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Thread: Thomas Tolbert told to leave Disney World for looking like Santa

  1. #1
    Registered User houseofmouse's Avatar
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    Thomas Tolbert told to leave Disney World for looking like Santa

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...ide=more240621

    So sad. We met him at the Earl and he was so sweet. He was not dressed like Santa but of course looked like him. However, I still fault WDW here.
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  3. #2
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    People need to quit messing with Walt Disney. They know they are going to cause problems and confusion they should just stay away. Stop it! Let us enjoy the parks and leave behind all the conflict makers.


  4. #3

    If he's not dressing like Santa, then they can't fault him because he look like him. What if he looked like Brad Pitt, would he be faulted for people thinking he is? As long as there's no scene (which is partially his responsibility, but mostly the responsibility of parents of the kids that recognize him to let him enjoy his vacation in peace), I don't see the harm in him being there.


  5. #4
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3Princesses1Prince View Post
    If he's not dressing like Santa, then they can't fault him because he look like him. What if he looked like Brad Pitt, would he be faulted for people thinking he is? As long as there's no scene (which is partially his responsibility, but mostly the responsibility of parents of the kids that recognize him to let him enjoy his vacation in peace), I don't see the harm in him being there.
    This. It would be different if he went out of his way to dress as santa (there was mention in the article of someone doing that), but he didn't, he deserves his vacation like everyone else.

  6. #5
    http://www.floridatoday.com/article/...nclick_check=1

    This article says he WASN'T asked to leave, but to change his clothes and to stop signing autographs.
    Because of the hassle, Disney gave Tolbert some tickets for a future visit, but he said he'd likely encounter similar problems if he returned.

    Tolbert said a possible solution is for Disney to treat look-alikes like celebrities so they are not seen by other guests.
    If he was signing autographs, then I can see Disney's side on asking him to stop.
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  7. #6
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    Per the article he was not in costume at the time. So if he isn't in costume and kids are running up and asking for autographs that is when it falls to the parents to take charge of their childs behavior.

    We have a Santa who lives here in Phoenix, he shops at my grocery store. My nieces and nephews never need an autograph when buying milk!
    Mr. Tolbert should be able to go on vacation like everyone else.
    Plus, we have an amazing Santa who visits DL ALL the time, you don't see him getting booted.

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  8. #7

    CG, he actually wasn't booted according to the other article. Though I totally agree its on the parents to control their kids, he shouldn't have stopped to sign autographs either.


  9. #8

    My uncle looked like a major NBA player. He found it easier to just sign instead of refusing to sign. Is that wrong or is it just fake, semi-Christian icons where it's wrong?


  10. #9
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    Just after this happen Thomas was discussing this on a Santa discussion board, basically as I see it he forgot his place. He and his family had been at Disneyworld for three days and as each day came he got bolder in his interactions with others. On the third day he entered the Magic Kingdom Park as we all know is stricter on this type of stuff than the other parks at Disneyworld or Disneyland here in California.

    With my interactions with Thomas on a Santa discussion board I have found him to be somewhat full of himself, I don’t find him all that. He is seeking publicity this is not the first time this has happen to a Santa at the Magic Kingdom in Disneyworld.
    Other Santa’s have not had this problem.

    I have not had this problem at Disneyland the thing to remember is to keep moving if approached for a photo or other interaction be pleasant but don’t hold court, don’t let a line form.
    I always say I might be him when in the Park I never say that I am Santa.

    Some of you have seen or have visited with me in the Anaheim Parks and know that I sometimes wear what we call Santa Casual in the Park. I truly hope that this publicity hound does not mess it up for the rest of us Santas who enjoy the Disney Parks.

    It is going to be fun to see what happens in May of 2014 when there is going to be a major Santa Convention in Florida with maybe a hundred or so Santas visiting Disneyworld before the convention.

    Let me be perfectly clear here I do not fault Disney on what happen.

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  11. #10
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    When we were at WDW last November, we were amazed to see a Santa, wearing an Hawaiian shirt and driving an ECV, watching the Tiki Room show. He drew a few surprised looks, but no real attention, and didn't seem to be seeking to draw attention to himself. We thought he looked lovely, all benevolent and sweet.

    Quite why we would be amazed that he would be watching the Tiki birds show is beyond me though .....

    Silvercat


  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvercat View Post
    Quite why we would be amazed that he would be watching the Tiki birds show is beyond me though .....
    You know where Father Christmas lives it is quite cold with the heat and humidity in Florida, Father Christmas was most likely looking for a place to stay cool.
    Besides the Tiki Room is a great show
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  13. #12
    Registered User houseofmouse's Avatar
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    I don't know. I am still torn on this one. Like I said we saw him at Downtown Disney, not at the parks. He interacted with my kids and we thought it was sweet. Promo Man makes some good points in his earlier post. He shouldn't have been in the parks for publicity and at least the other article mentions he was not asked to leave the parks or kicked out, something the AOL article failed to mention.

    However, when celebrities are there and are un-escorted, would they be asked to leave or become less noticeable if people asked them for autographs and wanted to take pictures?

