Workers at Disney's U.S. theme parks are now allowed to wear beards and goatees at work, reversing a policy that was put in place in the mid-1950s when Walt Disney first opened Disneyland in California. Thankfully, soul patches are still out of bounds. Employees who do choose to wear facial hair will have to keep it short though: beards must be no longer than a quarter of an inch. The company announced the change on Monday.
This raises a couple of questions: first of all, U.S. Disney employees weren't allowed to wear beards before? Apparently not: the first change in the long-standing facial hair policy came in 2000, when Disney employees were first allowed to wear mustaches at work - but only if they were grown while on vacation.
Second, won't some existing Disney "employees" still be unable to work at the park, even under the new rules? That's right... many fictional characters from Disney's long history don't make the quarter-inch cut. Here's a sampling of some Disney folk who still don't have the keys to the Magic Kingdom based on employee guidelines (even though some of them regularly appear inside Disney's theme parks):
Preston B. Whitmore from 'Atlantis: The Lost Empire'
Dr. Teeth of 'The Muppets'
Captain Jack Sparrow from 'Pirates of the Caribbean'
The Ghost of Christmas Present from 'A Christmas Carol'
King Titan from 'The Little Mermaid'
Stromboli from 'Pinocchio'