Disney pulled a total 180 overnight

Edited: April 16, 2021, 3:33 AM

I was at WDW this week and i'll just say it was extremely noticeable, one day everyone looked professional and the next day out of nowhere everything was totally different. A LOT of the employees have tattoos and I saw a bunch of employees with tats scattered all the way down their arms. It was also pretty surprising how many men had earrings as well. Also I did see several guys wearing nail polish. Its like overnight Disney did a total 180.

I will admit when I was working, Disney and all the other parks, purposely had very strict rules because they did not want people to think of them as carni's or seedy which is what many people thought of the industry before that. It was like an unwritten agreement all theme park operators had with each other for the good of the industry, so going to a place like WDW and seeing tats and all of these other things all over the place after decades and decades of purposely trying not to be that was shocking. TBH I think it looks like crap (and i'm not even that old) but also i'll admit that younger people don't seem to care so i'm sure they did their research and figured out in the future it wouldn't bother as many people as it bothers that they had the rules in the first place.

I will give Disney major props though for finally getting rid of Fastpass. I have been to WDW several times since the pandemic but never really had an opportunity on these boards to express how much better the parks are now that the lines actually move. That is a major improvement, sadly UO seems to be going in the other direction as I was constantly having to look at my phone all day to try and get a spot in line for their attractions and they still sell tons of the express passes.

Replies (27)

April 16, 2021, 3:11 AM

Also I want to add I have done many theme park trips around our country and around the world in the past five years and it seems our country has gone to sh*t when it comes to quality. The parks in this country seem to have gotten much worse than they used to be, particularly at Six Flags and Cedar Fair, which mostly were all subpar experiences for various reasons. It's really weird to see Disney joining in the tattoo fest. This isnt just jaded old man complaining either I went to 10 parks in Europe and across the board operations were better, the parks were cleaner and prettier, and the employees seemed much more professional. I saw the occasional tattoo at the European parks but nothing like what i'm seeing here. Also even DLRP, which used to be a total dump, was spotless even though it was slammed and WDW the past few years definitely has not been spotless when its slammed. My intuition was validated when I watched the whole series of theme park world wide USA trip vlogs on youtube earlier this year (a british theme park fan doing a long road trip throughout the USA). He even said he felt the parks in the USA were trashy compared to the ones in Europe. I can't be the only one noticing our industry is slipping. I hate to say it because I grew up with the industry but it just seems like another business now people don't really think much else of it.

Edited: April 17, 2021, 8:17 AM

Unfortunately, there is no need for standards, this is a new world we live in where the rules don’t apply. And if there are standards, it is not the employee’s responsibility to rise to the company’s standards, it’s the companies that are lowering their standards to the employees.
God bless America!...no I mean, bless America!...no, not that either...America!...awe screw it...ME!

Edited: April 16, 2021, 2:14 PM

Good to hear that Disney is sticking it to the_man.

Edited: April 16, 2021, 5:07 PM

In most instances, the company should shift to the employee and the status of the employee (hence all of the terrible stuff in factories in the North in the early 1900s), however I feel like appearance should be set by the company. The appearance of an employee is very important in how the customer and the general public views the company. In my opinion, I feel like people taint their bodies with tattoos, ear rings, etc, however I don’t think that’s the majority mentality anymore.

While appearance is important to a company, arguably an even more important factor is how an employee treats you. It’ll make me feel a bit more uncomfortable but i would be even more uncomfortable if the Disney employees were to treat me poorly but looked sharp. As long as I’m treated with that “Disney magic”, it’ll be fine.

And come on now guys, no need to insult. Respect a guys opinion and critique it instead of throwing off hand comments.

To respond to the_man- I’m pretty young so I don’t know much of what parks used to be like but I have noticed that SFMM has gone down the hole a bit, or maybe it always has been idk lol. I’ve noticed too that Disney just doesn’t feel as... magical I guess? Maybe it was just being at Disney as a kid but I feel like CMs were more energetic and always smiling. Now it’s more of a 50/50, or maybe my child-like wonder is gone. Someone else feel the same?

April 17, 2021, 12:38 PM

Disappointing. I hope to go for the first time later this year, and while I’m used to tattoos and piercings and don’t have a problem with them, and some of my favorite people have them, that’s here and now. Most parts of the parks are supposed to be in a different time and place. I remember hearing in college a nurse lost her job because she had a picture of the tattoos on her back on Facebook. For the most part, what you do outside of work isn’t their concern. At work, you have to do what they tell you, Or at least more and more often HAD to do. When my employer relaxed the dress code, what people wore didn’t change overnight. I’m bummed that’s what happened at Disney World.

Edited: April 17, 2021, 1:02 PM

Interesting. the_man (whose handle is ironically institutionally authoritarian with regards to this topic) writes "one day everyone looked professional and the next day out of nowhere everything was totally different."

And yet (since apparently he regards "professionalism" as solely or primarily based on physical appearance) he does not seem to discuss CM courtesy.

