April Fools jokesters light up social media

One story prank had McKinley Beach turning into a home for another Disney Park and Resort.

Disney is headed for the shores of Okanagan Lake and the derelict Bargain! Bargain! Bargain! shop on Bernard Avenue is getting a sweaty new lease on life.

Or not.

In an attempt to get the jump on April Fool’s Day, at least two local businesses took to their social media accounts and offered yarns that sparked excitement and maybe even broke a couple hearts.

First to make it to the Kelowna Capital News Tuesday afternoon was a story that Kelowna’s The HotBox Yoga would take over the Bargain! Bargain! Bargain! shop.

The item got hundreds of shares and enthusiastic online outpourings by the time it prompted a call to the studio and got kiboshed.

Chris Bedford, co-owner of the shop, said they released the story March 31 as an April Fool’s joke to “catch everybody off guard.”

They were successful, according to the social media posts that followed, which if nothing else shows there’s some appetite to see something happen with the old Bargain shop.

As Bedford pointed out, “It’s a bit of an eyesore.”

The city’s urban development manager, Ryan Smith, was then contacted, and he said there have been some rumours about the future of the retail building, but nothing substantial enough that permit applications have been filed.

Meanwhile, on the waterfront, McKinley Beach made a post that burned across the Internet with nearly 3,000 likes, 1,500-plus comments and nearly 7,000 shares by press deadline, Tuesday.

It went as so: “BREAKING NEWS—While lot sales at Kelowna’s newest lakefront community, McKinley Beach, have been high, a recent offer from a well-known US Corporation is about to bring a new level of interest to the development,” read their Facebook post.

“As of yesterday afternoon, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, the international conglomerate owner of Disneyland and Disney World Parks, purchased the remainder of the McKinley Beach property. The intention behind the purchase of the remaining 900 acres of land is to bring Disney Park and Resort’s very first micro-park to Canada. While the park will feature popular Disney rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, and Space Mountain, the park’s planning committee is looking to add some ‘Canadian Flare’ to what will become Canada’s largest amusement park.”

The faux-press release went on to point out that the ‘Magical Kingdom of the North’ was nestled nearby the proposed ‘It’s a Small World’ exhibition and ride, in a release that read too good to be true.

That said, a call was required. Without even fully prefacing the reason for the call, the receptionist said “it’s a joke,” and that was that.

A good one, but a few sad faces are likely to line the comment section of the post.

As one writer pointed out in a cheerful or menacing manner, depending how it’s read: “This better not be an April fools joke!! You’ll have some disappointed Okanagan residents!!”