Disney has made “Inclusion” a top priority, but is Walt Disney World transgender-friendly?
Disney World strives to make their trans and non-binary Guests feel welcome and accepted. For example, Disney provides Guests with several ways to express their gender identity. There are unisex bathrooms throughout the parks and special events for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, Cast Members undergo sensitivity training so they won’t misgender their Guests.
Evidence suggests that most people in the transgender and the nonbinary community find Disney World to be a very accepting and accommodating destination. That said, there’s still much work to be done.
Let’s take a closer look at the ways Disney World is transgender-friendly.
5 Keys of Disney
Up until 2020, Disney’s Cast Member training included “4 Keys,” or the 4 things Disney wanted to emphasize as their top priorities. They were (and still are) Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency.
Inclusion was recently added as the 5th Key.
Disney makes an effort to drive meaningful cultural change within its organization. To this end, the addition of the “Inclusion” key is a way for Disney to show their commitment to people of all races, ethnicities, identities, and gender expressions.
Disney wants both its Cast Members and Guests to feel welcome and accepted. This very much includes the LGBTQ+ community.
Interacting With Cast Members
As part of their training, Disney Cast Members are taught to avoid doing or saying anything that might be offensive. Often times Cast Members will greet Guests as “friends” rather than using a gender-specific greeting.
The vast majority of Guests of all identities will find Disney’s Cast Members to be extremely friendly, respectful, and inclusive. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you are accidentally misgendered.
Dress as you Wish
Walt Disney World is a place where Guests can dress and present themselves in the manner they choose. So long as your dress adheres to Disney’s theme park dress and costume guidelines, no one should bother you about your clothing choices.
Disney’s theme parks are casual and family-oriented. As such, they ask that everyone use common sense when they dress for the parks. This includes wearing shoes and shirts at all times.
Guests are NOT permitted to wear clothing with offensive material (like obscene language/graphics), excessively torn clothing, or clothing that exposes “excessive portions of the skin.” Clothing with multiple layers may be searched upon entry, and clothing that drags on the ground is not permitted.
There are also some Disneybounding rules for those over 12 years old. Other than adhering to Disney’s dress code, there’s certainly nothing preventing you from dressing exactly how you wish.
Restrooms at Disney World
Disney welcomes its Guests to use the restroom of their gender identity, or use one of the companion restrooms found throughout the parks.
Companion restrooms are single-user and gender-neutral. They were originally designed for wheelchairs (and a caregiver) but all Guests are free to use them.
The My Disney Experience App can help you locate the nearest companion restroom.
Companion restrooms can be found at all Disney theme parks and water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon), and at Disney Springs.
Unfortunately, Walt Disney World doesn’t have regular gender-neutral restrooms at this time. We wouldn’t be surprised if they add some in the coming years. If you want to make this happen faster, we’d encourage you to provide Disney with your feedback (so they know there’s immediate demand out there).
My Disney Experience app allows each Guest to set up an account with their chosen name. You can also pick up a free celebration button at any Guest Services location and use it as a way to identify yourself to Cast Members and other Guests. You can write your name (or how you wished to be addressed) on the buttons.
If a Cast Member mistakenly misgenders you, or refers to you in a gendered way, be sure to let them know what you prefer. Cast Members are trained to pay attention to Celebration Buttons and avoid misgendering.
Gay Days at Walt Disney World
Gay Days Orlando is essentially Walt Disney World’s unofficial pride weekend.
Gay Days Orlando is an annual event that’s billed as a vacation celebration for Disney’s LBGTQ+ community. It’s essentially Walt Disney World’s unofficial pride weekend and draws over 50,000 people each year.
The event is a great way to meet fellow non-cis Disney fanatics and LGBTQ+ singles and families.
The weekend is filled with different events including expos, pool parties, bingo, redshirt days at a Disney park, food events, and more. Some events are 18+ (and risque) but most are all-ages and family-friendly.
Gay Days Orlando is not promoted or sponsored by Walt Disney World.
The previous event was held last June 2 – 6, 2022. For more details, visit gaydays.com and onemagicalweekend.com.
Connecting with LGBTQ+ Disney Fans
If you can’t make it to Disney during Gay Days, social media provides another place for trans, nonbinary, and LGBTQ+ Disney fans. It’s important that all Disney fans feel seen and included. After all, a magical place like Disney can only feel magical if it’s a welcoming place.
Is Disney World a safe and friendly place for transgender, nonbinary, and other members of the LGBTQ community?
Yes. There’s still work to do but it’s Disney is already making meaningful changes.
To sum it up, Disney World is trans-friendly although not overtly so. Guests are free to use the unisex companion restrooms or the restroom of their gender identity.
Cast Members should treat you with respect, regardless of your identity. They will be more than accommodating if you inform them of your correct pronouns or how you wish to be addressed.
Guests and Cast Members are free to dress as they wish (so long as its fits within the limits of Disney’s normal dress code).
If in the unfortunate case you have problems with any other Guest, you can tell a Cast Member (or visit Guest Relations) and ask them to address the situation.
Disney is a magical place that supports and celebrates everyone.
See you at Walt Disney World!
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