More details about the ear seller who is being sued by Disney and was recently banned from Walt Disney World have come to light, including details of the lawsuit and the official terms of his ban.
Christopher Martin is the proprietor of Sparkling Dreamers, a small Disney shop that he runs with his wife, Hannah Martin. The shop sells a large variety of ear headbands and occasionally other items like buttons or masks. This is not an uncommon practice, as websites like Etsy or other small Disney shops have been selling ears and Disney-inspired merchandise for years. They are enormously popular in the Parks and are worn by Guests and Cast Members alike. However, Sparkling Dreamers crossed a line into copyright infringement.
Most small sellers on Etsy or similar sites are very careful not to use officially licensed Disney logos or images of characters. Merchandise designs are inspired by characters and feature their color scheme or iconography but never direct images of the characters themselves or Disney’s logos. Christopher Martin was less careful, as detailed in the 700-page document that was sent to him by Disney detailing the terms of the complaint.
These screenshots from TikTok user girlmeetsglitter of the document detail several pieces of Sparkling Dreamer’s merchandise that directly used Disney characters or logos, including the logo of their “Secret Disney Group” (their Facebook group of over 35,000 followers), which used the lettering from the iconic Disneyland sign.
Disney filed a cease-and-desist in December 2021, specifying they wanted to avoid litigation but stated in their suit that Martin continued to sell the unlicensed products, ignored the demand to surrender them, and even used sales promotions to sell them as quickly as possible.
On March 10, 2023, Martin was served with a ban from Walt Disney World while visiting the Magic Kingdom. He live-streamed being walked out of the Park by police officers on Instagram Live, and then went on to steam on Facebook while in the taxi escorting him off the property. He claims in the video that he was banned due to “something about Annual Pass violations,” but several reports from his viewers have stated that he was soliciting and attempting to sell his merchandise on Main Street, U.S.A., as well as using his Annual Pass discount to buy merchandise and then sell it to his followers at an upcharge.
Martin also stated in his live stream that he has plans to visit Disneyland in the coming week.