“Free Palestine” Echoes as Guests Blocked From Going to Disney World

in Disney Parks, Featured, Walt Disney World

A person stands on a car roof on a highway, raising two fingers in a peace sign. Signs with phrases like "FREE PALESTINE" and "GUESTS BLOCKED" are displayed on an overpass.

Images Credit: Stu, X

The exit to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando was blocked by protestors who were shouting slogans of “Free Palestine!”

Over the last few years, political news relating to Disney World has primarily focused on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his fight with The Walt Disney Company. As many already know, when former Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke out about the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, he lit a fuse under Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to put the Mouse House in its place.

Statue of walt disney holding hands with mickey mouse in front of cinderella castle at disney world, with a clear blue sky background.
“Partners” statue in front of Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort / Credit: Disney

While Bob Chapek is no longer involved with Disney, and current Disney CEO Bob Iger has navigated Disney through the choppy waters of the situation, the battle between Disney and Florida is only now cooling down.

But in the meanwhile another situation inspired by the conflict in the Middle East has raised its head.

A woman dressed as moana stands with crossed arms, smiling, in front of the tree of life at a theme park, surrounded by lush greenery.
The Moana meet ‘n’ greet is a favorite at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Disney World / Credit: Disney

It is common knowledge that the war between the countries in the Middle East, Israel, and Palestine, has rocked the world over the last few months. The 2023 Israel–Palestine war, known by some as the Israel-Hamas war, has seen innumerable casualties and deaths. What began in October 2023 is still continuing today in May 2024.

One of the common asks from many is to spread awareness about the continued attack and war, while many nations have called for a ceasefire and an end to the war. Some have done this through social media, and others are taking more in-person and involved approaches to the problem.

Per the latest reports on social media, earlier today, the group Central Florida Queers for Palestine was blocking the exit to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The group has made their feelings on the war clear in a statement they shared on Instagram wherein they wrote,

CFLQ4P stands in solidarity with Queers in Palestine knowing that “israel’s” illegal occupation of Palestine is a part of the same oppressive force that harms queer and trans people everywhere. More importantly, as we are witnessing the genocide of the Palestinian people, we know that there are queer and trans people who exist amongst the martyrs (something israel doesn’t want you to believe).

Today, they stood blocking the exit to I-4 West, Exit 67, with banners of “Free Palestine” and “Look up Nakba 1948.” In the video shared, we see four protestors standing in front of their cars, blocking potential Disney-goers from reaching their destination.

They also shared a message on X inviting more people to come and join the blockade.

Every year, there are millions of people from all across the world who make their way to the Central Florida Disney Resort. According to the latest research in 2023, the year 2019 saw 20.86 million visitors to the Disney theme park in the Sunshine State.

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected attendance for warranted reasons, crowds have certainly been making their way back to the Disney theme park.

Given these numbers, it makes sense that a protest group would choose the exit to Disney World to stage this demonstration. At the time of publishing this article, we know that the police were called onto the scene to clear the path and allow families and cars to make their way to the Disney theme park.

Stay tuned to Inside the Magic for the latest news on all things Disney.

in Disney Parks, Featured, Walt Disney World

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