Incidents at Walt Disney World
This is a list of notable incidents that have taken place at Walt Disney World in Florida. Several people have died or been injured while riding attractions at Walt Disney World theme parks. Since 2001, Disney has been required to report incidents to state authorities. For example, from the first quarter of 2005 to the first quarter of 2006, Disney reported four deaths and nineteen injuries at its Florida parks.
The term incident refers to major injury, injuries, deaths, and significant crimes. While these incidents are required to be reported to regulatory authorities for investigation, attraction-related incidents usually fall into one of the following categories:
- Negligence on the part of the park, either by ride operator or maintenance.
- Caused by negligence on the part of the guest. This can be refusal to follow specific ride safety instructions, or deliberate intent to break park rules.
- The result of a guest's known or unknown health issues.
- Act of God or a generic accident (e.g. slipping and falling) that is not a direct result of an action on anyone's part.
- 1 Transportation system
- 2 Blizzard Beach
- 3 Disney's Animal Kingdom
- 4 Disney's Hollywood Studios
- 5 Disney Springs
- 6 Epcot
- 7 Magic Kingdom
- 7.1 Astro Orbiter
- 7.2 Backstage
- 7.3 It's a Small World
- 7.4 Main Street
- 7.5 Pirates of the Caribbean
- 7.6 Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- 7.7 Skyway
- 7.8 Space Mountain
- 7.9 Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- 7.10 Splash Mountain
- 7.11 The Haunted Mansion
- 7.12 Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe
- 7.13 Other incidents involving guests
- 8 Typhoon Lagoon
- 9 Characters
- 10 Resort hotels
- 11 Walt Disney World Speedway
- 12 References
- On June 12, 1982, a one-year-old girl from Muscatine, Iowa, was killed when she fell from a tram in a parking lot.
- On March 23, 2010, a Disney transportation bus rear-ended a private charter bus near the entrance to the Epcot parking lot. Seven guests aboard the Disney bus received minor injuries, while the bus driver was reported to have received critical injuries.
- On April 1, 2010, an eight-year-old boy was crushed to death by a Disney transportation bus at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground while he was riding his bicycle with an 11-year-old friend. A report from the Florida Highway Patrol says that the victim appeared to turn his bike into the road and ran into the side of the bus, subsequently being dragged under the bus's right-rear tire. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. A preliminary report stated that the bus driver, who has 30 years' experience with Disney, was not impaired or driving recklessly and that charges probably would not be filed, pending a full investigation of the incident. In October 2010, Disney World was sued for $15,106 by the boy's mother.
- On December 26, 2010, a 69-year-old man died after stepping in front of a moving Disney transportation bus in the parking lot of Disney's Port Orleans Resort.
- On February 12, 1974, a monorail train crashed into the train ahead. One driver and two passengers were injured.
- On June 26, 1985, a fire engulfed the rear car of the six-car Mark IV Silver monorail train in transit from the Epcot station to the Transportation and Ticket Center. This fire pre-dated onboard fire detection systems, emergency exits and evacuation planning. Passengers in the car kicked out side windows and climbed around the side of the train to reach the roof, where they were subsequently rescued by the Reedy Creek Fire Department. Seven passengers were hospitalized for smoke inhalation or other minor injuries. The fire department later determined that the fire started when a flat tire was dragged across the concrete beam and ignited by the frictional heat.
- On August 30, 1991, a monorail train collided with a diesel maintenance work tractor near the Contemporary Resort as the tractor drove closely in front of the train to film it for a commercial. Two employees were treated at a hospital for injuries.
- On August 12, 1996, an electrical fire occurred on a train pulling into the Magic Kingdom station. The driver and the five passengers on board exited safely. Two bus drivers who witnessed the fire and assisted were overcome by smoke and treated at a nearby hospital.
- On July 5, 2009, during a failed track switchover from the Epcot line onto the Magic Kingdom express line, Monorail Pink backed into Monorail Purple at the Transportation & Ticket Center station, killing the 21-year-old pilot, Austin Wuennenberg, of Monorail Purple. One employee and six guests who were also on the trains were treated at the scene and released. OSHA and park officials inspected the monorail line and the monorail reopened on July 6, 2009, after new sensors and operating procedures were put in place. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board showed no mechanical problems with the trains or track but did find that the track used in the switchover was not in its proper place for the track transition. The NTSB also noted that Purple's pilot attempted to reverse his train when he saw that there was going to be a collision. Disney placed three monorail employees on paid administrative leave as a result of the incident. On October 31, 2011, the NTSB issued its findings on this incident, citing the probable cause as the shop panel operator's failure to properly align the switch beam before the monorail train was directed to reverse through it. As a result of this incident, riding in the cab is no longer allowed.
