Fact Check: Disney Did NOT Buy Jeffrey Epstein's Island -- Joke Website Originated Claim

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Disney Did NOT Buy Jeffrey Epstein's Island -- Joke Website Originated Claim Satire Site

Did the Walt Disney Company buy Jeffrey Epstein's island? No, that's not true: The social media post showed the website that made the claim, which is a site that clearly states they are "the world's best satire and parody site." They explain that their stories are made up, stating, "We write fake stories about Disney Parks stuff."

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Facebook on April 10, 2024. It opened:

I will no longer support anything about Disney

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-04-16 at 11.15.55 AM.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Apr 16 18:50:16 2024 UTC)

The post shows what appears to be a screenshot of a Google search of the keywords, "walt disney buys island," and then this text:

The Walt Disney company officially buys Epstein Island. They plan to build a new theme park there as well as make it a stop for their cruise ships. In fact, Disney purchased the island for a whopping $3 billion. According to official statements, 'Jeffery's Island is the perfect place to put up a new theme park. March 8, 2024.

There is a URL for "Mousetrapnews.com" in the screenshot. This is a link to the article on Mouse Trap News titled "The Walt Disney Company Buys Epstein Island" (archived here).

The end of the article clearly states that the story is fiction with links to all the site's social media accounts, which all state it is "100% fake":

To stay up to date on more very real Disney news like this totally made-up story, be sure to follow Mouse Trap News on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

A Google search of the keywords "walt disney buys island" did not return anything to substantiate the claim but did show references to the Mouse Trap News made-up article (archived here).

The About section for Mouse Trap News (archived here) clearly states it is a satire website:

What is Mouse Trap News?
Mouse Trap News is the world's best satire and parody site. 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.

Mouse Trap News was created on a whim to have some fun and write stories about Disney we wish were true.

Lead Stories' policy is to fact check satires only "if it seems there are enough people believing it is real," when satirical content is misrepresented as real or when satirical content is republished without disclaimers.

In April 2024, USA Today and Snopes debunked the same claim about Disney buying Jeffrey Epstein's island.
Other Lead Stories fact checks about Jeffrey Epstein can be found here and about Disney can be found here.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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