Home » Lack Of Care And Emphathy Shown By Disney Cast Members For Distraught Children

    Lack Of Care And Emphathy Shown By Disney Cast Members For Distraught Children

    It is sometimes the case that attractions have to stop mid-ride leaving guests in precarious positions. We understand this and expect if we or any of our family members were to be in this unfortunate position that we could rely on Disney Cast Members to be kind, caring and supportive if help was needed. This, however, certainly doesn’t appear to be the case for one family at Disney’s Magic Kingdom on July 24.

    One reader contacted us to let us know of their difficult and very traumatic experience. The guest and her four children aged 9, 7, 6 and 5 were trapped on Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom at the top of the vertical slop seconds before the drop. She told us that when the ride stopped that there was no announcement to the people on the ride explaining what was happening so after 10 minutes and hearing that people in the queue were being asked to leave she surmised that the ride was down.

    Splash Mountain, Disney
    Image: Disney

    She described the awful experience saying, “My 5 year old was shaking uncontrollably and crying in fear as I held him. My 6 year old daughter was crying from fear and I couldn’t hold her because I’m trapped in the back of the log. My 7 year old son was having a full blown panic attack and triggered an asthma attack. He was screaming he didn’t want to die and scream to call 911. I couldn’t reach him up hold him and I felt helpless. Still no cast members helped and we sat trapped for 20 minutes begging my young child to calm down and that they were safe. Security and cast members were outside the ride hearing my frantic call to my mom and sister and still no cast members helped.”

    When eventually they did get off Splash Mountain the mother told us that, “I spent over two hours consoling my children who were begging to go home. I was furious at all cast members I spoke with because all they offered was a fastpass. Not one cast member cared about the trauma my young child lived through due to their negligence to help trapped guests. I’m utterly disgusted with cast members lack of empathy towards my children and my helplessness as a mother.”

    The family made the decision to get off the ride due to the distress of the children and the Cast members and security blamed them for getting out and not waiting for their help.  A manager in guest services could only say that they were safe and in no danger and dismissed the emotional trauma that was caused to their very young children.

    Splash Mountain, Disney
    Image: Disney

    The account of this experience is very shocking and is certainly not what you would expect from Disney Cast Members. The offer of a FastPass seemed to enrage the lady even more and didn’t go anywhere to compensate for the distressing ordeal. We know first hand how kind and caring cast members can be, so to hear the lack of care and empathy this family were given at a very upsetting and traumatic time and the impact it then had on the rest of their day and vacation is truly disappointing.

    We understand that for most people on Splash Mountain when it stopped mid-ride that the 20-minute wait was probably uneventful and had little impact on the rest of their day. As the manager in guest services said they were safe but for this family they feel completely failed by Cast Members as their obvious distress and panic was dismissed when no one tried to help. The mother was understandably distraught when her son started having an asthma attack and couldn’t get to him to help. When she asked “what would have been done if my son lost consciousness?, they said they would have called paramedics.” which was at least somewhat reassuring but overall this traumatic situation should have been dealt with in a very different way for this unfortunate family. With the necessary human kindness, care, empathy and reassurance from the Disney Cast Members, the outcome of this very distressing situation could have been very different.  

    Disney Cast Members, Disney
    Image: Disney

    We hope the Cast Members in question are retrained so they are able to support other guests with more empathy and kindness in their day to day interactions. It is even more imperative that they know how to react if a difficult situation such as a similar ride break down was to occur so no one has to go through the same ordeal as this family did.

    Have you experienced incidents of unkindness or lack of care from Cast Members while at Walt Disney World? Let us know by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.