‘But What About My Dreams!’ Teen Who Threw Disney World Tantrum Needs To Grow Up

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Teen TinkerbellWhile the world is busy singing Disney’s praises for leading the battle to combat childhood obesity, there’s one teen who wants you to know that the Magic Kingdom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

April Spielman wanted to make her boyfriend’s trip to DisneyWorld special, so she created Peter Pan and Tinkerbell costumes for the couple to wear when they visited the theme park. Unfortunately, the costume weren’t allowed in the Magic Kingdom and park officials made them change into different clothes.

Apparently, adults aren’t supposed to dress up like the characters because it can confuse children who believe that they are meeting the “real” Ariel or Tinkerbell when they visit the park. Honestly, my daughter has seen pictures of DisneyWorld. She really believes that Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and every other character under the sun lives there year round. If she met two different Tinkerbells with slightly different outfits, she would not be amused. So while I wasn’t aware that this rule was in existence, I can understand it.

What I can’t understand about this situation is the 15-year-old’s reaction. I could understand her being bummed, disappointed even. But April took it just a step further. Through her tears, April told reporters, “They were talking how the little girls, it ruins their dreams. But it ruined my dream because I just want to be Tinker Bell.”

My dream is to be J.K. Rowling but I don’t get to walk around spending her money. Disney never said that April can never dress up like Tinkerbell again. They asked her not to confuse the young children at the park who believe the fantasy that Disney creates. April is old enough to know that this a fantasy, and therefore she needs to act accordingly within the park. That is not unreasonable. And it doesn’t make Disney the villain of the story.

In fact, the theme park didn’t make April and her boyfriend leave. They gave them free clothes to change into. But this teen didn’t want to visit the park as a commoner, she wanted to feel special. “It just broke my heart. I really wanted to be them. I didn’t want to take off the costume.”

I’m sorry, but if this were my teen daughter, there would be very little sympathy here. I realize that she was just trying to have fun, but Disney was trying to keep the day magical for all of its guests, and that can mean keeping the ones old enough to know better from spoiling it for the little guys.

I don’t think this teen was wrong for showing up in a Tinkerbell costume. I wouldn’t have known about Disney’s costumes rule either. But I think that whining about her ruined dreams pushes it just a bit too far. The Magic Kingdom has more than just one person’s dreams to worry about. If April wants to be play Tink, she can apply for the position just like anyone else.

Watch the video and tell me what you think.

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  1. Michelle

    June 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    What 15 year old boy actually wants to walk around a park all day as peter pan? I’m sure he was slightly relieved when asked to change.

    • Moonkitty

      June 8, 2012 at 7:19 am

      That is what I was thinking! He must really be into her if he would even agree to dressing as Peter Pan.

    • The Mommy Psychologist

      June 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      HAHAHA! He probably was the one who secretly texted the “Disney officials” while he was in the bathroom.

      “The child psychologist who thought she had all the answers to parenting until she became one herself.”


    June 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm


    • WaitWhat?

      June 7, 2012 at 11:33 pm


    • LoveyDovey

      June 8, 2012 at 2:35 am

      Did you not read the article? It is against their policy to wear them in the park to avoid confusion with their actors. The company is protecting themselves and their customers this way. So yeah, they sell them, but you can’t put them on in the park. Now calm down, when the internet says caps lock is cruise control for cool they mean it sarcastically.

  3. Morgan

    June 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    I thought Disney was for little kids? Grow up and get a life!

    • WaitWhat?

      June 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      DisneyLand & World are for all ages and some of the rides are definitely good for older kids. Its relatively healthy entertainment given options for teenagers.

    • Stella

      June 9, 2012 at 8:18 am

      It’s for all ages, as WaitWhat? said. I’ve actually seen more teens and adults throwing tantrums there than kids.

  4. Katie

    June 7, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    I understand the park’s reasoning for this 100%

    Im usually the last person to jump on the “paedophile bandwagon” but this is one circumstance where I think it is relevant. The adults you see dressed up in costumes at Disneyland are police checked and screened, if every Tom, Dick, Harry, Myrtle, Joan and Anne were allowed to come to the park dressed up as characters, it increases the chance of something going foul, and the park is then liable.

  5. WhitneyD

    June 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Honestly, it’s the company’s policy and has been for ages- I used to work there. It’s the same policy they have at Halloween for their Halloween parties, and last time I checked, it was on their website. It’s true- it’s so they can ensure that little kids don’t get confused and have their day ruined by a teenage Tinkerbell who might start swearing.

    Frankly, I think she’s a spoiled brat for throwing a tantrum like that- it sounds like Disney tried to make up for the misunderstanding. Definitely not the bad guy there.

  6. debbie

    June 7, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    I’m half and half with this. I kind of get where she was coming from and I would totally get dressed up for a special day at Disneyland – in fact, I’m having my 30th there next year and would have considered doing exactly the same thing.

    Buuuuut I do get where they are coming from. Surely they could have just let her take of the wings or something. There was no way that Peter Pan was being mistaken for the official one.

    Buuuuuut again – Disney make their money off all entry tickets, not just the ones with little kids. It seems a shame that it’s okay to live the fantasy and dress up when you are under 8 but not when you are older.

    Also, there’s a lot of presenter talking everything up in that clip and a couple of sooky shots of the teen. I don’t know how much of a tantrum there really was and how much was just a 15 year old (hear that – 15… sooooo young still) being disappointed and having a cry about it. If I’d built a day up to be something amazing and it went wrong, I might cry too.