- On July 13, 2014, due to a power failure possibly caused by a lightning strike, the monorail system was temporarily disabled. Most trains were restarted and returned to stations safely. Disney cast members were unable to restart the Gold Monorail, which had been heading toward Epcot when it broke down. Reedy Creek emergency personnel successfully evacuated 120 people from that train. Fire officials confirmed that the malfunction was weather-related.
- On October 10, 2015, a mechanical failure stranded guests aboard a monorail traveling between the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Contemporary Resort. Firefighters were able to rescue all the passengers about two hours after their arrival. No injuries were reported, although a number of the riders reported on social media that they had been stranded for hours.
- On November 18, 2015, Monorail Coral was being towed by a tug for an unknown reason, possibly under a test for a new automated system. The monorail separated from the tug, then crashed into it, causing damage to the body of the monorail and shattering the windshield. All monorail lines were shut down after the accident.
- On March 16, 2007, a 51-year-old man from Pulaski, Mississippi, collapsed near the Downhill Double Dipper water slide. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the local hospital. An autopsy showed that the victim died due to a heart attack. His family has said that he had an early-stage existing heart condition.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
- On January 28, 2016, an Orlando-area attorney announced that he had been retained by a family involved in a biting incident at the park. According to the attorney, in October 2014, a snake fell out of a tree onto a group of guests in a public area of the theme park. The animal bit an eight-year-old boy that it landed on, causing the boy's grandmother to suffer cardiac arrest and die two days later. The attorney claimed that the snake had escaped from the park's facilities, but Disney officials, while acknowledging the biting incident, stated that the snake was not part of their collection and was wild. They further stated that the snake involved was non-venomous, and that a park nurse treated the bite with an adhesive bandage and the family continued its visit afterwards.
- On April 30, 2005, a 30-year-old man from Mooresville, Indiana, lost consciousness shortly after exiting the ride and died from a heart attack moments later. An investigation showed the ride was operating correctly and was not the cause of his death; he had an artificial pacemaker.
- On May 29, 2013, a woman found a loaded pistol in a Dinosaur ride vehicle. The gun was reported to the ride attendant, who in turn reported the incident to authorities. The owner of the gun stated that he was unaware of Disney's policy against weapons and had a concealed weapons permit.
- On December 18, 2007, a 44-year-old man from Navarre, Florida, lost consciousness while riding the coaster. He was given CPR on the ride's loading platform and was later pronounced dead at the hospital. An autopsy by the Orange County medical examiner's office concluded that the victim died of dilated cardiomyopathy and that the death was considered natural.
Kali River Rapids
- On May 29, 2007, five guests and one cast member were injured when an emergency exit platform malfunctioned. The guests were exiting a Kali River Rapids raft during a ride stoppage triggered by a monitoring sensor. The raft was on a steep incline and the emergency exit platform was designed to allow guests to easily access the emergency stairs from the incline. After an investigation determined that the platform "disengaged and slid", it was removed and an alternate evacuation procedure was adopted. The six people were taken to local hospitals for minor injuries and were later released.
- On November 27, 2007, a 63-year-old employee died from a brain injury sustained four days earlier when she was hit by a ride vehicle after falling from a restricted area of the ride platform. On May 23, 2008, OSHA fined Walt Disney World US$25,500 and charged the company with five safety violations. The fines were: $15,000 for three serious violations; $7,500 for still missing a handrail that had been reported; and $3,000 for not responding to OSHA requests within the requested time period.
- On March 13, 2011, a 52-year-old employee sustained head injuries while working on the ride and was airlifted to a local hospital, where he later died. The ride was undergoing maintenance and was closed to the public at the time of the incident.
Festival of the Lion King
- On March 21, 2016, a small electrical fire originating from beneath one of the puppet floats broke out during a performance of Festival of the Lion King. The fire was quickly extinguished and no one was hurt in the incident. The show resumed performances the next day.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
- In September 2016, a 67-year-old man from Tennessee died after riding Star Tours. The rider had a pre-existing heart condition along with other contributing factors. The incident was described as part of a quarterly report filed with the Florida Department of Agriculture, which oversees the safety of the state's amusement parks.
