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Author Topic: Santa Look-a-Like Gets in Trouble at Disney
snopes
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A strange case of mistaken identity has left a Florida man shaking his head after the man, who resembles Santa Claus, got into a bit of trouble at the happiest place on earth, Walt Disney World.

http://cbs4.com/topstories/local_story_349110023.html

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happyholidaysfrog
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Can they do that? I mean, do they own Santa? I think it's a shame and they should have let the man play along with the kids who thought he was Santa.

Disney comes out looking pretty scroogy here in my humble opinion.

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sherri_lu
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quote:
Originally posted by happyholidaysfrog:
Can they do that? I mean, do they own Santa? I think it's a shame and they should have let the man play along with the kids who thought he was Santa.

Disney comes out looking pretty scroogy here in my humble opinion.

Yes, on their property they can tell him to stop playing Santa. These days most Santa’s go thru a background check & Disney has no idea who this person is. They did the right thing telling him to stop.
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happyholidaysfrog
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Eh, I know it's the "safe" thing, but I hate this world where every person is looked upon with suspicion.

They have the right to do it, but I still think it makes them look scroogy.

When you say "most santa's" what exactly do you mean? Most hired santa's? Because anyone could go to a costume shop and get a santa costume. And there are some (like this fellow) who looks like santa because he is a rotund snowy bearded man who likes to humor children. I don't see the harm in him doing this personally, my mother told me that all the children in the neighborhood thought her grandpa was santa because of his whiskers and belly. He humored them. Disney has every right to tell this man not to do that on thier property, but I don't see what's wrong with what he did.

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evilrabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by happyholidaysfrog:
Disney has every right to tell this man not to do that on thier property, but I don't see what's wrong with what he did.

Probably nothing. But what if he were a pedophile pretending to be Santa to lure children away so he could molest them (note: I'm not saying he was, I'm saying he could)? It's likely parents would try to hold Disney liable for not protecting the kids. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask him not to pretend to be a highly recoginizable icon, who children would easily trust. With your mother's grandpa, the neighbors probably knew him, at least somewhat, so they would feel they could trust him around their kids.

Yes, it's sad that the default response is suspicion; mostly it's sad that it needs to be.

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snopes
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quote:
I don't think it's unreasonable to ask him not to pretend to be a highly recoginizable icon, who children would easily trust.
From a legal standpoint, yes. But from a promotional standpoint, what is the effect of forcing a man who looks just like Santa to go around telling kids, "I'm not Santa!"

- snopes

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happyholidaysfrog
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I'm sorry but it's the parents job to watch the children and keep them safe, not Disney's.

Any kid nowdays who is young enough to believe in Santa should not be meeting the strangers who look like Santa without an adult.

Sure there are people out there who hurt kids, who use icons and things children like and trust (santa or "help me find my puppy"), these people could be in Disneyland or in the store, or on the street walking by our houses. Parents cannot make any assumptions of their child's safty based on what location they are in.

It is a dangerous world out there, but looking suspiciously at grandpa's who look like Santa is not the way to keep kids safe. Teaching them to be cautious, and to get to know people before you trust them, this is a lesson the kids will learn by watching Mom and Dad do it.

But in the end it's not Disney's job to keep the children safe, it's the parents job.

Disney's job is to try to make their parks so parents have as easy as a time as possible doing their job of keeping their kids safe.

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~All we see or seem is but a dream within a dream~
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Rebochan the Retail Reindeer
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My father looks like Santa and when "recognized" by children, will tell them he's Santa because it's that or break their hearts. I don't see the harm - as they get older, they'll know they just met a nice man who humored them. So I feel that, while Disney has the right, it was the wrong thing to do and they deserve the label of "scrooges".

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Echinodermata Q. Taft
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I, personally, am smelling a Dreamworks computer-animated film reworking of Miracle on 34th Street...

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Doug4.7
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quote:
A Disney spokesman says the park was just trying to protect the magic of Santa.
Knowing Disney, I really wonder if it was the "magic" of Santa they were protecting...

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Mickey is a Hanukkah Bush
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I know that guy...he lives in the Orlando area and auditioned for Santa a few times, and he was the guy watching Illuminations when the hospice nurse and her family were there and the daughter was proposed to.

His business card actually lists him as "Santa Claus" for "magic" purposes and his real name for the "big kids".

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Llewtrah
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Maybe Disney should have a "dress code" at the turnstiles. No rotund guys with white beards. No-one who, through a quirk of genetics, resembles any Disney character (or maybe they could narrow it down to "young, fit Aryans only"). It's a sad day when you can't go round wearing your own face and sometimes being nice to people.

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PallasAthena
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It was my understanding that he was walking around in a red shirt, blue jeans, and... a santa hat. The red shirt and blue jeans? No biggie. I know plenty of people who have wear red shirts and jeans on occaision. The santa hat? Look, if he doesn't want to have to tell kids he isn't Santa, he probably shouldn't be trying to look as much like santa as possible.

