Disney Disses Santa?
Disney theme parks have strict rules against adult guests wearing “costumes or clothing that can be viewed as representative of an actual Disney character.” Just ask April Spielman, who was told by Disney officials to cover up when she entered Disney World in Orlando dressed as Tinker Bell.
However, as far as we know, the Mouse House has no claim on Old Saint Nick.
Yet Thomas Tolbert, who does sometimes work as a Santa impersonator, was grabbed by Disney World security and promptly told he needed to look less “Santa-ish” if he wanted to remain in the park.
Tolbert wasn’t actually wearing a Santa costume. But he was attired in a Santa-themed t-shirt, and that coupled with his big belly and jolly white beard had kids coming up to him asking for his autograph.
According to Tolbert, autograph-seekers continued to approach him even after he changed shirts. When they did, security had told the Atlanta man that he must inform the children “I am not who you think I am…I am on vacation and please leave me alone.”
A representative from Disney explained their decision to make Tolbert tone down his outfit.
The guest was asked to change his attire because it was disruptive to our operations and confusing to our other guests, particularly children who asked to take photos with him. He was not asked to leave, instead, we tried to work with him so that he could continue his visit.”
For his trouble, Tolbert was given a free ticket for a future visit. Do you think Disney’s policy is fair? Or is it discriminatory towards those who happen to look like Santa?