Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Mar. 4, 2015 – It’s World Nametag Day and at Disney, the oval discs that Cast Members proudly wear on the left side above their hearts are a symbol of company heritage that make it easier to connect with guests from around the world.
Over the years, dozens of nametags have been created in different shapes, colors, materials and sizes as a source of pride and tradition for Cast Members from Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort to Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
Surprisingly, the original Disneyland nametags didn’t feature names at all; instead, the first brass pins identified Cast Members by numbers. But as Walt Disney insisted that his company be a “first name company,” and preferred coworkers to call him “Walt,” by the 1960s all Cast Members wore brass nametags engraved with their first names.
When Walt Disney World opened in 1971, each property (Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Resort and Magic Kingdom Park) had its own unique nametag for the first few years of operation. Beginning in 1976, Disney issued a promotional nametag to highlight both Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s bicentennial celebrations. Many nametags that followed celebrated park anniversaries or promotions like “The Happiest Celebration on Earth” or the “The Year of a Million Dreams.”
In 2001, as Disney Parks celebrated 100 Years of Magic to honor Walt’s legacy of imagination and innovation, the nametags displayed the Cast Members’ favorite memories from a list of 100 movies, characters and attractions.
Disney nametags have also been instrumental in facilitating communication with non-English speaker guests. Cast Members who speak other languages have the option to add a language pin to the nametag so guests can easily identify those who can help them in their native tongue. At Walt Disney World, Cast Members represent more than 50 different languages.
Today, most Cast Members wear similar white nametags bearing their first name and college, hometown or country of origin. Recipients of the Walt Disney Legacy award are honored with special blue nametags that recognize Cast Members who dream, create, and inspire those around them, just as Walt did.