Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Human Interest

Word for Word: Disneyland employee handbook, 1962

Last week, workers at Disney's theme parks were granted permission for the first time ever to grow beards and goatees.

Disney had prohibited all facial hair on its theme park workers since Disneyland opened in California in the mid 1950s. The company revised its policy in 2000 to allow mustaches, provided they were grown on vacation, not at work. In light of this development, we revisited the rules by which employees of Disneyland were expected to live according to a handbook issued in 1962. Here are some excerpts:


Show Business is fun and fulfilling and rewarding.

But it is also an exacting endeavor which requires the toughest form of personal discipline.

Your attitude . . . and your every action . . . affect the happiness of our guests. So . . . to be blunt about it . . . you can't go "on stage" unless you are set to give a pleasant, happy performance.

In addition to the fact that you must discipline yourself to think of the problems of others (rather than your own) . . . and to be consistently courteous to everyone, we have certain basic rules which cannot be broken . . .

You must not report for work with even a "little" old odor of liquor on your breath, nor of course, acquire one while on duty.

You must not smoke nor eat on duty . . . fight . . . gamble. . . speak loudly or profanely.

You must not deliberately stand with your back to a guest, nor argue with a guest.

You must not instigate nor participate in any "horseplay."

Your supervisor will inform you of other disciplines of the show . . . and you'll just have to learn to live with them.

The whole point is this . . . Disneyland is a happy, wholesome, family entertainment center.

Millions of dollars and the efforts of thousands of people have built this reputation.

We cannot risk this reputation with anyone who doesn't understand and practice our . . .

Disneyland Disciplines of the Show.


As every actor or actress knows, wardrobe and personal appearance are of vital importance. At Disneyland, we know that the way we look is important to our guests. Also, the way we look makes you feel better. There is an "outside-in" benefit to good appearance. You actually feel better when you look your best.

The "Disneyland Look" is a natural look. You take what nature gave you and make the best of it . . . without going to extremes of any kind. To acquire "the look," here is how you do it:

You cannot go on stage . . . jangling with baubles, bangles and beads. No jewelry, in fact, except for a modest personal ring or watch.

Your personal aroma is fine with a fresh deodorant . . . no heavy perfumes are permitted.

Extremes in hair styles or hair cuts don't fit in at Disneyland. Keep it neat, not tricky.

Of course, we practice the usual arts of good grooming . . . neat and well-shined shoes . . . stockings with straight seams . . . natural clear nail polish, standard nail length, neatly manicured.

Costumes are of paramount importance. Each has been designed to fit into the atmosphere of one of our "lands" or a specific attraction. You'll be provided with your costume or uniform. Please help maintain it as carefully as you would your own clothes . . . perhaps even more so.

One more thing . . . you'll be advised of your footwear. Unless required on your particular assignment, tennis shoes, "go-aheads" and other casual shoes are not allowed.

So . . . those are the essentials of the "Disneyland Look".

Remember at all times what the actor or actress knows so well . . . that a neat wardrobe and appearance are pleasing to the audience. And . . .

To please the guest is our reason for being in show business.

Word for Word is an occasional feature excerpting passages of interest from books, magazines, Web sites and other sources. The text may be edited for space but the original spelling, grammar and punctuation are unchanged.

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