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
- On June 29, 2006, a 12-year-old boy visiting from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was found to be unresponsive after the ride came to an end. Though his father administered CPR until paramedics arrived, he was declared dead on the way to the hospital. The ride was shut down for the investigation and reopened a day later after inspectors determined that the ride was operating normally. The victim had died as a result of a congenital heart defect.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- On July 12, 2005, a 16-year-old girl from Kibworth, Leicestershire, United Kingdom, complained of a severe headache and other symptoms after riding the Tower of Terror. She was taken to an Orlando hospital in critical condition, where she underwent surgery for intracranial bleeding. On August 6, 2005, she returned to the United Kingdom via air ambulance. While she had reportedly ridden the attraction several times during her visit with no ill effects, she had been in pain for a few days prior to the incident. She had a massive stroke leading to cardiac arrest. After an examination by both Disney and state inspectors showed no ride malfunction, the ride was reopened the next day. The girl returned home safely after spending six months in the hospital due to two heart attacks and surgery. On February 13, 2009, the victim's family sued Disney for negligence in the ride design, failing to adequately warn riders, and not providing proper safety restraints. They were seeking at least US$15,000.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
A number of incidents involving the show's performers have occurred since the live-action show's premiere in 1989. In 1990, OSHA fined the resort $1,000 after three performers were injured in three separate incidents.
- In one incident, a performer fell 30 feet when a restraining cable failed.
- In another, a performer fell 25 feet when a prop ladder collapsed unexpectedly.
- A third performer was pinned by a malfunctioning trap door. At the time, OSHA cited Disney for failing to provide adequate fall protection, including padding and other equipment.
- Later, while rehearsing a new, safer routine, another performer fell 25 feet onto concrete.
- In a rehearsal on August 17, 2009, 30-year-old performer Anislav Varbanov died after injuring his head while performing a tumbling roll. Performances for the next day were canceled out of respect for Varbanov.
Toy Story Midway Mania!
- In October 2014, a 54-year-old woman lost consciousness on the ride and died. The death was not believed to be related to the ride.
- On April 22, 2010, a 61-year-old woman from Celebration, Florida, suffered a collapsed lung, fractured ribs, and back pain due to a boating accident near the Treehouse Villas. The rented Sea Raycer that her husband was driving collided with a Disney ferryboat. The Orange County Sheriff's report states that the Sea Raycer crossed into the ferry's right-of-way.
Other incidents involving guests
- On December 25, 2015, a fight broke out at Bongo's Cuban Cafe between a 70-year-old male guest and the restaurant staff. The guest claimed that he was tired of waiting for his food. He argued with the restaurant's general manager and threw a punch but missed. Another employee jumped in to try to stop the confrontation. The guest was escorted out of the restaurant after he grabbed a worker's bicep, which left a mark. At some point during the fight, a series of loud sounds were mistaken as gunfire, causing patrons to panic and rush to the exits. Police found no evidence of shots being fired. The man was arrested shortly after in front of a Starbucks with no weapons in his possession and was charged with battery.
- On May 16, 1995, a four-year-old girl with a known heart condition passed out during a ride on the Body Wars attraction in the Wonders of Life pavilion. The ride was stopped immediately and paramedics took her to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy was inconclusive as to whether the ride had aggravated her condition.
- From June 2005 to June 2006, paramedics treated 194 Mission: Space riders. The most common complaints were dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Of those 194 guests: 25 people passed out, 26 suffered difficulty breathing and 16 reported chest pains or irregular heartbeats. In May 2006, Disney altered the ride by offering an alternate, less-intense ride experience that did not include the centrifuge. Statistics reported to the state of Florida since then have shown a decrease in the number of health complaints filed by riders.
- On June 13, 2005, a 4-year-old boy from Sellersville, Pennsylvania, died after riding Mission: Space. An autopsy by the Orange County Medical Examiner's Office, released on November 15, 2005, found that the boy died as a result of an existing, undiagnosed idiopathic heart condition called myocardial hypertrophy. On June 12, 2006, a lawsuit was filed against Disney by his parents, claiming that Disney should have never allowed a 4-year-old child on the ride and didn't offer an adequate medical response after he collapsed. On January 11, 2007, the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice.
- On April 12, 2006, a 49-year-old woman from Schmitten, Germany, fell ill after riding Mission: Space and died at Celebration Hospital in nearby Celebration, Florida. An autopsy determined that she died from a brain hemorrhage caused by longstanding and severe high blood pressure; there was no evidence of trauma attributable to the ride.