I guess an individual's level of kindness does not seem to be a reflection of ... Well, anything important.

Edited: April 17, 2021, 2:48 PM

Nowhere in the_man’s post is it stated or even insinuated that professionalism is solely or primarily based on physical appearance, TH. That is a false accusation and you should rethink what you believe the_man posted. To better summarize, the “Disney look” is not so Disney anymore, and it looks like sh*t, his opinion. As for professionalism, image and appearance are just as important as an individual’s knowledge, skill, experience, conduct and competence.

April 17, 2021, 2:55 PM

Not that many years ago, I went on several field engineering trips with a transvestite and another team member who wore nothing but leather and latex, and both of these guys were top notch engineers who could be counted on to get their part of the work done completely and professionally. After getting somewhat used to that, gauges and tattoos barely register on my radar.

So if the guy who cuts my hair who has sleeves and gauges can be counted on to do a great job with what little hair I have left, why can't I extend the same trust to the folks with tats and piercings checking the lap bar on the rollercoaster?

April 17, 2021, 3:11 PM

Schneider is officially obsessed with me.


April 17, 2021, 4:34 PM

I don't know about Keith, TH, but is that a painting of Mickey Mantle in your profile picture?

April 17, 2021, 5:47 PM

@T. Hillman: It's the portrait of Jock Lindsey that's hanging in 'Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar' at the Disney Springs theme park.

Edited: April 18, 2021, 4:29 PM

Man I love the back and forths between TH and Keith. It’s quite entertaining and humorous. I wonder if there’s anything yall can agree upon.

April 19, 2021, 4:31 PM

We both believe that his greatest contribution to TPI is that the words "IN THE WORLD" should always appear in all caps.


Edited: April 19, 2021, 9:43 PM

Where is the real TH? Where is the substance that has been missing from his recent posts? I don’t care for this TH proxy, can we get a new deputy, this one is too easily shutdown and pushed around.


Edited: April 19, 2021, 10:01 PM

AndrewL, maybe you need a little Jesus in your heart.

Ooooh, this little light of mine,
I’m going to let it shine,
Oh, this little light of mine,
I’m going to let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I’m going to let it shine,
Let it shine, all the time, let it shine!

All around the neighborhood,
I’m going to let it shine,
All around the neighborhood,
I’m going to let it shine,
All around the neighborhood,
I’m going to let it shine.
Let it shine, all the time, let it shine!

Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m going to let it shine,
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m going to let it shine,
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m going to let it shine,
Let it shine, all the time, let it shine!

Don’t let Satan [blow] it out!
I’m going to let it shine,
Don’t let Satan [blow] it out!
I’m going to let it shine,
Don’t let Satan [blow] it out!
I’m going to let it shine,
Let it shine, all the time, let it shine!

April 19, 2021, 10:51 PM

And the King of Cancel from the World of Woke has spoken. Therefore it must be true.

Try to contribute instead of condemn once in a while, AndrewL.

April 20, 2021, 5:59 AM

AndrewL does contribute some great posts. His “We need to talk about A.S.S.” thread was fantastic! Can we get more of that, AndrewL?

April 20, 2021, 8:08 AM

Gotta give him some style points for that thread. That was pretty good.

April 20, 2021, 8:25 AM

@the_man - You put up a post yesterday that had a couple of interesting discussion points in it, and it seems to be gone this morning. Care to clean it up and re-post it so we can get this discussion back on track?

Edited: April 21, 2021, 9:11 AM

I am part of what you might consider the younger side of this debate, I myself am a ride operator and have seen many of the people I work with have many body modifications be that earrings, tattoos, or gauges, and these are some of the most hard-working people I know. Always with a smile and ready to answer questions, and guest relate, which is what really matters, right? I had a little trouble reading the whole thread with all the back and forth, but I really enjoyed reading posts by Tim Hillman because I thought it was well said. However, I can appreciate both sides of this conversation.

April 21, 2021, 11:56 PM

"@the_man - You put up a post yesterday that had a couple of interesting discussion points in it, and it seems to be gone this morning."
Came to the conclusion that I am wasting my time. Disney wouldn't have done this if they didn't do the research and think they would be better off financially by doing this than not doing it, so there's no point in harping on it.

April 23, 2021, 4:26 PM

@the_man - I understand. I'm not fond of change either, but it happens whether we like it or not. And considering some of the crazy stuff I've seen in my life, I'm starting to wonder what the standard for "normal" is. I don't think that "normal" has ever existed; we just pretended that it did so we could shuffle our way through life with as little cognitive upset as possible.

Edited: April 23, 2021, 7:19 PM

The times they are a changing. Might as well change with the times and add graffiti to Main Street USA to match the cast members’ tattoos, we don’t want to break theme.

April 24, 2021, 8:23 AM

You should have said Disney Springs, Keith. Now that it is officialy the greatest non-theme park, theme park....IN THE WORLD!, we can't leave it out of the mix.

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