Do cast members still use the constant "princess" label?

kuhltiffany

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Hi there, I hope this is an ok spot to put this. I'm just a mom looking for some wisdom/experience/advice.

We are heading to WDW next week (haven't been for about 5 years). My 14 year old is gender neutral / gender non-conforming. Last time we were there the cast members were always addressing children using the label "princess" (can't remember what the other option was), which was annoying and caused some angst. I'm hoping to find out what's typically happening now so we can prepare, I'm worried about how much a bother this can be.

The complicating factor is that we are also coming with a cast/broken foot, so it's likely extra attention will be given, not always a positive thing.

I've gotten pretty good navigating and advocating here at home, but Disney always seems to have such stringent gender expectations which make it more challenging!
 

OKW Lover

Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle.
DIS Lifetime Sponsor
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Disney is actually very gender friendly. If the CM's can tell (which isn't always obvious) they will use the preferred form of address. If they can't its easy enough to just ask them to use the preferred name/gender.
 

WrongLeverrrr

Why do we even HAVE that lever??
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
You know how some people have those buttons that say "First Visit!" and things like that? I know people sometimes make those with their own personalized design, but I'm not sure where/how they go about that. Maybe a design/slogan that expresses your child's gender identity could work. Though that would mean you're literally wearing it and I know not everyone prefers to do that.
 
  • kuhltiffany

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 28, 2011
    Neat idea! Even one that says "please don't call me princess" would do :)

    You know how some people have those buttons that say "First Visit!" and things like that? I know people sometimes make those with their own personalized design, but I'm not sure where/how they go about that. Maybe a design/slogan that expresses your child's gender identity could work. Though that would mean you're literally wearing it and I know not everyone prefers to do that.
     

    happymommy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 8, 2006
    That's a great idea! My youngest is trans, and was at a conference last year where the name tag also said "he/him". Maybe one that says something to the effect that confirms they person's gender identity is good, like "gender nonconforming/fluid/nonbinary" is a good idea. You can write what you want! I wish I had known before he was 18, but in retrospect it wasn't a surprise to us all!
     

    DisLiss

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 2, 2018
    Neat idea! Even one that says "please don't call me princess" would do :)
    Or if perhaps even just "NOT a Princess!" depending on what you're able to fit on a button. :)

    However, I will say that in my own experience, the cast members seem more likely to say those kinds of things to younger kids than older ones. Simply because regardless of their preferred gender, teens in general can be very resistant to labels they feel they are "too old" for. Cast members don't want to accidentally treat a teen like a "kid", especially (I believe) because Disney already fights the idea that Universal is for the teens and WDW is for the little kids. I think they try to be "cool" when dealing with the older kids.

    Best of luck!!
     

    puertorican00676

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2012
    You can actually have fun with it. Maybe a not a princess pin with a picture of their preferred character. I can imagine darth vader for example.
     
  • Lilsia

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2018
    I think this will be a good life lesson on how the world is not perfect. Sometimes people will call you Mam or Sir, especially when it is not obvious. No one ever does that to be mean. Learning to brush it off is a better way to handle this. The button idea is fine, but a cast member might not look at it, since many guests wear buttons. It is important to learn how to deal with this and 14 is old enough. I know that as a parent, we want an our children's life to be easy and happy. The world is neither. I would talk to your child about what they think and how they want to handle it. It is not worth ruining a vacation over being called a princess.
     

    cj.scribbles

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 1, 2018
    In general; yes we do say Princess and Prince when addressing people, not just kids. It's more common in the parks like MK rather than the waterparks where I'm at.

    Ive definitely made this mistake before with children but I'm always open to correcting myself and addressing them properly. It's a little sad to say but it helps to visually appear how you'd like to be addressed. We see hundreds to thousands of adults and children a day and its easy to make a mistake especially if you're an attractions cast member moving people through quickly.

    Wearing buttons and clothing of a certain style can help but if someone does get it wrong just politely correct them I'm sure they'll apologize and change their words.

    You can also choose a term that's more specific than Prince or Princess. Write on their button "Hero". This is also a term some cast members use because it's how we address characters in certain movies sometimes. Mulan isn't just considered a Princess, shes a Hero, etc.