- On November 21, 1984, a husband and wife along with their 1-year-old daughter were killed and two other children were injured when the single-engine plane they were flying in crashed while attempting an emergency landing in the Epcot parking lot. The Piper aircraft was approaching an empty section of the parking lot when it clipped a light pole, shearing off the right wing, and crashed into several parked cars. The family was flying from Greer, South Carolina to Kissimmee, Florida for a vacation at Disney World.
- On January 14, 1986, the bodies of a 33-year-old man and a woman were discovered floating in a retention pond after they drove their car down an embankment and into the water during a heavy rainstorm several days earlier. Authorities speculate that the two attempted to escape from the vehicle through the driver's side window as it sank into the six-feet deep water. The vehicle's lights and windshield wipers were found in the "on" position, leading authorities to believe that the driver lost visibility during a rainstorm, jumped a curb and slid down an embankment into the pond.
- On August 14, 1999, a 5-year-old boy was seriously injured after exiting a ride car at Spaceship Earth. He was treated for an open compound fracture at the Orlando Regional Medical Center.
Other incidents involving guests
- On September 12, 1992, Allan Ferris, a 37-year-old man, entered Epcot after park closing and brandished a shotgun at three security guards, demanding to see his ex-girlfriend who worked at the park. He fired four blasts at the guards and took two of them hostage in a restroom near the Journey Into Imagination pavilion. As Orange County sheriff's deputies surrounded the area, Ferris released his hostages and emerged from the restroom with the shotgun held to his chest. After exchanging words with deputies, he put the gun to his head and fired. Ferris was pronounced dead on arrival at the Orlando Regional Medical Center. Investigators attributed his actions to a recent breakup with his long-time girlfriend.
- In July 2012, Dario Napolitano, a 41-year-old doctor from Naples, Italy, was arrested after allegedly kicking his three-year-old son in the face. According to arrest reports, several witnesses saw him kick his son while he sat in his stroller during an argument with his wife and children. An Epcot employee then "went up to the child and saw that his face was bloody and the child was crying hysterically". Napolitano refused to let his son be taken to a hospital because he did not think the boy's injuries required further attention. Detectives noted that the boy's left eye was swollen and bruised with a cut below it. Napolitano was eventually freed on a $2,000 bond after being arrested and charged with child abuse. Once back to Italy Napolitano gave the media his own version of the story. He said that the incident occurred on June 30, 2012. He kicked his nine-year-old son's butt after the boy overturned the stroller in which his little brother was seated. The toddler fell on his face and was therefore bleeding. One of the tourists, seeing the little child bleeding, called the police. The whole family was taken to a room and kept there for four hours; a young Italian woman on the premises, working for Disney, served as an emergency interpreter for the two parents; the man was then arrested and left in a police car for six hours before ending up jailed .
- In October 2013, Austin DeVan Hill, a 23-year-old graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy from Pensacola, Florida, was charged with aggravated battery and two counts of battery after he assaulted three cast members during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Hill, who was intoxicated at the time of the incident, assaulted a female employee with a plastic pipe, and punched two male employees in the head. One male cast member received a large gash to his head and the other suffered minor injuries. The female was struck with the pipe on her left cheek and neck and was left with swelling behind her ears. The men were treated at nearby Celebration Hospital, while the female employee was treated on the scene. Hill had entered the backstage office area in the Innoventions East attraction and tried to commandeer a cargo work cart when the confrontation began. Security officers arrived and tried to subdue him. He continued to shout incoherent statements and eventually fled the officers. They were able to eventually force him to the ground. When police arrived, Hill had blood on his knees, wrists and hands. He later paid his bond at Orange County Jail.
- On October 9, 2011, a fire broke out in the centerpiece of the attraction structure. Authorities reported that the fire was caused by a light bulb that shorted out and started to smolder. The incident occurred shortly after the park had opened for the day, and no guests were aboard the ride when the fire was discovered. The attraction re-opened the following day.
- On February 11, 2004, a 38-year-old employee dressed as Pluto died at the Magic Kingdom when he was run over by the Beauty and the Beast float in the Share a Dream Come True Parade. The employee had worked at the park for 8 years. Disney representatives commented that no incident of these circumstances had ever happened before to a cast member and that no guests had seen the incident. This led OSHA to fine Disney US $6,300 for having employees in restricted areas.
