While many people are willingly unaware, the Walt Disney Company is one of the better places to work for those who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Disney happily employs anyone, regardless of their sexual preference or gender. In addition, Walt Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland California openly welcome guests during the annual unofficial “Gay Days” events at the respective resorts, despite protests about how allowing these events detract from the “family-friendly” nature of the parks.
Frankly, I’d suggest that you’ve never really experienced the parks until you visit during Gay Days. The character meet and greets (pre-COVID of course) are more friendly, the parades are even more awesome and there’s nothing like going to the Country Bear Jamboree with a bunch of bears.
The Walt Disney Company devotes an entire section of its website to its Diversity and Inclusion Policy.
Stories are better when the storytellers represent the vast experiences of the people who will hear them. At Disney we have the opportunity and the responsibility to create authentic, unforgettable stories, experiences and products that capture the imagination of generations of people around the world. We are committed to doing that in a way that counts everybody in.
That’s why I was so shocked to find out that Disney’s inclusion policy hasn’t yet made it to the hotel booking system.
We are owners of Disney Vacation Club (Disney’s version of a time share) and had some extra points left over this year. Instead of wasting them, Sharon and I made plans for some friends stay at Disney World using our points.
Since it’s a resort on Disney property, I had to provide the personal information of the people staying. That’s so Disney can link the people staying in the room to any park reservations, magic bands, and however else Disney wants to track guests while on property.
Started adding the information until I got to a guest who didn’t fit any of the choices offered. You see, when you have to register each guest, Disney FORCES you to pick one of these options.
There are no other options. You have to pick one of these to continue.
But what if you don’t fit into one of these categories? When registering our guest who identifies as gender fluid, I wound up having to ask which one of these they preferred I use for them. It was awkward and, in this day and age, avoidable.
Even the US Government has allowed non-binary citizens to select a gender marker that is neither male nor female on passport applications. While this may not be an issue for most people, there’s a portion of the population where this is a huge deal. While they’re undoubtedly accustomed to dealing with this issue on a daily basis, you’d hope that a company like Disney, which prides itself on inclusion, would be smart enough to add one more box to the menu.
An additional option of neither would do the trick. Either Disney hasn’t added this because no one had thought of it or it’s because they’re afraid of the backlash for adding such a choice to the menu. I’m hoping it’s the former and not the latter.
I usually give Disney the benefit of the doubt because they’re typically out front, leading these issues. However, I have to wonder why they’ve overlooked such an obvious thing when it comes to their hotel reservation system.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary