1. Florida

Disney World banned a man who waved 'Trump 2020' banner on Splash Mountain

Visitors walk toward the Sleeping Beauty's Castle, background, at Disneyland Paris in Chessy, France, east of Paris, Tuesday, May 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Visitors walk toward the Sleeping Beauty's Castle, background, at Disneyland Paris in Chessy, France, east of Paris, Tuesday, May 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Published Nov. 14, 2018

Dion Cini calls his photos at Florida's Walt Disney World Resort "guerrilla marketing."

One picture shows the 49-year-old with a slight smile, holding a "Trump 2020" banner on the Splash Mountain log ride. Another shows him on a roller coaster, holding a sign reading "Keep America GREAT!"

His plan, he said, was to go viral, drawing support for President Donald Trump's campaign.

According to the New Yorker, in the past several months he has also unfurled pro-Trump banners on Broadway and at Yankee Stadium to show his support for the president.

But, he said, it was his campaigning last week at the Disney theme park that became an issue - and got him banned from all Disney properties, including theme parks and resorts for inciting a crowd.

"I did not break the rules," Cini said Tuesday afternoon in a phone interview with The Washington Post. "I was on a ride. I was not inciting a crowd. There was no crowd."

A Disney spokesperson said in a statement that the issue was not with the guest's political views, but that he repeatedly violated park rules by waving banners. According to the park's policies, guests are prohibited from organizing demonstrations or speeches, using "any flag, banner or sign for commercial purposes" or inciting a crowd. The policies also state that any item Disney deems "harmful or disruptive" is not permitted.

"Walt Disney World welcomes all Guests to enjoy our parks; however, demonstrations and the display of signs and banners is not permitted on the premises," the statement read. "We have previously reminded this guest about our rules."

The Orange County Sheriff's Office, which reportedly responded to the incident, did not immediately provide information to The Washington Post.

It started in September when Cini, a Trump supporter, hung a massive "Trump 2020" banner outside Disney's Main Street Railroad Station. Cini claims he was banned from Disney but was later told he could return if he agreed not to incite a crowd. After he used the two pro-Trump signs last week, he said, he was banned again.

"Banned for life from Walt Disney World for the 2nd time in a month," he wrote on Facebook. "They hate my signs, or the President? Maybe both?"

Disney said the guest was not banned in response to the incident in September but that his ticket was "paused" so park staffers could have a conversation with him about the policies and procedures.

When he broke the rules again last week, he was "trespassed," Disney said.

In any case, Cini said he knew the photos showing him with pro-Trump banners would go viral - and he was counting on it, saying it was his way to contribute to the campaign. He said he believes that Trump is "doing a better job than any president I've ever seen."

"I do things differently," he said. "I do things that will go viral to support the president. I'm trying to let other Trump supporters know that you don't have to go to rallies; you can do this on your own."

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"One person can have a bigger voice than a thousand people," he added.

After his recent photo-ops, Cini said he has gotten a wide response from people - some expressing appreciation and some sending death threats.

When he posted about it on Facebook, many people commented on his personal page, calling him a "super hero" and saying that the stunt was his "best one yet." However, some pointed out that a sign could be a hazard on a fast-moving ride. And others noted that many people go to theme parks to "escape the world," not be confronted by it.

As for his banishment from Disney, Cini said he intends to fight it in court.



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