Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter YouTube Email Newsletter

'C'mon, can't you make an exception, just for me?'*

Written by
Published: June 7, 2012 at 9:47 AM

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Thousands of costumed Disney fans overwhelmed cast members at the four Walt Disney World theme parks this morning, in an uprising inspired by a local teenager.

TinkerbellThe fans were demanding free Disney apparel and unlimited Fastpasses in exchange for their costumes, insisting that they should be entitled to the same deal as 15-year-old April Spielman and her family received from Disney last weekend.

"I saw on TV that some girl got to skip the lines because she broke a rule, so I want to do that, too," said 12-year-old Dwayne Garcia of Winter Park. Garcia was dressed as Mowgli from Disney's Jungle Book, wearing only a loincloth while waiting in line to enter Disney's Animal Kingdom, the park where Spielman and her family had been detained.

Garcia said that if the costume he was wearing did not earn him the free front-of-the-line passes, he would try not keeping his hands and arms inside a ride vehicle at all times instead.

Other visitors targeted different Disney admission rules.

Susan Fox and Mandy Rice of Celebration said that they'd been drinking since 4am, trying to become so intoxicated that Disney would reward them with a free Disney Dining plan to sober them up.

"To hell with a free T-shirt, I want a free steak at Le Cellier," Rice said, just before passing out at the Epcot turnstiles.

The gathering attracted the attention not only of local television stations and law enforcement, but representatives of rival theme parks, as well. Undercover Universal Orlando lawyers infiltrated the crowd, with Tasers in hand, ready to subdue any visitors dressed as Marvel characters before they could be seen inside a Disney theme park.

"A deal's a deal," said one Universal lawyer who refused to give his name, before sprinting through the Hollywood Studios parking lot after a visitor dressed as Iron Man.

Local television camera crews ultimately had call police for help in escaping Disney property, as thousands of angry Disney visitors blocked their retreat, demanding that the stations air sympathetic stories about them, too.

"Put me on TV!" the crowd chanted, as Florida Highway Patrol officers attempted to clear a path through the Magic Kingdom parking lot.

Walt Disney World officials could not be reached for comment, as they'd all split town for the Cars Land press event at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim next week.

(*Note: If you haven't figured it out already, this story is a spoof. But the incident that inspired it was very real.)

Readers' Opinions

From amy lockland on June 7, 2012 at 9:55 AM
Awesome article, I needed a good giggle this morning! Thanks!
From Brandon Mendoza on June 7, 2012 at 9:59 AM
LOL! What's funny is that I can see this being a real article somewhere! Ooooh, I actually hope that the Taiwanese News makes a CG reenactment of this story! (not the Tinker Bell one, but the one on TPI!)
From 184.156.100.241 on June 7, 2012 at 10:07 AM
Best article in a long time. We need more humor in this world (and Disney World as well).
Good thing Gay Days were earlier this month, or it could have come true...
From Karen Smeath on June 7, 2012 at 10:20 AM
That story was so ridiculous. She should be honored that they thought she looked good enough to kick out! Tinkerbell would NEVER put up with a rival...Love the article.
From Anon Mouse on June 7, 2012 at 10:22 AM
Getting free stuff is rare and you really have to work for it. I prefer to get free stuff from working the system. How about getting a job at Disney (anywhere) and get comped into the park?
From Duncan Henny on June 7, 2012 at 10:41 AM
Great story, just hope it doesn't inspire people to really try it :)
From 71.181.224.158 on June 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party would like to have a word with this rule.
From Chad H on June 7, 2012 at 11:07 AM
I can kinda understand Disney's side on the original issue, even if it does seem mean - ultimately they do have to ensure that their image is protected, and that CMs arent confused with customers, etc.

But that said, surely there was a more "Disney" way of doing this - it shouldnt have taken 3.5hrs, take em somewhere nice, say we appreciate the effort, but we're worried you'll get mixed up with staff and we can't have that, can we offer you a ride to a hotel to change, or an gift shop outfit (as ended up happening), etc. All in all a solution should have been decided and agreed in minutes.

From Dominick D on June 7, 2012 at 11:37 AM
I LOLed the whole time! I think that the girl should have know everyone 10 and up can't dress up unless it is Star Wars Weekends or MNSSHP.
From TH Creative on June 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM
This problem is NOT limited to the Walt Disney World resort! Imagine if people started showing up at Universal Orlando dressed as valet parking attendants! Universal hotel guests would end up spending twice the daily rate they normally have to fork over while staying in hotel rooms that cost them hundreds and hundreds of dollars a night!
From Tyler Stover on June 7, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Chad, I wouldn't jump to too many conclusions on how Disney handled it. Working in a customer-service related role myself, I've seen a good share of disappointed customers/clients/guests turn a very minimal situation into a huge drama because they didn't get their way. Throw in a news outlet trying to make a story, and you just might get a few exaggerations along the way. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. I'd imagine Disney has this happen often enough that they have a fairly well established protocol to deal with it.
From Mark Fairleigh on June 7, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Awesome, Robert, awesome! Loved the part about the Universal lawyer protecting Universal's Marvel rights...LOL.

Hate to see a girl cry, but have to agree with Disney on this one.

From James Rao on June 7, 2012 at 3:33 PM
Buried in work today I was unaware of the original incident, so you really had me going for a bit!

Brilliant, Mr. Niles!

As for the Tink wannabe who was "the victim", goodness she can turn on the water works, eh? You'd think she just lost her best friend in an elevator accident on Tower of Terror. Honestly, if this "incident" is the worst thing that ever happens to her, she will have lived a life of bliss. Come join the rest of us in the real world, sweets, where heartbreak is just another event in an otherwise average week.

From Anthony Murphy on June 7, 2012 at 4:51 PM
I am not sure how it is a secret that adults can't wear costumes to Disney Parks (except for Halloween).

I knew it was fake when Le Celliler reservation was demanded. Anybody who knows its that good knows they need a reservation.

I will say that I thought Disney was very accommodating. Free clothes from Disney? Wow!

From Jonah Sirota on June 8, 2012 at 6:18 AM
Chad, I agree about the more "Disney" way to do this. Sure there's the official policy, but when girls are paying hundreds in the park to be made up to look "just like a Disney princess," and when the must-have item at WWHP is a full-body wizardry uniform, I'd say the parks send mixed messages on this stuff all the time.

Having said that, watching the girl's interview was painful, she's either a bad actress, or she needs to seriously reorder her life priorities!

From Mike Gallagher on June 8, 2012 at 6:41 AM
I'm not sure at what point I realized this was a spoof, but I thought it was legit when patrons' names were given...
From Pyra-Danny V on June 8, 2012 at 9:04 AM
Geez, are you people blind?
What if this girl was part of the Tinkerbellology religion and Disney was violating her religious freedom?

Haha, I love funny stories with a lesson. And the lesson is... dressing like a Disney character at Disney can get you caught, but dressing like an undercover USO lawyer won't.

From Sylvain Comeau on June 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Robert, don't give The Mob any ideas...

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Previous article: Disney introduces restaurant-style virtual queueing to Magic Kingdom's Dumbo



Planning a trip to Orlando?

Walt Disney World

Insider's Pick: Get all the best advice from ThemeParkInsider.com in one convenient book! Theme Park Insider Orlando 2014 offers you the insight, background, and how-to skills that will help you enjoy Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando like, well, a theme park insider. Save yourself time and money by learning how to visit the Orlando-area theme parks the insiders' way.

Get it! In paperback | For Kindle | For iBooks