The goal of this blog series is to factually prove or disprove rumors, myths and misconceptions in the Disney-verse. Tonight on TMSM Mythbusters we are re-sharing the article “Slight of Link” tonight in hopes of reminding you of how to find the “Got You” in those tricky tricky April Fool’s Jokes you will be seeing later this week, and discussing the myth behind “Mickey’s Bus System.”
Slight of Link
Every April Fool’s day TMSM staff’s personal boxes and the main page’s inbox get flooded with messages from readers asking us to verify if Cinderella’s Castle is changing names, if Walt Disney World is getting a fifth park, if Pepsi is replacing Coke in the parks or if Disney has bought the rights to Anastasia from Fox animation studios to remake it as a live action movie. All of these things are in fact FALSE. I won’t lie to you, articles like that get comments and shares which generate hits to the original posters website, and since it is April Fool’s Day these articles are written for fun not to be malicious.
The issue though that we are tackling today is the “slight of hand” that many readers miss in these jovial articles that would clue them in to that “awww MAN they GOT me moment.” There are now two ways that writers clue you in to that “Ah Ha!” moment. The first is the easiest to figure out, but also the one we are always the most embarrassed to admit to getting fooled by. As we all know, and even I will admit to doing this on occasion, we don’t always READ an article completely. Perhaps we are in a rush to get some where, are just reading while we have a moment to relax etc. so we skim an article for the main facts but never really read the whole thing. Or worse yet we read the title and preview of the article and fly with that information as fact. The thing is the easiest way to avoid being “that guy” in a forum on April 1st is to be the guy (or gal) who completely reads the article before flying off to react or share the news. Why is this you ask? Well simply put because many writers still use the old “FYI check the calendar” approach near the end of an article to direct you to the articles date (4/1) or they will directly say “Ha Ha gotcha! This is an April Fools joke!”
The new way though to clue readers in to the joke is the “hyperlink in the sentence” method. The reason many miss this option is because we’ve all been taught “don’t click random links to avoid malware and viruses” or because we just don’t have time to see what other articles and information a website wants us to pay attention to or because we are on mobile and clicking those itty bitty links in a sentence on a small screen is a pain. The problem is when readers don’t click that “redirect” they completely miss the “haha gotcha” that takes them to. This then causes the reader to think that an article from a source they trust is in fact true. That “redirect to the truth” option is also why many of those joke articles resurface months later, readers thought what they were reading was real news on the day it was released as a joke so months later they will reference it in conversations and on social networking as fact, usually with the link to the article, or worse yet with just some of the information copy and pasted or screen shot into a conversation. The issue with those methods is that they lead to a whole new problem where others don’t even know the redirect existed or are unable to access them. The image below shows a very direct way of a writer using the “redirect” option. Other pages make the “redirect” less obvious which makes it harder for people to have that “OHH well they got me” moment. This hyperlink redirect also leads to April Fool’s articles popping up and being cited as fact later in the year when people don’t look at the publishing date.this can then create more confusion because people aren’t looking for a joke to be announced in a redirecting link in say August.
So while the castle isn’t being renamed, Hollywood Studios hasn’t made any announcements in the last few weeks about changes to the parks, Coke is still the soda of choice at Disney Resorts and Parks, and Anastasia still belongs to Fox, the slight of hand “April Fools” misconception has now hopefully been busted in a way that you can merely laugh at articles on 4/1/16.
*Below is a list of April Fool’s jokes that have gone around in 2014 and 2015 that were in fact only jokes just in case you weren’t 100% sure and wanted to know!
- Disney announcing plans for Hollywood Studios that was Star Wars and Pixar/Cars Related
- Goof Troop’s Powerline to play a secret show
- Walt Disney to appear as a hologram at the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland
- A movie with the Guardians of the Galaxy in the Star Wars Universe
- Disney Bought Star Trek
- The Castle in WDW being re-themed for Elsa
- Olaf replacing Stitch in Stitch’s Great Escape
- Pepsi Replacing Coke in the Disney Parks
- A Judge banning all things Frozen from Disney Parks due to a lawsuit
- An X-Wing Movie in the style of Cars and Planes
- A Fifth Park in WDW
At the end of the day here is my suggestion to you. If come later this week you see an article that has some insane “Disney news” that seems as if it was written to enrage you, or something so silly it has you going “Wait, WHHHAAT??”, before you hit share take a few moments to research said article. First read it in full and look for the following. Are any of those hidden links in the article? Does it end with “Gotcha!” Or “Don’t forget what today is”? If so, laugh and go on with your day, but before you hit share make sure your friends will be that proactive too.. If you still aren’t sure pop on over to Google and do a quick search. Are any valid sources like The Orlando Sentinel or Orange County Register or TMSM reporting what you are reading? If not, the chances are you got ‘April Fools Punked”, and that is ok because it is a part of the day. Just remember to take a moment and clue in your friends to the truth when you see them reacting to some of the impending silliness.
Main Streeter Jack replied to a thread with this little gem this weekend “Mears is owned by Disney, it’s named for Mickey Ears.” To which I replied (knowing full well Jack knows the truth) “Thanks Jack you just helped me with my Monday article!” Why am I tackling this mythconception if Jack knows the truth? Because to be quite honest with you, I have seen the same thing said in more than one place by others. For those who don’t know Mears is the company who operates the Magical Express buses that take guests to and from Orlando International and Disney’s resorts. Many think that Mears is owned by Disney, or is a part of Disney. Mears Transportation Group is made up of over 950 vehicles (cars, limos, shuttles and buses) and is the largest ground transportation provider in Central Florida. Mear’s serves more than 70% of the passengers leaving MCO and is the only taxi group allowed at Disney Resort taxi stands. This may be where the mythconception that Disney owns Mears comes from.
The truth is this mythconception is busted because Disney doesn’t own Mears Transportation, the Mears family owns it, and they “pay the hotel companies for the right” to be the only cabs allowed at Disney resort taxi stands. They also hold a “private contract with Walt Disney World to operate the Disney Magical Express shuttle service. The private contract to operate the Disney Magical Express shuttle buses represent about 80 percent of the ground transportation customers going from the MCO Airport.”
Here is the history of Mears Transportation as provided by their website:
“Paul Mears, Sr. had a vision for a successful business. Like all great businesses, Mears was built upon a simple idea: provide great customer service – all the time. He found inspiration from one of his favorite quotes from Socrates, “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.
So, in 1939, he bought three taxicabs and began to run his business with this simple plan. Along the way he formalized our five core values: respect, integrity, safety, enthusiasm and efficiency. He attracted talented team members and gave them the freedom to do their jobs, and he always listened to our customers, tirelessly working to surpass their expectations. Mears was solely focused on the taxicab business until 1983, when Paul Mears, Jr. saw an opportunity to expand into the shuttle van business. He purchased 19 shuttle vans and Mears Motor Shuttle has been the Orlando International Airport concessionaire ever since. Bringing the same formula for success his father had created decades earlier, Paul Jr. plunged into the new endeavor with drive and determination.
Just five short years later, Paul Jr. had further expanded Mears into the Luxury Vehicle and Motor Coach business. Mears became synonymous with outstanding service and a leader in the ground transportation industry. Currently, we operate 70 shuttle vans, 300 luxury vehicles (sedans, limousines, SUVs, and vans), and 220 motor coaches. “
So while the mythconcept that MEARS stands for “Mickey’s Ears” and that Disney own’s the company is in fact busted, I hope you learned a bit about the Mears family and their companies history tonight!!