This is a summary of notable incidents that have taken place at various Disney-owned theme parks, amusement parks, or waterparks. This list is not intended to be a comprehensive list of every such event, but only those that have a significant impact on the parks or park operations, or are otherwise significantly newsworthy.
The term incidents refers to major accidents, injuries, deaths, or significant crimes that occur at a Disney park. While these incidents were required to be reported to regulatory authorities for investigation, attraction-related incidents usually fall into one of the following categories:
- 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.
- Negligence on the part of the park, either by ride operator or maintenance.
- Act of God or a generic accident (e.g. slipping and falling), that is not a direct result of an action on anybody's part.
According to a 1985 Time magazine article, fewer than 100 lawsuits are filed against Disney each year for various incidents.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- On April 25, 2011, five riders were injured when a piece of the attraction's scenery fell onto a passing train. One rider, a 38-year-old man, was seriously injured and transported to a Paris hospital, while the other four were treated at the scene.
- On October 27, 2011, two cars derailed as one of the ride's trains passed slowly over a flat section of track. Two riders were slightly injured, and the ride was subsequently closed for inspections.
It's a Small World
- On October 6, 2010, a 53-year-old cleaner, subcontracted to Disney, became trapped underneath a boat on It's a Small World when the ride was inadvertently switched on while it was being cleaned. The man was taken to a hospital where he later died.
Walt Disney Studios Park
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
- On June 26, 2007, an unnamed 14-year-old girl lost consciousness on Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. Paramedics attempted to revive her, but she died before the ambulance arrived. A ride inspection showed no mechanical problems.
- Main article: Disneyland Resort
- As of December 2006, twelve guests and one employee have died inside the parks. A greater number of guests have been injured. While the California Department of Safety and Health (CDSH) has ruled that some incidents are Disney's fault, the majority of incidents were due to negligence on the guests' part.
- On May 2, 2008, a businessman leapt to his death from his 14th floor balcony at Disneyland Hotel. He was later identified as John Newman, Jr., a dentist from Santa Cruz, California. The hotel has been host to at least two other suicides. In 1994, a 75-year-old man jumped from the ninth floor and was declared dead at the scene. In 1996, a 23-year-old man committed suicide by jumping from the 14th floor. In 1998, a 23 year-old Walt Disney Co. employee jumped from the 14th floor and survived the fall.
- In April 2003, a 36-year old stage technician fell 60 feet from a catwalk in the Hyperion Theater, prompting an investigation by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA). The victim did not regain consciousness following the incident and died on May 18, 2003. In October 2003, Cal/OSHA fined the Disneyland Resort $18,350 for safety violations related to the crew member's death.
- On July 29, 2005, 25 guests were injured when one train crashed into another, with 15 guests being taken to local hospitals for treatment of minor injuries. An investigation showed that a faulty brake valve, installed a few days earlier by Disney (instead of by the ride manufacturer), was the cause.
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- On February 18, 2012, Glenn Horlacher, a 53-year-old man was arrested after being involved in an altercation with a Disney security guard. Onlookers believed the man to be drunk, however, no charges of drunk and disorderly were ever filed. The man was pepper sprayed. A park spokeswoman stated that the security guard was taken to an area hospital, where he was treated and released. The assailant was taken into custody by Anaheim police and released shortly thereafter.
- Main article: America Sings
- On July 8, 1974, cast member Deborah Gail Stone, 18, of Santa Ana, California was crushed to death between a revolving wall and a stationary platform inside the America Sings attraction. She was in the wrong place during a ride intermission; it was unclear whether this was due to inadequate training or a misstep. The attraction was subsequently refitted with breakaway walls.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Main article: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- On September 5, 2003, 22-year-old Marcelo Torres of nearby Gardena, California died after suffering injuries in a derailment of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster. The cause of the accident was determined to be improper maintenance and training of Disney cast members. Investigation reports and discovery by Torres' attorney confirmed Mr. Torres’s fatal injuries occurred when the first passenger car collided with the underside of the locomotive. The derailment was in part the result of a mechanical failure, which occurred as a result of, among other things, omissions during a maintenance procedure of at least two required actions, the left side upstop/guide wheel on the floating axle of the locomotive was not tightened in accordance with specifications; and a safety wire was not installed and/or completed the necessary maintenance required by said tagging system, all with knowledge of Disney management and personnel.
