Admittedly, Theme Park University is not perfect. Occasionally I make mistakes based on how I report information or even using proper nomenclature. Thanks to the internet, more often than not when I make said errors, someone is there to quickly call me out and I’ll make edits to the story accordingly. It’s the beauty of web-based journalism versus print. Corrections and updates can be made to the story with a few simple keystrokes.
Nearly every time a major theme park announcement happens, major media outlets seem to misinterpret the news and twist it into something it’s not. The headline for CNN (as of the writing of this post) still reads: “Disney to open ‘Star Wars’ theme parks.” Which is far from the truth.
Later on in the story, CNN clarifies the headline by saying these are lands and not theme parks. However, for someone who only sees this one story and doesn’t bother to read past the headline, I guarantee you they are telling their friends right now how excited they are for a Star Wars theme park. I’ll also place a pretty solid bet that Disney Cast Members have already been asked when the Star Wars theme park is opening, where is it going, how much is admission, etc.
CNN is hardly the only one perpetuating the problem. When the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Islands of Adventure in 2010, dozens of media outlets trumpeted the glorious new Harry Potter theme parks opening in Orlando.
What blows my mind is that the story is STILL up on the Huffington Post today with no corrections or edits of any kind. I promise you that employees selling tickets to Universal Orlando to this day still get asked by customers if they can buy admission to a Harry Potter theme park thanks to stories like this from the Huffington Post.
It’s also not just major media outlets; it’s smaller sites like the Dis Humor Facebook page as well. On May 19, 2015, the owner of that page posted the above picture. The caption implies that Radiator Springs Racers has been announced for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Not only was it not announced on the day the pic was posted, as of the 2015 D23 convention, not a word about a Cars–themed attraction has come from Disney.
Now here is the thing. Maybe I shouldn’t be getting my “news” from a source like Dis Humor. However, with over 100,000 followers, there are plenty of people who think that this is an actual news source. I can tell you that I posted a reply to the above post about Radiator Springs Racers on the Dis Humor Facebook page simply asking for them to add the word “rumor” to the caption to make it accurate. My response by the page owner was that they knew Cast Members who told them that information was true and therefore, there was no need to add the word “rumor” even if Disney hadn’t officially announced it. Moments later, my comment was deleted along with their response.
On July 11, 2015, Dis Humor posted the above photo along with the meme that they created. Now here’s the catch: I can’t prove 100% that it’s not Tom Hiddleston, but I can prove that he is most certainly not on set.
Notice the carpet in the two pictures above is identical. Both pictures were taken at DragonCon, a convention at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta held in September every year. That is their carpet you’re looking at and no, they did not film any footage from ‘The Avengers” in the hotel during DragonCon.
I, much like the gentleman above, made a comment pointing out that not only was that not Hiddleston (but a great cosplayer) and that indeed was not the set on the Dis Humor Facebook page. Moments later, my comment was deleted and I have been banned from commenting on their page. For the record, I did not curse and was not impolite by any means. Simply asking for to change the meme to make it accurate.
Editor’s Note: This article previously listed Kristine Huber as the owner of the Dis Humor page, but I have been corrected. She is a moderator and did indeed delete my comment. Thanks to Kristine for clearing this up!
Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. My request for anyone who reads this is to spread the word when you see information that is false or inaccurate when it comes to theme parks. Feel free to do the same for me. You can e-mail me here and I have no problem listening to your feedback and I pride myself in being as accurate as I can in what I report here at Theme Park University.
Images copyright: CNN, Huffington Post, Dis Humor