Guests Beg Disney To Stop White Women Dressing as Pocahontas

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Pocahontas and a Make-A-Wish child holding hands.

Credit: Make-A-Wish

Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort permit guests of all ages to dress in costume for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Oogie Boogie Bash – a practice typically reserved for those under 14. However, some fans feel that Disney Parks need a strict rule about white adult guests dressing as Pocahontas, the most controversial Disney Princess.

Pocahontas (1995)

Walt Disney Animation Studios tried to correct some of its historical inaccuracies with Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998). But, the simplistic cartoon portrayal of a woman who colonizers kidnapped and forcibly converted to Christianity remains controversial, and many feel The Walt Disney Company should stop profiting from her image.

Pocahontas looks into the distance in front of a blue-green sky.
Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

“Pocahontas — along with her playful pals Meeko and Flit — relies on the guidance of her loving and wise Grandmother Willow when English settlers arrive on the shores of their village,” the official Disney movie description reads. “Her chance meeting with the courageous Captain John Smith leads to a beautiful friendship that bridges the gap between two cultures, and changes history.”

Culture as a Costume

Guests might have a nostalgic love for Pocahontas (1995), but most fans feel it’s time for Disney to abandon marketing the Native American woman as a Disney Princess.

Last year, a former Disney cast member called on The Walt Disney Company to stop selling Pocahontas merchandise and costumes.

Pocahontas holds John Smith's hand as he lays down.
Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

“We should know better now,” she said. “Let’s stop producing merchandise with her on it… It’s time to stop treating her like a regular Disney princess.”

This month, Pocahontas costumes stirred controversy again. X (formerly known as Twitter) user @thederpyhipster was shocked after witnessing an adult white woman dressed as the Native American historical figure at Disneyland Resort’s Oogie Boogie Bash.

Guests walk through Villain's Grove at Disneyland's Oogie Boogie Bash.
Credit: Disney

“Not the white woman dressed as Pocahontas at this Oogie Boogie Bash,” she wrote.

And it wasn’t the first time Disney Parks guests witnessed this behavior. Some reported white women wearing Pocahontas costumes at Walt Disney World Resort’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

“The way there was a white woman dressed as Pocahontas tonight too at mnsshp,” said @kierstenn_leigh. “Sick of this.”

“There was one at mnsshp last night as well 😭,” @goofygabbers replied.

Many fans were disgusted.

“We’re still doing this?” @ghoulish_gabs asked. “In the year of our lord 2023????”

“No because I legit recently seen a white lady disneybounding as Pocahontas IN Disneyland on a regular July afternoon 🙃,” @reallyneatnate said.

“I’m forever having to explain to others why that’s not okay, & why Disney really do need to be careful when it comes to Pocahontas,” @OneLittle_Spark wrote. “With a fictional character it’s different, by all means, dress up. But Pocahontas was a real person who was very brave, & treated very badly.”

Should Disney still sell Pocahontas costumes? 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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