Recently, an inmate on death row made a request that no doubt brought a little bit of Disney magic to him, even though he was in prison facing his final days. When asked what he wanted for his last meal, the inmate’s response seemed to prove he was a Disney World fan.
Disney World fandom knows no limits, and it’s not reserved for any one group of individuals. Fans of the Most Magical Place on Earth love the Walt Disney World Resort for thousands of reasons. They love the four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. They love the water parks–Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. They love the iconic symbols within the parks, like Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth, the Hollywood Tower Hotel, and the Tree of Life.
Disney World fans love the parks’ attractions, the live entertainment, Broadway-style stage shows, fireworks spectaculars, food, drinks, and all the sights and sounds that make going to Disney World a real-life dream come true. It’s, without a doubt, the most magical place any person can be.
But if asked in a survey to name one of the most terrible places to be, many people would say that prison should make the list. (How’s that for a segue?) After all, prisons are full of incarcerated individuals who, if they’re truly guilty, have earned an institutionalized living arrangement: some for a few years and some for a lifetime. Most inmates are definitely guilty of the crimes for which they’ve been convicted, and a few will end up enjoying the freedom of exoneration, thanks to appeals and overturned convictions often made possible by the latest in scientific advancements that allow for DNA to prove an inmate’s innocence.
But within the prison system, there’s perhaps an even more terrible place to live–on death row, awaiting the day when a capital punishment sentence is carried out.
Inmates react and respond to life on death row in different ways. Some are angry, some are depressed, and some eventually make peace with their situation. One death row inmate recently seemed to signal having made peace with his situation while simultaneously signaling that he is a Disney World fan. It’s not clear how often the inmate visited the Central Florida Disney Parks, but his final meal request seemed to make it very clear that he’s visited the Disney World Resort more than once–especially Magic Kingdom.
Over the years, inmates have made some strange requests when it comes to their final meals. Gerald Lee Mitchell, who was executed in 2001, requested only a bag of Jolly Ranchers for his last meal. Also in 2001, Timothy McVeigh, the man convicted in the Oklahoma City bombing, requested two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream for his final meal. Years before McVeigh’s execution, in 1992, Robert Alton Harris made a mammoth request that included Domino’s pizza, a 21-piece bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, ice cream, a bag of jelly beans, a six-pack of Pepsi, and a pack of Camel cigarettes.
Other “unique” last meal requests over the years have included a single olive with the pit still in it (the inmate hoped an olive tree would grow from his resting place as a symbol of peace), a single cup of coffee, a can of Spaghetti-Os, and a lump of dirt. (The dirt request was immediately denied, as it was not on the list of approved foods.)
Recently, another final meal request was added to the list of the most unique meal requests–but not because it was super-limited, was for pitted food, or included dirt or other non-food items. Rather, this inmate’s request was unique because of the point of origin of the food requested. In fact, it might even qualify as magical, as the request was reportedly for a meal from Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, a quick-service restaurant in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom.
The inmate reportedly requested French fries, a cheeseburger, and a Sully Slush from Cosmic Ray’s. He also requested permission to enjoy a private concert given by Sonny Eclipse. His request was apparently granted–for the food, that is. After all, would Sonny Eclipse actually traipse off a Florida prison and serenade a convicted felon? We didn’t think so either. The inmate reportedly made an additional request to be given the opportunity to enjoy his last meal at a table inside Cosmic Ray’s at Magic Kingdom, which, according to a report, was granted. But we’re having a hard time believing there’s any truth to that.
In fact, we’re thinking there’s probably not much truth to any part of the story of the inmate’s request. However, we can get behind eating at Disney World for a final meal 100%. Extreme as it sounds, such a request would be an easy one to make for any diehard Disney Parks fan!