From now on, Disney theme parks will refer to the cast members working at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique locations to be a little more gender-inclusive. Instead of calling them "Fairy Godmothers in Training," they'll now be referred to as "Fairy Godmother's Apprentices."
These boutiques, located at Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida and Disneyland's Fantasyland in Anaheim, California, offer young guests the chance to receive royal makeovers. Kids between the ages of 3 and 12 get makeovers from Fairy Godmother’s Apprentices to look like their favorite princess or another character. The Disney website advertises the services provided by "Fairy Godmother's Apprentices" for both "elegant princesses and shining knights."
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The boutiques are officially reopening on August 25 after being shut down throughout the pandemic.
According to the blog Streaming The Magic, the revised term was put in place to include cast members who don’t necessarily identify as female.
“The change makes sense,” Ian Cioffi, founder of Streaming the Magic, tells TODAY Parents. “If you don’t identify as female, why would you be called a godmother?”
The new phrasing makes it clear that these "apprentices" work for the Fairy Godmother but don't necessarily have to be future fairy godmothers themselves. It's not a drastic change to the title, but it's enough of a switch to make more people feel more included. It's hard to argue with that.
Last year, Disney made recent policy changes to be more inclusive. Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, wrote in a 2021 blog post that there would be some changes to staff policy that allowed “gender-inclusive hairstyles, jewelry, nail styles, and costume choices” along with allowing visible tattoos.
"Inclusion is essential to our culture and leads us forward as we continue to realize our rich legacy of engaging storytelling, exceptional service, and Disney magic," he wrote.
Earlier this year, however, Disney faced backlash when chief executive Bob Chapek didn't issue a public response to the problematic Florida legislation dubbed the “don’t say gay” bill. The bill bars instruction on “sexual orientation or gender identity” in schools from kindergarten through grade 3.
Disney’s workers have been staging walkouts in protest, and shortly afterward, Chapek said he spoke with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis "to express our disappointment and concern that if the legislation becomes law, it could be used to unfairly target gay, lesbian, non-binary and transgender kids and families."
In 2021, the welcoming phrase “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls" was dropped from the “Happily Ever After” fireworks show at Disney World. Now the announcer says, “Good evening, dreamers of all ages.”
At the time, a Disney spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times, "We don’t have an official statement, but the bottom line is the greeting has changed. It’s part of a broader effort around diversity and inclusion."