An organization calling themselves the Association of Victims of Recreational Improvements and Liabilities (AVRIL) has filed a lawsuit asking the Orlando federal court to enjoin Disney and Starbucks from opening a Starbucks in the historic Main Street Bakery location. The lawsuit cites three reasons for the injunction.
The first ground asserts that, contrary to Disney’s announcements, Starbucks has secret plans to remake the storefront to resemble its original store in Seattle. This, AVRIL claims, is an affront to the historic portrayal of Main Street that Walt Disney sought to create when he envisioned Walt Disney World.
AVRIL’s second ground asserts that “Starbucks unreasonably hot coffee creates the risk that innocent guests will receive third degree burns from having Starbucks coffee spilled on them during parades.” It is well known, the lawsuit claims, that when a Magic Kingdom parade begins, there will be a fight for positions along the Main Street parade route. It’s “inevitable” according to the complaint that “guests will be injured and will be forced to sue Disney and Starbucks for injuries caused by Starbucks hot coffee.”
Then there is the matter of Starbucks’ long-standing logo, which portrays a smiling mermaid. If the first two grounds bordered on the foolish, this ground gets downright unbelievable.
Depictions of mermaids, the lawsuit alleges, should be banned from the Magic Kingdom. The lawsuit asserts that sailors and pirates believed that mermaids would bewitch them into giving up their gold, dragging them to the bottom of the sea. It then claims that Starbucks’ logo shows that the secret motive for Starbucks and Disney joining forces is to bewitch guests into giving up their “gold.”
I contacted AVRIL’s lawyer, Paril Vailr, to ask why he thinks the group has standing to sue Disney and Starbucks. He explained that AVRIL’s members believe they should not have to reserve spots for parades so its members fear having Starbucks coffee thrown on them. Pressing my luck, I also asked that, if his client objected to the Starbucks’ mermaid logo, whether they were also seeking to force Disney to close the Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction in Fantasyland. “Are you kidding me”, he said, “AVRIL’s members love that ride.”
If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably realized the “AVRIL lawsuit” is an April Fools’ joke. But now that I have your attention, let me ask you to support Give Kids the World by getting Pete Werner to drink Starbucks “swill” from the Main Street Bakery when it opens (sometime in mid-May).
Anyone who has listened to (or watched) the Orlando DIS Unplugged podcast knows that while Pete says, “coffee is an important part of my life,” he intensely dislikes Starbucks coffee. On the November 14, 2012, podcast, Pete urged listeners to support an online petition against replacing the Main Street Bakery with a Starbucks, saying, “I’ll complain ’til the cows come home about crappy Disney coffee and the Main Street Bakery is home of crappy Disney coffee. But I’ll take that crappy Disney coffee at the Main Street Bakery any day over a cup of swill from Starbucks.”
But Pete loves Gives Kids the World more than he detests Starbucks coffee. It didn’t take much arm-twisting to get Pete to agree that, if we can raise a mere $1000 for Give Kids the World, he will drink a cup of Starbucks “swill” at the Main Street Bakery in the Magic Kingdom when the Starbucks opens. Frankly, I think Pete underestimates the generosity of Starbucks lovers. We can do better than $1,000. Let’s raise $5,000 and see what Pete is willing to do.
So please, Starbucks lovers unite, donate to Give Kids the World at the Power of Ten “FDE” First Giving page before May 15, 2013. (“FDE” is an abbreviation for a coffee “term” Pete has used.)