- On December 24, 1998, a heavy metal cleat fastened to the hull of the Sailing Ship Columbia tore loose, striking one cast member and two park guests. One of the guests, Luan Phi Dawson, 33, of Duvall, Washington, died of a head injury. The normal non-elastic hemp rope (designed to break easily) used to tie the boat off was improperly replaced for financial reasons by an elastic nylon rope which stretched and tore the cleat from the ship's wooden hull. Disney received much criticism for this incident due to its alleged policy of restricting outside medical personnel in the park to avoid frightening visitors, as well as for the fact that the Cast Member in charge of the ship at the time was not trained on the attraction. Due to this incident and the way it was handled, Disney reinstated lead foremen to many rides, and the Anaheim police began placing officers in the park to speed response. This accident resulted in the first guest death in Disneyland's history that was not attributable to any negligence on the part of the guest. California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health investigated the incident and found fault with the training of a park employee, who placed the docking line on the cleat even though the cleat was not intended to help brake the ship, but only hold it in place once it had already docked. Ride procedures call for the ship's captain to reverse the ship if it overshoots the dock and then re-approach the dock at the correct speed. Cal/OSHA fined Disneyland $12,500 for the error, while the theme park settled a lawsuit with the victim's survivors for $25,000,000, according to a Los Angeles Times estimate.
- Main article: Frontierland
- On May 6, 2001, 29 people suffered minor injuries when a tree in Frontierland fell over. It is believed that the tree was over 40 years old, and one of the park's original plantings.
Indiana Jones Adventure
- On June 25, 2000, 23-year-old Cristina Moreno of Barcelona, Spain exited the Indiana Jones ride complaining of a severe headache. She was hospitalized later that day where it was discovered that she had brain hemorrhaging. She died on September 1, 2000 of a brain aneurysm. Her family's subsequent wrongful death lawsuit against Disney stated that Moreno died due to "violent shaking and stresses imposed by the ride." In an interlocutory appeal (an appeal of a legal issue within the case prior to a decision on the case's merits), the California Supreme Court held that amusement parks are considered "common carriers" similar to commercially operated planes, trains, elevators, and ski lifts. This ruling imposes a heightened duty of care on amusement parks and requires them to provide the same degree of care and safety as other common carriers. Disney settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed sum after the interlocutory appeal but before a decision was rendered on the case's merits. Moreno's medical costs were estimated at more than $1.3 million.
- Main article: Matterhorn Bobsleds
- On May 15, 1964, 15-year-old Mark Maples of Long Beach, California, was injured after he stood up in the Matterhorn Bobsleds and fell out. It is reported that his restraint was undone by his ride companion. He died three days later as a result of these injuries.
- On January 3, 1984, 48-year-old Dolly Regina Young of Fremont, California was thrown from a Matterhorn Bobsleds car and struck by the next oncoming bobsled. An investigation showed that her seatbelt was found unbuckled after the accident. It is unclear whether Young delibrately unfastened her belt or if the seatbelt malfunctioned. Following the accident, the location where Dolly was found became informally known amongst cast members as "Dolly's Dip".
- Main article: Disneyland Monorail System
- On June 17, 1966, Thomas Guy Cleveland, 19, of Northridge, California, was struck and killed by the monorail, which then literally tore his body apart and dragged pieces of it forty feet down the track. This occurred on Grad Nite while he was trying to sneak into the park by climbing onto the monorail track.
- Main article: PeopleMover
- On August 21, 1967, 17-year-old Ricky Lee Yama of Hawthorne, California was killed while jumping between two moving PeopleMover cars as the ride was passing through a tunnel. Yama stumbled and fell onto the track, where an oncoming train of cars crushed him beneath its wheels and dragged his body a few hundred feet before it was stopped by a ride operator. A cast member who went to investigate later said that Yama's head had been split in two. The attraction had only been open for one month at the time.
