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Jeff Cercone
By Jeff Cercone April 19, 2022

Protest did not block visitors from entering Disney parks in Florida

If Your Time is short

  • A protest organized by Moms for America was held April 16 at an intersection near one of many entrances to the sprawling Walt Disney World Resort property in Orlando, Florida.

  • No roads were blocked and no one was denied entry, police and protest organizers said.

After Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek spoke out against a new Florida law banning classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender issues from students in third grade and under, the company has found itself in the crosshairs of supporters of the law and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

There have been calls to boycott Disney’s many theme parks and to ditch its streaming service, Disney+. Despite claims on social media that both efforts have been widely successful, PolitiFact has found no evidence to back specific numbers that have been circulating.

Now another social media user is making a dubious claim that a protest on April 16 in Florida managed to keep visitors from entering Walt Disney World entirely, a tall order given there are multiple entrances to Disney’s many parks and resorts in Orlando.

An April 16 Facebook post from a protester reads, "Patriot Convoy just did a BLOCKADE @ the Entrance of Disney. Car Trouble. No one visiting Disney can get in." The post shows a man in a "DeSantis 2022" red hat holding a bullhorn in front of two parked cars with their hoods up on a road. 

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The protest was not held in front of the Magic Kingdom, the main theme park in the sprawling Disney property, which can be reached from multiple routes by vehicle. Nor was it in front of any Disney theme park.

It was held at the intersection of S.R. 535 and Hotel Plaza Blvd., according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and an April 13 press release from Moms for America, which organized the protest. That location is about 8 miles from the Magic Kingdom, according to Google Maps.

The protest was near a large sign for Walt Disney World Resorts in front of Hotel Plaza Blvd. That road leads, as its name suggests, to various hotels and to Disney Springs, a shopping, dining and entertainment district on the east side of the resort property that visitors don’t need a ticket to enter. An interactive map from Disney shows Disney Springs is on the outskirts of the property on the east side.

The road also connects with Buena Vista Drive, which visitors can take to get to various theme parks and resorts on the property. 

The image in the Facebook post shows the poster in front of two cars supposedly blocking the entrance, with palm trees in the background. It’s not clear where he is standing, but a Google Maps street view shows no palm trees behind the Disney sign at the entrance, though there are some across the street behind a shopping center.

Featured Fact-check

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement to PolitiFact that no roads were blocked during the protest and no one was prevented from entering the Disney property. There were no arrests and about 150 people attended the protest, which was the only one that day, officials said.

A statement from Moms for America said organizers saw no one blocking the entrance to the property and that the protest was held on the sidewalk. The group said about 2,000 people attended throughout the day, and that the author of the Facebook post is not affiliated with the organization.

According to local TV news reports, about 100 protesters attended, among them conservative politicians like congressional candidates Anthony Sabatini and Laura Loomer. No reports mentioned roads being blocked or any arrests.

Disney did not respond to a request for comment.

Our ruling

A Facebook post claimed that a "Patriot Convoy" of protesters on April 16 successfully blocked visitors from entering Disney World in Florida.

There was a protest that day, but it was at an intersection on the outskirts of the large Walt Disney World Resort property. The local sheriff’s office and the protest’s organizers said no roads were blocked and no one was prevented from entering the property. 

We rate this claim False.

RELATED: There’s no evidence Disney+ lost over 350,000 subscribers in ‘five days

RELATED: There’s no evidence Disney recently lost 172,000 reservations

RELATED: ‘Don’t say gay’ vs. ‘parental rights': Fact-checking claims about Florida’s HB 1557

Our Sources

Moms for America, press release, April 13, 2022

Moms for America, statement to PolitiFact, April 18, 2022

Orange County Sheriff’s Office, statement to PolitiFact, April 19, 2022

Salon, "Right-wing protesters attempt Disney World "blockade" in support of "Don't Say Gay" law," April 18, 2022

Disney Springs map

Disney Springs, frequently asked questions

Fox 35 Orlando, "People gather outside of Disney Springs to protest the company's response to "Don't Say Gay" law," April 16, 2022

WTFV-9, ABC, "Groups gather near Disney World to protest company’s stance on Florida education law," April 16, 2022

The Washington Post, "Conservatives want to cancel Disney. It’s not the first time.," April 18, 2022

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Protest did not block visitors from entering Disney parks in Florida

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