    Hope this helps! :)
     

    Archaeren

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2019
    I think this will be a good life lesson on how the world is not perfect. Sometimes people will call you Mam or Sir, especially when it is not obvious. No one ever does that to be mean. Learning to brush it off is a better way to handle this. The button idea is fine, but a cast member might not look at it, since many guests wear buttons. It is important to learn how to deal with this and 14 is old enough. I know that as a parent, we want an our children's life to be easy and happy. The world is neither. I would talk to your child about what they think and how they want to handle it. It is not worth ruining a vacation over being called a princess.
    Nobody is going to Disney World for a bitter dose of reality. This 14-year-old is probably going to spend a lot of their life correcting people on their proper form of address as is, there's no harm in trying to do whatever can be done to head that off in order to have a magical family vacation.✨🎇


    I see the original post was from last year so the trip is surely over by now, but I hope it was a great time! Also @cj.scribbles, I love the idea of using "Hero", that's great! 💕
     

    Lilsia

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2018
    Nobody is going to Disney World for a bitter dose of reality. This 14-year-old is probably going to spend a lot of their life correcting people on their proper form of address as is, there's no harm in trying to do whatever can be done to head that off in order to have a magical family vacation.✨🎇


    I see the original post was from last year so the trip is surely over by now, but I hope it was a great time! Also @cj.scribbles, I love the idea of using "Hero", that's great! 💕
    That's right, they are going to spend their lives trying to correct people. Because Rome wasn't built in a day and people are not going to instantly start using neutral terms for everyone just in case. Plus you can't expect the whole world to change for a small few. It is no different then any other issue or circumstance. And the harm is making your kids believe that the world is going to revolve around you and how you expect it to be, not how it actually is. That does more harm then teaching them how to deal with it. As others have stated, there is no way to get every single cast member to remember that this one person does not want to be called princess. Reality.
     
  • Archaeren

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2019
    That's right, they are going to spend their lives trying to correct people. Because Rome wasn't built in a day and people are not going to instantly start using neutral terms for everyone just in case. Plus you can't expect the whole world to change for a small few. It is no different then any other issue or circumstance. And the harm is making your kids believe that the world is going to revolve around you and how you expect it to be, not how it actually is. That does more harm then teaching them how to deal with it. As others have stated, there is no way to get every single cast member to remember that this one person does not want to be called princess. Reality.
    In my personal opinion, I don't think a Disney vacation is really the appropriate time and place to make sure your kid knows that they will definitely be misgendered most days of their life. For one thing, they already know. For another, this is their vacation too! And getting misgendered constantly without anyone doing anything about it seems like a bit of a vacation-killer. In general, it takes very little effort to communicate and respect proper forms of address!

    I certainly don't see the harm in letting them believe the world revolves around them a little bit at Disney World-- that's kind of the point of Disney World! ✨ Why do you think they call you 'Prince' or 'Princess' to begin with? It's certainly not for the comfort of the Cast Members!

    There are surely many wonderful teaching moments to be had at The Most Magical Place on Earth! But I personally can't get behind the idea that, 'the world, in general, kind of sucks' should be one of them.
    💔
     

    Lilsia

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2018
    In my personal opinion, I don't think a Disney vacation is really the appropriate time and place to make sure your kid knows that they will definitely be misgendered most days of their life. For one thing, they already know. For another, this is their vacation too! And getting misgendered constantly without anyone doing anything about it seems like a bit of a vacation-killer. In general, it takes very little effort to communicate and respect proper forms of address!

    I certainly don't see the harm in letting them believe the world revolves around them a little bit at Disney World-- that's kind of the point of Disney World! ✨ Why do you think they call you 'Prince' or 'Princess' to begin with? It's certainly not for the comfort of the Cast Members!

    There are surely many wonderful teaching moments to be had at The Most Magical Place on Earth! But I personally can't get behind the idea that, 'the world, in general, kind of sucks' should be one of them.
    💔
    I didn't say to talk to them ON the vacation. That conversation should have been held long before that. It is unreasonable to expect the THOUSANDS of cast members to remember that this person, who looks like a female, does not want to be called princess. This is definitely not about WDW. Unless, of course, you think that they should just stop saying it all together? Do you think that all of the other girls that are called princess and the boys prince/pirate should not have that now because a very, very small minority might not like it? What is your solution to this then? Unless you go up to every single cast member you will encounter before the girl does and talk to them, I don't see any way of it not happening. It is far better to go in with an attitude that it is not going to bother you, just like all of the other people who get misidentified by accident. I think that you are living in lala land if you think that just because you are on vacation that the world is not the same.
     

    Chuck S

    DVC Co-Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2000
    For trans, maybe you should custom make a button that says, something like "I'm a Princess" or "I'm a Prince." Non-conforming/neutral could be trickier, maybe make one that says something like . "You may address me as "Your Highness" Which actually wouldn't be a bad idea for DIsney to start using for everyone.
     

    Archaeren

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2019
    I didn't say to talk to them ON the vacation. That conversation should have been held long before that. It is unreasonable to expect the THOUSANDS of cast members to remember that this person, who looks like a female, does not want to be called princess. This is definitely not about WDW. Unless, of course, you think that they should just stop saying it all together? Do you think that all of the other girls that are called princess and the boys prince/pirate should not have that now because a very, very small minority might not like it? What is your solution to this then? Unless you go up to every single cast member you will encounter before the girl does and talk to them, I don't see any way of it not happening. It is far better to go in with an attitude that it is not going to bother you, just like all of the other people who get misidentified by accident. I think that you are living in lala land if you think that just because you are on vacation that the world is not the same.
    I'm sorry, I feel that you may be willfully misinterpreting me in order to take this scenario to an extreme so it can be easily dismissed. Nobody involved in this scenario is asking for sudden, radical change in all people's behavior. I feel that my point was clear enough so I am not going to reiterate it, and as I feel like your intentions in this discussion are not in good faith, I am going to politely bow out of this conversation.

    I hope you have a great time on your next Disney vacation! Have a lovely day!


    For trans, maybe you should custom make a button that says, something like "I'm a Princess" or "I'm a Prince." Non-conforming/neutral could be trickier, maybe make one that says something like . "You may address me as "Your Highness" Which actually wouldn't be a bad idea for DIsney to start using for everyone.
    I love the idea of using "Your Highness", my SO actually doodled a quick button idea the other day for indicating a preference for using this! It sounds so classy ahaha 💕
     

    SaraJR

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2015
    Lisa, I promise you that anyone who is gender fluid or trans has learned that "life lesson" already, like every second of every day. Trying to minimize the discomfort during a vacation is not having a bad attitude or mindset. Your comments come off as dismissive and even a lil rude.
     

    Lilsia

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2018
    Lisa, I promise you that anyone who is gender fluid or trans has learned that "life lesson" already, like every second of every day. Trying to minimize the discomfort during a vacation is not having a bad attitude or mindset. Your comments come off as dismissive and even a lil rude.
    I stand behind my statement that trying to change everyone else is futile and will only cause more harm then good. There is no possible scenario that anyone can guarantee that someone will not call this person princess. Making buttons and trying to add a comment on their account will only lead to false hope, which leads to disappointment and anger. People will think, "well can't you see my button?" and it becomes more and more frustrating. Going in with the attitude to not let things like this bother you is a much better attitude and better mentally for those involved. We all want the world to be a utopia for our kids. We all love our kids. But preparing them for the world is the best thing that you can do for your kids. Sorry that you feel that I am dismissive or rude in any way. I am a realist and believe that it is much better for a child's mental well being to learn how to handle these situations instead of giving them false hope that everyone will be what they want them to be.
     

    Chuck S

    DVC Co-Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2000
    I stand behind my statement that trying to change everyone else is futile and will only cause more harm then good. There is no possible scenario that anyone can guarantee that someone will not call this person princess. Making buttons and trying to add a comment on their account will only lead to false hope, which leads to disappointment and anger. People will think, "well can't you see my button?" and it becomes more and more frustrating. Going in with the attitude to not let things like this bother you is a much better attitude and better mentally for those involved. We all want the world to be a utopia for our kids. We all love our kids. But preparing them for the world is the best thing that you can do for your kids. Sorry that you feel that I am dismissive or rude in any way. I am a realist and believe that it is much better for a child's mental well being to learn how to handle these situations instead of giving them false hope that everyone will be what they want them to be.
    Are Cast Members going to slip up sometimes? Of course they will, they are human like all of us. But they are supposed to notice the large "celebration" type buttons. I don't think they are a false hope at all, they need to be seen as a good attempt, not foolproof, but a tool. I worked customer service for a while in a store that catered mostly to the gay community, and I still made an occasional mistake on someone's gender based upon their appearance. If it happens, realize it was a mistake, and not meant to be hurtful, correct them gently, and move on...but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do ANYTHING (within reason) to try to prevent it from happening in the first place.
     

    OuterStace

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2019
    [
    That's right, they are going to spend their lives trying to correct people. Because Rome wasn't built in a day and people are not going to instantly start using neutral terms for everyone just in case. Plus you can't expect the whole world to change for a small few. It is no different then any other issue or circumstance. And the harm is making your kids believe that the world is going to revolve around you and how you expect it to be, not how it actually is. That does more harm then teaching them how to deal with it. As others have stated, there is no way to get every single cast member to remember that this one person does not want to be called princess. Reality.


    I really don't understand why wanting to be treated with respect is dismissed as acting like the world revolves around them.
     

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