On 11 January 2023, the Disney fan website Mouse Trap News published an article titled MrBeast Will Rent Out Disney World for Epic New Video. In it, the publication wrote, “For example, MrBeast rented out an NFL stadium for a giant game of hide and seek and gave away $1,000,000! Now, [he] will rent out Disney World for his next big video,” in turn sending the internet into a nostalgia-induced craze over whether the claims were true or not.
Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, is an American YouTuber who’s been credited with pioneering a now incredibly popular genre of videos that centres on expensive and seemingly charitable stunts. From asking randomers to keep their hand on a jet plane for as long as they can and eventually gifting it to the one person who managed to do this the longest to offering someone $100,000 if they swim with sharks for one of his videos, MrBeast’s trademark is pretty straightforward: social experiments backed up with insane amounts of money.
And it clearly works too, with the 24-year-old content creator accumulating 127 million subscribers on his main channel and over 208 million combined. Understandably, it then came as no surprise that netizens believed the rumour concerning MrBeast renting out the entirety of Disney World for a new video he was working on.
Unfortunately for those of you who were already thinking about ways to somehow make your way into the YouTuber’s upcoming video, it’s since been debunked by fact-checking site Snopes that Mouse Trap News only publishes satire on Disney happenings, making this story nothing more than fake news.
“We write fake stories about Disney Parks stuff. From Disney Park announcements to Disney Hotel and resort news to made-up Disney partnerships, you can be assured that anything you read here is not true, real, or accurate, but it is fun. So technically our slogan ‘The Moused Trusted Name in Disney News’ isn’t true, but we thought it was creative and funny, so we are running with it,” reads Mouse Trap News’ about page.
Looking at the satire site’s TikTok account, it’s not hard to guess why so many people fell into the MrBeast trap in the first place. With over 93,000 followers and 4.7 million likes to its name on the app, Mouse Trap News is clearly in the know when it comes to tricking internet-obsessed gen Zers.
Among the other rumours it started, which quickly went viral on the video-sharing app, were the claims that a Polar Express-themed roller coaster was coming to Disney World, that the US attraction park would be lowering its drinking age from 21 to 18—something that is clearly impossible since it’s illegal in the country—and even that the birds seen walking around the park were confirmed to be not real. Spoiler: don’t get too close to them, they’re very much the real deal.
Now that you’re in on the internet’s best-kept secret, let me share with you my favourite TikTok Mouse Trap News tried to make us believe: