Pride in the Parks
Updated: Sep 18
Sharing the love with uniform changes, new Pride merch and the fifth key
“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome,” Walt Disney said in 1955 during the Disneyland dedication. Over the next several decades, Disney has been making changes to increase diversity and inclusivity in their daily routines in the parks and overall mantra as a company. Some of these efforts can be seen in their new guidelines in the Disney Cast Member LookBook, the proceeds donated from their Rainbow Disney Collection, colorful rainbow-inspired treats and the addition of the fifth key.
Disney updated their uniform guidelines in April 2021 to support individual expression while still maintaining the uniform look. This includes more flexibility with gender-inclusive hairstyles, jewelry, nail styles and costume choices. While body piercings (not including ear piercings) are still prohibited, visible tattoos are now allowed as long as they are appropriate, not placed on the head or neck and are no bigger than the size of their hand.
Each year, Disney releases new merchandise as part of their Rainbow Disney Collection. A portion of their proceeds are given to organizations around the world that support LGBTQ+ communities. These organizations include:
ARELAS: a Spanish association that provides support for trans children and their families and that has been working for more than five years to achieve equal opportunities and rights for Spanish trans minors in all areas of public and private life
BeLonG To Youth Services: the national organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex young people in Ireland
diversity München e.V.: an LGBTQ+ youth organization with a youth center based in Munich, Germany
Diversity Role Models: a U.K. LGBTQ+ education charity with a vision of a world where everybody embraces diversity and can thrive
Famiglie Arcobaleno: an independent Italian association created by LGBT+ singles and parents
GLSEN: leading national organization in the U.S. dedicated to ending violence, harassment and discrimination against LGBTQ+ youth in K-12 schools
It Gets Better: helps LGBTQ+ youth embrace their identities and feel empowered through storytelling and educational efforts
MAG Jeunes LGBT+: a non-profit organization for LGBTI+ youth aged 15-30 years old that guides educational interventions in school to raise awareness of discrimination
Minus18: a champion for LGBTQIA+ young people in Australia that advocates for a safe and empowering space
Nijiiro(Rainbow in Japanese) Diversity: a non-profit organization that encourages diversity, inclusion and individual agency in the workplace in Japan
*More information can be found at The Walt Disney Company Pride Collection
The Disney Pride Collections includes various iconic characters and logos painted in colors of the rainbow on shirts, hats, backpacks, face masks and more.
New to the 2021 collection, Disney has added Mickey Mouse Icon Pins with the intersexional, transgender, lesbian and bisexual flags.
All merchandise can be found on shopDisney Rainbow Disney While these small changes, flashy merchandise and rainbow donuts are a way to Share Your Pride, Josh D’Amaro made the announcement of a fifth key in April 2021 to take action and make a change in Disney’s company culture. The Four Keys have been taught for over 65 years to all cast members as a blueprint for their customer service approach. Cast members lead with the Four Keys: Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency in their day-to-day attitude and guest interactions. After some research and input from current cast members, the fifth key was added – Inclusivity.
“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,” said D’Amaro. This led to the announcements of enhancements coming to Jungle Cruise, Splash Mountain and inspiration for stories to come. While there has not been many details released for Jungle Cruise’s makeover, the Disney Parks Blog announced that it will, “reflect and value the diversity of the world around us.” As for Splash Mountain, the attraction will acquire an entire remodel and be transformed into a bayou beauty based on Princess & the Frog. Disney has evolved to be more inclusive and celebrate those who are different. Though they still have room to grow, we are excited to see them show more support for the LGBTQ+ community and take accountability in making Disney a happy, welcoming place for all.