The shocking video quickly garnered headlines and went viral. A furious man stalked the Happiest Place on Earth, looking for fellow guests to assault. Only later did we learn that the women that he struck in the face were family members.
Sometimes, the intensity of Disney theme parks cause ordinary people to lose their minds for a time. And some folks are just plain crazy to start. Here are six of the most horrible things people have done at Disney.
Tigger punches a kid
Fourteen-year-old boys are the worst. I say that as a former 14-year-old boy. At that age, we’re a bubbling concoction of hormones and immaturity. Unable to control our emotions, we lash out at anything and everything, desperately trying to get attention from anybody.
I mention this as I discuss an unforgettable Disney incident wherein a cast member in a Tigger costume punched a boy. This controversial moment transpired during a family photograph with a laughing mother and her three children. We’ll never know exactly what the boy did or said, but video clearly shows Tigger’s left paw suddenly throwing a hook at a 14-year-old’s face.
The video of the punch is somewhat debatable. It’s possible that Tigger was just being funny, but it’s a pretty solid punch for a joke. It certainly hints at the fact that a smart aleck said something offensive to a tired, irritable cast member, who lost their mind for an instant and threw a (half-hearted) punch.
The family of the child maintained his innocence throughout the situation. Since the mother was close enough to hear the conversation, she would know if her son was in the wrong. For its part, Disney immediately suspended the combative Tigger.
Tigger’s done much worse
There’s no way to sugarcoat this next story. All I’ll say before launching into it is that the person faced legal charges over the event. Then, a jury acquitted the individual, who maintained their innocence all along.
Keeping that in mind, a 13-year-old girl once accused Tigger of groping her breasts. The allegation also proclaimed that the costumed cast member grabbed her mother’s breasts as well. According to the story, Tigger used the character interaction as an excuse to rub his filthy paws all over unwilling women.
Yes, despite the legal ruling, Tigger’s groping allegedly wasn’t a one-time thing. In the wake of the original molestation story going national, many other women came forward that it had happened to them as well. The two most frequently listed offenders were Tigger and Donald Duck. These incidents happened more than a decade ago and forced Disney to alter their costumed character policies.
A hockey player got the Taser
Some stories are bizarre inasmuch as horrible. For example, the Ottawa Senators selected a hockey prospect named Darren Kramer with the 156th selection of the 2011 NHL Draft. They couldn’t possibly have known what a weirdo he’d be, though.
While a member of the Manitoba Moose, a minor league team, Kramer and some friends visited Walt Disney World. During their time, they got drunk and went bowling at Splitsville. One of them thought it would be hysterical to steal some of the bowling pins and flags from a trophy case.
Understandably, cast members were not amused. They contacted the cops and let them know that large, inebriated hockey members were causing a scene. When the cops showed up, Kramer tried to draw attention away from his friend by claiming that they’d won the bowling pins in a contest. As far as drunken lies go, it wasn’t the best effort.
The cops really just wanted the men to return the stolen goods, go home, and sleep it off. However, Kramer escalated the situation and got into a fight with the cop. The NHL prospect wound up Tasered and arrested. He spent the rest of the night in a different kind of penalty box.
Epcot faced a hostage crisis
We’ve all had bad breakups, but an Orlando man took things way too far in 1992. Dumped by his girlfriend, he went to extreme measures to try to get her back. And the situation ended in tragedy.
The individual approached Epcot officials 90 minutes after the park closed. These officers noticed that the man had bandaged arms indicative of a suicide attempt. Fearing that he was somewhere between depressed and deranged, they tried to talk to him.
At this point, the park guest revealed a 12-gauge shotgun and proceeded to take a potshot at a cop. The person avoided injury and retreated to safety. However, two other security guards were unable to retreat in time. The assailant took them hostage for 10 minutes at a bathroom near what was then the Journey into Imagination! attraction.
Eventually, the police surrounded the building and demanded the release of the hostages. The frenzied man acquiesced and then walked outside. At this point, he shouted that the officers would have to kill him. Otherwise, he’d shoot at someone else. The police did their job here, refusing to allow a suicide by cop situation. Tragically, the forlorn man shot himself instead.
To the credit of everyone involved, the emergency response team administered first aid. By this point, the man’s psyche was so damaged that he refused the help. He died during the helicopter ride to the hospital.
Thankfully, the only Disney employees that the man encountered were well-trained security officials. Had he taken different hostages, the situation could have ended even more tragically.
A Family Gets into a Fist Fight
One of the most recent examples of horrible behavior is the one I referenced at the start. Someone recorded a video of a family coming to blows at Toontown. It started with hair-pulling and yelling, the kind that you’d see during an average episode of Maury.
Then, the situation devolved. A man went from defending his girlfriend against his family to, well, punching her in the face. The assailant first pulled his sister by the hair, dragging her down to the ground. His mortified brother-in-law attempted to intercede as children watched in confusion and terror.
Eventually, the attacker punched two different women in the face multiple times as park guests waited for Disney officials to break up the fight. It did seem to go on an eternity, although the incident really lasted just a few minutes.
The shock of the situation caused the family brawl to become a viral story. The video got linked on every major social media site repeatedly. And a fair question that many asked is why the person recording the video simply watched rather than calling for help or trying to break up the fight. This black eye for Disney will live on YouTube for many years to come.
A guest punched a cast member
Sadly, I must preface this one. I’m speaking of a specific instance during 2019. The reality is that some nutjob takes a swing at a Disney employee on a fairly regular basis. It’s far from an isolated incident, to be sure.
This particular punch is memorable for other reasons. A woman attempted to use a FastPass for Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. There was just one problem. She didn’t have an active FastPass. The person went a little mad at this news, lashing out at the person operating the FastPass kiosk at the time.
According to published reports, the park guest then started punching random buttons on the ride. Yes, you read that right. The person jeopardized the lives of literally everyone riding Tower of Terror at that moment because she felt wronged over a FastPass issue. When the cast member tried to shut down that nonsense, the woman threw a punch.
Guess who’s banned for life from Disney and facing charges now?
FastPass for a different time. The woman remained belligerent and only fled the scene once she realized that she was about to get arrested. To the cast member’s credit, the individual chose not to press charges for assault, which strikes me as incredibly generous, all things considered.The strangest part of the entire situation was the cast member’s behavior. Rather than lashing out in anger, the employee actually attempted to find the person a
To a larger point, working at Disney can be dangerous. Stories of guests punching cast memories are almost as old as Disneyland. Many cast members I know can recount instances wherein park guests got physical with them, which just blows my mind. Disney cast members are the nicest people on the planet, and they’re always trying to help. Who takes a swing at one of them?