'C'mon, can't you make an exception, just for me?'*
Published: June 7, 2012 at 9:47 AM
The 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.)