It's a Small World
- On August 18, 1994, a 6-year-old girl from Miami, Florida, fell out of one of the ride's boats while it was in the loading area. Orange County authorities believe she was then struck by an incoming boat. The girl suffered a broken hip, a broken arm and a collapsed lung, but was expected to recover fully. The ride was closed for an inspection and re-opened the following day.
- On December 25, 2014, a 22-year-old woman lost consciousness after riding the attraction. She later died. The young woman had a pre-existing condition.
- On August 11, 1977, a 4-year-old boy from Dolton, Illinois, drowned in the moat surrounding Cinderella Castle. The family sued Disney for US$4 million and won; however, the jury found the plaintiffs 50% liable for allowing the boy to climb over a fence while playing and reduced the settlement amount to US$2.0 million.
Pirates of the Caribbean
- In February 2005, a 77-year-old woman from Minnesota lost consciousness and died after riding the Pirates of the Caribbean. A medical examiner's report said the victim was in poor health and she had had several ministrokes. The report concluded that her death "was not unexpected."
- On August 6, 2009, a 47-year-old employee playing the role of a pirate in the "Captain Jack's Pirate Tutorial" show slipped on a puddle on the stage and hit his head on a wall. He was taken to Florida Hospital Orlando with injuries including a broken vertebra in his neck and severe lacerations on his head that required 55 stitches. He died August 10 due to complications.
- On July 10, 2014, a 12-year-old boy from the United Kingdom was hospitalized after losing the tips of his ring and pinky fingers on his right hand while riding the Pirates of the Caribbean. The guest had his hand outside of the ride vehicle at the time of the incident. The ride was shut down briefly for inspection and later reopened after it was deemed safe.
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- On December 12, 2010, a 77-year-old woman with pre-existing conditions collapsed after exiting. She later died due to the incident.
- On May 23, 1982, a 20-year-old worker was standing near the ledge of the Fantasyland station when the Skyway started up; she grabbed onto a gondola and traveled 100 feet (30 m) before a cast member stopped the ride. A few visiting sailors climbed onto the roof of a nearby building, but couldn't reach her. She fell 15 feet (5 m) to the roof, slid off, and dropped another 20 feet (6 m) to the ground; she injured her back but survived.
- On February 14, 1999, a 65-year-old part-time custodian was killed when he fell off a gondola. He was cleaning the Fantasyland Skyway station platform when the ride was accidentally turned on by employees unaware he was there. He was in the path of the ride vehicles and grabbed a passing gondola in an attempt to save himself. He lost his grip, fell 40 feet (12 m), and landed in a flower bed near the Dumbo ride. He was dead on arrival at a local hospital. The Skyway ride, which had been scheduled to be closed before the accident occurred, was permanently closed on November 10, 1999. As a result of the accident, OSHA fined Walt Disney World US$4,500 for violating federal safety codes in that work area.
The incident echoed a similar incident at Disneyland Resort in 1994, when a 30-year-old man fell 20 feet out of a Skyway cabin and subsequently tried to sue Disney. In that case, however, the man later admitted that he had in fact jumped out of the ride, and the case was dismissed.
- On August 12, 1980, a 10-year-old girl from Caracas, Venezuela became ill while riding Space Mountain. She later died of a pre-existing heart condition from a lack of oxygen.
- In 1998, a 37-year-old man was hit on the head by a falling object. His left arm was paralyzed, and he suffered from short-term memory loss (losing his job in the process). Two objects were discovered at the bottom floor of Space Mountain: a camera and a candle from Frontierland.
- On August 1, 2006, a 7-year-old boy fainted after riding Space Mountain and was taken to Celebration Hospital where he died of natural causes. The victim was a terminal cancer patient visiting the Magic Kingdom as a part of the Give Kids the World program. The medical examiner's report showed that he died of natural causes due to a metastatic pulmonary blastoma tumor.
- On December 7, 2006, a 73-year-old man lost consciousness while riding Space Mountain. He was transported to a hospital and died three days later. The medical examiner found that the man died of natural causes due to a heart condition.
- On July 7, 2015, a 55-year-old woman from Kingsport, Tennessee died of cardiopulmonary arrest and septic shock after losing consciousness while on the ride. According to the medical examiner, her medical history showed a history of hypertension and congestive heart failure.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- On November 1, 2014, falling embers from Wishes fireworks show landed on the artificial grass exterior of the ride, causing a fire near the bridge that the coaster travels on just before entering the mine. This caused the ride and the area around it to be evacuated. There were no injuries reported and the ride reopened later that evening.
