Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty lived happily ever after and Disney fans are hoping for the same fate.
Too much to ask? Living happily ever after may have just become easier for lovers of Disney through the creation of dating site MouseMingle.com.
The site went live on Dec. 1, 2015 and its unforeseen success caused technical issues such as preventing people from creating an account.
The creator of Mouse Mingle, Dave Tavres, said, “I did not have any idea that it would go viral worldwide.” He quickly focused his efforts on working out the bugs.
“The site is now usable and fast, thanks to a couple friends,” Tavres said. His friends played an integral part in the creation of the site. Tavres shared his idea of a dating site exclusively for Disney fans with his friends, and he was met with immediate support. One of his friends even came up with the name, “Mouse Mingle,” which Tavres liked for its alliteration.
He had the idea for Mouse Mingle in 2011 after having little luck finding women with a similar passion for Disney on other dating sites. Tavres didn’t start working on the Mouse Mingle until 2015.
“All of the other hobbies and projects that I have, I honestly have not touched in the past few months,” Tavres said, “which is a bummer and exciting at the same time.”
He said thousands of people each day have been signing up, and the site has already garnered attention from shows like The Tonight Show, The View and NPR.
The site’s description says, “MouseMingle.com is the place to connect people who love Disney and want that same magic in their relationship.” It goes on to mention that Disney fans don’t need to live near a Disney park to find someone like themselves.
A special interest club at BYU, the BYU Disney History Club, provides a similar setting for students. The group’s current vice president and former president, Brady Leavitt, said the purpose of the club is to give “students with any interest in Disney a place to come hang out.”
The purpose of the BYU Disney History Club is not match-making, but Leavitt knows of several students in the club who have met in the group and gone on dates. Mouse Mingle and the BYU Disney History Club are both safe venues for Disney fans to be themselves.
Leavitt, a recreation management major from Logandale, Nevada, admitted he is cautious about his inner Disney nerd on dates. “When I go on dates with girls I’ve just met, I have to hold the Disney off until later so it doesn’t freak them out at first,” he said.
Another way to meet one’s own Cinderella or Prince Charming is to work at a Disney park. According to Leavitt, Jonny Cuesta, president of the club, met his wife Ashley while working at Disney World. Leavitt said the club members refer to her fondly as the First Lady.
In addition to Leavitt’s time spent in a leadership position for the Disney club at BYU, he was a recruiter on campus for the Disney College Program.
“We were always one of the top five schools for recruiting,” Leavitt said of his time as a recruiter. “Because Mormons love Disney, Disney loves Mormons. So it kind of works out.” He attributes the large Disney fan base at BYU to demographics. Many students at BYU are from the west coast and likely grew up going to Disneyland.
“The whole culture of our religion is all family-based, and what Disney is is the family entertainment company,” he added.
The BYU Disney History Club has over 400 members on its Facebook page.
One member, Shelby Ward from Spokane, Washington who is studying history teaching, created an account on Mouse Mingle one night when she was bored. Ward said the site doesn’t work well on mobile devices and her experience overall wasn’t that great. She did like the questions she was asked while creating her account.
“It’s kind of fun because it (Mouse Mingle) asks what your favorite parks are,” Ward said. “It’s different than going to (a dating site) somewhere that’s more generic.” She has had a couple of matches so far, but to talk to the people she matched with, she would have to pay money. To just have an account and view the profiles of matches is free.
Rebekkah Hart, a business management major from Mapleton, Utah, is also a member of the BYU Disney History Club. She said that she would probably not join Mouse Mingle because she feels that a lot of extremes are attracted to niche sites.
“Always there will be a bigger fan than you,” Hart said. “There will always be people who will dedicate more time and energy to it.”
She does think Mouse Mingle and similar sites are great for people who are extremely passionate. “That’s a big deal for them to be able to share that with someone,” she said.
Leavitt and Ward also said they weren’t likely to ever use the site. “If I got desperate enough maybe,” Leavitt said.
“I’m at BYU, I can probably date the normal way,” Ward said.