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Disney did not cancel Tinker Bell for being problematic
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Disney did not cancel Tinker Bell for being problematic

  • PublishedMay 17, 2024


Tinker Bell still does meet-and-greets at Disneyland in California, while making other appearances in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Tinker Bell is a fictional fairy from the movie “Peter Pan.” 

Like many other Disney characters, Tinker Bell has been a fixture in Disney parks, with guests having the opportunity to meet and take a photo with the character. Before the pandemic, Tinker Bell had meet-and-greets at the park’s Town Square Theater at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. 

Recent visitors to Magic Kingdom, one of four parks at Walt Disney World, noticed that signs referencing meet-and-greets with Tinker Bell were taken down at the Town Square Theater, with only signs about a Mickey Mouse meet-and-greet remaining.

People online claim that the Tinker Bell character was removed from Walt Disney World after the company determined her narrative to be problematic. Several articles claim Tinker Bell was banned as part of Disney’s Stories Matter initiative, which seeks to review older projects in Disney’s catalog to add disclaimers for cultural insensitivity. 

THE QUESTION

Is Tinker Bell banned from Disney parks?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, Tinker Bell is not banned from Disney parks.

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WHAT WE FOUND

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida has removed Tinker Bell’s meet-and-greet experience, but the character still appears in other park attractions. There is still a Tinker Bell meet-and-greet experience running at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Although Tinker Bell is not currently meeting guests at Walt Disney World,  Tinker Bell can still be seen daily in the park’s “Happily Ever After” firework show and the “Festival of Fantasy” parade. The character is also featured in the attractions “Peter Pan’s Flight” and “Mickey’s Philharmagic.”

In 2020, Disney halted all character meet-and-greets in its parks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, before bringing them back in phases. While Mickey Mouse eventually resumed doing meet-and-greets in the Town Square Theater, Tinker Bell never returned to the theater.

It is unclear why Tinker Bell’s meet-and-greet did not return to Town Square Theater. VERIFY reached out to Walt Disney World for comment but has not heard back.

Claims that Tinker Bell’s was removed from the park due to Disney finding the character “problematic” likely come from a 2022 New York Times article that says Disney’s Stories Matter team flagged Tinker Bell as a “body conscious” character who is “jealous of Peter Pan’s attention.” Many posts online draw a connection to the article about Stories Matter and the character’s removal. 

Characters aren’t always permanent at Disney parks. For example, the Princess Fairytale Hall at Magic Kingdom currently features Tiana and Cinderella, along with two “visiting princesses” who are rotated out. Walt Disney World also recently replaced the character Merida’s meet-and-greet with a meet-and-greet with Mirabel, a character from the newer “Encanto” movie. 

The Town Square Theater was also previously home to meet-and-greets with other princesses before Tinker Bell’s meet-and-greet was added. Since the return of character meet-and-greets at Disney, Minnie Mouse has also done meet-and-greets in the Town Square Theater alongside Mickey Mouse instead of Tinker Bell. 

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