Published July 27, 2012
This week a Santa impersonator visiting Disney's Magic Kingdom in Florida was told to tone down his remarkable appearance to jolly Old St. Nick because it was too disruptive.
MyFoxDallas-FortWorth reported that Thomas Tolbert, who was visiting the park with family members from Georgia, was wearing khaki pants, red high-top sneakers with green laces and a shirt that had "The Night before Christmas" written on it.
It wasn't long before Tolbert started getting kids, adults -- even Disney “cast members” -- coming up to him and asking for pictures and his autograph.
On the third day of his visit, while at the Disney studios, a company representative asked him to change into something less "Santa-ish" and to tone down his behavior.
"If anybody comes up to you, you tell them, ‘I am not who you think I am,'" said Tolbert.
Walt Disney World Resort confirmed that it asked Tolbert to change, and to stop interacting as Santa with other theme-park guests.
Can you blame Disney for not taking too kindly to having guests upstage Snow White and Cinderella? After all this isn't the first time that Disney had to crack down on a Santa impersonator who tried to pull a similar stunt.
In fact, Disney has fairly clear guidelines on it website about what visitors can and cannot wear to its parks, from the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, to Blizzard Beach and Pleasure Island.
For example, adult costumes or any clothing (i.e.: masks) that can be viewed as a Disney character is a no no, but having your face painted or your hair done to resemble one is okay. Clothes that are excessively torn, transparent or are too revealing could get you flagged. And also not allowed are clothes, even tattoos with obscene language.
The rules are there not only to keep things family friendly, but to help cut down the confusion for kids (maybe even some adults) high on the magic of Disney.
To the park's credit they never asked Tolbert to leave, and even gave him and his family free passes.
But Tolbert says he's not sure if he'll use them.
"The only thing Santa can ever give is his time and his heart and if that means that I can't go back to Disney, who I love and adore, then that's a sacrifice I am willing to do," said Tolbert.