Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, has reworked the greeting for its fireworks show at Magic Kingdom in order to be more inclusive.
For many years, ahead of the nightly fireworks show — which returns Thursday after being on a lengthy hiatus due to the pandemic —, an announcer issued this greeting: “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, dreamers of all ages…”
It was revealed Tuesday night, when Disney cast members were given a preview of the new fireworks show, that the theme park nixed the first part of the announcement and will now just be greeting “dreamers of all ages.”
You can listen to the before and after below:
Disney removes ”Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls” from Happily Ever After pre show announcement.
Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls FOREVER! pic.twitter.com/joWLcYBgMf
— Showcase of Wishes (@ShowcaseWishes) June 30, 2021
The shift in the Orlando park comes months after Tokyo Disneyland made a similar decision in the name of inclusivity.
It should be noted the reworked greeting in the Japanese location came initially not from Disney but from the Oriental Land Company, which licenses the Disney brand, its characters, and their likenesses for the park.
The new greeting there welcomes “everyone” and doesn’t use sex- or gender-based language, according to HuffPost. It went into effect March 18.
A spokesperson for the Oriental Land Company said the change was made to make people of all sexual and gender identities “feel comfortable in the park.”
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“It is a comprehensive judgment considering the current social situation, such as diversity,” the spokesperson explained. “Currently, information on parades and shows, Country Bear Theater in Tokyo Disneyland, and the Enchanted Tiki Room: Some attractions, such as Stitch Presents ‘Aloha e Como Mai,’ have already changed.”
Years ago, Jack Wagner, known by many as “the voice of Disney,” estimated he’d said, “ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,” some eight million times during his two-decade tenure as the park announcer for Disneyland in California, Disney World in Florida, and Tokyo Disneyland.
“When I do meet people who say, ‘Now I can associate a face with the voice,’ I always say, ‘Well, sorry about that, you know, but that’s how the cookie crumbles,'” Wagner joked.