Disney World Denies Entry to 15-Year-Old Dressed as Tinkerbell, Ruins Her Dreams
Disney World: Happiest Place on Earth, or crusher of dreams? According to teen April Spielman, it’s the latter. What gives, Disney?
If Disney World is supposedly the happiest place on Earth, how the heck did they manage to reduce a 15-year-old girl to tears? By squashing her biggest dream. Admittedly, the story is a little ridiculous, but still. Way to go, Disney.
Teenager April Spielman loves Disney. She was so unbelievably excited to take her boyfriend on his first trip to Disney World, and as such, she wanted to make it as special as possible. For April, this meant going to the park in costume as Tinkerbell, with her boyfriend as Peter Pan. After spending months making the costumes, April woke up at 4 o’clock the morning of the big day to get ready (getting your hair and makeup just right takes time), and all seemed to be well… at first.
The couple had no trouble getting into Disney Hollywood Studios dressed in their costumes, but later on in the day, they headed out to another park… and that’s where the trouble started. April was stopped at the gate because officials thought she looked too much like Disney’s official Tinkerbell theme park character; subsequently, she and her boyfriend were asked to change clothing before entering the park.
Here’s the weird thing: It didn’t happen at the Magic Kingdom. It happened at ANIMAL Kingdom. Last I checked, Animal Kingdom wasn’t exactly Tinkerbell’s native land. She tends to hang out at a place in the Magic Kingdom called Pixie Hollow. Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve been to Animal Kingdom, but I can’t recall Tinkerbell being a prominently-displayed character there. What gives, Disney?
Apparently parks all reserve the right to deny entry to anyone wearing “adult costumes or clothing that can be viewed as representative of an actual Disney character.” If she were maybe ten years older, I might see the problem, but I mean, come on. She’s only fifteen. She may not be a we little one, but fifteen is still a kid. And hey, even grown-ups like to dress up, so why the heck are we putting the kibosh on a teen doing it? Also, the inconsistency is a little irritating; why were they allowed in one park with the costumes on, but not the other?
Do I think April is getting a little overly dramatic about it? Sure. At the end of the day, it’s just a costume, and it’s not like Disney told them they couldn’t come in at all. They just needed to change, is all, and the park even provided them with free clothing to do so. The tears are probably unnecessary (she’s a kid, she still has a lot of emotional growing up to do, yadda yadda yadda). But still—really, Disney?
This story recently got picked up by Yahoo!’s Odd News (hosted by the one and only Greg Proops of Whose Line Is It, Anyway? fame), and, well… you can probably figure out what happened next. It went viral, of course, largely due to the 15-year-olds’ somewhat laughable tears. Watch the video here:
Tell us: What do you think? Was Disney right to make April and her boyfriend change, or are they just being stick-in-the-muds?
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.