On Nov. 13, 2022, the Instagram account for @wealth shared a picture that read, "Disney Files Patent for Roller Coaster that Jumps Track." However, this headline originated on a website that publishes satirical content about Disney's theme parks. We received an inquiry about this post from a reader's email.
'The Park Will Be Shut Down'
The @wealth account added no hashtags or other notes that said the post was intended as satire or parody. This led some users to post comments that appeared to show they believed it was real news.
One user commented, "How?? Wind gust variations, body weight variations, miss the track by 1/4 inch and everybody on that ride is dead!" Another person replied, "Imagine the wrong weight distribution… Disney trying to crash their stock price further than it already has." A third commenter said, "A good amount of the rides at Disneyland kept breaking down this week. Please fix your current rides before you focus on a new one."
In two other examples of comments where people believed the news was real, one person said, "Not good for mental health people. This is stupid. The park will be shut down." Another person posted, "Too many variables... mainly body weight and weather conditions. There will be a catastrophic accident sooner than later."
Beyond these users, some people took a more humorous route. One person referred to a classic computer game that allows players to design roller coasters, and said, "I made this in RollerCoaster Tycoon. Cut me a check." Others drew comparisons to the film "Final Destination 3," which included a violent roller coaster crash scene.
Note: In the bio for the @wealth Instagram account, it mentions that it specializes in posts about business, motivation, and technology, and called itself the "World's #1 Self Development & Business Blog!" Other posts on the account showed motivational quotes and business-related news, among other types of content.
The Mouse Trap
A quick search of Google showed that the "Disney Files Patent for Roller Coaster that Jumps Track" headline originally came from the satirical website known as The Mouse Trap on mousetrapnews.com. The website was named in honor of Mickey Mouse, with its humorous slogan being, "The Moused Trusted Name in News."
We previously reported on other satirical articles from the fun-filled website, including stories that said Disney World would be removing Cinderella Castle, lowering the drinking age to 18, and cancelling the Splash Mountain re-theme.
The Mouse Trap published their article about the roller coaster on Oct. 30. Part of the story read as follows:
Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) just filed a patent for a roller coaster that jumps the track. This means the rollercoaster will fly through the air during part of the ride, with no track under it. The classic video game Thrillville: Off the Rails had a roller coaster that jumps the track on the cover of the game. This was a crazy idea that no one actually thought could work, but now Disney is trying to make that dream a reality.
On the website's "About" page, it displayed a disclaimer that said, "The Mouse Trap is the world's best satire site." The disclaimer also added that the website focused on Disney Parks simply for the sake of "fun."
Updates from @wealth
The @wealth Instagram account later published two comments to update its followers about the news. One comment read, "Update: They have filed the patent merely to protect the idea if they ever decide to do it. This doesn't guarantee they build the ride!"
The second comment said, "Note: Photos aren't an actual visual of what the ride will become, but potentially a glimpse of what it could look like."
Both of these pieces of information came from the satirical article on The Mouse Trap's website, which again, was not a real news story.