Now Cinderella and Prince Charming-like couples aren’t the only ones who can marry in front of Walt Disney World’s glorious castle. If a prince and prince wish to exchange vows, they now most certainly can.
It may not be the fairy tale weddings we read about as kids, but the Disney Corporation announced today that it would open its Fairy Tale Wedding ceremony package to gay couples. Prior to this decision, wedding ceremonies were only allowed for those with legal marriage licenses.
In an Associated Press article by Gary Gentile, Disney Parks and Resorts spokesman Donn Walker said this change is in line with Disney’s long-standing policy of welcoming every guest to the inclusive environments at the company’s theme parks.
“We want everyone who comes to celebrate a special occasion at Disney to feel welcome and respected,” Walker told the AP.
This AC writer did some research and found a huge, warm response to this news at www.disboard.com, which has a Gay & Lesbians at Disney thread. One commenter posted:
“I swear, I am sitting here bawling like a baby from absolute happiness that I will finally have my own dream wedding. Gabby and I have been patiently waiting and dreaming of the time when Disney would allow us to marry, but never really thought that we would be lucky enough to see the day.”
Walker further elaborated that Disney made the formal change after being contacted by a gay couple interested in using the company’s wedding service. Disney weddings are available at Disneyland in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and also aboard Disney’s cruise ships.
According to DisneyWeddings.com, wedding ceremonies at the parks or aboard the ships start at $8,000 but can cost as much as $50,000. Wedding services available include flowers, catering, musical performers and optional Disney touches. These extra trimmings can include a ceremony conducted in front of one of the parks’ attractions, having Mickey and Minnie Mouse (in their best formal attire) as wedding guests– and yes. Couples can rent the Cinderella coach-led by six ponies for $2700.
Disney parks and cruises also have myriad honeymoon packages available to newlyweds of any orientation.
Although they are only now allowing same-sex marriage ceremonies, Disney has for many years supported the LGBT population by hosting “Gay Days” at its parks. Other theme parks that host Gay Days include Universal Studios, Six Flags, Busch Gardens, Dollywood and more.
Conservative Christian groups, mainly Southern Bapstists, have in the past boycotted Disney for its “anti-family and anti-Christian direction. (CNN.com).” These boycotts were made in response to the company offering health benefits to employees of same-sex couples, allowing the aforementioned Gay Days as well as Disney’s subsidiaries releasing not-so-family-friendly books and movies.