ORLANDO, Fla., (UPI) — A guest at Florida’s Walt Disney World said an employee told him to dress less “Santa-ish” and banned him from signing autographs or posing for pictures.
Thomas Tolbert said he was visiting the Orlando park on a family vacation when he ran into a familiar situation — children asking him to sign autographs and pose for photos as Santa Claus, WKMG-TV, Orlando, reported Wednesday.
Tolbert said he wasn’t dressed as Kris Kringle, but his clothing was “Santa-related.”
“I had a shirt that had — it would be like a collage — and it had Santa faces and it had sayings from ‘The Night Before Christmas,'” Tolbert said.
He said a Disney representative approached him and asked him to change into something less “Santa-ish.”
However, he said changing clothes did not help.
“The face and the persona is what makes Santa,” Tolbert said. “They’re looking at my face and they’re looking at my features.”
Tolbert said he was told to turn children away.
“Disney had informed me that I must inform anybody who came up to me that ‘I am not who you think I am, I am on vacation and please leave me alone,'” Tolbert said.
He said Disney gave him free tickets to the park for his trouble.