Disney was, IMHO, well within their rights to ask him to desist and eject him after he chose not to comply. It is also my understanding that hired Santas go through background checks. Frankly, my first instinct was to be creeped out by this guy. It seems like he's dressing up to lure children to come up and hug him and give him attention. I know that may not be the case, but I would certainly question his motives.

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Brad from Georgia
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quote:
Originally posted by PallasAthena:
It was my understanding that he was walking around in a red shirt, blue jeans, and... a santa hat. The red shirt and blue jeans? No biggie. I know plenty of people who have wear red shirts and jeans on occaision. The santa hat? Look, if he doesn't want to have to tell kids he isn't Santa, he probably shouldn't be trying to look as much like santa as possible. ...

Unless he bought the hat at Disney. I used to own a Santa hat with Goofy ears that I bought down in Disney World years and years ago.

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NZUL
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I'm with Pallas. Was nobody else creeped out by his " ... that felt good..." in response to kids hugging him? Eww!!

Humans will interpret things specific ways and attribute meaning to them whether it's meant to be there or not. The dude looks like Santa. He wears a Santa hat, he's not exactly dulling down this illusion.

Disney's problem seemed to be mostly that he was telling the kids that he IS Santa, not just being nice to them and giving them a hug. A representation of a fictional character at a Disney park? Where does that come from? Oh yeah, Disney HQ. But they've no idea who this guy is or his motives.

If allowed to continue, other parents would have seen families flocking to this guy and assumed Disney had a "Santa guy" there today to entertain kids. Disney would have assumed responsibility for this man and his actions.

They didn't have a choice, IMHO. They had to shut down the "Santa" illusion going on.

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Llewtrah
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quote:
Originally posted by NZUL:
I'm with Pallas. Was nobody else creeped out by his " ... that felt good..." in response to kids hugging him? Eww!!

Err no. Does that automatically make someone a paedophile? Modern western society is so well and truly messed up that any display of affection from adult to child is automatically seen as suspicious.

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NZUL
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It's not so much that a person feels good when children hug him. It's that it doesn't occur to this person that in this day and age, this is not an appropriate thing to say.

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Rebochan the Retail Reindeer
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We must be living in truly loveless times when even a child's hug is something to shun. Must we point at every person around children and scream "Pedo!"?

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NeeCD
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Is there another article that you guys are reading? I didn't see anything in the OP that said he was A) hugging kids, or B) saying that it felt good. And the OP link specifically said that he was not asked to leave. I'm really confused about the whole "eww" factor in light of the one article I've seen.

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happyholidaysfrog
Jingle Bell Hock


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Why is it inapropriate to say one enjoys hugging children? Unless the person said it with creepy
~I like hugging children in a sexual way~ intonation to it I would not personally consider it an innapropriate thing to say.

I personally love to be hugged by children, and I love to be kissed by children too, especially sloppy kisses that take a paper towel to get off your cheek.

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~All we see or seem is but a dream within a dream~
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~James Dean~

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magpie
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Play the video part on the side.
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B Hamilton
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I've seen and talked to him several times as he also comes to Universal Studios. Everytime I have seen him, he has been with his wife who sometimes wears a t-shirt that says Mrs. Claus. They both seem to be very nice people and I have never seen him calling children to come over. I have seen him say Hi to the kids if they spoke to him first. The times I've seen him is during the summer or Spring and never at Christmas so people aren't as apt to be thinking of Santa at that time. Sometimes people do a double take as he does look remarkably like the tradtional Santa. In the summer he wears a red shirt and shorts. Both he and his wife have always seemed like a nice couple just having fun at the parks.

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Gavida
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quote:
Originally posted by NZUL:
It's not so much that a person feels good when children hug him. It's that it doesn't occur to this person that in this day and age, this is not an appropriate thing to say.

So if a singe male writes in his personal ad that he likes children he shouldn't wonder when the FBI is the only one to answer?

We really live in sad times when you can't say that you like being hugged by children without being suspected of being a pedophile.

Gavida

PS: I like children and I even have *gasp* physical contact with them. There is so much fun in being buried under a bunch of 3 and 4 year olds that tickle you until you beg for mercy and then... keep tickling [Smile]

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NeeCD
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quote:
Originally posted by magpie:
Play the video part on the side.

Thanks, I see it now. I didn't see that before, since I had to allow that script to run, and hadn't noticed it being blocked. After watching it, I still didn't get a bad vibe from the guy, though, and I didn't think he said the hug thing in a creepy way at all. They also cut off the end of the clip where an anchor was trying to clarify whether he was actually kicked out of the park or not, so I wonder what the real story is.

I guess I'm just willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt - he was in a public place, he didn't try to hide anything, and I believe that news stories always try to play up the more controversial angles (better ratings, you know).

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I wondered why the Frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
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