Here’s What It Means If You See a Disney Employee with a Blue Name Tag

Hint: It's actually an honor to have one!

Despite whatever costumes, wigs, and makeup a Disney cast member is required to wear for work, all employees must wear a name tag that states their first name and hometown. From cruise captains to line cooks and ride operators, everyone who works for the mouse will have a tag. If you’ve been to a Disney park or on a Disney cruise, you’ve probably seen hundreds of them with changing styles, graphics, and colors worn by employees from all over the world. Generally, the background of the oval label has been consistently white except for a special handful that proudly wears a blue tag. The blue name tag is certainly not random and if you’re an avid Disney-goer, you may have caught glimpse of a few and wondered why they were different. While you will definitely see some blue name tags on your next trip, here’s what you won’t see in Disney parks anymore.

What does it mean to have a blue name tag?

Cast members wearing a blue name tag have earned the prestigious Walt Disney Legacy Award, specifically reserved for employees who have done an exceptional job executing Disney’s mission to dream, create, and inspire. This award is the highest honor a cast member can receive and will hold onto that honor for the duration of their employment at Disney. Learn more about Disney with the truth behind these popular Disney park rumors.

How it started

The global recognition program began in 2011 in order to showcase employees who embody the values that were important to Walt Disney himself. Before 2011, each Disney location had its own way of honoring cast members with various awards but found that recognition for outstanding cast members was not consistent throughout. The awards were then unified to create one esteemed and selective employee honor. Check out these 15 etiquette rules Disney employees must follow.

How someone earns the award

This special honor only occurs if a cast member is nominated by a fellow cast member. The award is extremely selective, with only a few hundred honorees out of a staff of over 200,000. The panel of judges who review and select winners is comprised of a board of executives, managers, and some additional theme park employees. This recognition program spans all Disney theme parks along with Imagineering and the Disney Cruise Lines.

These cast members have proved that they will go above and beyond to make Disney the most magical experience for all guests, while consistently working long hours with large crowds and exhausted (maybe irritable) families in the blazing heat with a notably small paycheck. Make sure to give many thanks and kudos if you see one of these cast members walking around on your next trip.

Next, check out the 12 things you need to know about planning a Disney trip after reopening.