Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Girl in Tinker Bell Costume denied entry - but not for being "too good"

Click Orlando, among others, is reporting that April Spielman was denied entry to DAK because her Tinker Bell costume was "too good." Disney has a policy, all the newspapers and websites are reporting, of disallowing amateur costumes of their characters in their parks. 

Actually, that part is true. The reason for it is that they don't want people to get confused and try to take pics with the visiting, dressed up Guest, who might then misbehave. It's part of brand management. If you don't protect the brand, you've got nothing left. I saw a woman dressed up as the Evil Queen on Snow White's last day (her stroller-bound daughter was Snow White), and she told me Disney informed her she could not pose with visitors.

But Disney and all those newspapers aren't really saying the whole truth. It's not that her costume was "too good." It's that her costume was actually "too bad" -- in the Jessica Rabbit way. This girl may be only 15 years old, but her cleavage bespeaks a certain sexuality Disney doesn't want associated with its characters (when was the last time you saw a Jessica Rabbit walkaround character??)

I'm not that sure her costume even looks like a convincing Tinker Bell. Note that her boyfriend, dressed as Peter Pan and arguably MORE convincingly than her costume, is not in the newspapers.

I suspect she wanted the publicity. But she may not fully grasp that a sexualized "princess" (even though the original animated Tink has a sexual side too) is not something Disney is going to tolerate lightly.

Kevin Yee is the author of numerous independent Disney books, including the popular Walt Disney World Earbook series and Walt Disney World Hidden History.