If you've ever been to a Disney park, you've probably missed a strange homage to smoking cigarettes that just about all the employees are doing.
In a conversation The Huffington Post had with a current Disney employee, the employee claimed that the parks require their workers to do all pointing with two fingers. (The employee wished to remain anonymous due to not being authorized to speak to the media.)
The action is seemingly innocuous at first, but it's apparently a murky tribute to Walt Disney's smoking habits -- with the company side-stepping around the reason as to why the icon pointed that way.
Though it's been long speculated about, the anonymous employee was informed by a "lead" that the strange gesture seen from "cast members" at Disney parks is actually based on Walt's old smoking habit. This is along with it being considered less rude of a gesture by the company, and that it avoids the stigma pointing receives in other cultures.
What a two-finger point has to do with the guy was actually confirmed in 2013, while Tom Hanks was promoting his role as the man himself in "Saving Mr. Banks." Appearing on "Ellen," Hanks claimed that old photos of Disney used to show the mogul pointing to various Disney attractions while holding a cigarette between his two fingers.
In more recent years, when the company wanted to dissociate itself with smoking, the cigarettes were airbrushed out, making it seem as if Walt simply pointed at things with two fingers for no apparent reason.
This gesture, sans cigarette, even made it into the movie.
The employee confirmed that "the two-finger point is part of our training upon being hired in" and are told that it's an homage to Walt along with being considered less rude.
Below is a Disney worker at the Magic Kingdom's Frontierland, back in 2012, pointing with two fingers while helping some guests.
Next time you ask a Disney employee to point something out for you, you could consider offering them a smoke. Of course, Mr. Disney eventually died from lung cancer, so maybe the cigarette is a symbol better forgot in the parks.
CLARIFICATION: The post has been updated to make it more clear that the gesture is not only an homage to Walt Disney, but also considered less rude given the connotations of "pointing" in various cultures.
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