- On November 5, 2000, a 37-year-old man from St. Petersburg, Florida, was critically injured while trying to exit the ride vehicle while it was moving. He told fellow passengers that he felt ill and attempted to reach one of the attraction's marked emergency exits. He was struck by the following ride vehicle and died at a local hospital.
The Haunted Mansion
- On October 19, 1991, a 15-year-old girl from Sarasota, Florida, was critically injured after she fell onto the tracks of the ride. According to witnesses, she was jumping from car to car and fell onto the track, where she was dragged under a moving car for at least 50 feet before the ride stopped. She was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center where she underwent emergency surgery for head and facial injuries.
- In February 2007, an 89-year-old woman fell and broke her hip while exiting a ride vehicle.
Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe
- In March 2010, a 4-year-old boy from San Diego, California, suffered severe burns to his face and neck after being scalded by a cup of hot nacho cheese. The accident occurred when the boy sat down to dinner in an unstable chair and grabbed a food tray to prevent himself falling, resulting in the cheese falling off of the food tray and into his lap. The parents of the child sued Disney, with their attorney claiming that "the cheese should not have been that hot" and that Disney made no effort "to regulate and monitor the temperature of the nacho cheese which was being served to young children." A Disney representative commented on the incident: "It's unfortunate when any child is injured. We just received notice of the lawsuit and are currently reviewing it."
Other incidents involving guests
- On April 6, 1982, a 2-year-old girl from Sunrise, Florida, died after being injured outside a park restaurant. She was standing in line with her family outside the Coral Isle Coffee Shop when she and her 12-year-old sister were playing with a rope tied to a large menu board. Suddenly, the girls pulled on the rope and the board fell on top of the toddler, killing her. She was pronounced dead on arrival at Orange Vista Hospital.
- On May 20, 2007, five guests from Shirley, New York, ages 14 to 20 years old, were arrested for allegedly attacking a sheriff's deputy. They were accused of spitting on and harassing other guests and were detained by Disney security near Space Mountain. They were charged with resisting arrest with physical violence and battery on a uniformed law enforcement officer. An Orange County Deputy officer stated that the suspects punched him in the face.
- On May 29, 2007, a 34-year-old woman from Clermont, Florida was attacked by a 51-year-old park guest from Anniston, Alabama as they waited in line at the Mad Tea Party attraction. Disney security interviewed witnesses on the day of the attack but Orange County police did not take any sworn statements. The victim stated that the sworn statements were not taken due to a delay in the arrival of the deputies. On July 17, 2007, an arrest warrant was issued for the alleged attacker. The victim claims that due to the incident, she has been diagnosed with a concussion and a herniated disc in her cervical spine and suffers from post-traumatic seizures. The case went to trial on April 14, 2008. The attacker was convicted on charges of battery and sentenced to 90 days in jail and nine months probation and will have to take an anger management course. After the trial, the victim's lawyer stated that his client intended to sue Disney to force them to address their security issues. On May 9, 2008, the victim and her husband filed two separate lawsuits against Disney. Her lawsuit claims, among other things, that: Walt Disney World provided inadequate staff and security at the ride; there was a lack of adequate training to recognize security threats, that the park did not anticipate the attack and have the attacker removed before anything happened and that the following investigation was mishandled. His lawsuit against Disney is claiming the loss of his wife's support and companionship due to the attack.
- On August 4, 2005, a 12-year-old girl from Newport News, Virginia, felt ill while using the wave pool. Lifeguards talked with her after noticing her sitting on the side of the pool; she said she felt fine, but passed out shortly thereafter. Though lifeguards performed CPR on her until paramedics arrived, she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the local hospital. The autopsy showed that she died due to arrhythmia caused by an early-stage viral heart infection.
Other incidents involving guests
- On July 3, 2009, a 51-year-old man from Farmington, New York, was charged with lewd and lascivious molestation after allegedly attempting to remove swimsuits from five teenage girls while all were in the wave pool. Disney security was notified and they called for Orange County deputies.
- On July 10, 2009, a 51-year-old Connecticut man was charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition after he allegedly fondled himself in front of a teenage girl near the park's wave pool. One eyewitness, a visitor who worked with paroled sex-offenders in Missouri, confronted the man who then fled the scene. As he attempted to leave the parking lot, he ran into a stop sign and was stopped by an Orange County deputy and detained on charges of driving with a suspended license. The man denied the lewd conduct charges, claiming his European-style swimsuit was too small. This was the fifth sexual-related reported incident to occur at a Central Florida water park in 2009; the other parks aside from Typhoon Lagoon were Blizzard Beach, Aquatica, and Wet 'n Wild. The charges were dropped in August 2009 after prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence in the case.
