Trans Americans Terrified to Visit Disney World as DeSantis Threatens Kidnapping Kids

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Left: A cake pop in the shape of Mickey Mouse, decorated with the trans pride flag colors of blue, pink, and white. Right: A person stands by a massive cutout of Mickey Mouse at the entrance to Walt Disney World. They're wearing a rainbow mask, a pride flag cape, and holding a sign that says "Trans rights are human rights, #disneydobetter"

Credit: Disney Parks Blog (Left), CNBC (Right)

The Parental Rights in Education Act, better known as “Don’t Say Gay,” was just the beginning in Governor Ron DeSantis’s Florida. Under the “Stop W.O.K.E. Act,” the conservative Governor unleashed book bans and censored public school curricula.

Transgender Floridians are perhaps the most targeted by anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation. Last week, the state legislature passed an anti-trans bathroom bill. A bill awaiting DeSantis’s signature would allow the state to take custody of any child “at risk of” or undergoing gender-affirming care, even those on vacation to the state. Another would ban children from pride events and drag shows.

Many LGBTQIA+ families and allies are considering leaving Florida as conditions worsen. But some transgender Disney fans have decided to avoid the state altogether, canceling upcoming Walt Disney World Resort visits.

Protestors stand at the gate of Walt Disney World with signs that read "Protect Trans Youth."
Credit: Save LGBT

In a post to the transgender subreddit, a worried parent asked if it was safe to visit the Central Florida Disney Park. (*Editor’s Note: Though we would typically link to the source of the following comments, Inside the Magic has chosen not to do so in this instance to protect vulnerable users from harassment.) 

“I would not risk it at all. These people want us dead,” one wrote. “I would try to talk to Disney and get a transfer to a different Disney location.”

“Absolutely not,” another agreed. “My kids have asked to go to Disneyworld and there’s a zero chance of me choosing to bring my family into Florida (or many other states), even though my 7 year old trans daughter is stealth, and I’m not sure how anyone could possibly find out. I’m not doing it. We went to Disneyland a few weeks ago and had a blast.”

Concept art for EPCOT featuring a fountain and Spaceship Earth glowing rainbow.
Credit: Disney

“I don’t recommend anybody with children enter the State of Florida, cis or trans,” responded another. “The law applies to children who are receiving gender affirming care, or are at risk of being exposed to gender affirming care. That second part is why I say anybody with kids should stay away; the at risk provision means that the state can essentially make whatever excuse it wants and seize your children. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they’ll play fair, just stay away.”

Beyond safety risks, many felt that spending money in Florida would encourage DeSantis and his conservative allies to continue passing anti-LGBTQIA+ and racist laws.

“I don’t think anyone should be spending any money in Florida right now, whether it’s safe or not,” wrote one user. “The only tool we have outside of the state to force them to back down on their anti-trans crusade is economic pressure.”

Do you feel comfortable visiting Walt Disney World Resort in 2023? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on personal Disney Parks Guest experiences. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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