    Too complicated to be a black and white answer

    • Laura

      June 10, 2012 at 12:50 am

      But an 8 year old dressed in her Cinderella costume isn’t going to be confused for the actual Cinderella, or for a park employee.

      How would you like to take your children to Disney Land and have to explain why Tinkerbell and Peter pan are making out in the Space Mountain line? Or be Disney Executives and have to deal with angry phone calls about Peter pan grouping at Tinkerbell?

    • Michael

      February 4, 2013 at 4:27 am

      The rule is 13 years old and up, not 8. Lol

    • Ipsedixit

      June 10, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Wow, Laura, how about you hop off that jump to conclusions mat and keep your sick mind from thinking that all this girl and her boyfriend were going to do is grope and make out. How about thinking they were just going to have a good time at the park rather than automatically attributing negative behavior to them?

      Maybe weirdos like you are the reason they have rules such as this….to keep your mind from wandering to teenagers making out and groping each other.

    • Dan

      March 28, 2013 at 12:14 am

      Maybe you should chill. I think this is what Laura meant.

      The park might be concerned that visitors in costume might not be the best ambassadors as characters. Example: If someone happened to use profane language while dressed as Woody, or maybe kids might not be in favor of a Cinderella with tattoos. Not saying tattoos and profane language make you a terrible person, but Disney has standards and certain ways they want there characters portrayed.

  7. T.

    June 8, 2012 at 4:40 am

    That kid is a spoiled brat.

  8. Moonkitty

    June 8, 2012 at 7:25 am

    If my daughter’s dream was to be Tinkerbell, then I have seriously screwed up as a parent. My 13 year old just watched the clip and rolled her eyes and said, “that kid needs to grow up.” Her dream is to be either a zoologist or paleontologist. Or both.

    • Cara

      June 26, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      I’d be more disappointed if my child reacted the way yours did. You act so proud that she is growing up and leaving her childhood at the ripe age of THIRTEEN… Good luck with that.

  9. lala

    June 8, 2012 at 8:56 am

    1st world problem much…”I WASN’T ALLOWED TO WEAR A COSTUME TO DISNEY LAND”..Disgraceful.

  10. Fabel

    June 8, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I’m sure she sounds whiny, but I really don’t understand that rule. Children see multiple Santa Clauses around Christmastime, which can easily be explained away. I’m sure most are aware that the giant Mickey Mouse with mesh eyes isn’t the “real” one.

    • Vini

      June 8, 2012 at 11:36 am

      The problem with having an “unauthorized” Tinkerbell walking around is that if this girl did anything to offend others in the park, Disney would be held liable since people would assume she is their employee. All the characters in the park are screened and trained employees who know how to behave and follow the regulations of being in character. This girl, would obviously not know.

    • Fabel

      June 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      Yeah, I’m sure that’s the underlying reason, which at least makes sense. It’s silly though, if all they really told this girl was “Your costume is crushing children’s dreams” without explaining further.

  11. laughingapricots

    June 8, 2012 at 11:09 am

    “My dream is to be J.K. Rowling but I don’t get to walk around spending her money” is, in a made up word, fantastical. Thank you! It was one of those out of the blue sentences that made my day.

    • Jax

      June 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      Fantastical is not a made up word, you’re just using it wrong.

  12. Shelly G

    June 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Seriously? The park stops two teenagers, says “we’re sorry, what your wearing goes against our policy and while we could just flat out deny you entry, here’s some free clothes so you can enjoy the rest of the day here” and people are siding with the spoiled brat who wanted to dress up as Tinkerbell? Take the free clothes, save the Tinkerbell costume for Halloween, and get over yourself.

  13. Lilac

    June 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    The park has this rule for a reason. Yes to keep children from getting confused but also protect them from bad people(you know what I mean) who would use the excuse of a fun costume/ pretend to be a character to get close/ touch/ interact with little kids.

  14. Melissa

    June 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I am at Disneyland a lot, we go at least once a week and I totally get the rule. They’ve had it forever, its not a secret and they have good reason for it. What if Joe Child Molester dressed up as a cast member or character and was around your kid? Do you really want your sweet six year old to see tink making out with her boy friend or swearing? Disney is very strict and has a very strict dress code for both guests and staff if you don’t like their rules visit 6 flasgs they let all the trashy people in.

  15. Epic Lurker

    June 10, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Wow, just wow. “Disney ruined MY dreams! I just wanted to be Tinkerbell!” is all what she sounds like. If I had read that out of context, I would’ve assumed that was coming from a four-year-old.

  16. Rachael

    June 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    If this setback sent her in to tears (Disney gave them free clothes?!), I wonder how she is going to handle other disappointments in life. Of course, if her goal at 15yrs was to be Tink, I don’t think her life goals are going to be “impossible dreams.”

    I wonder what her parents are going to do about this disappointment? Should we expect a follow-up to the parents suing Disney for reducing their daughter to tears over her disappointment in the magic kingdom?

  17. Pingback: Disney Works Teen Stars To Death, But Says Its Not Their Job To Raise Them | Celebrity Mess

  18. snowfish

    May 3, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Meanwhile, at Tokyo DIsneyland, EVERYONE dresses up. Workers AND visitors. And often the visitors have better costumes than the real Disney employees. It’s awesome.

  19. Anonymous

    June 26, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Um I’m 13 and I’ve dressed up… She looks a LOT older tho so I understand the rule.

  20. Lucky

    August 8, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    They always let me me in at the gates and I was 20 when I went maybe I look young? or perhaps because I was wearing a tiara and the short Belle costume they sold Bibbidi Bobbidi in Downtone Disney.

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