- On June 7, 1980, 18-year-old Gerardo Gonzales of San Diego, California was crushed and killed by the PeopleMover while jumping between moving cars. The accident occurred as the ride entered the SuperSpeed tunnel.
Rivers of America
- Main article: Rivers of America (Disney)
- On June 22, 1973, 18-year-old Bogden Delaurot, of Brooklyn, New York, drowned while attempting to swim across the "Rivers of America". Delaurot and his ten-year-old brother stayed on the island past closing time by hiding in an area that is off-limits to guests. When they wanted to leave the island, they decided to swim across the river because the rafts to and from the island had long since shut down for the night. Bogden carried his younger brother on his back, as the younger brother was unsure how to swim, but Bogden drowned halfway through the swim. His body was found the next morning. The younger brother was able to stay afloat by "dog paddling" until a ride operator in a passing boat rescued him.
- On June 4, 1983, 18-year-old Philip Straughan of Albuquerque, New Mexico drowned in the Rivers of America while trying to pilot a rubber emergency boat from Tom Sawyer's Island that he and a friend had stolen from a "cast members only" area of the island.
Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
- Main article: Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
- On September 22, 2000, 4-year-old Brandon Zucker fell out of the ride vehicle and suffered severe brain damage. Sadly, Brandon died in 2009. He never talked or walked after the incident.
- On October 7, 2000, Disneyland changed its 911 emergency policy, instructing ride operators to call 911 for emergencies first instead of calling the Disney security center in order to speed emergency staff to any incident on park property. Records showed that more than five minutes passed between the time Zucker fell out of the ride vehicle and emergency personnel were contacted. A Disney spokesman claimed that the timing of this policy change and the Zucker incident were coincidental.
- On April 17, 1994, a 30-year-old man fell about twenty feet from one of the cabins in Disneyland's Skyway attraction and into a tree near the Alice in Wonderland ride. Paramedics helped him down and took him to the Western Medical Center, where he was released after being treated for minor injuries. The man claimed he had simply fallen out of the ride and filed a negligence lawsuit against Disney, seeking $25,000 for neck and back issues he claimed to have sustained. However, the man later admitted that he had in fact jumped from the ride, and the suit was dropped shortly before the trial date on September 26, 1996. The ride was closed permanently on November 9, 1994, though this was unrelated to the jumping incident. It was officially shut down because it would be too costly to make the ride wheelchair accessible. A very similar incident occurred in 1999 on the Skyway ride at Walt Disney World Resort. In this case, Disney was found to have violated federal safety codes after a custodial worker fell to his death while cleaning a Skyway platform.
- On August 14, 1979, 31-year-old Sherrill Anne Hoffman became ill after riding Space Mountain. At the unload area, she was unable to get out of the vehicle. Cast members told her to stay seated while the vehicle was removed from the track. However, other ride attendants did not understand that Hoffman's vehicle was to be removed, and sent her through the ride a second time. She arrived at the unloading zone semi-unconscious. Hoffman was subsequently taken to Palm Harbor Hospital, where she died seven days later after being in a coma. The coroner's report attributed the death to natural causes, due to a heart tumor that became dislodged and entered her brain. A subsequent lawsuit against the park was dismissed.
Storybook Land Canal Boats
- Main article: Storybook Land Canal Boats
- On March 16, 2005, a 4-year-old boy broke a finger and severed the tip of his thumb when the child's fingers were pinched between the boat and the dock while passengers were unloading. The ride was closed for nearly two days while state authorities investigated the accident. Authorities directed Disneyland to lower and repair rubber bumpers along the dock's edge, and to make sure workers tell passengers to keep their hands in the boat while it docks.
- Main article: Mickey's Toontown
- On May 28, 2013, a small explosion in a trash can caused the Toontown area of the park to be evacuated. Officials believe the explosion was caused by a plastic bottle filled with dry ice. The bomb squad was called to investigate. No injuries were reported.
