Recently returned - Some Observations

MarieLightning

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 23, 2012
My wife and I recently returned from our 6th trip to WDW.

We've never really made comments as far as LGBT couples treatment goes at the World, because I don't feel we've necessarily had any direct experiences in regards to our relationship. Society being the way it is, two young girls traveling together won't be regarded first and foremost as a couple, and although we're affectionate toward one another as any couple would be, our 'PDA' doesn't go much further than hand holding and quick kisses once in a while.

This recent trip, however, we were celebrating 5 years together. We, as such, wore the Anniversary buttons.

I have nothing to say about guest reactions - I didn't really notice any negative ones toward us, so either I just missed them, or people couldn't care less when they noticed us. So I'm mostly gonna highlight Cast Member reactions here.

We had a mix of responses, ranging from very positive to mildly negative. The greater majority of reactions were neutral. We had the typical Cast Member telling us congratulations as we walked by. That's something my wife usually does herself whenever she comes across people wearing anniversary or birthday buttons, so I view this as neutral.

We really only dealt with one outwardly negative reaction. Upon entering the Magic Kingdom, while going through back check, the security guard noticed my button. He congratulated me with a smile. That smile died on his face as he noticed Amber behind me, probably realized she was the other half in question, and he remained silent and stoned face for the remainder of bag check.

All in all, definitely nothing terrible. Just a brief moment in time - didn't really even phase me. Like, move over sour face, don't got time for this, I'm going into the Magic Kingdom right now.

As far as positive responses, a few stick out a bit more clearly.

Meeting Goofy in the Character Spot was awesome. He was so thrilled when he noticed our buttons, and you could tell. We think he may have been a part of the LGBT family himself, because of his reaction. It definitely made us happy.

We also had two great PhotoPass photographer encounters. The first being in Hollywood Studios, we met with PhotoPass photographer John at the exit of RnRC, and then a second time later in the day on Sunset Blvd. He didn't make a big deal or anything, but he was very sweet.

In Animal Kingdom, we had pictures taken by PhotoPass photographer Jason. Now he was definitely awesome. For the first time in five years/six visits, we had a photographer who treated us as an actual couple. He instructed us to do several couple poses, and we had a blast with him. We came across him twice that day, and he was just as great the second time around. We left a good comment for him with Guest Services.


Unfortunately, the neutral kinda leads to the disappointing aspects of the trip though. These two PhotoPass photographers really were the only ones who responded to our celebration. Now, we don't wear buttons expecting freebies (though I'll admit we got a slice of green tea cake to share at Teppan Edo which was delicious, so you know, I'm not complaining either). We wear them because we *are* celebrating, as any other couple who visits WDW.

For the most part, we've never cared about being treated as friends rather than a couple when we get pictures taken. As I've mentioned, we don't expect it to be obvious, and I assume even if some CMs suspect, they probably don't want to advance themselves without certainty for fear of offending us. So we've done the regular, I'm just gonna stand here and smile poses. We've gone along with photographers instructing us to do friend poses and even what Amber refers to as sister poses (namely, standing back to back with arms crossed - when she was Walmart Studios photographer, she was taught to use that pose for sisters).

We also know that not all PhotoPass photographers will take more than a couple of regular shots, especially if they have a long line behind them.

But it's hard to ignore the difference in treatment when standing behind a straight couple in line, and watching that straight couple go first and be instructed to do sweet, coupley poses (hug, kiss, etc). Then we go up and get regular pictures.

Before anybody says, yes, I am aware that we have a level of control over what pictures of us are taken. If we wanted a kissing picture, we don't have to wait for someone to tell us to do it.

I'm just making this comment because there are cases, however, when it's just too obvious that a same-sex couple just won't receive the same treatment. I don't know if it's because the CM is against LGBT rights. I don't know if they just don't want to make us take a kissing picture because they are more concerned about the other guests walking by possibly taking offense to seeing two girls kissing, than they are concerned about treating us like a normal couple.

Still, I often see people wondering what kind of treatment people receive when they visit WDW and display their orientation/same-sex relationship. So this is my take on it.

Typically very little negative. A few bursts of awesome positive.

But mostly, just overlooked. So if this makes you feel better, because you don't want attention to be brought on yourself (which is typically how we go about it anyway), you'll feel right at home.
 

Princesca

<3 Pink sugar heart attack! <3
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Congrats on your anniversary!

My guess is that they are simply uncertain what you mean to each other, and are hesitant to presume and potentially offend a guest. I am twelve years older than my partner, and I have wondered sometimes if people think we are sisters, just by looking at us, or worse, mother and daughter. Fortunately, I "read" younger than I am, and she reads a little bit older, so we haven't gotten THAT particular association yet. But I can see a photographer being really wary about making assumptions. I wonder how they would handle an older man/younger woman. When my parents got divorced, my dad would take my sister and me out to dinner, and it happened once that this well-meaning older lady came up to us and told us what a beautiful child we had. My sister was about five, I think, and I was about fourteen. I was mooooortified. OMG.
 

MarieLightning

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 23, 2012
Thank you :)

See, normally I'd think that too... but we were wearing the Happily Ever After buttons for the first part of the trip. Then, during one of our dinners, the waiter asked what we were celebrating, and upon learning it was an anniversary, offered the Anniversary button, which we then wore for the last couple of days (since we figured it was more clear than the Happily Ever After, which a lot of people wear after getting engaged). I guess the Anniversary button could depict another type of Anniversary, not necessarily romantic, but Happily Ever After has a pretty hard to misinterpret meaning in my opinion.

We have actually been asked twice if we were mother and daughter in the past :-)sad: sad day for my self esteem) although we're only four years apart. But we have been asked plenty of times if we're sisters. Cause you know. We both wear glasses and have varying shades of brown hair :P

That sounds pretty terrible. But from my understanding, not unusual - because seeing a man and a woman out together, either by themselves or like in your case with a young girl (although you were pretty much almost still a child yourself, which makes it that much worse) pretty much always brings the assumption of a couple.
 
  • Princesca

    <3 Pink sugar heart attack! <3
    Joined
    Jun 14, 2011
    It's interesting to hear your account. I'll be going to Disney for the first time with my partner - I kinda felt we'd be fine holding hands and such, from what I've read other people say here. We are looking forward to being able to be at least that open... we can't really reliably do that in the part of the country we live in.
     

    LadyD

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 9, 2014
    Thank you :)

    See, normally I'd think that too... but we were wearing the Happily Ever After buttons for the first part of the trip. Then, during one of our dinners, the waiter asked what we were celebrating, and upon learning it was an anniversary, offered the Anniversary button, which we then wore for the last couple of days (since we figured it was more clear than the Happily Ever After, which a lot of people wear after getting engaged). I guess the Anniversary button could depict another type of Anniversary, not necessarily romantic, but Happily Ever After has a pretty hard to misinterpret meaning in my opinion.

    We have actually been asked twice if we were mother and daughter in the past :-)sad: sad day for my self esteem) although we're only four years apart. But we have been asked plenty of times if we're sisters. Cause you know. We both wear glasses and have varying shades of brown hair :P

    That sounds pretty terrible. But from my understanding, not unusual - because seeing a man and a woman out together, either by themselves or like in your case with a young girl (although you were pretty much almost still a child yourself, which makes it that much worse) pretty much always brings the assumption of a couple.

    We used to get the "are you two sisters??" question all the time just because we are both lighter skinned with light to medium color hair and similar heights. Our face shapes, body types, and eye color are completely different though. We finally got fed up with it though, and dyed our hair (her red and me blonde). We have not been asked that question since.

    In terms of Disney interactions with cast members, you really have to be blatantly obvious you're a couple to get recognition from most cast members unfortunately. I see groups of people running around wearing happily ever after and happy anniversary buttons all the time without it looking like a particular couple was celebrating some kind of relationship milestone. I have found that when we wear our "wifeys for lifey" shirts, our "mrs and mrs" hoodies, or Disneybound as a specific couple while wearing buttons and clearly acting like a couple is the only time it dawns on cast members we are not just two women who are likely best friends, we're actually a married couple. We did get the most recognition at WDW when we wore our shirts stating "just engaged." I think the cast members are in a tough spot trying to deduce who is a couple and who is not without offending anyone either way.
     

    Arodri17

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2016
    I've always had some questions about acceptance of LGBTQ folks at the Orlando parks. My husband and I are not big on PDA so unless you knew us you probably wouldn't know we're a couple, but I think your post helps clarify things for me a bit more. Thank you!
     
  • berryinDC

    in the garden
    Joined
    Apr 1, 2010
    Thanks for sharing your observations! They were very very interesting and similar to my experience. We've mostly had really great experiences with Disney staff, and celebrated our honeymoon at WDW. We usually hit one easily ignorable sourpuss per trip. On our honeymoon, it was unfortunately the guy at check-in at POR. I think every other time it's been one overly disapproving guest. I feel like the enthusiasm of the staff make up for it. We recently moved to a super queer friendly town so I've been curious how WDW will compare now that my expectations may have changed. We also visited DL for the first time this year and were amazed at how much more visibly out the staff were compared to WDW. It was definitely a magically rainbow filled vacation.

    On the Photo Pass photographer - My wife and I have never been asked to pose hugging, kissing or even really touching each other at all and I honestly am pretty disappointed now that I think about it. I didn't know we were missing out! We're an interracial couple so I'm pretty sure no one think we're sisters! I'm definitely going to do some coupley stuff in our photos on our next trip.
     

    Sean91

    Kevin's never said a damn thing about me.
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2015
    We only had one not positive reaction to our "Happily ever after" badges when we where there. Made me feel so included! The only not positive was by a little old lady at Trails End Restaurant in the Wilderness Lodge, she saw my partners badge and said "happy birthday, no... wait... oh..." then "OH!" when she saw my badge, then she just didn't acknowledge it and went totally awkward. It was HILARIOUS.
     

    karen1987

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2013
    Thanks for sharing your experience, MarieLightening and happy anniversary! It's encouraging to hear you experience was largely positive, especially your interactions with Goofy and the Photo Pass Photographers! Unfortunately, there always seems to be one that will give a negative remark or look, but thankfully, these seem far and few between.

    My DFi and I have never been into PDA, either at Disney or elsewhere, but we're looking forward to visiting DLR in October and hopefully experiencing LGBT openness and acceptance there.
     
  • LadyD

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 9, 2014
    Pics... pleeeeeeeease post pics!!! I love Disneybounding but have never done it myself.
    These are a few of the bounds we've done (that I have decent pictures of). We're really bad about getting pictures when we bound :/. I plan on making sure we get plenty of pics when we go to WDW this fall since we're bounding every day (except for our photo shoot day).

    image.jpeg

    My wife had a great jacket that really tied in her Carl look, but it was like 90 that day and she forgot to put it on for the pic.
     

    Princesca

    <3 Pink sugar heart attack! <3
    Joined
    Jun 14, 2011
    So cute!

    And I don't blame her. That's the one thing that really makes me reluctant to Disneybound. So far I've found precisely ONE pair of shoes I can wear in the parks without blisters, and they don't really go with anything. LOL.
     

    wnwardii

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2016
    @LadyD Those pictures are really amazing. Such a cute couple!

    Can someone possibly explain "Disneybound" for me? That is not a term I am familiar with.
     

    wilkeliza

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2013
    @LadyD Those pictures are really amazing. Such a cute couple!

    Can someone possibly explain "Disneybound" for me? That is not a term I am familiar with.
    Disbound is trying to emulate the style of a character in regular clothes. So dressing in a way that makes someone think oh that's Ariel, Mickey, Prince Eric, queen of hearts, etc with out it being a costume.


    OP I'm so sorry to hear this about feeling over looked. It can't be easy and I know it isn't the vibe Disney wants to give off. I think a lot of CMs who are super supportive outside of work may be hesitant to offend if they assume someone is a couple. Totally not an excuse though.
     

    wnwardii

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2016
    @wilkeliza Thank you! I have a friend who has posted pictures of her at Disney in a "themed" outfit. So I guess she was Disneybound while at the parks. Now I know a new term and will have to figure out a way to use it. lol
     

    wilkeliza

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2013
    @wilkeliza Thank you! I have a friend who has posted pictures of her at Disney in a "themed" outfit. So I guess she was Disneybound while at the parks. Now I know a new term and will have to figure out a way to use it. lol
    No problem. The easiest way to start is think of the characters color pallet and work with that. So black top, red bottoms, and yellow shoes for Mickey. Some characters lend to disbounding easier than others.
     

    LadyD

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 9, 2014
    @LadyD Those pictures are really amazing. Such a cute couple!

    Can someone possibly explain "Disneybound" for me? That is not a term I am familiar with.
    Thank you! It's definitely something fun to get into, and it is fun to see other people in the parks who are bounding as well. Some people are really creative and put together some outstanding outfits :)
     

    Alfredo68

    I love Disney. My partner doesn't.
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2016
    These are a few of the bounds we've done (that I have decent pictures of). We're really bad about getting pictures when we bound :/. I plan on making sure we get plenty of pics when we go to WDW this fall since we're bounding every day (except for our photo shoot day).

    View attachment 189763

    My wife had a great jacket that really tied in her Carl look, but it was like 90 that day and she forgot to put it on for the pic.
    LOVE the pict on the carousel!
     

    fireplay81

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 5, 2013
    In terms of Disney interactions with cast members, you really have to be blatantly obvious you're a couple to get recognition from most cast members unfortunately.
    This has been our experience also. We mostly go ignored, both at DL and WDW, which I'm mostly ok with. I think the button situation has watered down the market on enthusiasm, lol. We might wear the buttons on the day of our anniversary or birthday or whatever but I usually just pick them up as mementos,
     


    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates


    Top