Orlando, FL.-  BUSTED! That’s how I am going to start this story. Another scum bag off the streets for now. But for one family from Philly, I bet they wish it was a little sooner. And from looking into the case, unfortunately, this criminal has a hard time learning.  

It all started from an online ad. According to the criminal complaint, the couple responded to the ad for Greater Orlando discounts. They then arranged to meet a man calling himself ‘Mike’ at Disney Springs. The couple gave “Mike” more than $1,200 for nine tickets to Universal.  But when the family tried to enter Universal Orlando using the tickets, they were told they were not valid.

If you ever wonder what someone looks like who would take money from families vacationing, Take a good hard look at this scumbag. Stephen Dionne, 33. Stephen has a history of selling people fake theme park tickets.  He feels that your hard earned money should be his. He gets hands on some tickets that can only be activated at Publix, when they are bought, (that sounds like another criminal case) and these had never been activated.

Osceola County had a similar case against Dionne, in which he allegedly sold fake park hopper tickets on Craigslist.

So, how did the cops get their hands on Mr.Dionne this time, simple, and that couple from Philly were gonna help make sure they got full revenge.  

The Setup

Being out a huge chunk of cash may have played into the motivation of why they did it, or maybe they didn’t what this to happen to any other family. But whatever the reason, they acted on it. 

We all know criminals aren’t that smart, so they tried something right out of a TV show, they called him back! Yep, the guy they knew as “Mike” answered their call, and when they enquired about grabbing a few more of those awesome Universal Orlando tickets he was more than happy to meet them again. Only this time the Sheriff’s Office had Deputies waiting. And the guy who showed up was Dionne. 


How can you make sure your tickets are real

Well, unfortunately finding “deals” on legitimate theme park tickets can be difficult. So here are some things I would tell you to look out for and check before making any costly mistakes. 

Theme park Website – This is a great place to start your search for discounted tickets. And yes the parks will sometimes have deals on multi-day passes. SeaWorld & Busch Gardens have some amazing ticket deals. And Universal is also offering some great park passes. 

Trusted resellers – Sites like Mousesavers and Undercover Tourist are two that pop into my head, I am sure there are others. But having a site that had reviews and contact info is a way safer route to go for savings than meeting a guy named “Mike” at Disney Springs. Just ask the couple from Philly. 

Be ready to pay- Let’s face it, sometimes you just gotta pay up. We have had this conversation over and over again about the top Florida Theme Parks, there are going to be times where you will just have to pay the asking admission. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get the most out of it. With great planning and the mindset of making memories over making it to all the rides, it will be worth every penny.  



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The Social Introvert

For over thirty years I have been exploring Theme Parks, Attractions, Local Establishments and Events around the Sunshine state. As a photographer, plant-based foodie, pop-culture lover, and tech geek I love to share my personal experiences, the latest industry news, and some tips through my articles and photographs.

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