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It’s All in a Name…Tag

Employees of the Walt Disney Company wear a variety of costumes, hair pieces, shoes, and accessories depending on the role they hold. All employees have one item in common, though. They all wear the same name tag.

Any cast member, from the Captain of a cruise ship to a food service cook, wears the iconic white, oval-shaped name tag. It is always positioned over a cast member’s heart, on their left side. Disney name tags only list a cast member’s first name and their hometown. According to the Disney Careers website, Disney is a “first-name organization.” Last names are formal, and appear less friendly. Mickey Mouse himself delivers name tags to employees on their first day on the job.

While a cast member is undergoing training, a red ribbon bearing the words “Earning My Ears” is attached to their name tag. Trainees always have a seasoned cast member with them, and those individuals display a Jiminy Cricket pin on their name tag. Sometimes, the name of a college or university will be displayed on a name tag instead of a hometown. This indicates that a person is participating in the Disney College Program, a paid internship program for college students.

Disney prides itself on providing a welcoming environment to guests around the world. Therefore, if a cast member is fluent in a language other than English, they can receive up to five language pins to display on their name tag, identifying all languages they speak. In order to earn the language pins, cast members must pass a fluency test. There are currently 58 language pins available.  A few of the language pins available include Romanian, Finnish, Xhosa, Hungarian, Cantonese, Serbo-Croatian, and Letuviu.  Cast members can also earn a language pin in American Sign Language.

After a cast member has worked for Disney for more than one year, they receive a service pin to place on the top right section of the name tag. Individuals with a Steamboat Willy pin have worked for Disney between 12-23 months. Pins with different characters and year number are provided to cast members who have worked for Disney for at least 24 months.

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If you see a rare blue name tag, this means the cast member received the prestigious Walt Disney Legacy Award. The Legacy Award is the highest honor a cast member can receive. Recipients are nominated by their coworkers for inspiring others, going out of their way to create happiness for guests and team members, and finding new ways to deliver Disney magic.

Finally, cast members who travel frequently in their positions, such as presenters and teachers in the Disney Institute, receive a travel case to hold their name tag. A cast member told me, “We are always on show at Disney. Therefore, our name tag must always be in pristine condition, free of scratches, dents and dirt.”

As you can see, the Disney name tag is more than simply a way of conveying information about a cast member. It’s all part of the show, folks. Name tags help promote the Disney brand, help foster outstanding customer service, and help make the guest experience more enjoyable.


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