She interacted with patience and people applauded her sensitivity and empathy toward the teenager.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 1, 2023. It has since been updated.
Individuals on the autism spectrum may have difficulty understanding social cues, making eye contact and expressing themselves verbally or non-verbally. They may also have unique interests, repetitive behaviors and sensory sensitivities. It's essential to remember that each person on the autism spectrum is unique, with their own strengths and challenges. With the right support and understanding, individuals with ASD can lead fulfilling and successful lives. It seems Disneyland's Evil Queen recognized this unique strength in a 15-year-old boy with ASD and took everyone by surprise by showing her "not-so-evil" side.
The encounter was captured on video by the TikTok account @MagicWithThomas, which is managed by Thomas' father. TikTok users are applauding the Disneyland actress for her dedication to guests, particularly those on the autism spectrum, as Thomas is described as a "special needs teen" by his father. Disneyland's cast members, who portray some of the most cherished Disney characters, have truly mastered the personas they depict. Even in adulthood, conversing with a Disney character while visiting the parks can be a tremendously enchanting experience. Every Disney favorite, including Cinderella and Gaston, has at some point strolled through the Disney park, engaging with visitors as if they were the genuine characters from the films, never breaking character. And the Evil Queen did the same.
The Evil Queen in the video with over 2.2 million views invites Thomas to feel her cape, which appears to be made of velvet. "Would you like to feel my cape?" she asks, as Thomas holds a fallen leaf. "It's almost as soft as that leaf," she comments, and Thomas joins her. As they walk, the Evil Queen extends her hand to Thomas, saying, "Here, take my hand. Let's stroll throughout the kingdom." They walk together, with the Evil Queen shouting, "Make way for royalty!" as Disneyland guests look on. In the video, Thomas's father writes, "Thomas is safe and understood [at Disneyland]. Cast members take good care of him and they show genuine happiness/excitement to see him."
In another clip, the Evil Queen and Thomas walk near the water, admiring Sleeping Beauty's castle. "This is a better angle. If only there was a mirror here to see our reflection," she tells Thomas, before suggesting that they take a picture together. Thomas has had several heartwarming interactions with various Disney characters at the park, including Mirabel from "Encanto" and Mickey Mouse himself. People have praised the Evil Queen's gentle and interactive behavior with Thomas, as well as all of Disneyland's character performers.
TikTok user, @mrsvanderm said, "This is why. I can take my autistic son, and he is loved and not an inconvenience to them." Another person, @crazydiablo44 said, "Even the evil Queen has a soft side. Don’t tell anyone. Love these videos." User @tedenxx said, "Disney cast members are some of the most incredible people! This is so heartwarming," and @magicgiraffes commented, "She’s amazing, I love how they are with your son…. It’s so refreshing to see that it’s more of an experience than a job for them."