- On March 7, 1981, 18-year-old Mel C. Yorba of Riverside, California was fatally stabbed with a knife during a fight in Tomorrowland. His family sued the park for US$60 million. The jury found the park negligent for not summoning outside medical help, and awarded the family US$600,000.
- On March 7, 1987, a 15-year-old was fatally shot in the Disneyland parking lot. The incident began as an early morning confrontation between rival Samoan and Tongan gang members before escalating into a brawl. Another participant was convicted of second-degree murder, but the conviction was subsequently overturned by a state appellate court.
- On September 14, 1985, a 7-year old girl, Jennifer F. Reid, was crushed to death by the wheels of a tour bus. According to police, the young girl and her uncle were searching for their vehicle when the 7-year-old fell under the tour bus. Paramedics pronounced the girl dead at the scene.
- On October 17, 2010, a 61-year old man leapt to his death from the Mickey and Friends parking structure at the resort. According to a suicide note left at the scene, the man mentioned "personal issues" as a reason for his jump.
- On April 2, 2012, a 23-year old man also was found next to the Mickey and Friends Parking garage. It is being investigated as a suicide.
Disneyland has undergone four unschedule closures during its lifetime:
- November 22, 1963 after the assassination of John F. Kennedy
- August 6, 1970 due to an anti-Vietnam War riot instigated by the Youth International Party (or Yippies), who had instigated a similar riot two years earlier at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago
- January 17, 1994 for inspection after the Northridge Earthquake
- September 11, 2001 due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks (Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure never opened that day, while all four parks at Walt Disney World had to be evacuated; this was due to timezone differences)
Walt Disney World Resort
Several people have died or been injured while riding attractions at Walt Disney World theme parks. Prior to 2001, Disney was not required to report incidents to the state authorities, but they have made reports since. For example, from the first quarter of 2005 to the first quarter of 2006, Disney reported four deaths and nineteen injuries at its Orlando parks. More statistical information is available at Amusement park accidents.
- On April 30, 2005, 30-year-old Ryan Norman of Mooresville, Indiana, lost consciousness shortly after exiting the ride and later died. He wore a pacemaker, and Norman's parents said he had a heart condition. An investigation showed the ride was operating correctly and was not the cause of Norman's death.
- On May 29, 2013, a woman found a loaded pistol on Dinosaur. The gun was reported to the ride attendant, which in turn was reported to authorities. The owner of the gun stated that they were unaware of Disney's policy against weapons and had a concealed weapons permit.
- Main article: Expedition Everest
- 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 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
- Main article: Kali River Rapids
- On May 29, 2007, five guests and one cast member (three teenagers, one 21-year-old, and two people in their 40's) were injured while 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 allowing guests to easily access the emergency stairs from the incline malfunctioned. An investigation determined that the platform "disengaged and slid," according to a Disney spokesperson, who went on to say that Disney will use an alternate method for guests to exit the ride in future emergencies. The six people were taken to local hospitals to treat minor injuries, where they were later released.
- On November 27, 2007, a 63-year-old employee died from a brain injury suffered 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 a still missing handrail that had been previously reported; and $3,000 for not responding to OSHA requests within the requested time period.
- On March 13, 2011, a 52-year-old employee suffered 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.
- On March 15, 2007, 51-year-old Oscar Wicker, Jr. from Pulaski, Mississippi, collapsed near the Downhill Double Dipper water slide. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. Initial reports say that the man died due to a heart attack. His family says that he had a pre-existing heart condition. An autopsy showed that Wicker died due to a heart attack.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
- Main article: 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.
- On August 17, 2009, a 30-year-old performer died after injuring his head while rehearsing a tumbling roll. Performances for the next day were canceled out of respect for the performer.
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
- On June 29, 2006, Michael Russell, a 12-year-old boy visiting from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was found to be unresponsive after the ride came to an end. CPR was administered by his father on the scene while awaiting arrival of paramedics, but he was declared dead on the route to the hospital. The ride was shut down for the investigation, but reopened a day later after inspectors determined that the ride was operating normally. Initially, a medical examiner stated that Russell may have had a congenital heart defect. The final report confirmed that Russell died from the heart defect. His death marked the seventh such incident to occur in a Disney theme park since December 2004.
Tower of Terror
- Main article: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- On July 12, 2005, 16-year-old Leanne Deacon from Kibworth, Leicestershire, England complained of a severe headache and other symptoms after riding the Tower of Terror at Disney-MGM Studios. She was taken to an Orlando hospital in critical condition. Deacon underwent surgery to stop intracranial bleeding. On August 6, 2005, she returned to England via air ambulance. While Deacon reportedly had ridden the attraction several times previously during her visit with no ill effects, her initial collapse was unexplained. Later tests showed that Deacon had been in pain for a few days, before having 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. Deacon returned home after spending six months in the hospital due to two heart attacks and surgery.
- Main article: Body Wars
- On May 16, 1995, four-year-old Linda Elaine Baker passed out during a ride on the Body Wars attraction in the Wonders of Life pavilion. The ride was stopped immediately, and paramedics were called to the scene. The girl was pronounced dead at the hospital. Some of Linda's relatives said that Linda was known to have had a heart condition, but the autopsy was inconclusive as to whether the ride aggravated it.
- Main article: Mission: Space
- On June 13, 2005, 4-year-old Daudi Bamuwamye died after riding Mission: SPACE. An autopsy, released on November 15, 2005, by the Orange County Medical Examiner's Office, states the boy died as a result of a pre-existing, previously undiagnosed heart condition called idiopathic myocardial hypertrophy. On June 12, 2006, a lawsuit was filed against Disney by Daudi's parents, claiming that Disney never should have 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 with both sides having to only pay their own attorney fees.
- On April 12, 2006, 49-year-old Hiltrud Blümel from Schmitten, Germany, fell ill after riding Mission: SPACE and died at Celebration Hospital in nearby Celebration. It was later found out she died from a bleeding brain caused by high blood pressure, not due to the ride.
- 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.
- Main article: Soarin'
- On January 15, 2007, 67-year-old John Parietti of New York suffered from slurred speech and right-side weakness after riding Soarin'. He died two days later. The medical examiner ruled that Parietti had a stroke, but did not perform an autopsy.
- On August 14, 1999, a 5-year-old boy was seriously injured after falling or stepping out of a ride car at Spaceship Earth. He was treated for an open compound fracture at the Orlando Regional Medical Center.
- Main article: Astro Orbitor
- 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, 38-year-old cast member Javier Cruz died when he was accidentally run over by the Beauty and the Beast parade float in a backstage area. Cruz was dressed as Pluto at the time.
Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe
- In March 2010, a 4 year-old boy from San Diego, California, suffered severe burns to his face 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 flying into his face. 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.'
The Haunted Mansion
- In February 2007, an 89 year-old woman fell and broke her hip while exiting a ride vehicle.
- 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 award to US $1.5 million.
Pirates of the Caribbean
- 77-year-old Gloria Land of Minnesota lost consciousness and died after riding in February 2005. A medical examiner's report said Land was in poor health from diabetes and she previously had several ministrokes. The report concluded that her death "was not unexpected."
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- Main article: 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 February 14, 1999, 65-year-old part-time custodian Raymond Barlow was critically injured when he fell off the Skyway ride. He was cleaning the Fantasyland Skyway station platform when the ride was accidentally turned on. Barlow was in the path of the ride vehicles, and grabbed a passing gondola in an attempt to save himself. He lost his grip and fell 40 feet, landing in a flower bed near the Dumbo ride. He died shortly after being taken to a local hospital. The Skyway ride, which had been scheduled to be closed before the accident occurred, was permanently closed on November 11, 1999. As a result of the accident, OSHA fined Walt Disney World $4,500 for violating federal safety codes in that work area.
