An Atlanta man on vacation with his family at Disney World in Orlando, FL was asked to leave the theme park because he looked too much like Santa Claus.
As it happens, Thomas Tolbert is a trained actor who was voted one of the top three Santas at a national convention for Santa impersonators. However, Tolbert was off-duty and on vacation with his family at Disney World when his Santa-like visage started attracting the attention of children which then attracted the attention of park officials. He was told that he would be asked to leave if he stopped attracting requests for autographs and changed his appearance to look not so “Santa-ish.”
According to the Huffington Post, Disney confirmed the incident to a local news station, citing that Tolbert was asked to leave the park because his appearance “was disruptive to our operations and confusing to our other guests.”
Tolbert isn’t the first Santa to get the frosty treatment at Disney World. In 2006, a man who was actually dressed as Santa caught some trouble from park officials, but in his case, he was openly attracting attention to himself as Santa.
Disney World actually frowns upon the wearing of costumes in the park, unless it’s by an employee. A teenager earlier this year found herself ejected from the park for wearing a Tinkerbell costume. Park visitor policy states that only children ages 10 and under are allowed to wear costumes resembling Disney characters.