Friday, June 15, 2012

Religious "Costume" at the Magic Kingdom

I spotted this female Cast Member (pictured below) in the Magic Kingdom near the Emporium last weekend. The headgear / scarf portion of her costume is not worn by other CMs working the location, and I wondered if this was a "religion-based" adaptation of the costume.

Two years ago, Noor Abdallah and Imane Boudlal held separate, high publicity fights with Disneyland in Anaheim over their rights to wear a hijab to work. In both cases, the workers won out, though both the press and the public weighed in frequently on the controversy.

I have not seen a costume altered for religious reasons in any Disney park until now (assuming that's what we see here). I don't believe I've seen any press on this woman working at the Magic Kingdom, so my next assumption is that Disney no longer tries to enforce a one-size-fits-all policy when it comes to costumes. It would appear that things get worked out amicably now without stories appearing in the press. In other words, if someone wants a costume altered for religious reasons, my guess would be that now this is what they get, without needing to file discrimination claims.

Kevin Yee is the author of numerous independent Disney books, including the popular Walt Disney World Earbook series and Walt Disney World Hidden History.