disney springs protest don't say gay
Credit: FOX35 Orlando/Canva Creation

Protesters gather at Disney World entrance, take stand against Disney’s “liberal agenda”

Over the weekend, groups of people congregated just outside one of the entrances to the Walt Disney World Resort to peacefully protest Disney’s response to a Florida law regarding classroom instruction for children in Kindergarten through third grade.

disney springs protest

Credit: FOX35 Orlando

A group of about 100 protesters gathered near the entrance to Disney World near Disney Springs. The protest was organized by a group called Moms for America who said they were there to protest what they call Disney’s “liberal agenda.”

disney springs protest

Credit: FOX35 Orlando

Protesters carried American flags and signs conveying messages about the group’s stance on Disney’s stance against the Parental Rights in Education law. One sign read, “Revoke Disney’s autonomy; stop the grooming of children,” while another had only the word “groomers” written on it with Mickey Mouse ears drawn from the two “o”s in the word.

“The response here is real people not being afraid of a big-money corporation,” explained John Di Lemme of the Conservative Business Journal. “Disney’s cowering down to a handful of people.”

Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill, called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by those who oppose the legislation, was passed on March 28 when Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law, saying he “doesn’t care what big corporations say.”

Ron DeSantis

Credit: Office of the Governor

The law prohibits classroom instruction about gender identity and sexual orientation in Kindergarten and in first, second, and third grades, but it doesn’t prohibit casual conversations about gender identity or sexual orientation with children in those grades, nor does it prohibit the use of the word “gay,” despite the name given to it by those opposed to the legislation.

Shortly before Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law, Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke out against it, having been quiet about the legislation up to that point. Chapek’s statement, however, doesn’t speak for everyone at Disney, according to a Cast Member who’s currently running for a seat in the Florida Congress and says Disney is only listening to a small minority of its employees regarding the Florida law.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek Apologizes For Don't Say Gay Bill Response

Credit: BuzzFeed News

During the protest near Disney Springs, counter-protesters arrived to speak against those there who had gathered to take a stand against Disney’s response. At least one counter-protester carried a sign that read, “The villains Disney movies warned you about,” nodding to those gathered to protest Disney’s stance.

disney springs protest

Credit: FOX35 Orlando

“As Floridians, some of us need to step up and let these people know they’re the ones not welcome here,” said TSI Day Smith, who showed up at the location on Saturday to counter-protest.

According to Fox35 Orlando, the protest remained peaceful throughout its duration.

“We’re really out here to show support for Governor DeSantis,” said Michael Thompson, who joined in the protest against Disney’s response to the new legislation.

Thompson said part of the message of the protest was that if Disney continued with this “type of agenda,” that The Walt Disney Company would continue to face opposition.

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!