There’s great news today for fans who might have been worried that Disney World is closing: the parks are fully open and operational, and they’re even dressed for the holiday season!
The holiday season begins early at Disney World in Central Florida. With the exception of Thanksgiving, the fall and winter holidays don’t take place until December, but that doesn’t stop Disney World from going all out for the winter holidays in early November–and the parks are beautiful this time of year!
But some get their news from social media platforms only, including Facebook and TikTok, and the flaws with the advancements, availability, and accessibility of the internet become glaringly obvious. To some, it seems like the World Wide Web could be better described as the World Wide Web of Lies.
That’s not to say that reputable, trustworthy sites don’t exist. They do. Some sites and news organizations follow rules about certain topics, reporting on rumors, and the like.
But, as it is with television, often the highest ratings–or “clicks”–are awarded to the sites that publish sensationalized news, rumors, and other offerings, each one masquerading as the truth when, often, only a percentage of those posts have real merit. But this isn’t an entirely new practice, even when it comes to Disney news, rumors, and sensationalism.
Add to that the fact that creators of TikTok videos and Facebook reels often misinterpret information–or fail to read the articles they source in their entirety, and such “news” can become misconstrued very quickly. Such practices have been going on for decades, though, even before the internet could be blamed.
Walt’s Frozen Body Goes Viral
In January 1967, weeks after Walter Elias Disney died at the age of 65 from complications of lung cancer at St. Joseph’s Medical Center across the street from Disney’s Burbank Studio, a tabloid reporter with The National Spotlite made it impossible for the famed visionary and animator to rest in peace.
In his piece for the tabloid, the writer claimed to have disguised himself as an orderly at St. Joseph’s and broken into a storage room at the hospital. There, in the storage room–so goes the story–the fake orderly saw with his own eyes the body of Walt Disney encased in a cryogenic cylinder.
That 1967 article is responsible for one of the longest-standing, most widely-believed urban legends in modern history. The reporter for the Spotlite was able to fabricate a story with no truth to it whatsoever during a time when “viral” only referred to a type of infection, and he didn’t even have the luxuries of the internet. Well played, fake orderly. Well played.
Another Disney World Closure?
Now, another misrepresentation of information has gone viral–so much so that even fans of the Walt Disney World Resort are falling prey to the story.
A Facebook post dated November 6 features a video in which a man is seen talking about the Central Florida Disney Parks. He begins with, “Breaking news y’all; this is big news.” And then he proceeds to drop the bombshell announcement: “Looks like Disney World park shuts down indefinitely. This is probably the biggest news of 2023.”
And he’s right. If Disney World had plans to officially close indefinitely, it would be the biggest news of 2023, at least for Disney fans. Instead, the man in the video will have to settle for “one of the biggest lies in 2023 to be debunked by news outlets.” Didn’t he realize most fans would know that TikTok and Facebook wouldn’t be the first to share such earth-shattering news online? The posts sourced by the video creator explain in detail that Disney World’s parks are not closing, but apparently, that part of the message in the posts was ignored or missed altogether.
In just four days, the Facebook post was shared 5,000 times, and the original TikTok video was shared more than 12,000 times in just five days.
But alas, the video claiming to have found news of a major shutdown at the Central Florida Disney parks is about as true as the reports over the years that claim Walter Elias Disney’s body is in a silver cylinder somewhere in Arizona. Simply put, it just isn’t true. In fact, the parks have kicked off the Christmas holiday season with giant Christmas trees, holly, ornamental wreaths, holiday-themed food and drinks in the parks, and much, much more.
Disney World’s Christmas upgrade is so expansive and so massive that there’s no way the parks would go to such extremes if they were closing immediately–and for an indefinite period of time.
Take this as a public service announcement for fans of the parks everywhere this holiday season, and simply relax. Disney World isn’t going anywhere, and Christmas is already in full swing!