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  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by houseofmouse View Post
    However, when celebrities are there and are un-escorted, would they be asked to leave or become less noticeable if people asked them for autographs and wanted to take pictures?
    No, because he/she is a real celebrity, not a fake or look-alike.
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  15. #14
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    AND, if a real celebrity was being bombarded by other Disney Guests, I think at that point Disney would go ahead and provide an escort.

    I do not think Mr. Tolbert would require an escort (like he wanted ) if he weren't playing to the crowd a bit.

    Cathy

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Drince88 View Post
    AND, if a real celebrity was being bombarded by other Disney Guests, I think at that point Disney would go ahead and provide an escort.

    I do not think Mr. Tolbert would require an escort (like he wanted ) if he weren't playing to the crowd a bit.
    Agreed. And I think the comment about turning down passes for a future visit because "this type of thing will just happen again" is arrogant. As Promo-Man said, many Santas go and enjoy the parks without this issue because they don't create it.

  17. #16
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    This is just about Santa Thomas’s ego he has been all over several Santa social media sites talking about this pumping up his image of himself.
    Several of us RBS’s “Real Bearded Santa” asked him not to talk with the media but he felt he needed to.
    Now I only hope that his making a big deal of this does not force Disney in to over reacting and making it harder for us with white beards.

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  18. #17

    We have a friend who is a clone of Robin Williams. Same height, build, hair, voice and dead on look alike. When he goes to the parks he is always mobbed. He ALWAYS politely tells people that he is NOT Robin and refuses autographs and photos. Sometimes people get mad at him, still insisting that he is Robin and is just being rude to the fans by not signing autographs or posing for pictures. Disney security has come forward at times and asked "Mr. Williams would you like an escort?" Michael always explains to them that he is not Robin and thanks them for their thoughtfulness. But he has NEVER been asked to leave the parks. Always he gets a "Have a magical day" and allowed to go about his business.

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  19. #18
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    Hugs Promo-man.


  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvercat View Post
    Quite why we would be amazed that he would be watching the Tiki birds show is beyond me though .....
    If he was watching the "Under New Management" version I could understand your shock. I don't know why anyone would want to watch that.

    The headline is badly written (from an online media outlet, shocking I know). He wasn't told to stop looking like Santa, he was told to stop acting like Santa. Look at Promo-Man's photo. If he started dancing down Main Street in that outfit singing Chim-Chim-Chiree he wouldn't be stopped because he looked like Santa.

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by houseofmouse View Post
    However, when celebrities are there and are un-escorted, would they be asked to leave or become less noticeable if people asked them for autographs and wanted to take pictures?
    My understanding is that they aren't asked to leave unless they are "holding court," and that Disney will assign a VIP escort or security detail if guests just won't leave them alone. There are some celebrities who just *can't* be in the park without being mobbed - I still remember the circus when Michael Jackson visited the park.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlkPearlCptn View Post
    Disney security has come forward at times and asked "Mr. Williams would you like an escort?"
    Exactly. I saw this happen with another celebrity - they did not have a VIP host and were mobbed. Security responded and very quickly took them back stage; when I saw them again, they had a VIP host with them.

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  22. #21
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    Just to show you that Disney works with us who wear red and have white beards here is a trip report of a fellow Santa on another discussion board

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  23. #22
    Registered User houseofmouse's Avatar
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    Thanks Promo-Man for the trip report. He seems like a nice and humble Santa. He did don the hat and pose for pictures but seemed very humble about it and was not holding court as someone mentioned.

    I hope for you Promo-Man it does not effect your trips to DL because that would be a bummer for sure.

    So perhaps this man, who I still think is nice, just because he was to my family, is looking for some serious publicity perhaps to further his career? At that point that's not cool.

    Have a Disney Day!
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  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by houseofmouse View Post
    He seems like a nice and humble Santa. He did don the hat and pose for pictures but seemed very humble about it and was not holding court as someone mentioned.
    We Santas feed off of the interactions we have with others, I think Santa Thomas started out fine but after several days at Disneyworld he became bolder in his interactions and that is what happen.

    He is a good southern boy and right now has his back hairs up with his ego being bigger than his heart right now.

    One of the hardest things for a Santa is to not let you ego get bigger than your heart.
    I know Santa Thomas would enjoy any photos you have with him & your family at Downtown Disney in Disneyworld; I can get you in touch with him.
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  25. #24

    I was once on a flight from Manchester to Orlando with four Elvis's on the flight, the Virgin Staff, were not sure what to do, in the end they let them get some attention and after a while they were all sent to "de Elvis".

    Why not try Larry and Robin's older trip reports for a blast of Disney nostalgia - http://www.amazon.com/Disney-Diaries.../dp/B008PYCL8C

  26. #25
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    Santa Thomas has informed me on facebook that his agent’s secretary reads the Pad and has reported to the entire agencies’ organization what has been posted here with that statement and that Santa Thomas has said to look out for the other part of his story in the media I now in my humble opinion believe this whole thing has been for the publicity.

    Or did his agent after hearing about what happen at Disneyworld cooked up a publicity media blitz.

    I have to say that I do not know Santa Thomas personally but have been communicating with him on several social media sites

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