Many different types of people enter the Disney parks, daily, anticipating a fun day at 'The Happiest Place On Earth." However, these workers have seen some interesting people and their crazy shenanigans, go down in Disney. Stories have been edited for clarity.
"I was working in the kitchen at Cinderella's castle when this family of four came in for their dinner.
About halfway through the dinner, the husband politely stood up and tapped his glass for attention. He announced that his wife of 15 years had been cheating on him for over a year. The entire place stood still in shock. He motioned for his kids, paid the waitress, and left the wife crying at the table."
"Back in the day, I used to work Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom. You would have your typical stuff to deal with - vomit, food, shoes falling off, etc. One day, we put a group of kids - one of which was admittedly too small to be on the ride, but we let him on because his bigger sister said she'd hold onto him. We got them in their seats, let them go, and got back to chatting.
When they finally came back, two of them were missing - the boy and his sister. So, naturally, we just completely lost it. We all let a kid too small get on the ride. We could lose our freaking jobs for that. We could go to prison for that. We shut down the ride, told everyone someone vomited all over the seats, and went looking for this kid and his sister.
We literally had to climb around Space Mountain looking for these two, using the carts as something to hold onto. A huge, huge pain in the butt, by the way.
When we finally see them, it's bad. The boy is facedown on the tracks, dead as far as we could tell. And his sister is leaning on a pole connecting to the tracks, looking completely shot and dejected. My two other employees and I literally just broke down and started crying for a solid 15 seconds or so, before the girl bursts out laughing and her apparently-not-dead little brother follows suit.
One of the most unbelievable experiences of my life. The worst part was we couldn't really tell anyone about it because we let a kid on that was too short. So they basically just messed around, climbed around on a roller coaster and got away with it. So incredibly dangerous. We were so lucky. To this day, none of us know how those kids got off the coaster. I mean, clearly, something malfunctioned - they shouldn't have been able to get out in the first place. But somehow those idiots managed to do it without killing themselves.
Mind-blowing and utterly horrifying."
"I work at Universal Studios. I work at the turnstiles, or the front entrance to the park, of all places. It. Sucks.
But this one time, I saw this kid, maybe 7, dressed in full Harry Potter garb, with the wand and everything, like $150 worth of Potter merch. So he went around casting 'spells' on people, basically just yelling random words and pointing his wand at people. Honestly, he seemed like a pretty cool little child, and everyone who saw him was playing along, playing dead or feigning some kind of response, making this kid's day.
Everyone, that is, until he came across this ultra-Christian lady, who after laying eyes on him, shielded her entire family from this child, not in a laughable or entertaining way, but as in she was seriously concerned that this kid could be some kind of wizard.
She went straight up to the dad and told him to 'control his child' and that the presence of witchcraft in his life would surely destroy his life, forever.
The man did not seem amused, and they began to yell at each other, causing us to separate the line, one of the Lead team members opened up a specific line to get the kid and his family through before the lady flipped her lid. But, of course, right before we got the dad across the line, into the park, the lady screamed something that I couldn't understand about Jesus, and the dad turned back, looked at her for like one second and just yelled: 'FORGET YOU PEOPLE!'
Instantly, security and the cops who we keep around for these issues come out and end up breaking a huge fight between this guy and what seems like maybe four or five ultra Christian people.
I don't know what happened to that lady, but I know that she at some point fell to the ground and busted her face...I didn't see it, but one of the janitors showed me her missing tooth."
"While working at Spaceship Earth (the 'giant golf ball' of Epcot) in the summer of 2005, the parks had an influx of Brazilian tour groups. Each group consisted of about 200 college-aged kids with matching shirts. Every one of them came into the park acting like they had won the World Cup. Spaceship Earth is the first attraction they go on, still chanting and yelling until they get to the boarding area, where we finally get them to shut up. We divide them into their 4-seater cars and hope they don't disturb the slow-moving, quiet ride for anyone else.
Five minutes pass and the ride comes to a shuddering halt as the Emergency Stop is activated. A loud beep emits from the loading console, signaling that one of the sensor mats, lining the entire length of the track, had been tripped. Another Cast Member and I run into the attraction to the Renaissance section. Lo and behold, there were the Brazilians. They were all sitting in their cars, attempting to look innocent, looking at us nervously. We ask them if anyone had jumped out of their cars. One girl understands us and begins to say something until one of her friends stops her by saying something in Portuguese. The girl suddenly forgets the question and stays quiet.
After failed attempts to get someone to confess, we run back to the loading platform, trying not to keep the other guests on the ride from waiting any longer than they have to. 7 minutes have elapsed since the ride stopped. We rack back into the ride and start it up again. Intrusion alarm goes off again. We run back up to the same area, tour group acts like nothing happened.
15 minutes have gone by now, so we have to evacuate the ride. I get the section of the tour group. I go back up to Renaissance. At least 5 of the tour group were out of their cars and posing with the audio-animatronics. Heck no. We raise our voices and motion to them to get back in their cars until we tell them to get out. The evac goes smoothly as we keep an eye on as much of the group as we can, and direct the entire group the exit, where our Duty Manager, 4 security guards, and an Orange County police officer were waiting for them.
Duty Manager proceeds to talk to the tour group leader, then addresses the group. All of them were to have their tickets taken away, taken out of the park, and banned from the property. She then repeats the spiel in Spanish and Portuguese and brings the entire group out. No one in the group says a thing. They arrived like they won the World Cup, they left like they were defeated."
"I was a lifeguard at the Contemporary Resort about a decade ago. It was a pretty small pool for Disney, but in the summer it was packed wall-to-wall with kids, and it seemed like every single one of them would play dead man's float so we had to constantly watch them see who was actually drowning. On average, we did about two rescues a day, mostly just pulling kids out who started struggling or if they started to pull other nearby kids under because their parents were off sipping tropical drinks. Occasionally, wasted adults would pass out, but they usually floated on their backs so we'd fish them out while staying dry.
One time, I was at a position where my back is to the jacuzzi (which we did not guard), I happened to take my eyes off my zone for a second because of a noise behind me, and there was this little girl, about 7 or 8, in there by herself. Signs are posted saying 'No Unattended Children,' so I called for another guard to watch my zone and then I knelt down and politely told her she wasn't allowed to use the 'hot water tub.' She ran off to her mom.
About 5 minutes later, this angry, heavyset woman was standing about a foot away from me, yelling in my ear that I kicked her daughter out of the pool. I apologized for not making eye contact, but I had to watch my zone, then explained that children cannot be unattended in the jacuzzi and that we don't guard that area, so it's not safe for her. She immediately turned red and started screaming (louder) that I had let 'that other child use it' and she pointed to a boy that looked about 16 (I was only 18 at the time). I said, 'Ma'am, I'm sorry but the rule is for children under 12 and we can't check everyone's ID so we have to use some discretion. If you'd please excuse me, I have to continue guarding this area pool.' The rationale actually had more to do with height and body weight than age, but rational arguments won't work with someone that angry anyway, so I didn't try.
I thought it was over, but, while standing right next to me, she turned to her daughter and said, 'Honey, you can go ahead and use that, and don't listen to him if he tells you to get out,' then she started to walk off.
I signaled for another guard to watch my zone again, then turned and said to her back, 'Ma'am, if you do that we will have no choice but to ask you to leave the property.' Technically a lifeguard doesn't have that authority, but they will back us up on that.
At 18 years old, you might legally be an adult, but you still feel like a kid, and it's hard not to instinctively defer to 'adults,' particularly where their kids are concerned. But dang...this woman was going to leave this little girl in a jacuzzi by herself while she got wasted on $8 daiquiris. At least it got her attention, but she turned back and I really thought she was about to slap me. But she just went on this tirade about how 'we paid our money here' and 'you're supposed to be watching our kids, that's what your paycheck is for,' etc.
The other three guards were getting overwhelmed, this was creating a scene, and I couldn't leave the area. So I called a Code 3 which alerts Control (WDW's security, they're constantly watching us and the pool on camera), and before she was finished with her rant, there was a uniformed guard standing next to her. Unfortunately, the Code 3 also means that the pool has to be cleared, so about 200 guests were lined up on the sides of the pool watching all this go down.
Two things I learned from that day:
People can be unbelievably bad parents when they go on vacation. I mean, you think you prepare yourself for just how horrible people can be, but this woman was completely indifferent to the fact that her kid was in a hot tub that has steam coming off of it in the summer and absolutely no one was watching her. She'd rather let it keep happening after she became aware of it just to make the point.
You do not mess with Control. This was a decade ago, so if this happened now, they probably would have already sent someone to intervene and had a full background check on the woman before she even raised her voice at me."
