With Disney parks around the world closed for the foreseeable future, WDWNT draws on our archive of vintage park materials for a look back at the history of the parks! With so many waiting for their next haircut, you can get inspired and find out what happens in “The Disney Look” with this 1987 Walt Disney World Actors Handbook! The “Disney Look” has changed dramatically over the years, so this is a snapshot over time of the guidelines in place in the late 1980s.
Note: This article details the manual page by page, but WIGS Members will have access to download a full resolution PDF of the set. Head to Patreon.com/wdwnt to join WIGS, the WDWNT Inner Globe Society, for as little as $ 2 per month and unlock access to great content like this, and much more!
For those who don’t know, “the Disney look” refers to the hair, makeup, grooming and costumes of the cast members throughout the Disney parks.
The introduction reveals that this manual has been given to senior members of the cast and management to help guide subordinates to maintain the look: “There is nothing in this manual but a facilitator or a hostess. cannot read or be shown. However, this material should not be posted and employees should not be asked to read its content throughout. This is because these points need to be discussed personally, openly, and honestly with our cast members.
Next come comments from future Disney legend Dick Nunis, who explains why the “Disney Look” is integral to the quality of the theme park show, both at Walt Disney World and at Disneyland.
The guide goes on to explain how management should deal with the actors regarding maintenance of appearance, as well as what goes into creating the “Disney look”.
Next is a description of the appearance with respect to hosts or male actors. In the guide, mutton mustaches and chops are prohibited, while deodorant or antiperspirant is mandatory.
After a few words on hats and sunglasses, we get to hairstyles and sideburns that are acceptable and unacceptable for actors.
Many styles are acceptable, as long as they aren’t too long and neat.
We then move on to the “Disney Look” for the hostesses, or the female members of the cast. Hairstyle, makeup, skirt length and more are covered in this section.
It’s also a great documentation on some vintage actor costumes!
While not assigned to specific costumes, even supervisory and office staff are required to maintain the look. Make sure you wear dress shoes!
Of course, with every set of rules and guidelines there has to be a chain of discipline in case the actors resist. Here this discipline is discussed, including warnings, suspensions, and terminations, as well as how to respond when subordinates have questions about the policy.
And with a quote from Walt Disney, the guide ends.
Does your style meet “the Disney look?” Let us know in the comments below!
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