Disney Parks Issue Lifetime Ban For Trump 2020 Sign-Waver
ORLANDO, FL – How would you feel if you were ousted from Disneyland forever? You’d miss seeing the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when it opens in 2019. Never again would you be able to sing along with the scalawags, “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!” That was a choice that Dion Cini made in the fall of 2018 when he displayed a political sign at Walt Disney World after being repeatedly told banners are not allowed at the park.
Holding the sign for a photo op was not Cini’s first foray into guerrilla marketing for President Trump’s 2020 campaign at the Happiest Place on Earth. A former United States Marine and vocal Trump supporter, he has flown banners and signs in public places such as on New York bridges and regularly raises his Trump support flags while rowing in the Hudson River, according to reports from the New York Post.
Cini has claimed that he chose Disney World, where he was an annual pass holder, as his backdrop for photo ops because he “isn’t happy with the way Disney treats the president.”
After disobeying the rules more than once, his most recent stunt cost him with an outright park ban.
According to the Post, Cini was first “temporarily paused” from the park earlier this year after displaying a political flag on Main Street (see below). At that time, he was educated in theme park rules of “no signs or banners of any kind” inside Disney properties.
“We respectfully reminded him of the rule that banners and signs not permitted,” a Walt Disney World spokeswoman told Patch. A slap on the wrist, the cast members reiterated the rules to Cini, making sure he understood them before he left.
He tested that rule with a smaller political sign which he held up while on a ride. He then discovered Disney World Resort was serious about their rules. He was escorted from the premises, for good.
A resort spokesperson told Patch that “(Cini) has been permanently prohibited from entering the park.”
Cini told the New York Post that his trespass was due to the political content of the sign. He protested to reporters that people “hold things up like cameras” all the time.
The theme park was much less political, focusing instead on the enforcement of theme park rules that “clearly state our policies specific to the use of banners, and they also state items are prohibited that are deemed harmful or disruptive,” the spokesperson said. “It’s common sense that a flag or banner could be harmful to others if held on an attraction and could be a safety issue.”
Those rules also apply to selfie sticks, large tripods, masks, and anything that cast members consider “objectionable language, designs on tattoos and on clothing.”
There are specific guidelines for special events such as Halloween parties and Run Disney. Read the full rules here: disneyworld.disney.go.
“The other thing important here is guests don’t come to Disney expecting to have their trip impacted by an individual’s actions like this. This gentleman was disrupting their experience and family memories,” she told me.
The Disney experience, magic and memory-making is something the park takes most seriously. For fans of the parks, the properties are a place to get away, to escape the rigmarole of day-to-day life and most certainly politics. Plus, the opportunity to have a picture of your adrenaline-fueled self screaming, or posing, or laughing your head off with your loved ones, is something guests look forward to after hours of waiting in line, and especially after paying a hefty price tag for park entry.
According to the spokesperson, families who rode behind him were blocked by his antics, and weren’t thrilled that a campaign sign obscured and blighted their photo.
Plus, there are common sense practices when riding a high-speed attraction, she told us.
“This is a ride that operates at velocity, especially at the point of the photograph,” she said. “If he lost hold of the sign it could have hit a guest, caused an injury or at the worst impacted the operation of the ride.”
“This was a day that we witnessed karma in all of its glorious splendor,” one person said in reaction to Cini’s ousting on Facebook.
Patch asked Disney fans their opinion on the matter. One fan said politics didn’t belong inside the House of Mouse.
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“I prefer to just be a kid when I’m inside the theme parks,” an annual pass holder (who asked to remain nameless) said. “We have enough political ads on television.”
Cini, still enthusiastic about the media attention, will need to find another venue for his flag-waving. The doors to Disneyland and Disney World are now closed for good, but he can always go back to rowing.
Photo, courtesy Dion Cini