Of Mice and Measles

Luke McGarry

With measles thought to be wiped out in the United States since 2000, December's outbreak at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and subsequent spread much farther beyond Orange County are unusual from a recent historical perspective.

But the response from the bashers of immigrants, anti-vaxxers and anti-abortionists who have capitalized on the outbreak? No, you could see that coming like a smoke cloud blowing into your southwest Anaheim neighborhood after a nightly fireworks spectacular.

The rhetorical frenzy has been as swift as the disease's spread. State health officials revealed on Jan. 7 that nine confirmed cases of measles were tied to people who had been at Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20. Patients ranged in age from 8 months to 21 years, six victims had not been vaccinated, and five were Disney cast members.

"Although we aren't sure exactly how this year's outbreak began, we assume that someone got infected overseas, visited the parks and spread the disease to others," Dr. Anne Schuchat, who directs the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a Jan. 29 news conference.

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Disney Urged to Animate Disabled Characters So Disabled Children Have Role Models

Alexsandro Palombo
Unrelated to the new campaign, Italian artist Alexsandro Palombo created a series portraying Disney princesses in wheelchairs or with missing limbs to comment on the lack of amputees and the disabled in pop culture.

Will we one day see costumed characters with disabilities at Disneyland? That could eventually happen if a new petition drive is successful. In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a San Francisco family is calling on Disney Animation Studios to represent children with disabilities in their animated films.

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Lawsuits by Families of Autistic Children Challenge Disneyland Policy for Disabled Guests

Magic Kingdom meets wheel life.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts--which includes Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim--is being sued over its new Disability Access Service policy.

And that has prompted a confession: I have been part of the abuse of the old Disability Access Service policy that led to its change.

How it used to work was anyone could go to Guest Services in a wheelchair (rented from the park or otherwise), claim to be disabled and get a special pass. The pass got that person and everyone in his/her party to the front of lines, even the most congested ones winding toward the most popular rides.

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This 15-Year-Old Missing Girl Might Be At Disneyland

Categories: Disney Dirt


Alright, Disnerds, time to be conscripted.

Sage Lee is a 15-year-old girl who's been missing since Tuesday afternoon -- her parents think she's run away. Lee is from Downey, but she's a big Disneyland fan and had her annual passport with her when she left. There's a chance she might visit the parks.

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Road For Disneyland-Area Pimp Of Minor Girls Wasn't Easy For LA Rapper Curtis Canady

Canady: I didn't know selling children for sex was wrong
The path 19-year-old Curtis Maurice Canady took to land face to face this week with a no-nonsense federal judge in Orange County for pimping minor girls in prostitution near Disneyland isn't pretty or fair.

Canady grew up in an exceptionally poor, crime-infested section of Los Angeles. His mother gave birth to him at the age of 14. When he was a toddler, his father--a convicted murderer serving a life sentence in Pelican Bay State Prison since 2001--dropped out of his life. Electricity and food wasn't always available at home. His stepfather was a physically abusive drunk murdered in a bloody 2008 drive-by shooting covered by the Los Angeles Times. His family allowed an illegal sex ring to operate out of their home during part of his childhood. When he walked to and from elementary school, he passed groups of prostitutes working the streets and nobody thought to coach him on ethics or morals, a failure that later blinded him to legal consequences of selling underage girls for sex to anonymous men. He began smoking marijuana daily when he reached puberty, quit high school before graduating and colored himself in tattoos, including inking a Gucci symbol on his face. While a minor he started dating an older prostitute and worked as her driver. He picked "Cash" as a nickname because he naively thought it was flattering.

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5 Signs Girl Meets World Meets Satan

Boy Meets World was a family sitcom on ABC from 1993 to 2000, and all I remember about it is my kids watched it, the actor William Daniels who played the next-door neighbor was heart surgeron Dr. Craig on St. Elsewhere and that until very recently I was convicted the star was Shia LaBeouf. Actually, that was Ben Savage, who joins Danielle Fishel, a recent Fashion Island Bloomies employee, in reprising their roles of Cory and Topanga on the Disney Channel's new Girl Meets World, which follows their characters' daughter. Know what else the two shows have in common? They're satanic!

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Fans Fight to Keep Disneyland's "Billy Hill and the Hillbillies" Show Alive; Mouse Doesn't Care

Categories: Disney Dirt

Photo by Ccdesan
Billy Hill and the Hillbillies performing in 1999

A group of die-hard Disney fans are fighting to keep their favorite Disneyland attraction from retiring. The loosely organized group, led in part by Orange resident Steve Iversen, is hoping to keep Billy Hill and the Hill Billies alive by writing letters and filling comment cards. See, after 21 years performing their Western-themed music comedy performance at the Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland, Billy Hill and The Hillbillies are scheduled to retire Jan. 6.

"[The show's] been there forever," Iversen said. "Everyone's grown up with it and every season they change the show so you never see the same show twice. The kids like it because of the music; the adults like it because of the comedy. There's a little something for everyone."

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Larry James Allred Gets 8 Years in Prison for Selling Phony Disney Pins as Prosecutor Fumes

A convicted rapist who cut a plea-bargain deal in March with an Orange County Superior Court judge overseeing a case about a scheme to import more than $200,000 in counterfeit Disney pins from China, was sentenced today to eight years in prison. Larry James Allred cut the deal with Judge Robert Fitzgerald over the objections of the prosecutor, who believes the Walnut 58-year-old could have gone up the Jungle Cruise river for 25 years if his conviction had been deemed a third strike.

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Bryan William Anast, Disneyland Machinist, Pleads Not Guilty to Sexual Assaults on 11 y.o. Girl Relative, Possessing Kiddie Porn: Update

See the update at the end of this post with the defendant's not guilty plea and Disneyland's response to the charges.

ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 24, 12:51 P.M.: Authorities are reaching out to the public in case there are other victims of a Disneyland machinist accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old female relative in Yosemite, Garden Grove and Stanton. Bryan William Anast, 45, of Corona, is currently being held on $1 million bail for an array of felony counts that could send him to state prison for 63 years to life and force him to register as a sex offender for life.

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Disneyland Lawsuit Plaintiff Sought Big Courthouse Payday But Got Peanuts

Categories: Court, Disney Dirt
handicapped lawsuit disney.jpg
A handicapped man and his wife entered Disneyland one day in November 2009 and were thrilled about riding the world-famous attractions.

But, according to a 2011 federal lawsuit, their joy "quickly gave way to embarrassment, frustration and humiliation," an experience that "turned into a painful, terrifying and life-threatening ordeal" for Jose R. Martinez, who is a quadriplegic confined to a motorized wheelchair.

The couple's Los Angeles-based lawyers claimed a "majority" of the rides were not legally accessible to Martinez and that the only one he could enjoy was "It's a Small World." 
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