"My favorite story is when a random woman was dressed as Snow White in the parks, completely wasted, and pretending to be the character by signing autographs and taking pictures with people. She was taken out by the police, caused a huge scene, and resisted arrest. There's a photo hung up backstage in one of the parks of it.
People swaddling bottles of adult drinks like newborns and stowing them in the undercarriage of their strollers to smuggle them into the Magic Kingdom.
I was in the middle of a brewing international feud between a group of Brazilians and a group of Argentinians (you could tell by their tour company shirts). I was standing in the middle of the crowd, which was screaming back and forth and shoving each other. I was just merchandise at the time, so all I could do was keep innocent guests out of the way of the fight.
We had another fight break out between two American families. A fat woman in an electric scooter ran over a child's foot. The child was shrieking bloody murder so loud that I heard it from over 50 feet away, over the sound of the show going on, atmosphere sounds, and the regular din of guests. The families were screaming obscenities at each other. One father was getting in the face of the other father, and started to poke his chest and used wild hand motions that basically told everyone looking on that it was about to go down.
I've been shoved by a guest at a character meet and greet because they had to wait for ten extra minutes. I told her there was no way possible for me to expedite the line and the ten-minute gap was necessary (the gap was mandatory for the level of heat we had and we were required by law to have the gap for safety reasons). So she shoved me and told me to 'make it happen.'
I've had a group of Brazilian girls try to fight me because they were being rough with the characters and I demanded they stop. These were characters that couldn't really defend themselves.
A guy rubbed his chest and asked if he could 'strike a deal' with me so his kids could meet a character after I had closed the line. No means no, even if you're rubbing your chest.
Never really a dull moment."
"Grad night 2007: I was walking out of the Space Mountain breakroom and saw one of my guy friends at the then 'Honey, I shrunk the audience' attraction. He straight up looked like he was about to vomit and one of my other friends was laughing hysterically. Apparently, in the dark of the theater, some girl decided this would be a good time to go down on her boyfriend. Little did she know, about halfway through the show, one of the effects is this little tube that comes wiggling out of the seat to simulate mice running by your legs. This hit her in the throat, so she bit down, and he was bleeding pretty profusely. A grad night to remember!
Other crazy Space Mountain stories usually involved stupid people jumping in/out of moving cars/the track. The two I remember the most:
1- This guy was separated from his wife when she got into the first row because he wasn't paying attention and the gates closed before he could get in. Space Mountain has a very delicate time system and, generally, we don't have enough time to re-open gates. I was trying to shout across the track and tell him that we would pull his wife out so they could be re-joined, but I guess the CM checking lap bars asked and she said she didn't mind and didn't want to be pulled out. So he solved this problem (was he too scared to ride alone? Just a bully? I will always wonder...) by JUMPING ONTO THE TRACK LIKE AN IDIOT to chase after her car when the gates opened. My first time that I ever had to hit the emergency stop.
2- A rather tall man was sitting in the back row and looked really uncomfortable. I asked him if he was SURE he wanted to ride, as his legs were smashed against the seat in front of him and he assured me that he did. Next thing I know, I turned around to see him climbing down one of the flights of stairs leading up to the attraction. This idiot decided he wanted to get out, and because he was so tall, the lap-bar didn't go down so far as to lock him in the ride. It just boggles my mind that he decided to climb out in a pitch black area, where he has no idea where any stairways/walkways are, and just take his chances that he won't fall into a track and be crushed by a ride vehicle.
3- Someone had left an abandoned bag at the base of Space Mountain for more than 15 minutes, so we followed the normal security procedures and they brought a search-dog out to sniff it. When our Pluto came to check the bag, he sniffed it and then sat down, which signals there is something wrong with this bag. So we had to evacuate all of Tomorrowland, literally all of the attractions/stores/restaurants, and all the CMs were standing at all the entrances freaking out because now, of course, we were sure an illegal device was going to go off and we would all die. Turned out that the backpack was just forgotten, full of carne asada burritos, and Pluto sat down because he thought he was getting a treat."
"Former WDW Cast Member. I swear most of my crazy stories come from working there. Things I've seen:
-More than once, I've seen an adult drop trouser and take a dump next to a line of people, then walk off laughing.
-A mother climbed a tree and swung down in the middle of another family's meet and greet with Beast. She didn't want to wait in line.
-Three people in wheelchairs in the same tree at another time. I have no idea.
