LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Visitors at Disney's theme parks may notice something slightly different during their next trip.
According to Disney, the company is taking out all of its "gendered greetings" in their theme parks' recorded messages to promote a more welcoming environment for guests who do not identify with traditional gender roles.
In a video conference call recorded by City Journal writer Christopher Rufo, Disney's diversity and inclusion manager Vivian Ware explained that parkgoers will no longer hear "ladies and gentlemen" or "boys and girls" in the park's greetings.
"We provided training for all of our cast members in relationship to that. So now they know it's ‘Hello, everyone,’ or ‘Hello, friends,'" Ware said in the video conference call.
She added that the change has already been put into effect at Walt Disney World in Florida.
"When we brought the fireworks back to the Magic Kingdom, we no longer say, 'Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,' we say, 'Dreamers of all ages,'" Ware said.
According to some videos shared on social media, some changes in the recorded messages were implemented as early as last summer. In one video, shared by @ShowcaseWishes, viewers can hear the audio message saying "dreamers of all ages" instead of what was previously "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls."
The video was published to social media on June 30, 2021 -- nine months before Ware's update on Disney's push to further promote inclusion.
"We don't want to just assume because someone might be, in our interpretation, may be presenting as female, but they may not want to be called ‘princess,'" Ware said during the video conference call. "I love the fact that it's opened up the creativity, the opportunity for our cast members to look at that."
Back in April 2021, Disney's chairman of Disney parks, experiences and products released an announcement saying inclusion was added as the company's "fifth key." Prior to that announcement, Disney's cast members were trained to follow the Four Keys for the company's guest service – safety, courtesy, show and efficiency. Disney's decision to make the tweaks to recorded messages and PA announcements play a part to the company's focus on promoting inclusion.
Disney's push for promoting inclusion for guests of all gender identities comes as the company's employees staged a walkout in early March 2022 in the wake of Florida's controversial "Parental Rights in Education" bill.