- Main article: Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom)
- 6-year-old Rame Masarwa fainted after riding Space Mountain on August 1, 2006, and was taken to Florida Hospital Celebration where he later died. The medical examiner's report showed that Masarwa, who was terminally ill and suffered from cancer of the lungs, spine, and abdomen, died of natural causes due to a metastatic pulmonary blastoma tumor. Masarwa was visiting the Magic Kingdom as a recipient of a trip by the Give Kids the World program.
- On December 12, 2006, an unnamed 73-year-old man lost consciousness while riding Space Mountain. After being taken to the hospital, he died three days later. The medical examiner's report stated that the man died of natural causes due to a heart condition.
- Main article: Splash Mountain
- On November 5, 2000, 37-year-old William Pollack from St. Petersburg, Florida was critically injured while trying to exit the ride vehicle while it was moving through the ride. At the time, he told fellow passengers that he felt ill, and attempted to reach one of the attraction's marked emergency exits.
- 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 and harassing other guests, and were being detained by Disney security near Space Mountain. When an Orange County sheriff's deputy arrived, the deputy stated that he was "Punched in the face with closed fists... by all the defendants." During the melee, the deputy used a stun gun on an unnamed 17-year-old female guest. All five guests, including 19-year-old Brian Guilfoil and 20-year-old Rose DiPietro, were arrested on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer, and for resisting arrest with violence. The 17-year-old guest was also cited for battery on a uniformed officer.
- On May 29, 2007, a 34-year-old Clermont, Florida woman was allegedly attacked by a 51-year-old park guest visiting from Alabama as they waited in line at the Mad Tea Party attraction. On the day of the attack, while Disney security did speak with witnesses, Orange County police did not take any sworn statements from those witnesses. 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 assaulter.
- In August 2005, 12-year-old Jerra Kirby of Newport News, Virginia felt ill while using the wave pool. Lifeguards talked with Jerra after noticing her sitting on the side of the pool, and she said she felt fine. Jerra passed out shortly thereafter. CPR was performed, and she was transported to the local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The autopsy showed that she died due to arrhythmia caused by an early-stage viral heart infection.
- 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 a teenager's bathing suit while both were in the wave pool. Disney security was notified and they called for Orange County deputies. In the arrest report, both Disney security and the deputies report observing the man attempting to do the same to at least five other girls.
- 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 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.
- On July 16, 2009, a 29-year-old man from Washington was arrested and charged with one count of lewd molestation of a teenager. He was sentenced to 24 months in state prison.
- Several hours after opening on September 11, 2001, the 9/11 terrorist attacks commenced. Fearing that the American parks could be idealogical targets (likely targets for planes include the Matterhorn at Disneyland, Spaceship Earth, and the Contemporary Hotel), Michael Eisner gave the order to evacuate all four parks in Florida (due to timezone differences, Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure never opened that day). Fortunately, no planes attacked Disney property (the attacks were mainly centered at military, economic, and political targets). Following the attacks, there was a downsurge in business, leading to the delay of the opening of Disney's Pop Century Resort (the Classic Years opened in 2003, while the Legendary Years never opened and eventually became Disney's Art of Animation Resort), Disney's River Country closed at the end of the 2001 season, was never reopened, and has since been left to rot, the invisible security approach was abandoned, pneumatic barricades were installed at backstage road entrances to prevent 20-ton trucks filled with explosives from barrelling through, and rain ponchos sold in the parks were changed from yellow to transparent to, among other reasons, cut down on instances of families being unable to find each other and shoplifting, as well as to (presumably) ensure no one could conceal weaponry or explosives.
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 Fort Wilderness
- 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.
Doubletree Guest Suites
- On June 13, 2010, a body was discovered at the hotel. The cause was originally unknown, but was later declared a suicide.
Resort-wide transportation system
- 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, a nine-year-old boy was run over 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' 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 $15,000 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.
- Main article: Walt Disney World Monorail System
- In February 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 of Monorail Purple. 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 suspended three monorail employees as a result of the incident. On October 31, 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board 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.
- In 2005, Walt Disney World reported 773 injuries to OSHA for cast members portraying one of 270 different characters at the parks.
