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VIDEO: Disney Princess Surprises Deaf Child with ASL

A woman dressed as a Disney princess, wearing a pink gown and a crown, is smiling and using ASL to interact with a young girl who is wearing an orange shirt and purple skirt with a small tiara. They are inside a room decorated with medieval-style furnishings.
Credit: Disney

A Disney Princess brought the Disney magic first-hand to an 11-year-old child, surprising her by signing with her in American Sign Language (ASL).

Disney cast members are one of the biggest reasons the Disney experience is as magical as it is for guests. And cast members try to be as inclusive as they can be. In fact, it’s not uncommon for cast members to learn sign language—phrases like “what’s your name?” “How are you?”—to sign with young fans who are hard of hearing.

elsa and anna

Credit: Disney

It’s always heart-warming to see young children feel included in the Disney experience, even if with a few phrases. But this time, a cast member went further, surprising young Zoe Tapley and her family.

As said to Good Morning America, Zoe Tapley of New Braunfels, Texas, was visiting Disneyland with her family when she saw Princess Anna greeting guests nearby. Per Zoe’s mom Jeanette Tapley, her husband, Jesse Tapley, and her daughter love meeting different characters when they visit the Disney parks and lined up to meet the Frozen character.

anna and elsa holding hands

Credit: Disney

Jesse Tapley recounted to GMA:

“[Princess Anna] must have seen us signing to each other,” Jesse Tapley, 38, said. ‘Sometimes the characters will know, like, ‘What’s your name?’ or ‘Nice to meet you’ and that’s awesome. But when she said, ‘Can I sign?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, go ahead.'”

The interaction that followed thoroughly surprised—though pleasantly—the Tapley family. Check it out:

Princess Anna knew how to sign more than basic phrases, and the pair engaged in a full ASL conversation about Zoe’s favorite rides at Disneyland and even talked about how she had been adopted from Congo.

“I was like ‘Wow!'” Zoe told GMA using ASL—Jeanette Tapley helped as a translator—when she realized Princess Anna could communicate with her directly.


To say we are thankful is an understatement. Really the best way to sum it up is WOW!!!! 🤩 #WeStickTogether #PostitAffirmations #disneyfamily #deaftiktok #deafkidsrock

♬ Home Baking – Matthew Beattie

The interaction made the Tapley parents tear up because it was the first time a park character had ever spoken to that extent with their daughter without them needing to serve as interpreters.

“We’ve been to Disney many times and by far, it was our best interaction we’ve ever had,” Jesse Tapley continued. “It was one of those things where she got to feel the magic rather than being filtered through mom and dad.”

anna and elsa

Credit: Disney

This is just one example of the Disney magic that can be found in the parks.

What are some of your most memorable, magical Disney moments? Tell us about it in the comments below!

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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