By Danielle Levien, Communications Manager, Walt Disney World Resort
One of my favorite things about being a Black woman at Disney is how our parks and experiences are in a constant state of becoming more inclusive and truly celebrate the diversity of our cast and guests. Sometimes this means honoring a cultural holiday through unique and special offerings, and sometimes it means exploring how we can make each guest feel even more welcome when they visit our parks.
At Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, specialty training allows our Fairy Godmother’s Apprentices to master a greater diversity of hair textures and types, opening up doors to more connection and inclusion.
“Cosmetology schools don’t spend much time on more texturized hair, so it can be difficult to get that experience,” Camelia, an apprentice, explains. “I’ve seen my peers grow through the training Disney provides us. Their skills have blossomed and they’ve become more confident.”
In addition to the specialty training, extra pigmentation has been added to makeup palettes to ensure all skin colors glow and pop. Adaptive costumes are also available for young princesses and knights in need of comfortable stretch fabric, discreet flap openings for easy tube access, ankle-length bottoms to accommodate those who are seated, and velcro closing to slip the costumes on and off with ease.
“Seeing the delight on guests’ faces when they turn around and see themselves in the mirror is the best experience,” Shalise, an apprentice, adds. “We all have such unique memories and relationships with guests that come back year after year to visit us. Now, we are opening the doors for children to build those magical connections with even more cast members because when they walk through our doors parents know they can trust any one of us to deliver an unforgettable experience.”
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique has a long legacy of making dreams come true for children around the world. Now, parents can feel even more at ease knowing that extra care and attention is given to allow their children to connect more deeply with our stories and enjoy their fantasy being brought to life.
“What we do here isn’t just a makeover. We give our guests the ability to believe in make believe. No matter who they are, where they come from, or what they’ve gone through, they have the chance to be a knight or princess,” Shalise shares.
As our Fairy Godmother’s Apprentices always say – trust the process! Step through our enchanted doors with the confidence that children from all backgrounds will feel seen, celebrated, and welcomed.