Homophobia Punished at Disney World, Pride Celebrations Begin

in Walt Disney World

A monorail is traveling on an elevated track with a scenic backdrop of trees and landmarks at sunset. A circular inset in the top left corner shows a close-up of a man wearing sunglasses and a cap, enjoying Disney World. A rainbow-colored filter overlays parts of the image of Disney World, evoking Pride Celebrations.

Credit: Inside the Magic

It’s Pride Month, and Walt Disney World Resort is celebrating with all-new treats, merchandise, murals, and other limited-time offerings. Unfortunately, some guests respond negatively to Pride celebrations at Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, and Disney Springs.

The Walt Disney Company reaffirmed its support for LGBTQIA+ guests and cast members in 2022 by publicly condemning the Parental Rights in Education Act (“Don’t Say Gay”). Spearheaded by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the legislation limited discussions of LGBTQIA+ identities in public schools in Florida and put LGBTQIA+ teachers and students at risk.

DeSantis reportedly warned former Disney CEO Bob Chapek not to speak out against the law, but The Mouse couldn’t ignore its fans for long. The Republican governor responded by dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a municipal area that Walt Disney World Resort has controlled since 1967.

Governor Ron DeSantis smiling widely
Credit: Ron DeSantis

Related: Anti-Wokeness, Gay Day, and DeSantis: A Disney Expert Weighs In

Gov. DeSantis replaced Reedy Creek with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and appointed board members to control the area. Under CEO Bob Iger, Disney sued DeSantis for retaliating against its First Amendment right to free speech. A judge dismissed the lawsuit in January, though subsequent legal battles are ongoing.

Supporting the LGBTQIA+ community may have spurred an onslaught of troubles, but Disney remains on the right side of history. In 2022, the merchandise department announced the first-ever officially titled Disney Pride collection, replacing what was previously called “Rainbow Disney.” Every year, Disney cast members march in more Pride parades worldwide than ever.

Two men, one wearing glasses and a blue-striped shirt and the other in a white polo shirt, stand close together outdoors at Disney World, both blowing colorful confetti from their hands. Trees and a large, dome-shaped building are visible in the background.
Credit: Disney

For the first time since 2022, Walt Disney World Resort recently started donating to Republican political campaigns in Florida. As LGBTQIA+ fans expressed disappointment, one Disney Park guest was galvanized to express his homophobic views on the Monorail.

Last week, a man refused to sit next to TikTok user @joey.mayberry on Walt Disney World Resort’s Monorail because he wore a rainbow Pride bracelet. The victim spoke out in this video after the same guest who discriminated against him turned to him for help:

@joey.mayberry

#sorrynotsorry

♬ original sound – #DadBodDemiGod

“He pointed at me, and I saw him go like this to his wife,” the Disney Park guest said, imitating a hand signal sometimes used to mock gay men. “Then he asked me if this Monorail goes to EPCOT.”

But it was the TikToker who got the last laugh.

“I said yes,” he recalled. “Enjoy your trip back to Magic Kingdom.”

A monorail glides along a track in the foreground with the iconic geodesic sphere of epcot's spaceship earth in the background under a clear blue sky.
Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney Parks fans were disgusted by the homophobic guest’s behavior and proud of the TikToker for not backing down.

“This is the petty I prefer,” said @designerhugs.

“Gotta love [people] who go to a place full of entertainment and dancing and become shocked that gays exist,” @lookatmyfeesh wrote.

A group of people hold large balloon letters spelling "Disney" in various bright colors. The backdrop shows a stage with colorful lighting and a crowd of people cheering, creating a festive atmosphere reminiscent of a Pride Celebration at a Disney theme park.
Credit: Disney

Bigotry and harassment are against Walt Disney World Resort’s property rules. If you feel unsafe at the Disney parks, Disney Springs, or Disney Resort hotels, notify the nearest Disney cast member. Security cast members will respond immediately.

Should Walt Disney World Resort ban guests with bigoted beliefs? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments.

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