“A Whole New World” and a brand new Magic Kingdom fireworks show.
Walt Disney World has removed its longtime salute, “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,” from its Magic Kingdom fireworks show to promote inclusiveness, Insider reported. It will be replaced by the one that begins with “Good evening, dreamers of all ages!”
On Wednesday, Disney World employees were invited to a “cast member” preview of the “Happily Ever After” fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom. While the fireworks itself remains virtually the same as in previous years, the show’s greeting has been updated.
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The preview was the first fireworks show held at Disney World since the nightly shows stopped at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jack Wagner, known as “the voice of Disney”, estimated that he had uttered the phrase more than 8 million times during his two decades as a park announcer for Disneyland, Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland.
Twitter user @ShowcaseWishes shared a video comparing the greeting heard in 2020 to the one played Wednesday night. The user tweeted “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls FOREVER!”
Some commentators echoed the reluctance of the original post, calling the decision “completely unnecessary” and “too sensitive”.
However, most commentators were quite supportive of the change. One user replied, “I love ‘dreamers of all ages’ because it really makes it super cozy and more magical. It’s so heartwarming.” Another added: “Shooting:“ Good evening, dreamers of all ages ”works best thematically. “
A third joked: “Because ‘ladies, gentlemen, boys, girls and anyone else who identifies otherwise” can be a bit of a mouthful. Better get right to the point. “
Disney has yet to comment on the updated Disney World greeting.
In March, the same change was made to the Tokyo Disney Resort – replacing “Ladies and Gentlemen” with “Welcome Everyone” in the park’s announcements to promote gender inclusion, according to Disney fan site WDWNT.com . The change first came from the Oriental Land Company, which is licensing the Disney brand, its characters and their likenesses for the park. This change only affected English ads, as Japanese ads have always used a gender-neutral term.
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“We want all guests to have a fun and comfortable experience at Tokyo Disney Resort, and we hope this change will make guests of all gender identities feel more comfortable when visiting our parks,” said an Oriental Land Company spokesperson said in March. “In consideration of these ideals and in light of changing social norms, we have decided to make this change.”
The latest change of hospitality comes after many efforts over the past few months and years to become more welcoming to visitors.
The company announced in January that it would be removing race-insensitive scenes from its Jungle Cruise rides. The updated rides no longer include “negative portrayals” of Indigenous peoples, according to Disney, and reflect “the diversity of the world around us.”
In June 2020, Disney announced it would turn Splash Mountain at US theme parks into “Prince and the Frog” themed rides after a backlash. The ride was linked to the racist Disney film “Song of the South” from 1946.
Disney parks around the world have also featured same-sex couples and children with disabilities on the cover of park guide cards. The Walt Disney Company also introduced “inclusion” as the fifth key to actor training in September 2020.
Additionally, just today, the Florida Theme Park and Resort announced that it will be offering free passes for its 50th anniversary celebration. The passes will go to 50 people whose “inspiring acts of kindness, compassion and creativity best exemplify the values of a Disney Magic Maker,” according to a blog post. Those chosen will also receive a free one-year Disney + membership.
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Disney will also donate $ 400,000 to nonprofits Make-A-Wish, Starlight Children’s Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Nature Conservancy. According to the blog post, these organizations “have shown resilience” during the pandemic and “found unique and innovative ways to continue to serve their communities when they needed magic the most.”
This story first appeared in the New York Post