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Friday, December 27, 2013

A Taste of the Social Web’s Turkey Legs

In this video posted to YouTube by Lisa Chen in May, a family shares a turkey leg at one of the Disney parks.

The web is studded with a perhaps surprising number of examples of Disney customers indulging in the massive drumsticks known as the Jumbo Turkey Leg â€" from otherwise mild-mannered seemingly nuclear families to all-female groups of carnivores to whole collections of Instagrams that depict man versus meat.

A screen grab from Statigram showing Instagram pictures of Disney turkey legs. A screen grab from Statigram showing Instagram pictures of Disney turkey legs.

As The Times’s Brooks Barnes writes, the turkey legs have been around since the 1980s. (David Jarrett, posting on the Unofficial Disney Turkey Leg Fan Club site in 2011, said that he first took the turkey leg to Magic Kingdom/Walt Disney World on Dec. 9, 1989. “I was the Frontierland/Adventureland/Liberty Square/King Stefan’s F&B Manager at the time and it was my idea to bring the legs to WDW,” he wrote on Nov. 11, 2012; F&B means food and beverage. “The food cart in front of Pecos Bill was the first location and the original spec size was 20-24 oz.”

But whatever its origins, the leg has become a part of Disney lore for many. For instance, Tonya Schadle posted on Instagram four months ago a nostalgic image of her son Skyler Harris eating one in 2000 at Magic Kingdom when he was a tyke: “Love him!!! ❤❤❤ He is still that sweet baby boy!!”

And yet, new converts are coming all the time. Someone who calls herself Piggy posted this message on Twitter on Friday:

Cathi Reed of Indiana reported that there was an hourlong line for turkey legs on Christmas Eve at Disney World.

The fever has spread beyond North America, with Shawn Acheson, who goes by the Twitter handle SHAWNofINDIA, reporting:

Fans celebrate such brand extensions:

Indeed, they demand more:

This lover of the leg recorded her 2011 encounter and, as she said, was so enraptured that she couldn’t turn off the camera: the clip is longer than 10 minutes. At one point she looked at the turkey leg next to her own and judged the two to be comparable in size.

“Be jealous,” she said, as she tore into the meat.