The Walt Disney Company have announced that from the 3rd February 2012 their employees will be allowed to grow beards or goatees.
The new policy, eliminates a facial hair ban that has for decades been a source of grumbling among some of the company's male workers.
Disney's new policy restricts any facial hair to no more than a quarter of an inch in length. And the company says any chin whiskers "must create an overall neat, polished and professional look" and must be fully grown in and well-groomed.
It is one of two notable changes Disney is making to "The Disney Look" — the clean-cut, all-American appearance that Disney has demanded of its theme-park employees from the day its original theme park, Disneyland, opened in 1955. The rigid code was instituted by Walt Disney himself, who wanted to distinguish his theme park from the sleazy carnivals of the time.
The other change: Casual Fridays. But only for employees who work in non-costumed jobs and who don't interact with theme-park visitors.
Disney said it finally relented on beards in response to requests from its employees.
"Disney Look guides are periodically reviewed, given the unique environment of our theme parks and resorts," Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said. "While we're careful to maintain our heritage and the integrity of our brand, a recent review of our guidelines led to a decision that an update was appropriate at this time."
Changes are typically made only after the company has studied similar guidelines at other theme parks and Fortune 500 companies.