There’s a reason that Disney has branded their amusement parks as “The Happiest Place on Earth.” It’s a place where children and adults alike can come and see their favorite Disney characters and movies come to life. While most trips to a Disney park go off without a hitch, leaving its guests with nothing but fond memories, sometimes, things don’t go as planned.There are a lot of moving parts and crazy people at Disney parks, so things are bound to go wrong at times. Whether it’s a monorail catching on fire or someone starting a fight on Christmas, these are the craziest things to ever happen at a Walt Disney theme park.
Smuggling Babies Onto Rides
At any amusement park, there are certain rides that are off-limits to children of a certain age and size, and for good reason. It’s not meant to discriminate, but for the safety of the park’s guests. However, some people don’t understand that and try to sneak their children onto rides anyway. In once case, a visitor tried to take a large bag with her onto the Space Mountain ride.
After refusing to open the bag when asked, park security arrived only to find a six-month-old baby inside of the bag. Apparently, the lady wasn’t going to let her newborn baby stop her from going on her favorite ride.
Dumbo Threw Up In Front Of Everyone
While working as a character at a Walt Disney theme park, the number one rule is that you may never take off your character head while on the clock. Standing outside in the heat while wearing that costume can result in a lot of suffering on the cast member’s part. On one particular occasion, a cast member wearing the Dumbo suit was overheating and felt that he was going to be sick.
So, instead of taking the head off, he threw up inside of the head, and the vomit began leaking out of the mesh where Dumbo’s eyes and ears should have been. All of this happened during a parade which didn’t stop until it reached its destination.
Fire On The Monorail
The monorail has always been appealing to guests. It looks straight out of the future and seems like a lot better option than walking. It also seemed incredibly safe, until 1985, when a monorail tire went flat and the friction caused the car to catch on fire. Around 240 people were on a total of six cars, and they all learned that climbing 30 feet down wasn’t an easy task.
Many passengers were forced to climb on top of the cars to avoid smoke inhalation or being burned. It didn’t take long for the fire department to come to the rescue with thankfully nobody being injured or killed.
A Deadly Situation With A Snake
According to CBS News, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, in 2016 something terrible happened involving a snake. While inside the park, a wild snake, not from any attractions, fell out of a tree and bit a young boy. Luckily, the snake was not venomous and the boy was just fine. Unfortunately, the boy’s grandmother saw the entire thing and went into cardiac arrest out of fright.
While the boy was treated with a bandage, the elderly woman passed away from the whole ordeal. The family sued Disney World although having a snake enter a theme park in Florida isn’t entirely unheard of.
Scattering Human Ashes At The Haunted Mansion
According to the LA Times, for years, people have attempted to smuggle a loved one’s ashes into Disney parks and scatter them near or around the Haunted Mansion attraction. This has become an increasing issue in both California’s Disneyland and Florida’s Disney World. While scattering ashes around the graveyard-like landscape is bad enough, what’s even worse is when people try to spread them inside of the building or on the actual ride.
What happens if you get caught? They ride is closed down while custodians come in to vacuum up the remains where they are more than likely thrown away. In this case, the risk definitely doesn’t seem to be worth the reward.
Tarzan Saved A Child From Drowning
In a memoir, Cast Member Confidential, author Chris Mitchell recalls one of the most amazing things he witnessed while working as a cast member for Disney. During a Magic Kingdom parade, a young boy accidentally fell into the lagoon by Tom Sawyer island. When the mother screamed in panic, numerous employees jumped in the water to help.
However, it was the cast member playing Tarzan who came to the rescue. After hearing the mother’s scream, he jumped off of the moving float into the water, emerging with the unharmed yet shaken child. He even stayed in character the whole time with his costume still intact.
The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular Has A Dark History
The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is a live show that incorporates scenes from the first three Indiana Jones films. Unbelievably, after the show’s 1989 debut, it proved to be as dangerous as it sounds. One performer fell after a support cable gave out, another fell 25 feet onto concrete, and finally, a third actor fell over 20 feet after a prop ladder gave away beneath him.
It wasn’t long before the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Disney for improper fall precautions. However, things really went wrong 20 years after the show’s debut when a performer died while performing a tumbling roll. Surprisingly, the show still goes on today.
The Cast Member Playing Pluto Met Their Demise During A Parade
In 2004, a 38-year-old cast member playing Pluto died at the Magic Kingdom during the Share a Dream Come True Parade. Apparently, the employee was run over by a Beauty and the Beast float in the backstage area where the accident couldn’t be seen by the public.
While it’s a good thing that no visitors, especially children, had to witness this horrific accident, it doesn’t take away from the tragedy of it. Of course, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration got involved and gave Disney some very large fines. Today, you’ll notice that the actors in the parade stand far to the side of the floats.
A Drunken Rampage At Epcot
Although most of the Disney parks offer alcohol for their guests, none of them encourage drinking as much as the Epcot. Visitors can even “drink around the world” at the Epcot’s World Showcase if they wish. However, one Naval graduate took his drinking to the extreme and decided it was a good idea to go the backstage, an area reserved for cast members.
He punched one employee in the face after being initially declined entrance and another when he commandeered an employee cargo cart. His reign of terror wasn’t over then either, he then hit a female worker in the face with a PVC pipe before being subdued.
A Horrible Accident On Splash Mountain
Before a ride departs, you will usually hear the ride operator remind you to “keep your hands and feet inside of the ride at all time.” They do this in order to try and keep you as safe as possible for the duration of the ride. Of course, some people don’t always listen, which is how people get hurt, or in this case, killed.
While riding on Splash Mountain, one passenger tried to exit the ride before it was over. He ended up falling off of the ride and down the drop after the raft behind him bumped his, something that often happens before the final drop.
Disney World During A Hurricane
In 2016, Hurricane Matthew blew through Florida and the effects could be felt at Disney World, somewhere that is usually safe from hurricanes. For the safety of the guests, the parks were closed down for days, disrupting family vacations while also preventing them from leaving. The park employees had to help people reschedule plane flights and hotel stays, all while entertaining the children and even the adults.
Disney sent the characters into on-property hotels to meet with the children, held Disney movie marathons, and even made all of the video games free at Disney Quest. At the end of it, being stuck at Disney World during a hurricane was described as one giant Disney-themed sleepover with strangers.
Health Issues Going Awry On Rides
If you have a pre-existing health condition, it’s important to take them into consideration before going on a ride. Especially one that may drastically increase your heart rate and really get your blood pumping. Many of the deaths on Disney rides aren’t due to mechanical failures or user-error, but instead pre-existing health conditions that are activated while on a ride.
For instance, one man died on the Dinosaur ride after his pacemaker gave out, and another on Expedition Everest due to another heart ailment. There’s a reason that Disney recommends that you hold off on the more intense rides if you have a withstanding health issue.
Disney World Helped A Woman Become An International Meme
When Jordan Alexander came to Disneyland, she was most excited for her favorite ride, Splash Mountain. However, at the last minute, her husband decided that he didn’t want to wait in line to ride on a floating log. Angered at her husband, she put on her angriest face on the final drop of the ride, right when you get your picture taken.
While everyone else on the ride looked like they were thrilled, Alexander couldn’t look any less impressed. It didn’t take long for the image to become a viral meme and spark a trend of people taking the most ridiculous pictures they could on Splash Mountain.
Flashing On Splash Mountain
While the pouting image of Jordan Alexander went viral, another fad that can’t really go viral is girls exposing themselves while getting their pictures taken on Splash Mountain. While this is most common at the Disneyland in California there have been instances at Disney World in Florida as well.
It has happened so many times that someone with a perverted mind went so far as to make a website of all of the pictures of women showing Disneyland attendees what they’ve got. Disney now hires people who sort through all of the photos and delete the inappropriate ones before they show up on the screens at the end of the ride.
Getting Handsy With Minnie Mouse
You don’t touch or grope people if they don’t want you too, the same goes for Disney characters. In 2009, 60-year-old John Moyer didn’t follow this philosophy and did something pretty weird when he came into contact with Minnie Mouse at Disney World. Instead of taking a picture with her and moving on like most people, he attempted to touch Minnie in an inappropriate fashion.
All Minnie could do was slightly push him away since she was still in character. Soon after, Moyer was arrested and convicted on misdemeanor battery. He was sentenced to six months probation and 50 hours of community service.
Starting A Brawl On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day 2015, a grouchy older man was was waiting for his food at Bongos Cuban Cafe when he felt that he had waited long enough. When he went to complain to the managers, they apologized and explained how they were particularly busy, considering that it was Christmas. The man went on to shove one of the managers and attempted to punch the general manager.
This started a scuffle in which the noise from things breaking were misinterpreted as gunshots by some other customers. This caused a panic, causing many people to run out of the restaurant. Once the man was finally thrown out, he was promptly arrested by the police.
When Fireworks Start An Actual Fire
The fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom can be the highlight of the day for guests at the park. However, in November 2014, the fireworks show became unforgettable for all the wrong reasons. The embers from the nightly fireworks show landed on the Seven Dwarf’s Train ride, catching it on fire.
Although the fire spread quickly and became fairly large, nobody was hurt and everyone that was on the ride got off safely. The local firefighters that responded to the call believed that the grass turf was to blame, as the fire never spread beyond the artificial grass area.
Don’t Mess With Tigger
According to CBS, in 2007, the Monaco family was visiting Disney World and decided to take a picture with Tigger. However, when the dad went to take the picture, it appears that his son and the character got into a little fight, which resulted in Tigger pushing although some say punching the son in the face. Although there’s no proof of what actually instigated the confrontation, the Monaco’s sued, claiming that it was a ‘sucker punch.”
Luckily for the cast member, the Monaco family couldn’t press charges since the Florida state attorney’s office claimed there was nothing to press charges over. Whether the actor was able to keep his job is unknown.
Disneyland Is The Home To Hundreds of Feral Cats
While you may not see them during the park’s open hours, Disneyland is the home to an estimated 200 feral cats. Since they are rarely ever seen and don’t cause any problems, Disney doesn’t mind them living there and they even make a point to take care of them. It’s a mutual benefit since the cats also help to keep mice out of the park, something nobody wants to see at a Disney park.
Disney also has a program to keep the cats spayed and neutered so that breeding doesn’t get out of control. If you look closely, you may also notice stations with water and food installed specifically for the felines.
Finding A Loaded Gun On The Dinosaur Ride
One time, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a grandmother and her grandson were riding on the Dinosaur movie-themed ride when the grandmother noticed something on the floor of her seat. When she reached down to pick it up, she realized that it was a fully loaded gun. No big deal, right?
The woman immediately gave the gun to a cast member who then called the police. They found the owner of the owner of the gun who had a concealed weapons permit . Apparently, the jolting of the ride caused it to slip out of his holster in his back pocket. Today, there are metal detectors to avoid this type of situation from ever happening again.