About the Column

Disney nametags: You see them everywhere but do you have any idea how many of them there are? Or how they're designed? Or their fascinating histories? Benson Myers, curator of the Nametag Museum, knows. And in his new column, It's All in a Nametag, he'll spotlight some of Disney's more interesting (and often obscure) nametags so that the next time you see a nametag pinned to a Disney Cast Member you'll know there's a lot more to that nametag than just ... a name!

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FROM: It's All in a Nametag Published Thursdays

Disneyland History Through Nametags

In celebration this Sunday of Disneyland's 57th anniversary, Benson breaks out his colossal collection of Disneyland nametags and takes you on a guided tour of Disneyland history, nametag by nametag. He should charge admission! But he doesn't.

This Sunday, July 17, is Disneyland's 57th anniversary. I am sure we are all familiar with the words that Walt Disney spoke that day:

"To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world." see walt at the dedication

This week I thought I might do something to celebrate 57 years of Disneyland. How would you like to see every nametag that's been worn by a Cast Member at Disneyland on a daily basis during the past 57 years? I went through my collection and gathered an example of each of those nametags and put them into one picture. Here it is:

Each nametag has its own history, which in turn is a small part of Disneyland history. Let's look at the tags, row by row, starting with the top and working our way down. (Don't forget to click the image for an even bigger view!)


  • The badge in the upper left hand corner is made of metal, and is the very first name badge issued at Disneyland. There were two kinds used in the first seven years Disneyland was open. Regular employees had a badge with their employee number. Supervisors and managers had their full names on their badges. The badge in this picture belonged to Jim Warrick, who was in charge of the Maintenance department.

From 1962 to 1974, the thin oval nametags were used at Disneyland. There were three varieties used:

  • First was a steel gray oval, with silver inlay (LYNDA).
  • In 1967, there was a slight change, and the inlay was changed to gold (PAUL).
  • From 1971 to 1974, a while oval was used (RICK).
  • In 1975-76, the Bicentennial of the United States was celebrated at Disneyland and a new nametag was made (SHANE).


  • In 1977, a nametag (RICHARD) was used that featured the Disneyland 'castle and stars' logo. You might have seen this logo on traffic barricades inside Disneyland.
  • In 1978, the next nametag (SUSAN) featured Mickey Mouse with his hands outstretched in welcome.
  • At the same time, a special nametag (EARL) was created for Cast Members who had earned a service pin for years of service with the Walt Disney Company.
  • The next nametag (BILL) was created in 1985 for the 30th anniversary of Disneyland (BILL).
  • The last nametag (CHEECH) in this row was created in 1986, and featured Mickey Mouse playing a large bass drum.


  • 1987 was the 50th anniversary of the release of the film Snow White, and Disneyland celebrated it (KIM).
  • Next in this row is an updated version of the service pin nametag (ROVERTA).
  • In 1989, an updated version of the Mickey Mouse nametag (JENNIFER) was created. It featured a more detailed drawing of Mickey in a slightly different pose.
  • Another version of the service pin nametag (DEBRHA) was also created at this time. Disneyland had just installed a more advanced engraving machine; you can see this in the change in the font on the nametags during this time period.
  • The last nametag (ELBA) in this row was created in 1990 for the 35th anniversary of Disneyland.


  • In 1992, the night spectacular Fantasmic had its premiere at Disneyland. The first nametag in this row was issued to Cast Members who worked the premiere.
  • Next in this row is the nametag (MICHAEL) created in 1995 for the 40th anniversary of Disneyland.
  • The summer of 1996 was supposed to be the final season of Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade. A nametag (BRENT) was made to promote the final season of the Parade, as it was "glowing away forever".
  • A new service pin nametag (JOHN) was created at this same time.
  • In 1997, Light Magic, the ill-fated replacement for the MSEP, had a short run at Disneyland. The last nametag in this row (DARLENE) was created for that event.


  • The year 2000 saw not only the new millennium dawn, but also the third version of the Mickey Mouse nametag (ALFREDO) at Disneyland. You might notice that Alfredo had his hometown on his nametag. This was unique to Cast working at the Disneyland Hotel.
  • The next nametag (CLING) was created for the celebration of Disneyland's 45th anniversary in the summer of 2000.
  • In 2001, construction was finished on Disney's California Adventure, and the next nametag (URSLA) in this row was created. It was worn at both Disneyland and California adventure from 2001-2005.
  • The next nametag (LUIS) was created in 2005 for the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. The "class of" on this nametag refers to the year that the Cast Member first started working at Disneyland, in this case 2006.
  • The final nametag (PATTY) in this row was created in October of 2006 for the new "Where Dreams Come True" promotion at Disneyland. This nametag is the one currently used at Disneyland.


  • This last row contains a few special nametags. The first (LIGIA) was created for Cast Members who speak a second language. Not every Cast Member can get this special nametag. They must first take a difficult test to show their fluency of the language, and also demonstrate that they know and understand the cultures and traditions of Disneyland guests who speak that language. When the Cast Member passes the test, they receive a special pin with the name of the language they speak displayed in an extended portion of their nametag.
  • The next two nametags are the current language nametags at Disneyland (they have not had a name engraved on them).
  • The next nametag (JAVONIDA) is rather unusual. You can see it worn by people staffing the outdoor vending locations in Downtown Disney. A person wearing this nametag is not an official Disneyland Cast Member. The nametag was created for employees of third-party lessee companies working at Disneyland.
  • The last nametag (PAUL) in this row is from the private, members-only restaurant at Disneyland, Club 33, located in New Orleans Square, above Pirates of the Caribbean. One interesting fact about the Club 33 nametag is that is the only nametag in all of the Walt Disney Company that has not changed since it was first used in 1967.

There you are. 57 years of Disneyland Cast Member nametags. So now, if you come across a photo or video of Disneyland that you can't quite date, watch close and see if you can spot any of these nametags. They will help you narrow down the exact time.

Besides these nametags, there have been many more created for other events and uses at Disneyland. You can see them, and many more, at my website, the Nametag Museum.


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