- Of those injuries listed, 282 were related to costuming issues, such as costume weight affecting the head, neck, or shoulders.
- 49 injuries were specifically due to the costume head.
- 107 injuries were caused by park guests' interactions with the characters, where the guest hit, pushed, or otherwise hurt (intentionally or not) the costumed cast member.
- 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.
- 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 September 2004, Disney cast member Michael Chartrand was suspended for allegedly shoving two unnamed Kodak employees while dressed as Goofy at Animal Kingdom on August 29, 2004. The two photographers believed that Goofy was a different cast member who was joking around until they were relaxing backstage and saw it was not their friend. Chartrand's attorney stated that the two photographers shoved back as part of routine horseplay among cast members meant to entertain. The sheriff's office was considering misdemeanor charges. During the investigation, two Animal Kingdom employees came forward saying Chartrand touched their breasts. Chartrand's lawyer claimed that Chartrand was merely looking at their lanyards full of lapel trading pins.
- On June 7, 2009, a 60-year-old man from Cressona, Pennsylvania allegedly touched Minnie Mouse while he was visiting the Magic Kingdom. He was convicted of misdemeanor battery on August 11, 2009.
- On August 6, 2009, a 47-year-old employee playing the role of pirate in the Captain Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial show slipped on a puddle of water, on the stage and hit his head against the scenery. He was taken to the hospital with a broken vertebra in his neck and a cut that required 55 stitches. He died four days later due to complications.
Three Little Pigs
- In 1976, a woman filed a lawsuit claiming one of the Three Little Pigs ran up to her at the "it's a small world" attraction, grabbed at and fondled her, while exclaiming "Mommy! Mommy!" She claimed to have gained 50 pounds as a result of the incident, and sued Disney for $150,000 in damages for assault and battery, false imprisonment, and humiliation. The plaintiff dropped charges after Disney's lawyers presented her with a photo of the costume, which had only inoperable stub arms.
- On January 5, 2007, 14-year-old Jerry Monaco Jr. of Greenville, New Hampshire was allegedly punched in the head by a Disney cast member dressed as Tigger during a photo opportunity at the Disney-MGM Studios. Fedelem was suspended pending the results of the investigation. In Fedelem's statement to the sheriff's office, he claimed that he was acting in self-defense as Monaco Jr. was pulling on the back of the costume, causing Fedelem to lose his breath. Jeffrey Kaufman, the lawyer who represented Michael Chartrand in an earlier case against Tigger (see below), released his own opinion on the situation. He believed Monaco Jr. instigated the situation and that Fedelem's movements were an involuntary reaction to pain. Kaufman was not representing Fedelem at the time of this statement. On February 15, 2007, the State Attorney General's office announced that no charges would be filed against Fedelem.
- In April 2004, Disney cast member Michael Chartrand was arrested for allegedly fondling an unnamed 13-year-old girl and her mother while 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, where the jury's deliberation lasted less than one hour. Chartrand was acquitted of all charges, and returned to work at Disney.
Winnie the Pooh
- A 1981 case tried Robert Hill, who was playing Winnie the Pooh in 1978. It was alleged that he slapped a child resulting in the child being bruised and having recurring headaches, and possible brain damage. Hill testified that the girl was tugging at his costume from behind. When Hill turned around, he accidentally struck the girl with Pooh's ear. At one point, Hill entered the courtroom in the Pooh costume and responded to questions while on the witness stand as Pooh would, including dancing a jig. Appearing as Pooh showed the jury that the costume's arms were too low to the ground to slap the girl at her then height. The jury acquitted Hill after deliberating for 21 minutes.
- In October 2006 at Disneyland Paris, amateur video was filmed backstage in the cast members' break area of different cast members pantomiming various indecent acts while they were wearing their character costumes. The video clip was later posted on various video-sharing websites often using the term "mouse orgy." In an official statement, Disney said "The video was taken in the backstage area not accessible to guests. Appropriate action has been taken to deal with the cast members involved."
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