Disney is big on “the show”, meaning the iconic atmosphere that the theme parks, resorts, and restaurants are known for. The Disney Look is taken very seriously. Every detail is considered to help convey a story, and image is a huge part of this process. I’m talking anything from where a bathroom is located to what shade of blue to paint a wall. Even the cast members’ appearances must perfectly blend in with their location’s theming.
Fun fact: there are no bathrooms in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square because they didn’t exist during colonial times!
There are lots of Do’s and Don’t’s when it comes to looking the Disney cast member part. I was aware of a lot of these rules: no “unnatural” hair color (A girl during my program had to re-dye her hair because it was “too blonde”); no visible tattoos; only ears are to be pierced (While I was there, a guy was sent back home because he gauged his ear lobes too large; I heard another story about a girl who had reconstructive surgery to fix her gauged ears to meet the “Disney Look.”); etc, etc.
One rule that took me by surprise was regarding nail polish. Ladies who paint their nails have to choose colors that are neutral or traditional. That means no bright colors, no neons, no patterns, and (the worst of them all) no glitter! Being a lover of the new adventurous nail trend going on right now, this especially bummed me out.
At first, I did not think they would really be that strict about someone’s nail color. And I really didn’t want to give up my glitter nail polish haha! However, I clearly understood how serious the Disney Company is about their nail polish rules when one of my roommates got written up for wearing GREY nail polish.
The Disney “look” doesn’t just apply to cast members!
So alas, I decided that basic nails were a pretty fair trade to be able to live, work, and learn at Disney. Plus, between opening train doors, switching the train tracks, loading/unloading ECVs ad wheelchairs, and other Wildlife Express Train duties, my nails constantly got broken, chipped, and bumped. I did get lucky though that my location was kind of lax on the whole nail polish rule. One of my coworkers was always rocking cute (but definitely not traditional) fingertips. I even took a risk one day by wearing coral nail polish with a gem accent nail. (Scandalous! =P)
Written by my daughter, Brittany. She completed several Disney internships and eventually accepted a full-time position on the conservation team at Animal Kingdom. Read all about her time there over at her blog Britty Loves Disney.
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