A Magical Change

Disney Drops ‘Fairy Godmother In Training’ Title To Be More Inclusive

A magical change.

A girl chooses her hair style at salon "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique." Cast members who work at the salo...

Disney is ditching the term “Fairy Godmothers in Training” at dress-up salons at Disney World and Disneyland. Instead, cast members working at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutiques will be called “Apprentices,” a gender-netural title that includes everyone in the magic of dressing up like their favorite Disney character.

At the boutiques, kids between the ages of 3 and 12 get makeovers from Fairy Godmother’s Apprentice to look like their favorite princess or other character. The title change comes just as Disney is preparing to reopen the boutiques, which were closed throughout the pandemic.

This isn’t the first time Disney waved its magic wand in an effort to be more inclusive. In 2021, “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,” was dropped from the introduction of the parks’ fireworks shows. Now, the introduction starts with a “Good evening, dreamers of all ages.”

"We don’t have an official statement, but the bottom line is the greeting has changed. It’s part of a broader effort around diversity and inclusion,” a Disney spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times at the time of the change.

The theme parks have also changed some of the rides.

Back in 2017, Disney changed part of its Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which featured a “wench auction” with a banner that read, “Auction, take a wench for a bride,” along with a scene of pirates chasing women. Now, the banner reads “Auction, Surrender Yer Loot,” and the women are chasing the men.

The parks are also in the midst of transforming the Splash Mountain ride. The classic log flume ride is based on Disney’s 1946 film Song of the South, which has been slammed for its racist depiction of African Americans in the Reconstruction-era American South and for painting plantation life for formally enslaved Black people as idyllic. The will instead pay homage to Princess Tiana of The Princess and the Frog. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is set to open in both parks in 2024.

Here’s hoping Disney continues to wave its magic wand and make its iconic characters and parks accessible and welcoming to everyone.