If you've gone to Disneyland in recent years, you've probably noticed the packs of adult superfans who have season passes, dress up, and act like children.
A lot of these people have formed their own Disneyland social clubs, and they deck themselves out in Disney-themed tattoos, pins, logos, and matching denim vests. They look like Disney biker gangs.
The groups have names like "Tigger Army," "Neverland Mermaids," and "Flynn's Riders," and members say its all about sharing their love of Disney and the park with like-minded people.
But a civil lawsuit filed in the Orange County Superior Court is accusing the head of one social club of using "gangster-like tactics" to try to get "protection" money for a charity fundraiser at the park.
The suit names 19 members of the "White Rabbits" and accuses them of the following:
- Invasion of privacy
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
The lawsuit also names Disneyland, saying the park didn't take any action against the "White Rabbits." A spokesperson for the park told the L.A. Times that they've not been served with the suit and left it at that.
John and Leslee Sarno, founders of the "Main Street Fire Station 55" club, say in the suit that they had planned a memorial walk and fundraiser for September 11, 2016 at the park, and the money would benefit families of firefighters killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
One week before the event, John Sarno says he was approached by Jakob Fite, the head of the White Rabbits Social Club. Fite was backed by four members of his club and they demanded $500 to "protect" participants of the event.
Sarno was told if he didn't pay, the White Rabbits would make sure he wouldn't be let back into the park ever again.
Sarno didn't pay and since then, Fite and his friends have spread all kinds of rumors about him online and on his podcast.
Fite rejects the lawsuit's allegations, and says Sarno filed it to get back at him for raising questions about his character among other clubs.
Members of other clubs say the fight between the two men doesn't reflect their behavior and attitudes.