Following years of supplication and sometimes derision, the Walt Disney Company finally gave fathers, families and a nation what they have been asking for since its inception – a new name.
planDisney is the label for the retooled Disney Parks Moms Panel, an online resource for Disney vacation planning. Though once comprised of moms and – awkwardly – dads, the name reflects a shift in tone after Disney admitted moms weren’t the only ones planning Disney vacations.
Its previously narrow approach raised the ire of fathers, grandparents, uncles – and not surprisingly – people without children across social media who felt their value as a guest didn’t matter.
With its new, more inclusive term, it doesn’t pretend to cater toward one gender or family class. It now offers an improved approach that concludes vacation planning is conducted by everyone.
Though beyond overdue, Disney still deserves credit for making the switch, even if it was America’s critical eye toward stereotypes that forced its hand.
However, planDisney still needs a lot of work.
If the panel is a true reflection of Disney Parks guests, the panel is sorely missing the mark. Among its 35 panelists, only four of them are men and all four men are middle-aged. It’s difficult for vacation planners to benefit from expertise from both genders when the balance is that lopsided. Surely males have plenty to lend about the best time of year to visit, how to save money and the best hotels.
What’s more, 28 of the 35 panelists appear to be white. This can’t be representative of America. Movie audiences know that whitewashing is bad, and it’s being done in similar fashion here. Greater diversity would mean different angles from a wider expanse; greater diversity would mean more people would get an opportunity to serve as a panelist and enjoy the incredible perks it brings.
And where are the grandparents? The college-aged young adults? The children? Everyone could gain from their perspective when it comes to planning the vacation of a lifetime. Their viewpoints would be equally valuable for what should be the ultimate trip-planning resource.
It wasn’t ready
One of planDisney’s largest followings resides not on Facebook, but Twitter, where 26,000 people track @DisneyMoms. But planDisney hasn’t transitioned to its new name on Twitter yet.
Working during a pandemic has its shortcomings, but that’s little excuse for a program that should have had every nuance worked out before going live. Besides, social media is where most fans were vocal about the sexist vibe Disney Moms generated.
It not only needs to fix its old name on Twitter, but also graphics and hashtags, along with news of the name change – which would amount to its first tweet in months.
A weird history
Have you read the history on its about us page? It makes no explicit mention of its all-female past – or why it was justified in the first place – until it admits that “the panel also grew to include dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles and more.”
It then strangely concedes, “We know planning a Disney vacation includes everyone…”
Sure, planDisney has a strange evolution, but here’s a tip: there’s no need to rehash it for anyone. Drop the clumsy justification for a sexist past as if it’s a point of pride. planDisney has a clean slate, and it’s time to move on. All is forgiven.
It needs to rewrite this section pronto.