Disney Fans Upset Over Cast Member’s Use of Gender Neutral Term To Greet Guests

disney guests, family
Credit: Disney

It seems more and more that the days of Sir, Ma’am, ladies, and gentlemen are long gone. In the world we live in, companies like Disney are working harder than ever to be mindful and accepting of all kinds of guests on Disney property. While many fans are happy to see the parks become more open and accepting, some criticize Disney cast members for the gender-neutral verbiage they now use.

For the past few years, Disney cast members at Disney Parks have been embracing a shift towards using gender-neutral greetings instead of traditional ones. This change aims to create a more inclusive and respectful environment for all guests and fellow cast members.

However, some fans cannot seem to get behind some of the specific verbiage that is used. Fans have taken to social media to discuss this issue and think of potential solutions for the future.

Related: Transgender Influencer Under Fire After Demonstrating Her Genital Transition at Disney Theme Park

Disney Guests Selfie

Credit: Disney

Guest Remain Gender-Neutral Moving Forward

When Disney reopened post-pandemic, many changes were implemented in how guests and cast members would interact on a daily basis. Perhaps one of the most noticeable shifts was the removal of gendered terms from most day-to-day discussions.

By opting for gender-neutral language, such as “welcome, everyone” or “hello friends” Disney cast members are actively promoting diversity and equality within the magical world of Disney. This initiative underscores Disney’s commitment to fostering a welcoming atmosphere where everyone, regardless of gender identity, feels valued and respected.

While most people enjoy this change (or hardly notice it at all), some find the verbiage change to be very distracting to their day-to-day experience. The term “friend” has been under specific scrutiny, with some fans saying it feels “felt decidedly ineffective.”

guests, children with donald duck, disney cruise line

Credit: Disney

“Don’t Call Me Friend Like You Know Me!!!”

After a recent trip to Disneyland Resort, one guest felt that the use of the word “friend” had drastically increased by cast members. While the term itself is not offensive, many fans expressed that they don’t necessarily see it as a good alternative. One guest shared their thoughts, saying:

“It felt new for the near two weeks we were at WDW last month.

It also felt decidedly ineffective… “OK friends, I’m going to call for no more boarding.” “No more boarding friends.” “Friends, I need to stop boarding so our sister tram can come in behind us.” “OK friends, stay behind the yellow line.” “Behind those poles on the yellow line, friends.” “A reminder friends, everyone must stay seated while the tram is motion.” “Everyone needs to be sitting while the tram is in motion friends.” “OK friends, we are going to be exiting on the driver’s right hand side” “We need to exit the right hand side of the driver, friends.”

I realize where I was, but it would seem that the occasional yell of “Hey everyone, sit your asses down!” might get people’s attention.”

Many other guests commented in agreement with this thought; one person even called it “ineffective” and “very insincere.” With so much criticism, many fans have wondered what a better solution could be. One guest offered:

“Captains. Mateys. Explorers. Guests. Mortals. Critters. Taruns. Fliers. Rafters. Riders. Sugar cubes. Puppets. Lost boys. Passengers. Inhabitants. Rebels. Scum. Toons. Space rangers. Tourists. Space travelers. Pilots. Drivers. Toys. Emotional attachments. Trainees. Humans (Hey! 2319!). Archeologists. Adventurers. Princesses. Bergsteigers. Jockeys. Viewers. Animators. Dudes. Slingers. Accomplices. Dancers. And Maniacal Death Wishers.”

While it doesn’t seem that Disney will go back to gendered language anytime soon, it will be interesting to see if they choose to adopt some new words to use instead of the current options. Whether or not you like this change, it does seem like it is here to stay.

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disney’s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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