-A man tried to swim in Cinderella's moat during fireworks. I was guarding the ropes, I tackled him.
-Snow White was once thrown over the shoulder of a wasted man in EPCOT in an attempt to carry her away.
-A Brazilian tour group beat the heck out of Donald Duck.
-Nights Of Joy is the worst thing in the world. The park is open to Christian youth groups and has Christian rock bands perform. During these nights, extra staff is put on an extra security because there are terrible things happening around every corner. My managers were preparing us for it. They said if you see a bush rustle kids ARE doing some sketchy things, behind it. The bathrooms have to be checked every five minutes, and any ride that goes dark for more than three seconds will have randy teenagers whipping their junk out. Those nights...those terrifying nights."
"I worked at the Safari at the Animal Kingdom for a while and had a few non-guest related crazy things happen.
In February 2008, a truck caught on fire, flashing flames between the cab and the guest section of the truck. While not driving at the time, I helped dump just about all of Africa and joined a group of probably 35-40 Safari drivers repeating the same nonsense, over and over, to guests.
Later in my CP Program, I was driving through one of the elephant sections and saw an alligator hanging out in the water. No clue how it got there.
Guest related one, I was on my rare parade duty, which is quite stressful. The logistics of Animal Kingdom's parade are pretty bad, once the parade gets going, you're pretty much stuck where you are. One guy decided he really needed to get to the other side of the street. He was about to run out in front of a VERY heavy float that wouldn't be able to stop. I got to him just in time, kinda half tackled him until I could explain how he almost died."
"I used to be a Cast Member and would work evenings on the attraction Sounds Dangerous: Staring Drew Carey. Sadly, this attraction is now closed, but it was fun for me during my College Program. Most of the workers didn't like the gig because you had to get on stage and give a speech, and it was a 'one man show' kind of attraction, so you worked alone. For me, it was a chance to get a few hours to myself while working in the busy park (my other position was at the Indiana Jones: Epic Stunt Spectacular).
Anyone who is familiar with the attraction knows that there were eight minutes of complete darkness during the show so that they can play mind games with sounds (buzzing bees, knives whizzing past your head, etc.). What they didn't know is that I had a monitor in the back connected to a night vision camera so I could keep an eye out for children that got scared and I could help take them out.
Yeah, it was fun to watch the reaction of audience members when the sounds were happening, especially how everyone would squirm and scream when the elephant squirted water at them, but it was far more interesting to watch people who thought no one could see them.
There were a lot of people making out. I have heard some stories of people trying to sleep together (don't ask me how, but I'm pretty sure they were caught since the screen comes back on halfway through and then goes out again).
I never saw anything that extreme, but here is my wildest story. One time, as soon as the lights went out, I saw a guy straight up finger bang his girlfriend/wife. It was obvious that he had been on the attraction before because he had it timed perfectly so that no one knew what he was doing. He wasn't even caught when the lights suddenly came on, and he was back at it as soon as the lights went out again.
These kinds of things were not common occurrences, but it was funny to watch those people carry on as if nothing ever happened afterward."
"The craziest thing that ever happened to me personally is the time when I had to be out at Fastpass Distribution.
I was standing out there telling everyone that we are out of Fastpasses when this really large/overweight 8-year-old Asian kid rides up to me on a rascal scooter. He demands passes and when I tell him we are out, he demands to ride the ride. I tell him he can wait in line (120 min wait) and he gets really upset and runs his scooter into my leg, then rides away. I was so shocked and amused, I did not call security on him. Other than that, I have really enjoyed my time working at Disney!"
"I worked as custodial at The Grand Floridian for the first 8 months of my College Program. I had multiple people ask me where the best places to buy illegal substances are and various other issues, cast members included. That was the first time I was offered illegal substances.
There is a Harry Potter closet underneath the staircase in the lobby and you can hear everything people say around it. Well, once there was a MUCH older man skyping at the desk near the closet. From what I could gather, he was 'excited to go home and see his little girl get her license' and 'missed sleeping in bed with her, it gets lonely in a bed all alone.' It was unsettling.
People have also let their children relieve themselves EVERYWHERE. In line on the Norway ride, in the pool, on the floor in front of the sink IN THE BATHROOM.
On Friday, I let a guest stay at my place because her ex-boyfriend was scaring her and she was going home in the morning and didn't have a place to stay.
WDW is a crazy place."