- On July 16, 2009, a 29-year-old man from Washington was arrested and charged with one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of a 13-year-old boy. He was sentenced to 24 months in state prison.
- On July 3, 2016, a 27-year-old Indian national was arrested and charged with four counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child over 12 years old but under the age of 16, and two counts of battery on accusations of groping six people in the wave pool. The man was released on bond a few days later.
- In 2005, Walt Disney World reported 773 injuries to OSHA for employees portraying one of 270 different characters at the parks.
- Of those injuries listed, 282 (roughly 36%) were related to costuming issues, such as costume weight affecting the head, neck, or shoulders.
- 49 injuries (6%) were specifically due to the costume head.
- 107 injuries (14%) were caused by park guests' interactions with the characters, where the guest hit, pushed, or otherwise hurt (intentionally or not) the costumed employee.
- Other items in the report include skin rashes, bruises, sprains, or heat-related issues.
- One change that Disney made to assist character performers was to change rules limiting the overall costume weight to be no more than 25% of the performer's body weight.
- Of those injuries listed, 282 (roughly 36%) were related to costuming issues, such as costume weight affecting the head, neck, or shoulders.
- A 27-year-old woman from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, filed a lawsuit in August 2010 against the Disney corporation, claiming that the Donald Duck character groped her during a photo and autograph session in May 2008 while she and her family were visiting Epcot. The lawsuit is for US$200,000 in damages to compensate the alleged victim for negligence, battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress and intentional and reckless infliction of emotional distress. The woman claims to suffer from severe physical injury, emotional anguish and distress, acute anxiety, headaches, nightmares and flashbacks, and other emotional and physical ailments. Part of the lawsuit's basis is a report from the Orange County Sheriff's Office that alleged similar acts by costumed characters have been reported to them 24 times since 2004. The woman did not file a complaint at the time of the incident. In 2011 Disney settled the lawsuit with the claimant for an undisclosed amount.
- In September 2004, a Disney employee who had been accused of a different act was suspended for allegedly shoving two Kodak employees while he was dressed as Goofy at Animal Kingdom on August 29, 2004. The two photographers believed that Goofy was a different employee who was joking around until they were relaxing backstage and saw it was not their friend. The cast member's attorney stated that the two photographers shoved back as part of routine horseplay among employees meant to entertain. The sheriff's office was considering misdemeanor charges. During the investigation, two Animal Kingdom employees came forward saying the cast member had touched their breasts. The lawyer claimed that the cast member was merely looking at their lanyards containing lapel trading pins.
- On June 7, 2009, a 60-year-old man from Cressona, Pennsylvania, allegedly touched the cast member dressed as Minnie Mouse while he was visiting the Magic Kingdom. The case went to trial on August 11, 2009. The victim claims that the man allegedly groped her in the photo. The man pleaded guilty to the incident. He was convicted of charges of misdemeanor battery, and was sentenced 180 days of probation and 570 hours of community service.
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- In April 2004, a 36-year-old Disney employee was arrested for allegedly fondling a 13-year-old girl and her mother while he was dressed as Tigger during a photo opportunity at the Magic Kingdom in February 2004. He was charged with one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child between 12 and 15 years old and one count of simple battery. The case went to trial, during which the defense produced the Tigger costume itself to demonstrate the difficulties of maneuvering the costume's oversize gloves and the limited line of sight of the actor in the costume. The jury deliberated less than one hour before acquitting the employee of all charges. The employee returned to work at Disney.
- On January 5, 2007, a 14-year-old boy from Greenville, New Hampshire was allegedly punched in the head by a Disney employee dressed as Tigger during a photo opportunity at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The family felt that the act was deliberate and filed a police report of battery against the cast member from Kissimmee, Florida. The cast member was suspended pending the results of the investigation. In the cast member's statement to the sheriff's office, he claimed that he was acting in self-defense as the child was pulling on the back of the costume and causing him to lose his breath. A lawyer for the employee accused in the 2004 case against Tigger released his own opinion on the situation. He believed the child instigated the situation and that cast member's movements were an involuntary reaction to pain. The lawyer was not representing the accused cast member at the time of this statement. On February 15, 2007, the State Attorney General's office announced that no charges would be filed against the cast member.
