Disney is modifying job titles for some of its theme park employees to be gender neutral.
Staff members at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Florida had been known as “Fairy Godmothers In-Training.” The store, which offers makeovers complete with makeup and costuming, is Cinderella-themed.
The theme park has now dropped the term in favor of “Fairy Godmother’s Apprentices.”
“With the wave of a magic wand—plus a few hands-on tricks of the trade—our Fairy Godmother’s Apprentices will pamper and primp your child until they look storybook stunning,” Disney World says online. “Children can choose a hairstyle then add makeup, nail polish and accessories—even a Disney costume.”
The service was closed during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but is scheduled to reopen on Aug. 25.
Disney celebrated the change as a positive step toward inclusion and gender equality, an ongoing mission that has informed many of the company’s recent decisions.
“This way cast members that might not identify as female can still be part of the process to dress up & style the children without having to refer to themselves as a female Disney character,” according to the Disney blog Streaming the Magic.
In 2021, Disney World stopped using the greeting “Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls” at the start of its traditional fireworks show. Instead, the park’s announcers now say “Good evening, dreamers of all ages!” per Business Insider.
Disneyland Paris opted to get rid of Minnie Mouse’s polka dot dress in celebration of its 30th anniversary. The park unveiled a new image of the iconic character in a blue and grey pantsuit created by British fashion designer Stella McCartney.
McCartney called the new character design “a symbol of progress for a new generation” during a January 2022 interview.
The company also launched a Pride Collection, the profits of which could be donated to LGBT youth organizations.
“The Disney Pride Collection was created by LGBTQIA+ employees and allies at The Walt Disney Company and is a reflection of their incredible contributions and place at the heart of the company,” Disney said in its announcement. “We stand in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ community everywhere.”
Current Walt Disney Company employee Jose Castillo, who is running for Congress in Florida as a Republican, told Fox News that the company’s activism is unpopular among its workers.
“There is a plaque as you enter Disney World that reads ‘Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy,’ but increasingly it’s becoming the world of wokeness, political correctness, and indoctrination,” said Castillo. “This isn’t what Walt Disney envisioned, and it isn’t what Disney’s fans signed up for.”
Disney’s recent activism has been attributed by some to its involvement in a conflict over a bill in Florida that prohibited teachers from discussing gender or sexual identity with students prior to the fourth grade. Although the bill is officially known as the “Parental Right in Education” bill, opponents of the legislation dubbed the policy the “Don’t Say Gay” act.
The company vowed to challenge the legislation in court, increasing tension between the company and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who signed the bill into law in March.