Friday, September 3, 2010

Do You Have the Disney Look?

One of the most highly-stressed aspects of being a Disney College Program Cast Member is adhering to the Disney Look. The Disney Look is a strict set of guidelines, outlining the appearance standards set for Cast Members. Although there are a lot of rules, the Disney Look is important in maintaining that top-notch quality found around Walt Disney World.

Even before I began the Program, I was reminded numerous times about the Disney Look. Even as early as the college recruitment session, I was explained the details by the presenter. When I did the online presentation, I was again reminded of how important the Disney Look is, and that I would need to follow these guidelines if accepted into the program. Then, on my phone interview, I was asked if I was able to follow all of the rules set forth in the Disney Look. I was then reminded even further in various e-mails sent to me prior to the start of my program. So I don't know how anybody could show up unprepared.

For men, the rules are pretty easy to follow. In essence, it's a conservative, clean-cut look. No earrings. No beards. No visible tattoos. No hair covering the ears. No crazy sideburns or wild facial hair. Just use good judgement.

More nit-picky rules apply to times when business attire is required. One of these days is Disney Traditions. Other business attire occasions include classes and seminars. Some of the details include what fabrics our pants can/can not be, what style dress shirt we may/may not wear, and what patterns our clothes can/can not be. None of these rules were hard for me to follow.

Some of the more picky details apply to female cast members, especially since so many girls spend a lot of time fussing over all of these little details. Rules about fingernails, hairstyles, hair colors, makeup, hair accessories, jewelry, fabrics, patterns, and clothing lengths are all explained in great detail. Often times, female Cast Members show up to Traditions only to be turned away for unacceptable hair color or makeup.

On check-in day, we were given a visual inspection by Cast Members to make sure we were in Disney Look and would be ready for Traditions. I was surprised to see so many College Program Cast Members NOT in Disney Look! Many had to sit down with the "inspectors" to be explained what they needed to change. One girl had unnatural-looking highlights in her hair, and said she didn't know she couldn't have them. Come on! She had plenty of warning and time to get her hair color changed. To further explain the details, in case we needed reminding, we were handed the official "Disney Look Book," with the rules explained (yet again) as well as pictures to help visualize the rules.

While all of these rules do seem a bit much, it is important to remember why they were created and are still used. The whole idea is maintaining the "show" that is Walt Disney World. Cast Members should appear as approachable, friendly and helpful as possible, and the Disney Look helps maintain this high standard.


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