Teen girl denied entry to Disney's Animal Kingdom for dressing like Tinkerbell

Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2012 9:44 AM | Contributed by Jeff

April Spielman wanted her boyfriend's first trip to Walt Disney World to be memorable, so she planned to do something special -- dress up like Tinkerbell. Spielman said she and her boyfriend, who was dressed as Peter Pan, had no problem getting into Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park on Sunday. But when they tried to visit Disney's Animal Kingdom later, Spielman said security officers stopped them at the front gate.

Read more and see video from WKMG/Orlando.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 3:24 PM

I don't think the consistency matters in this case. Being overlooked in one place doesn't mean it's OK.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012 3:31 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

So you're essentially qualifying what I said - a lack of consistency causes problems. If you let one costume in, you got to let them all.

If you let this style of dress into one park, well then...

...consistency.

You'll also note that during Mickey's Not So Scary periods, only costumes are allowed at the MK, but not the other parks (witnessed that as well at the turnstiles, a very regular occurrence during that time period). This is consistent with their enforcement of the policy in this instance as well.

I would hardly call it inconsistent, its just that she got away with it at Studios because selectively enforcing what character costumes are allowed creates even worse of a situation. In that instance a poorly done Star Wars costume could be turned away if it isn't recognized.

On that note, big props to the guy who made a Yoda out of balloons and had him on his back like the training scene on Sunday. That couldn't have been easy to do.

Last edited by maXairMike, Tuesday, June 5, 2012 3:31 PM
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012 3:34 PM

maXairMike said:
They can't really be selective just allowing Star Wars costumes in, it would likely create more issues than the DAK incident.

Why can't you? Either a costume is Star Wars related, or it isn't. If it's the former, it's ok, if it's the latter, here's a t-shirt and FP.

There's not really a difference between this, and saying it's ok for kids to wear costumes and not okay for adults.

Of course, there's nothing on the WDW website for DHS or SW Weekends that says anything about costumes. Just a line "Proper dress is required at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park." But no link to what is "proper dress." My guess is DHS screwed up and DAK had to fix it.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012 3:43 PM

My only question is "Why is this even remotely considered 'news'?"

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012 3:46 PM

Juggalotus said:

maXairMike said:
They can't really be selective just allowing Star Wars costumes in, it would likely create more issues than the DAK incident.

Why can't you? Either a costume is Star Wars related, or it isn't. If it's the former, it's ok, if it's the latter, here's a t-shirt and FP.

There's not really a difference between this, and saying it's ok for kids to wear costumes and not okay for adults.

Of course, there's nothing on the WDW website for DHS or SW Weekends that says anything about costumes. Just a line "Proper dress is required at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park." But no link to what is "proper dress." My guess is DHS screwed up and DAK had to fix it.

Jedi Mickey, Darth Duck, etc. makes it easier to claim you didn't do a good job turning Tink into a SW character. Yeah, they probably could have gotten away with stopping her, but creating a scene about one "appropriate" costume given the amount of other "improper" costumes (Slave Leia is pretty much the definition of inappropriate dress) being let in is something they probably don't want.

And again it probably also goes back to the safety of the girl herself and the possible presentation by Disney of the "real" Tinkerbell in that park (I know she doesn't appear at DHS, not sure about DAK). I don't really see much inconsistency in that one park is clearly allowing costumes during well-defined days and the others are not. The exception should be pretty clear, and I know a lot of the Star Wars fans change out of their costumes before or shortly after they leave Studios if they're going to another park.

But yeah, this isn't exactly "news," just normal policy enforcement.

Last edited by maXairMike, Tuesday, June 5, 2012 3:49 PM
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012 4:49 PM

Jeff said:

I don't think the consistency matters in this case. Being overlooked in one place doesn't mean it's OK.

But it absolutely puts the ball back in the park's court. They messed up...which is most likely why they were so damn accomodating with her.

Like I said, they handled it fine. The girl needs to get over it. But to ignore Disney's side of the equation is to miss half the story.

maXairMike said:
I don't really see much inconsistency in that one park is clearly allowing costumes during well-defined days and the others are not.



Ummm, that's pretty much the definition of inconsistency. Are costumes allowed or not? The second there's a "sometimes" involved, the policy is inconsistent.

Juggalotus said:

Of course, there's nothing on the WDW website for DHS or SW Weekends that says anything about costumes. Just a line "Proper dress is required at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park." But no link to what is "proper dress." My guess is DHS screwed up and DAK had to fix it.

Exactly.

All the 'common sense' stuff sounds nice, but we know how well that flies in the real world. If the girl wanted to raise a stink she has a basis for a complaint solely on the fact that she was let into one park in costume.

