Disney World Guests Spot 'Cokehead Matt Gaetz' Signs in the Orlando Skies

A TikTok comment noted that the banners could be seen over Disney Springs, while the video itself appeared to have been shot in Universal's Islands of Adventure.

Published June 15, 2021

Image courtesy of @ms_mjperks/TikTok

On June 14, 2021, two airplanes displaying banners were spotted flying over amusement parks in Orlando, Florida. The messages seen over parts of Walt Disney World Resort and Universal's Islands of Adventure said, "Cokehead Matt Gaetz / Tried To Drug Test Welfare Recipients."

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016. Prior to his time in Washington, D.C., he was a member of the Florida House of Representatives.

A Message in the Sky

Spectrum News 13 political reporter Greg Angel tweeted pictures of the banners in the sky:

A video of the airplanes was available on TikTok:

It's unclear where exactly the video was recorded, but it appeared to be near the Jurassic World VelociCoaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

One commenter remarked: "From 'Joe Rogan is literally 5 foot 3' to 'Cokehead Matt Gaetz,' who's next?" This referenced an airborne message about Joe Rogan's height that appeared over Los Angeles two days earlier. We fact-checked the claim, which may have been nothing more than a joke.

Another person mentioned they saw the "Cokehead Matt Gaetz" banners over Disney World. "Yoooo. I saw this shit yesterday at Disney Springs," they said. "I couldn't get a pic and I was so mad. Thanks!"

Walt Disney World Resort guests spotted banners dragged by airplanes that said Cokehead Matt Gaetz Tried to Drug Test Welfare Recipients.
Disney Springs is an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment destination at the Florida resort. (Courtesy: TikTok)

Disney Springs is part of the Walt Disney World Resort experience. However, it is not a theme park. The theme parks have a no-fly zone. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the no-fly zone "bars planes from flying below 3,000 feet within 3 miles of the center of the parks."

A third person claimed: "And he tweeted a picture of JFK's assassin on Memorial Day AND THANKED HIM FOR HIS SERVICE LMAO." This was true.

'Cokehead Matt Gaetz'

On May 14, 2021, The Daily Beast reported that Gaetz purportedly previously attended a "cocaine-fueled party" with "a paid escort" and an "amateur Instagram model." This is what the "Cokehead Matt Gaetz" portion of the message that was flown over Disney World appeared to reference.

Previous reporting from Politico also looked at Gaetz's possible involvement with an underage teenager.

In June 2021, NBC News reported that Gaetz was under investigation. Federal prosecutors were looking into whether he "obstructed justice during a phone call with a witness in a potential sex crimes investigation."

The two banners flown over Orlando in June 2021 were not the first instances that a message about Gaetz has appeared in the skies. A previous sign said: "Tick Tock Matt Gaetz."

The "Tick Tock Matt Gaetz" banner appeared to reference the investigation.

'Tried To Drug Test Welfare Recipients'

As for the second part of the Gaetz message that appeared in the skies above Disney World, it's true that he once sought to drug test welfare recipients.

In 2011, when he was a member of the Florida House of Representatives, he tweeted: "I strongly support drug-testing for welfare recipients. Applying for welfare is voluntary, if you don’t want to get tested don’t apply."

Four months later, the state of Florida enacted a law that required drug testing for people seeking public assistance.

In sum, banners about "Cokehead Matt Gaetz" were flown over Disney World and other amusement parks in June 2021. They were intended as a jab at the congressman following reporting about purported cocaine use.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.