Visiting Disney is often portrayed as a significant reward for winning sports teams in media and entertainment. But this “reward” is given out so often to cheerleading teams that some have started to abuse it. Whether broken rules or broken etiquette, the bad behavior of cheer teams and their parents has frequently disrupted other Guests’ vacations and poisoned the atmosphere at Disney Parks.
Why You Frequently See Packs of Cheerleaders At Disney
Cheerleading teams often going to Disneyland after winning their “national” competitions has been a tradition since the 1980s. Since then, Disneyland has been a sponsor of the National Cheerleaders Association, and the park provides a special celebration for the winning teams. This tradition has extended to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and is a popular way for winning cheerleaders to celebrate.
The truth is that “nationals” also aren’t so national. There are 60+ high school cheer “national” competitions every year…and it seems like they ALL either compete or celebrate at Disney.
These Disney Cheerleaders are the Worst of the Worst
Not even two months ago, two cheerleading mothers from Perfect Storm Athletics in Edmonton, Canada broke Disney policy. Dressed in matching purple shirts for the team Cheerleading Worlds 2023 competition, the women completely immersed themselves in an EPCOT fountain. Not only is this explicitly against Disney rules, but it’s also just really bad form. Guests were really furious.
Also this March, a team decided to have a cheer battle while waiting in a busy ride queue. A video shows two groups of girls shouting across the line at each other over the crowd. Their chaperones film them happily instead of asking their team to be considerate. Disney fans were fed up and called it embarrassing.
Perhaps most unsettling is the story of the Port Neches-Groves Independent School District of Texas, whose drill team performed at Disney World‘s Magic Kingdom park. The girls, called The Indianettes, were dressed in Native American designs and fringe. Their performance included a chant, “Scalp ’em Indians, scalp ’em,” as well as a stereotypical Native American dance, where they placed one hand over their circled mouths and made “tribal” noises. It was very offensive.
Certainly, not all cheerleading teams cause incidents at Disney, but just in the last two months the number has been quite high. Guests often dread seeing massive groups of, often unchaperoned, kids in cheerleader uniforms because they don’t trust them to uphold the standards of the Disney Park experience.