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Disney Highlights “Plus-Sized” Cast Members Despite TRON Ride Accusations

Walt Disney World Resort is currently under fire and facing backlash due to the reportedly less-than-inclusive seat sizing on the Disney Resort’s new and highly-anticipated roller coaster TRON: Lightcycle/Run in the Magic Kingdom, with larger passengers complaining about the ride’s small seats as testing begins.

Whether or not it is a coincidence remains to be seen, but Disneyland has also recently shared an interview with one of its employees, highlighting the body-positive environment that is supposedly intact within the inner workings of the Disney Parks!

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Disneyland Cast & Community (@disneylandcastandcommunity)

In an interview on the Disney Parks Blog, Lainie Trout (who works in Disney’s Costuming Design and Development department) takes center stage.

According to the blog post, Lainie Trout (who grew up admiring the “size 28 sea witch who loves herself” instead of Disney princesses like Ariel, since she didn’t identify with those thinner heroines) “is a resource assistant with the Costuming Design and Development team at Disneyland Resort, where she is advocating for lines of costumes that afford more options for plus-sized cast members in entertainment roles.”

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Credit: Disney Parks Blog

This advocacy came to fruition during the 2022 holiday celebrations in the Disney Parks, when holiday elves (including Stephon-David Haynes, who portrays the elf named Knick Knack) were wearing “newly designed plus-sized costumes.”

According to Stephon-David, “sometimes, people my size feel as though there is no space for us, but it turns out there’s quite a bit of space.” The “elf” directly thanked Lainie Trout as well, expressing his gratitude to her for “giving us a voice that we didn’t know we had. It’s loud, and it’s vibrant and it’s colorful — everything that is you. You’re magic.”

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A Cast Member with Lainie Trout in Disneyland Resort. Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Lainie has worked for Disney in a variety of capacities — with a reality TV stint along the way as well — and began focusing on “working to adapt costuming options past the typical large or even extra-large sizes”, even going so far as to bring presentations on inclusivity in front of Disney’s higher-ups. “Accurate representation matters to both our cast members and our guests,” Trout explained.

It may be a coincidence that Disney World is facing backlash in the world of sizing and inclusivity just as the Disney Parks Blog has placed a focus on this particular issue.

Disney fans have already been feeling fed up with Disney as of late, however, so this interview’s timing will most likely rankle some Disney Guests whether or not it was a coincidence!

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!