Controversy Arises as Disney World Princesses Offered Guns for Self-Defense

Disney Princess Guest
Credit: Disney

Other than Mickey and Minnie Mouse, no characters are as ubiquitous at Walt Disney World Resort as the Disney Princesses. Nearly every child (or child-at-heart) dreams of hugging their favorite royal during their visit to The Most Magical Place on Earth.

Unfortunately, not all guests visit their favorite Disney characters with good intentions. In 2016, Princess Jasmine and Aladdin swapped their film-accurate outfits for more modest looks. Though The Walt Disney Company didn’t outright admit that inappropriate guest behavior spurred the change, the new clothing undoubtedly protected the character performers and provided more coverage.

Princess Jasmine in EPCOT

Credit: Disney Dining

Related: Disney Permanently Removes Cartoon ‘Little Mermaid’ From Experience

It’s difficult for Disney entertainment cast members to handle unruly guests while staying in character and protecting the magic for children around them. Luckily, character attendants and PhotoPass photographers keep a close eye on Disney Princesses and other characters so they can step in if necessary. Each character has an emergency signal or word to subtly alert an attendant that they need assistance.

“Disney Princesses get more training than the American police force,” said Redditor u/abbeighleigh.

Disney Princesses anna and elsa hug a child at disneyland

Credit: Disney

“This is true,” u/rmhardcore echoed. “My wife works with the Alphabet soup of the government in the Firearms/Explosives Arena and they repeatedly tell her that Disney is more secure than the White House.”

Still, some Disney cast members and guests feel Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Anna, Elsa, and their friends need more protection from inappropriate guests.

“Arm Disney Princesses?” u/dontreallycareforit joked.

Moana poses at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Park Takes Action: Tinker Bell Indefinitely Suspended Following Controversial Incident

“Honestly they could use it,” u/Michael_CrawfishF150 replied. “There’s some creepy dudes walking around those parks.”

“A friend of mine used to be a cast member and while she loved her what she did, yes, there were a LOT of creepy dads and that was her least favorite part of the job,” said u/matchabunnns.

Though less frequently, harassment happens to male Disney characters, too. In 2021, a video of a woman inappropriately touching and sexually harassing Gaston went viral. The Disney character repeatedly asked the woman to leave without help from a character attendant. Eventually, she retreated.

“Do women think that men DON’T find those female Disney adults creepy?” u/DrLoomis131 asked. “With their ears and giant smiles and all the noise they’re making and the fact that they come in groups overwhelming a person?”

Gaston at Gastons Tavern

Credit: Disney

Related: Official Disney Princess is Finally Getting a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Despite the occasional dangers of the job, Disney cast members can only arm themselves with emergency signals and code phrases. Security is just a few steps away at any given moment, and PhotoPass photos allow them to find any problematic guests quickly. As u/pogo_chronicles put it:

“They are paid to act and the security is paid to enforce. Lawsuits aside… imagine the press if a video got out of Gaston/Hercules absolutely thrashing on someone in the middle of the park. Fight videos 97% of the time never show what started the fight, so context is meaningless.

It’s like Walmart, the employees aren’t supposed to touch you even if they know you’re stealing. There’s a guy getting paid to do that.”

Has a Disney Princess positively impacted your family’s visit to Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Share your favorite memory with us in the comments.

This post Controversy Arises as Disney World Princesses Offered Guns for Self-Defense appeared first on Inside the Magic.

About Jess Colopy

Jess Colopy is a Disney College Program alum and kid-at-heart. When she’s not furiously typing in a coffee shop, you can find her on the hunt for the newest Stitch pin.

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