When ESPN first announced that College GameDay would broadcast live from Magic Kingdom ahead of the Week 0 games (there aren’t many, but they include Miami-Florida in primetime from Orlando on ESPN), there was some disappointment.
That’s because in the process of giving GameDay their very own 90s sitcom-style corporate synergy Disney trip episode, some very vital GameDay traditions would be lost thanks to various park rules and regulations.
So, there are no signs allowed (and thefunny signshavelong been a reason for people to tune in, even if showing them sometimesdrawsbacklash), and saying fans “may catch a glimpse” of the broadcast (if they have a valid park ticket, which start at $109) but “there will be no special access for just College GameDay viewing” and “no designated access to ESPN commentators or the College GameDay set is planned at this time” sure makes it seem like there won’t be much of an opportunity for a crowd of fans to engage with the show in the way we usually see. That’s a shame, because the fans have long been critical to why this show has lasted and why it has worked.
Now, with the broadcast coming up this Saturday morning, ESPN released a clarification that Disney will indeed allow signs to be brought into the park to mark the occasion.
- Supporting the time-honored tradition of handheld signs during “College GameDay” broadcasts, we are making an exception for Guests to bring college football signs to Magic Kingdom Park on Aug. 24 only. Signs are only permitted in the broadcast viewing area until noon. After the broadcast, signs may be recycled in the park or returned to a vehicle or resort room.
- Signs must be handheld (no poles, sticks or extensions) and may not contain commercial, derogatory, vulgar or political content. Blank signs or dry erase boards will not be permitted. Signs may not exceed 3’ x 5’ in size. Guests bringing signs to the park will not be able to board the Epcot and Resort Monorail and will be screened at the Transportation and Ticket Center or the Magic Kingdom bus loop. Signs are subject to approval and may not be allowed.
- Valid theme park admission is required.
So that still doesn’t exactly sound like an easy thing to do, but if you really want to buy a Disney theme park ticket just to come to GameDay (and surely there will be plenty of people who do) you won’t have to base your decision around whether or not you’ll be able to bring in a sign. Obviously the humor is going to have to be Disney-appropriate, which could weed out quite a bit (especially if the screeners are subtext-aware) but there will presumably still be some signs.
It’s nice of Disney to allow this very slight concession to organic creativity from people they haven’t been able to buy out yet, which is a quickly dwindling population.