Fact Check: Disney Did NOT Cut Tinker Bell From Meet-And-Greets, Rep Did NOT Comment On 'Problematic Image'

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Disney Did NOT Cut Tinker Bell From Meet-And-Greets, Rep Did NOT Comment On 'Problematic Image' At Disneyland

Did Disney cut Tinker Bell from meet-and-greets on the basis that she has a "problematic" image? No, that's not true: A Disney spokesperson told Lead Stories that Tinker Bell is a "beloved character, and she continues to appear in all of our parks around the world." The spokesperson said they had no record of a "Disney rep" making the claim that appeared on social media.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Facebook on May 14, 2024. It said:

'Tinkerbell, unfortunately, has become a problematic image for our guests; specifically, young girls. Specifically, in terms of the portrayal of an unrealistic body image as well as dependency of approval and/or attention from Peter Pan, as seen in previous incarnations of the character. We feel these traits are no longer representive of our inclusive focused values and thus, are currently in process of redesigning an updated Tinkerbell for modern audiences.'
- Disney Rep, May 2024

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-05-17 at 12.45.53 PM.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu May 23 20:32:37 2024 UTC)

A Disney spokesperson told Lead Stories via email on May 22, 2024, that after an investigation, they could not find anyone who made the comment attributed to a "Disney rep" in the post on Facebook. The quote incorrectly uses "Tinkerbell" instead of the character's proper name, "Tinker Bell," and misspells the word "representative."

The Disney spokesperson refuted the claim about Tinker Bell to Lead Stories, writing:

Tinker Bell is a beloved character, and she continues to appear in all of our parks around the world.

As of May 23, 2024, the Disneyland website (archived here) showed the schedule to "Meet Tinker Bell in Pixie Hollow," with times available as soon as May 24, 2024.

The official PlanDisney website (archived here) noted that while Tinker Bell does not do meet-and-greets at Disney World, she can be seen during the fireworks show, during the Festival of Fantasy Parade (archived here), in two rides including Peter Pan's Flight attraction and as a statue in Magic Kingdom Park.

There is no evidence that a "Disney rep" made the comment given to any reputable news outlet, as a Google search of keywords shows.

The claim began two years after a 2022 New York Times article (archived here) titled, "Disney, Built on Fairy Tales and Fantasy, Confronts the Real World," noted that an initiative called Stories Matter was created by Disney to address content that included "negative depictions or mistreatment of people or cultures." It stated, "The Stories Matter team privately flagged other characters as potentially problematic," and cited a review of Peter Pan's Tinker Bell:

Tinker Bell was marked for caution because she is 'body conscious' and jealous of Peter Pan's attention, according to the executives, while Captain Hook could expose Disney to accusations of discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities because he is a villain.

The headline from a May 5, 2024, article titled, "Disney Park Takes Action: Tinker Bell Indefinitely Suspended Following Controversial Incident," published on the fan blog Inside the Magic (archived here), falsely stated that Tinker Bell had been "indefinitely suspended." While signage about her had been removed from Disney World, she is still making appearances at Disneyland and has not been indefinitely suspended. Lead Stories previously debunked another claim by the blog about Disney here.

A similar claim was debunked by Snopes here.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about Disney can be found here.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion