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The 10 Strangest Lawsuits Brought Against Disney Theme Parks

Mickey Mouse

Tens of millions of visitors head to Disney's theme parks every single year. Although the parks' operations typically run very smoothly, occasionally things will go wrong. And, inevitably, sometimes guests affected by mishaps will throw a lawsuit at the company. Some of these have real merit, and there have been some large payouts as a result. Others, though, are bordering on the ridiculous.

The most serious lawsuits again Disney generally attract extensive media coverage - and, frankly, are not something we'd cover on fun-loving Theme Park Tourist. However, after stumbling across an amusing story about one frivolous lawsuit, we thought it would be fun to hunt around a for a few others and share them with our readers.

Here's a look at 10 of the most amusing lawsuits brought against Disney by theme park visitors over the last few decades.

10. The Three Naughty Pigs

Three Little Pigs

Image © Disney

Disney's loveable characters would certainly never harm or assault a guest...would they? Well, one woman claimed otherwise in 1976. The woman, who weighed some 240 pounds, alleged that one of the Three Little Pigs had run up to her, grabbed her chest and begun shouting "Mommy! Mommy!".

Unfortunately for the allegedly distressed guest, her case didn't progress far. Disney quickly pointed out that the Three Little Pigs are unable to move their arms.

9. Feeling dizzy

Circle-Vision

David Koenig's excellent book Mouse Tales documents a huge number of lawsuits against Disneyland. One of these demonstrates the importance of Disney's nurses taking extensive notes after any incident, no matter how small. One guest claimed to have been made to feel dizzy by Disneyland's former Circarama theater, causing her to fall over a railing and strike her head. Similar theaters are still in place at Epcot's China and Canada pavilions.

Unfortunately for the guest, the nurse that she saw afterwards noted that the guest had said she had tripped over the railing trying to take a "shortcut". Oops.

8. The Tower of Terror fan

Tower of Terror Exterior (2)

In 2009, Disney was sued by Denise Mooty, a lady who rode the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror over 50 times a day. Every day. Mooty suffered from abdominal adhesions, and claimed that the frequent drops on the ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios helped to ease the pain.

Mooty was able to acquire a Guest Assistance Card, allowing her to cut to the front of the line. Eventually, a new manager instigated a limit on the number of rides she could take per day. Allegedly, she became angry at this, and was banned from the parks for abusing Cast Members - although she denied this.

7. The falling "brick"

Magic Kingdom

Any self-respecting Disney fan will know that Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom is not, in fact, made of stone. Instead, its shell is made of fiberglass. Evidently, one woman was unaware of this - she sued Disney claiming that a brick had fallen from the structure and struck her on the head.

Note: this one may be an urban legend. I'm yet to find a news story that verifies it - let me know if you do.

6. It's a Small World after all

It's a Small World

Image © Disney

The cheesy music from It's a Small World is legendary - and, indeed, many people would rather do almost anything other than listen to it on a permanent loop. Jose Martinez successfully sued Disney, winning $8000, after he was left trapped in one of the ride's boats for 40 minutes. The ride had broken down, and Cast Members were unable to remove Martinez (who is confined to a wheelchair) from the boat - with the judge ruling that inadequate assistance had been provided.

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There are 22 comments.

I worked in EPCOT at The Living Seas (now known as The Seas With Nemo and Friends). I can confirm that the story of the woman sueing over the hydrolators is true. They only moved down a foot. The case was closed very quickly.

I worked in EPCOT at The Living Seas (now known as The Seas With Nemo and Friends). I can confirm that the story of the woman sueing over the hydrolators is true. They only moved down a foot. The case was closed very quickly.

Pretty sure the brick one is true, too...I was a cast member back in the mid 90s, and my boyfriend at the time, who'd been a cast member for a few years before I started there, told me about that one, as well as the one at Epcot...

I don't see how the "Brick" one could be true, since the castle is made out of fiberglass. Always has been. And IF you really were a cast member, you, of all people, should know that a brick falling from the castle was and IS impossible. Yes, it might be true that there was some lady stupid enough to think that scam was going to work, but seriously?? You can't be that naive to believe half of these crack-pots stories. Even from a now former bf.

I believe what this former cast member was referring to as being true was the lawsuit, not the brick.

Well anyone can start a lawsuit over anything in this country.
It just runs the risk of being thrown out by the judge.
I don't doubt someone was stupid enough to try this.

April, she meant that the lawsuit was true. You just bashed her for nothing. Some people are so quick to be judgemental!

RUDE! No reason what so ever to be that harsh, especially when YOU are the one who misread the comment.

I worked at Disney during the Tigger incident and I was told by some of the managers that the person playing Tigger was a lawsuit waiting to happen because he was warned many times not to be so "handsy" with the female guests.

I work at Disney and was told the story of Denise Mooty personally by cast members that were there at the time. She most definitely DID verbally abuse them, and that's the reason she was removed from the park. It's one of those situations where kindness will get you everywhere, but rudeness and foul language will get you nowhere!

we were on "Its a small world "one year for approximately 40 minutes listening to that crazy music, Its fun for a few minutes but not 40, but we never thought of suing Disney for that, now if we had gotten hurt while on the ride, that would have been different. geesh I coulda had a trip to Disney for that 8 grand, lol

I was stuck for 10 minutes once and thought it was enough, I can't imagine 40 minutes.

we were on "Its a small world "one year for approximately 40 minutes listening to that crazy music, Its fun for a few minutes but not 40, but we never thought of suing Disney for that, now if we had gotten hurt while on the ride, that would have been different. geesh I coulda had a trip to Disney for that 8 grand, lol

There's much more to this case. The man in question in the wheelchair was inable to relieve himself and suffered the "humiliation" of soiling himself while on the ride. Mind you, everyone else was stuck too, and they were outta luck if they had to use the restroom. But because he was disabled, it was an access issue.

Actually, everyone else, except the man and his wife were evacuated. The man's boat was past the last point where the CM's could pull it backstage to evacuate the wheelchair.
The man "suffered" an "attack" of a condition related to being a parapallegic (I can't recall the name). It wasn't for soiling himself though.
Now, his wife, instead of calling for help when her husband was in distress, videotaped it. If they knew he was in distress 911 would have been called and he could have been evacuated quickly.
Here is one article from the time he filed the lawsuit 2 Years after the incident. (Google quadrapalegic man disneyland, the articles from 2011 are when he filed the lawsuit and the latimes one has the video his wife shot.)
He actually only got $4000, the other $4000 was a fine that went to the state, I believe.

the brick falling is true I was working that day and although did not personally handle the situation we all were discussing it for weeks and became a favorite story to tell new hires when we would be telling them the importance of being careful what they said or did because people love to sue Disney and any chance they think they have of doing so they will take.

As for the Three Little Pigs incident. Look at the picture provided. The pigs arms are certainly able to move in this pictures. Not sure if the costumes were the same at the time of the lawsuit.

The costumes in the photo are from later. The earlier ones the head was larger and the arms were fake.

I understand that, howevr it immediately undermines the perception of validity. Good writers realize things like that erode a readers faith in an outlets information. (Even for a blog with mostly click bait/buzzfeed style writing, TPT claims itself to be a news source and needs to worry about that). it's ridiculous to believe at one of the most photographed spots on earth, there isn't a single picture in existence to support the claim the pigs had immobile arms which could have been included. Yet because of that, I'm left questioning how well informed the rest of the article is purely because there's already evidence enough research hasn't been done.

I was tripped by a small child at Disneyland and broke my arm in two places. Several people asked me why I didn't sue Disney. It wasn't Disney's fault it was the mother of the little boy who wasn't watching him. As I was laying on the ground, unable to get up, the woman had the nerve to say, "Well she's not bleeding',gathered her family and left before the paramedics arrived.

What does the woman weighing 240lbs have to do with anything at all? What does it add to the article? It seems as though the author is insinuating that because the woman is obese it isn't possible that she was assaulted. Careless writing, tpt. Also, every time I see that lawsuit mentioned, it is with the accompanying photo-- which clearly shows movable arms. We've got to do better. Come on, y'all.

It's pretty clearly because she was suing for the alleged comments of pigs calling her mommy because of her weight and comparing her to a pig. Including the weight was completely relevant and, in fact, vital to the set up of the story.

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