Saturday, February 10, 2018

"They're Disneyland superfans. Why a lawsuit is alleging gangster-like tactics against one social club"

LAT:

They stroll through Disneyland in packs of 20 or more, motley crews that resemble a cross between the Hells Angels motorcycle gang and a grown-up Mickey Mouse Club with their Disney-themed tattoos and their matching denim vests strewn with trading pins and logos.

Disneyland social clubs, by most accounts, are harmless alliances of friends and family who meet up at the park to share a nerdy obsession for all things Disney. With club names such as Tigger Army and Neverland Mermaids, how threatening can they be?

...

But a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court has revealed a dark undercurrent to the pastime. The head of one club has accused another of using gangster-like tactics to try to collect "protection" money for a charity fundraiser at the park.

The lawsuit reads like mob movie set in a theme park. The plot revolves around the Main Street Fire Station 55 Social Club, whose leaders claim they have been bullied and terrorized by the head of the White Rabbits Social Club.

...

The vests are made to resemble those worn by motorcycle gangs. The Hells Angels and Mongols add the initials "MC" on their vests, for motorcycle club. The Disneyland clubs add "SC" on the vests, for social club.

...

Each club has its own rules for accepting new members. Some clubs take a vote on new members while others have a probation period, during which the prospective member can wear a vest but cannot wear the club's patch. That's another tradition of motorcycle gangs.

...

A favorite club activity is called a "ride takeover," in which members try to fill every vehicle of an attraction, said Roxy Tart, who founded the Bangerang Babes in 2014, a club of Tinkerbell fans whose members adorn themselves with glitter and sequins during park visits.