Long Haired Men, Employee Mustaches Were Banned From Disneyland For Decades

By | August 22, 2019

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A hippy at the Isle of Wight pop festival in 1970. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

When Disneyland opened in 1955, men with flowing locks of hair were not welcome. An unwritten rule was in place to keep them out of the park -- men with long hair were few and far between in the '50s, so at the time the prohibition wasn't too consequential. Walt couldn't have foreseen the coming generational war over hair, but by 1965 there were plenty of proto-hippies growing it out.

Disneyland, “The happiest place on earth,” and Walt Disney Studios gave birth to an unbelievably immense catalog of classic tales. From The Little Mermaid to The Lion King (new and old), no other company matches their varied library of all-time nostalgic stories. It’s crazy to think that Baby Boomers and Millennials alike know and cherish films from the same magical kingdom. What other organization can boast nearly 100 years of movie-making magic?

In keeping with their insanely lucrative foresight, Disney brought everyone’s classic childhood movies to life with Disneyland. As the tagline goes, it’s the happiest place on earth and perhaps the most profitable.

Tens of millions of people visit their parks across America every year, bringing untold joy to new generations year after year. However, most people don’t know about their hilarious “unwritten dress code” instituted right before the groovy era. Let’s just say that Tom Selleck and John Lennon may have required a trim before entering the park!

Long Hair, We Care

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The Byrds in 1965. Jim McGuinn -- better known as Roger McGuinn -- is second from right, in sunglasses.

As the "happiest lace on Earth," Disneyland embraced the mid-'50s ideals of what was good and wholesome. It was all smiles and innocence -- and very short hair for men. Take a look at school pictures from the '50s and you'll see a lot of buzz-cuts, flat tops and even some pompadours -- but you wont see mullets or flowing locks. It was ok for Jesus, but in mainstream American society, long hair on men was eyed with suspicion. Beards were rare, and mustaches, like the one Walt Disney himself wore, were kept neat and tidy. Though there was a shaggy aesthetic gaining ground in the beatnik culture, it was not welcome at Disneyland.

The prohibition remained in effect for years, and became a sore spot as mop-topped Beatles sparked a change in American hair styles in the early '60s. One of the most famous cases of refused admittance involved Jim McGuinn, a young musician who was turned away for having a Beatles-esque coiffure in 1964. Jim became better known as Roger McGuinn, and his band, The Byrds, was one of the biggest American rock groups of the late '60s.