Disney's Art of Animation Resort
- On July 14, 2015, a three-year-old child was found at the bottom of a resort pool after becoming separated from his parents. Officials with the Orange County Sheriff's Office reported the child was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.
Disney's BoardWalk Inn
- On June 29, 2000, a waiter and a child were held hostage by the child's father in a hotel room over domestic issues. During the hostage situation, other guests were evacuated and given alternative accommodations in the resort. The man released the hostages and handed himself over to authorities in the early hours of June 30, 2000.
Disney's Contemporary Resort
- On March 22, 2016, a death occurred at Disney's Contemporary Resort. The monorail's service was temporarily suspended while Orange County Sheriff's Office investigated. Investigators announced that they believe that the person took their own life. According to multiple sources, the person jumped to their death inside the central A-frame tower.
Disney's Fort Wilderness
- On August 22, 1980, an 11-year-old boy from New York City died after swimming in the River Country water park next to the campground. The cause of death was amoebic meningoencephalitis, traces of which were found in the water.
- On April 16, 1982, a 36-year-old woman from Little Silver, New Jersey, collapsed and died while walking away from the Water Flume ride in the River Country.
- On August 9, 1982, a 14-year-old boy from Erie, North Dakota, drowned at the River Country. He was pulled from the water at the River Country Cove about five minutes after the youth slid down a 60-foot slide into five feet of water. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
- On October 10, 1986, a 8-year-old boy was attacked by an alligator when he and his siblings were wandering near the lake's edge while watching ducks.
- On May 23, 1987, a six-year-old boy drowned in a swimming pool. The family later sued, stating that resort should have had more than one lifeguard on duty to monitor the crowded pool, and that the pool should have had a safety line between the shallow and deep ends.
- On July 10, 1989, a 13-year-old boy from Longwood, Florida, drowned at the River Country. He was swimming with eight classmates and two counselors. 15 minutes later, another swimmer felt the youth under his feet in about 5 feet of water and dragged him out. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Sand Lake Hospital.
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- On October 9, 1989, a 33-year-old woman from Glen Cove, New York, was killed when a tiny speedboat collided with a ferry boat. She and her 8-year-old son were broadsided by the ferry while trying to videotape friends and family members who were water skiing in the Seven Seas Lagoon. A crew member and a visitor on the ferry dove into the water and rescued her son. The boy was not hurt in the accident. The family sued Disney for $240 million, claiming that the ferry's operators should have seen the speedboat before it came so close.
- On June 14, 2016, a two-year-old boy from Elkhorn, Nebraska, was splashing around in the shallows of the Seven Seas Lagoon at 9:15 PM and was attacked by an alligator after he and his family went to a movie night on the beach. The boy's body was found intact at approximately 1:45 PM the following afternoon, in the vicinity of where he went missing; he was found 12 to 15 yards (11 to 14 m) from the shore in about 6 feet (1.8 m) of water. The medical examiner ruled that the child died of "drowning and traumatic injuries." Reuters reported that the resort would put up signs warning guests about alligators. Since the incident, Disney has removed several references to alligators and crocodiles from various attractions throughout Disney World.
Disney's Pop Century Resort
- On March 10, 2013, a 13-year-old boy from Springfield, Missouri, died after drowning in the resort swimming pool. He was swimming in the Hippy Dippy pool with a group of children including his younger brother and a cousin around 9:30 PM when the incident occurred. There were no lifeguards on duty at the pool beyond 8 PM, but it remained open for use. He was pulled from the water by his father and another guest at the hotel, who attempted to revive him by performing CPR. The boy died at the Florida Hospital Celebration Health three days later.
- On July 3, 2016, a seven-year-old boy claimed that he was groped by a youth baseball coach from Wisconsin in one of the resort's pools. The coach was arrested and charged with four counts of lewd and lascivious molestation.
Doubletree Guest Suites
- On June 13, 2010, a dead body was discovered at the hotel. The manner of death was originally unknown, but was later declared a suicide.
Walt Disney World Speedway
- On April 12, 2015, a 36-year-old driving instructor was fatally injured after a crash during a run as part of the Exotic Driving Experience. The instructor was riding in the passenger seat of a Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera, when the driver lost control and crashed into a metal guardrail. Florida Highway Patrol investigated and announced that, while the decision to run vehicles clockwise (instead of counter-clockwise as the track was designed for) may have been a factor in the incident, it was an accident and no charges were filed against the driver since it was on private property.
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