The moment DHS let her in, all bets are off.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Tuesday, June 5, 2012 4:50 PM
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012 5:01 PM

Let me understand. Are you saying that the instant any operator fails to enforce one of its restrictions, that restriction becomes void?

If so, I don't buy it.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012 5:17 PM

I don't think so. Am I? Maybe I am?

I'm saying it changes the girl from a whiny little brat to someone who might legitimately have a complaint/confusion. (in the most technical sense)

I mean in the case of things like this isn't it usually that someone is at fault?

In this case the girl was at fault for wearing the costume....until Disney said she wasn't by letting her in to DHS. Then they created a bigger problem by telling her she was at fault when she swung by DAK later after already setting a precedent with her at DHS.

Sadly, while common sense dictates otherwise, it's not necessarily entirely the girl's responsibility to know the details of the dress code and if there were indeed some kind of confusion, the experience she had initially at DHS set the tone that created an issue at DAK.

(If indeed there really was an issue of any kind. I'm not sure of the point of the story. Is anyone really pissed or seeking retribution or something?)

---

With that said, let me reiterate that I'm arguing the other side for the sake of discussion. I enjoy the workout. :)

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012 5:17 PM

maXairMike said:
Slave Leia is pretty much the definition of inappropriate dress.

Disagree.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012 5:19 PM

On Star Wars weekend costumes are allowed in the Studio's

It maybe an unofficial policy but it is the way it is done

Do you want turnstile cast members (some of whom may not have seen Star Wars) to judge if a costume is Star Warsey enough.(ok i made that word up)

It is the policy for all parks (with a couple exceptions)

So someone doesn't ruin the trip for someone else.

Can you imagine what would happen if someone dressed in a costume

told some kid "get lost brat I do not work here" or worse.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012 5:36 PM

kevin38 said:

On Star Wars weekend costumes are allowed in the Studio's

It maybe an unofficial policy but it is the way it is done

Ok. So policy is inconsistent and not followed.

Do you want turnstile cast members (some of whom may not have seen Star Wars) to judge if a costume is Star Warsey enough.(ok i made that word up)

Sure don't. But then again, if policy were followed they wouldn't have to. Seems odd to err on the side of "let 'em all through" when you're worried that costumed characters will confuse other guests.

Can you imagine what would happen if someone dressed in a costume told some kid "get lost brat I do not work here" or worse.

Right? Which is why it amazes me that costumes are allowed at all (even unofficially).

Which goes back to consistency. How much like Mickey am I allowed to look before I get booted from Star Wars weekend? Even if it's just a really bad Vader?

When you leave that much grey area, you're asking for someone to abuse it.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012 6:34 PM

I think the last thing Disney needs is for people who don't work at their parks to dress up like Donald Duck and Tigger and grab people's boobs and butts.

I know that a dream is a wish that your heart makes, or something like that. Sorry about your shattered dream, little girl, but I hope Peter Pan dumps you for Wendy again.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012 9:15 PM

RatherGoodBear said:

I think the last thing Disney needs is for people who don't work at their parks to dress up like Donald Duck and Tigger and grab people's boobs and butts.

Great. There goes my dream.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012 9:39 PM

And Maxair Mike breaks the streak of +1'd posts.

(Though I'm sure someone will +1 his post just to make me look like an ass.)

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012 12:18 AM

You're back tracking, Gonch. Brian's question is spot on, and I'm sure if we were talking about something more serious, you would have a different position. For example, if some moron operator allowed a dude with a box of loose razor blades and poisonous snakes on Tower of Terror, that doesn't mean the policy against such things suddenly goes away. If someone at DHS screwed up, so what? Is AK to just say, "Cool, whatever?"

SLFAKE said:

My only question is "Why is this even remotely considered 'news'?"

Apparently it's newsworthy enough that you clicked on it, read it and then made a comment on it.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012 12:31 AM

I'm going to call you out on hyperbole. :)

But no, the policy doesn't go away. I don't mean to say it does. It opens the door for complaints/confusion/problems-like-this-in-general when you inconsistently enforce policy.

I'm not even saying AK should have let her in this time. I agree they shouldn't have. But they screwed up. They shouldn't have let her in at DHS either.

I suppose we could argue the details of if policy is resort-wide or park-by-park or applies to certain events or whatever. But that's neither here nor there.

Working on the assumption that at Walt Disney World does not allow costumed guests as stated in the article, then Disney dropped the ball here.

The only reason this is a story is because DHS let her in in the first place.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012 7:13 AM

Or we'd have a video of a whiny teen crying because she wasn't allowed in the parks at all after dressing up in a costume and getting free stuff for it.

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