Re-Evaluating Some Recent Disney Controversies
We’ve had an exciting year as Disney fans, and it’s just now September!
Seriously, several bombshell stories have dominated the headlines beyond Disney’s social media.
We’re talking about topics that mainstream sites have covered…but did they get the story right?
Let’s re-evaluate five of the largest recent Disney controversies to decide.
The Crying Hugger
Oh, how we missed character greetings. During the pandemic, park officials honored social distancing requests the best way they knew how.
Disney temporarily closed all standard character greetings. In their place, the parks utilized distanced character entertainment.
For example, Winnie the Pooh would chase butterflies just outside the Imagination! pavilion.
Meanwhile, Cavalcades replaced parades and other personal interactions. Costumed cast members got in and out quickly rather than staying in one place.
This strategy prevented crowds from forming around the characters. However, guests lamented the absence of personal interactions.
Thankfully, a successful vaccine rollout diminished the potency of COVID-19. Finally, Disney could bring back character interactions at the parks.
One fan relished her opportunity to meet Goofy, a character who reminded her of park visits with her grandfather.
This TikTok captured her emotions as she waited in line for the first time:
i can’t remember the last time I cried this hard…it might sound silly but my papa’s favorite character was Goofy and when I hug Goofy it’s like hugging my papa again. Thank you so much @disneyparks for making real magic for me today ❤️ #disneyadults #disneycreator #disneyinfluencer #disneytrip #disneycharacters #disneymeetandgreet
Remarkably, the woman gained a ton of online criticism for the heinous crime of loving a Disney character.
I must say that most online coverage handled this story correctly. Reporters acknowledged that the fan suffered online bullying for no good reason.
I’m glad when content creators consider the consequences of such articles on their subjects. We all too often hit and run.
Insider took the time to interview the Goofy fan and allow her to explain her side. It was solid reporting.
The Hungry Wedding Guests
To this day, questions linger about the accuracy of this reddit post.
A defensive newlywed described their unique honeymoon nuptials at Walt Disney World.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing unusual about getting married at Disney. We all would if we could.
The catch here involved how the bride and groom chose to allocate their vacation budget. They wanted memorable photos with Mickey & Minnie Mouse.
As you can guess, Disney charges a premium for that photo package. So, the happy couple chose to cut the budget elsewhere.
Specifically, the wedding party didn’t offer free food at the reception. Instead, the couple left guests to fend for themselves.
In a not at all surprising turn, a member of the family expressed outrage on social media regarding this decision. They did so because – let’s be honest — it was pretty lousy.
The bride posted a request for feedback from others, and the results quickly verified that people took her family member’s side of the debate.
Again, the whole thing strains credulity to the point that I suspected it was fake. Coincidentally or not, the person has since deleted their point.
Still, coverage of this article took on a decidedly anti-Disney tone. Many articles condemned Disney fans in general for the actions of one frugal couple.
We as fans didn’t deserve that. In fact, most of us agreed that the wedding decision sounded next-level selfish.
There are like six places at the parks where you can take pictures with Mickey & Minnie. Feed your family, friends!
The Interrupted Proposal
Okay, here’s a debacle that was 100 percent on Disney. Specifically, the blame lies with one unfeeling cast member at Disneyland Paris.
A gentleman chose to propose to his partner at a stage near the castle. This individual later indicated that he had asked permission first.
Theoretically, the area is off-limits for guests, at least at the time of the proposal. So, the person followed the rules, asked permission, and then prepared for a life-altering moment.
At this point, a cast member came storming in and disrupted the proposal. The Disney worker forced the couple to move…in mid-proposal!
The footage shocked everyone and caused a barrage of criticism for Disney. Pretty much the entire internet agreed that the cast member blew it.
While Disney couldn’t say those words for legal reasons, park officials promised that they had provided the employee with re-training.
That’s the Disney equivalent of when a casino takes a card counter on a drive to the Nevada desert. If that person ever worked at Disney again, I’d be surprised.
Then again, everyone makes mistakes, and that’s a good thing. It’s how we learn. This person’s snooty actions on the day in question were unforgivable.
Hopefully, they learned not to make everything in life about themselves, which is what happened here.
The Magic Kingdom Brawl
Oof. Here’s a headline I didn’t enjoy covering at all. In July, some Magic Kingdom guests lost their ever-loving minds.
The cause of the dispute stems from a forgotten cellphone. An individual in one party recognized that they had left their smart device at a previous location.
Understandably, this person immediately tried to recover it. There was just one little problem.
Their family was standing in line at Mickey’s PhilharMagic, and she needed to return to them. Otherwise, she would have missed the show.
So, the person left, came back, and tried to regroup with her party. Alas, another group stood between them. These folks viewed her as cutting line.
While the details remain murky, the belief is that they hassled the individual, who relayed the story to her family while sitting in the PhilharMagic theater.
After the show ended, the others in her party politely (?) informed the other group that the behavior wasn’t acceptable.
At this point, the Battle of Fantasyland 2022 broke out. Seriously, the situation took a turn and got ugly fast.
People started throwing haymakers, and I counted multiple sucker punches.
I don’t care how angry you are. It’s never acceptable to hit someone in the head when they’re not looking.
The media jumped all over this story because it had blood and guts at Disney. Everyone knew it would garner mega-clicks and views.
Was the coverage fair? I’d have to say yes because the video told the story. This incident happened, and it was a black eye for Disney, even though the company did nothing wrong.
Disney has had two such incidents over the past three calendar years. So, it’s getting the reputation of a fight club, which is both hilarious and frustrating.
The Starcruiser Haters
Here’s the one that amuses me the most. Disney scheduled the opening of the Star Wars Hotel on March 1st, 2022.
While the resort had already sold out for several months, Disney went ahead and released promotional footage anyway.
This strategy proved a unforced error, as some vocal critics of the project jumped all over the chance to criticize Disney.
These overly aggressive folks swore that Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser looked cheap and would ultimately disappoint guests.
People loudly proclaimed the project a failure and would not move away from this position, even though all available evidence showed otherwise.
Even now, uninformed Disney haters swear that Galactic Starcruiser is a total bust, which is maddening to me.
The place has sold out every cruise thus far. We’re more than half a year into operations, and it’s still operating at maximum capacity each cruise.
Despite this fact, I still catch the occasional media headline suggesting that the Star Wars Hotel has failed.
Frankly, this is just bad journalism from people who aren’t willing to do even the bare minimum of research. They’re writing pointless, innately dishonest clickbait…and you can tell them I said so.
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Feature Photo: Disney