An Introduction– We don’t usually do controversy and this steps into it pretty quick. We also try not to be negative but this weekend impacted us and I needed to say something. I’ve also been warned that I shouldn’t print this one – and for that reason I would love to hear some comments? In the worst case I’ll just click and unpost it.
Hot Tub Interviews – A Weekend At Disney In Florida
We just spent a weekend at a Disney Resort and beside the fact that I love relaxing in hot tubs they are also a great place to strike up conversations. Since it was Disney it wasn’t unusual that people often talked about the current controversy involving Florida’s new law regarding not teaching kindergarten through 3rd graders about sex, the company’s CEO Chapek’s declaration about fighting it and the newest revelations coming out of those Disney Zoom meetings.
This is not, by any means, a statistical survey nor was it a formal series of direct questions. However in each case everyone had no issues discussing how they felt.
Over a few days I had conversations with about a dozen couples or individual parents visiting with their children over Spring Break. These discussions occurred at a Disney Vacation Club Resort so everyone involved obviously already had an above average commitment to the brand. They were from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, South Dakota, Ohio and Florida.
To begin with everyone was seriously and negatively concerned about the positions expressed by the company officially and its employees individually. Everyone I spoke to was well informed about the content and intent of the new Florida law and literally everyone supported what it was trying to accomplish.
The Unscientific Results
Only one person felt that gay, transgender or non conforming children might benefit from having a place in the school system where they could go for advice. That person also admitted they didn’t think that should involve children under 14. On that point another mother suggested that a rule of confidentiality was needed between pediatricians and young patients but not school teachers or staff (she was a New Jersey school teacher).
Ever parent I talked to said they were disturbed by what was happening and that it was having a negative impact on their feelings about Disney. One father said that he was a big Disney fan because he understood what Walt Disney stood for when he created that “happiest place on Earth” and it never was just an ad slogan. “His parks have always been a place where families could take their children and share in the magic of just being a child. Where fantasies and dreams could come true. What father or mother didn’t want to take their kids to a Disney theme park?”
A majority of parents indicated that they where now going to screen or at least research all Disney TV shows, cartoons and movies before allowing their children to watch. That’s something that they never thought might be necessary.
Almost everyone said that they came to Disney World at least once a year. One family said they came three times a year with their two young boys. This was a Disney Vacation Club Resort after all and everyone said that they weren’t just going to cut Disney off but were hoping that they would still be comfortable bringing the family to Disney World. This was partly because everyone had, in recent years, made a sizable investment in the Disney Vacation Club, and a small majority indicated that they felt betrayed.