Walt Disney World got a lot of heat for jumping into the fight against childhood obesity with its Habit Heroes exhibit at Epcot — so much so that it has shut down the interactive exhibit co-sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the attraction, which led visitors through activities battling villains like Sweet Tooth, Lead Bottom and the Snacker, closed shortly after its soft opening in early February. Now the official March 5 opening has been postponed indefinitely. The Habit Heroes website has also been shut down, noting, “Sorry, Habit Heroes is down for maintenance.”
Disney released the following statement about the closing to the Huffington Post:
“We are currently in a soft opening period for Habit Heroes, which gives us a chance to collect guest feedback and test and adjust the attraction prior to its opening. In order to work on further improving and refining the experience, we’ve decided to close the attraction for the time being. We look forward to officially opening it soon.”
We’re guessing this wasn’t the kind of feedback Disney was looking for: “So thanks for being so helpful Disney — I mean if your kid’s not overweight or obese, here’s to Disney reinforcing society’s most hateful negative obesity stereotyping, and if they are overweight or obese — what kid doesn’t want to be made to feel like a personal failure while on a Disney family vacation?,” Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, a bariatric surgeon, wrote on his blog Weighty Matters, echoing the sentiments of others and likening it to the controversial childhood obesity ad campaign in Georgia.
So will Disney ever reopen the exhibit? We say fat chance.