Upon entering the park, costumed fans of the boy wizard franchise enrolled in “classes,” at which point they received their scavenger hunt lists. According to Disneyland representatives, the event was intended to help promote socialization among “potential pariahs and shut-ins.” For those Potter fans unlikely to fully integrate with American culture, Disney had also hoped to provide a nurturing platform to help them transition into the inevitable Renaissance Faire lifestyle awaiting them in their 40s. Unfortunately, a day meant for magic and merriment ended in tears and heartbreak.
Morgan Teverbaugh, Disneyland’s head planner and liaison for the Potter gathering, said: “When Tinkerbell waves her magic wand, the wonders of imagination come to life. But that’s Disney. I guess when the kids from Hogwarts shake their gnarled, little wooden sticks, people get hurt. It’s tragic.”
As hordes of delusional magicians canvassed the park on a themed scavenger hunt, clashes with Disneyland’s muggle guests necessitated an increased security presence.
“The first incident took place shortly after noon in Tomorrowland,” Teverbaugh explained. “Some of the Potter kids got into a pretty heated argument with the Star Wars geeks about which character was the bigger waste of life: Jar Jar Binks or Dobby. From what I heard, it sounded like the Potter group made a strong case in defense of Dobby. But their tiny magic wands turned out to be no match for the much hardier lightsabers we sell by the Star Tours attraction.”
A fistfight broke out not too long after near Peter Pan’s Flight when a cast member innocently asked a young man bearing the colors of Slytherin House how the uber savvy and powerful Voldemort, following so much elaborate planning, couldn’t figure out a ridiculous wand malfunction, which ultimately led to his doom.
The cast member said: “I asked the guy how he felt about Voldemort’s demise. I mean, here’s a wizard that scares everybody -- an influential Slytherin -- dying like a chump. Just a pathetic chump death. And the guest started screaming at me and pulling my hair. Then he slapped me. I tried to restrain him, but he nearly poked my eye out with some twig he was carrying around.”
But the final insult came shortly before dusk, when an unknown person surreptitiously switched the official scavenger hunt list with a dummy. As a result, most of the Harry Potter fans fled the park in tears and dejection.
Teverbaugh issued a formal apology, and promised the group that an internal investigation would be forthcoming.
“It seems that some of things on the list were seen as really insulting,” she said, stifling a smile.
Among the false items:
- Find a Holocaust Cloak and storm the castle in search of a man with six fingers.
- Find Professor Lupin’s birth certificate, with the name Jacob Black.
- And for the final challenge, locate your last shred of dignity. Good luck!
(c) 2011. See disclaimers.