Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are American icons. There are six family vacation destinations to date — Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, and Disneyland Paris. Adults flock to the parks for a fun day with the kids, to be kids themselves for a while — and sometimes to get married in a fairy tale setting.
Disney parks might be where dreams come true, but that’s not that all happens there. Sometimes, Disney parks are where nightmares come true. Keep reading to discover the strange crimes that people have committed at Disney parks and decide for yourself if it’s really the happiest place on Earth.
1. A hostage situation
In September 1992, an incident took place at Disney’s Epcot theme park. A 37-year-old man entered the park after it closed, demanding to talk to his ex-girlfriend, according to the Orlando Sentinel. He was pointing a gun at Disney security guards when he made his demand. He fired off four shots at the guards and took two hostage in a restroom.
Sheriffs immediately responded and surrounded the restroom, and the man sent the hostages out. He followed them, holding the gun to his chest. He had a short conversation with the sheriffs and then shot himself in the head. He was rushed to the Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Next: A terrible temper display
2. Child abuse
A man was arrested at Epcot after allegedly kicking his 3-year-old son in the face, according to the Daily News. Several witnesses claimed they saw the 41-year-old doctor from Italy kick his son while he sat in his stroller — and that he had bloodied the child’s face. The father would not let Epcot employees take his son to the hospital. He was arrested and charged with child abuse. When he got back to Italy, he claimed he actually kicked his 9-year-old son for overturning his brother’s stroller. As if that’s a whole lot better.
Next: Crimes against the cast
3. Aggravated battery
A man was charged with aggravated battery after an incident at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival in October 2013, according to the Orlando Sentinel. It began at the Innoventions East attraction when the intoxicated 23-year-old U.S. Naval Academy graduate tried to take a cargo work cart for a spin. Security officers responded, and he fled. Next, he punched two employees in the head and assaulted another worker with a plastic pipe. All three cast members suffered minor injures, and the man was arrested.
Next: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror takedown
4. A pepper spray incident
In February 2012, a man got into a fight at Disneyland’s The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, according to CBSLosAngeles. A Disney employee doused the man with pepper spray, but he kept on fighting. Other guests stepped in to help subdue him until security arrived.
Next: A pack attack
5. A group attacks a sheriff
Disney security detained five guests ranging in age from 14 to 20 near Disneyland’s Space Mountain in May 2007. The kids were allegedly spitting on other guests and harassing them. When the police arrived, the group resisted arrest and got violent. One deputy said a suspect punched him in the face. The suspects were charged with “resisting arrest with physical violence and battery on a uniformed law enforcement officer,” according to the website AccuWeather.com.
Next: A very unpleasant fireworks display
6. Woman attacks student for blocking her view
In April 2017, a 41-year-old woman allegedly attacked a female high school student at Disneyland. Why? The woman said the student was blocking her view of the fireworks, reported KTLA5. According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the student was standing up to see the fireworks when the woman seated behind her asked her to sit down. The student and her friends started to leave when the woman grabbed her around the throat and threatened her. Although the student did not sustain injuries, she pressed charges, and the woman was arrested.
Next: Lewd and lascivious goings-on
7. Man molests teenagers
In July 2009, a 51-year-old man allegedly tried to remove five teenage girls’ swimsuits while they were in the wave pool at Disneyland. Security responded first, followed by Orange County deputies. The deputies charged the man with lewd and lascivious molestation, according to the website ViraLuck.
Next: Groping Minnie Mouse?
8. Man gropes Minnie
Yes, it’s true: In June 2009, a 60-year-old man allegedly groped Minnie Mouse at Disneyland. They were taking a photo together when the feel took place. The case actually went to trial, and the perpetrator pleaded guilty. He was convicted of misdemeanor battery, according to Daily Mail, and sentenced to probation and community service.
Read more: The Disney Park Secrets You Never Knew
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