parks Announce New Diversity and Inclusion Efforts for Workers

Following long-term COVID-19-related closures, Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort has opened back up for business and California’s Disneyland is slated to reopen on April 30th. The family-friendly company also took some time away from celebrating its big news to announce some inclusive and diversity-promoting efforts it had implemented during the company’s time away.

Joey Nolfi of Entertainment Weekly has reported that “Disney is committed to making its theme parks the happiest places on earth for both guests and its employees, according to a new initiative aimed at amplifying diversity, inclusion and individual expression among its workforce,” which now includes ‘gender-inclusive hairstyles’ and tattoos.

In its announcement of the new changes, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro said “we want our guests to see their own backgrounds and traditions reflected in the stories, experiences and products they encounter in their interactions with Disney. And we want our cast members — and future cast members — to feel a sense of belonging at work.”

“The world is changing, and we will change with it,” the company said.

D’Amaro said that that means “cultivating an environment where all people feel welcomed and appreciated for their unique life experiences, perspectives and culture. Where we celebrate allyship and support for each other. And where diverse views and ideas are sought after as critical contributions towards our collective success.”

While parks were closed for the past 16 months, D’Amaro said the company spoke with numerous existing employees and began working with them to “develop an approach to making inclusivity a core tenet of its daily operations.”

“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,” D’Amaro said. “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 said the company is so committed to these principles that it is also updating a 65-year-old code of operations the theme parks used to guide all actions and decisions; its “Four Keys” — safety, show, courtesy and efficiency — will now become five keys, with the new fifth “key” representing inclusion.

In addition to renewed efforts at inclusivity for its employees, Disney also announced that it was in the process of revamping popular attractions such as Splash Mountain and the Jungle Cruise rides to remove racially insensitive portrayals. Disney is also working to increase representation of Black experiences within its parks, including a new Soul attraction at Epcot highlighting the varied history of jazz music, inspired by Disney’s 2020 animated film.

“We’ll never stop working to make sure that Disney is a welcoming place for all,” D’Amaro said. “I’m excited about where we’re headed, and we’ll have more to share soon. Thank you for joining us on this journey.”

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.


Latest News

banned books

Texas Lawmaker Pursues Banning 850 Books From Schools Over Fears That They Might Cause ‘Student Discomfort’

The state of Texas is continuing its descent away from democracy and equality for its citizens. First came its horrifying rollback of women’s rights with its recent abortion ban. Then came its recent attack on trans students’ ability to participate in sports. Now, Texas lawmakers are at it again, this…

Border patrol agents

Government Establishes New ‘Protected Areas’ Where Illegal Immigrants Should No Longer Fear Being Arrested

Immigrants in the United States without proper documentation will no longer have to fear getting arrested at schools, churches, hospitals and a number of newly “protected” areas. The Associated Press has reported that the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. immigration authorities issued new guidelines on Wednesday, Oct. 27,…

girls high school sports

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Officially Bans Transgender Students From School Sports

Holding true to threats he has made in the past, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has officially signed into Texas state law a rule that would restrict transgender students from participating in high school sports consistent with their gender identity. ESPN’s Katie Barnes reported that following Abbott’s action, Texas has become…


Music Icon Prince Could Soon Be Honored With Posthumous Congressional Gold Medal

He changed music history and was the soundtrack for countless people’s lives, and now music legend Prince could soon be awarded a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal by the U.S. government. Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press has reported that “Minnesota’s Congressional delegation on Monday, Oct. 25, introduced a resolution to…


New FBI Report Estimates Anti-Asian Hate in the United States Increased by 73% in 2020

We’ve known anti-Asian sentiment increased dramatically in the U.S. since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but new government data quantifies just how shockingly severe that jump has been. Based on recently released FBI data, Sakshi Venkatraman of NBC News reported that “anti-Asian hate crimes increased more than 73% in…

Boeing building

Boeing Global Services CEO Ted Colbert Named Black Engineer of the Year by ‘US Black Engineer & Information Technology’ Magazine

Originally published at boeing.mediaroom.com. Boeing Company ranked No. 17 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, has been named Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) for 2022 by U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine. The…