Disney is a magical place, and the parks are probably the best-run amusement parks in the world. But there are a lot of things that happen there that the public isn’t aware of.
Disney employees were asked what the weirdest thing they’ve ever seen was, and here are their most shocking answers. Check out the source links at the end of the article if you wish to read more.
The Witch in the Wizard of Oz section broke mid-speech, and spewed hydraulic fluid all over the first 3 rows of the ride, from the tip of her finger. Like she was casting a real spell.
Once a guy walked up to me while it was raining, and in all seriousness said, “Hey, I know you guys have to water the plants, but can you turn off the rain for a while?” He really thought that there was a bubble surrounding Disney that controlled the weather.
I once had a lady who was waiting in line ask me if it was okay if her son went to the bathroom. I said sure thinking she was going to take him, nope this boy who had to be close to 10 pulled down his pants and started pissing in line. I did not know how to react. I just stood there in watched astonished.
While I was working on Dumbo, a couple people removed their infant from the seat belt and held the baby like Simba outside of the carriage while the ride was up 18 feet in the air so their friends could take pictures of them doing it, we had to emergency stop the ride; they were escorted away and I heard arrested once outside the park gates.
It was very scary to witness.
I saw a fella fall off the balcony in the Animal Kingdom hotel with the giraffes and run from wildlife for a good hour while they slowly got all the animals out of his way and got him out. No one got hurt and it was pretty funny to watch.
I was working on one of the roller-coasters in Paris and there was a kid on it with his dad, the kid was very scared like he was shaking and this ride you were held in by a harness and your legs were hanging free. I looked down at the people walking under the ride only to see that this kid had pooped himself in fear and the poo landed and hit an old lady on the face, she fell over from the force of it and had to go home in an ambulance.
This lady with a serious obsession with Alice and would pretty much go every day to Disneyland and dress up like her. One day she decided she needed a piece of Alice for herself and actually cut off a piece of hair from the actress at the park!
I drove the truck at Kiliminjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom…one of the Disney World parks, if you’re not familiar. I drove 40 guests at a time through a wildlife reserve with no fences. Most of the animals can wander right onto the road, blocking your path. Also, there are no tracks…you’re really responsible for driving the truck, really responsible for the guests’ safety, and really responsible for not running over a rhino. Or, more realistically, not GETTING run over by a rhino.
The animals are all real…most of the guests assume that they’re animatronic, but they’re not.
There are natural (well…manmade, but natural looking) barriers between predator and prey, so you’re not going to see a lion pounce on a zebra. But that doesn’t mean the animals can’t surprise you.
Lots of animals having sex, midtour. Usually I would drive right past it without comment…adults might snicker, but I could distract the kids by pointing out facts about other animals in the vicinity.
But one day I’m driving and a Rhino decides to take a nap in the road right in front of us. That means all trucks stop where they are until the rhino moves, because you’re not allowed to go offroad.
We were stuck out there for more than an hour…in a downpour. I know maybe eight facts about each animal, so I’ve depleted my entire resevoir of facts within 30 minutes. The rest of it was all improv…trying to keep 40 high-paying strangers entertained in an open-air truck that isn’t moving in a rainstorm for an hour.
Just as I’m completely racking my brain for material, two zebras start humping. A little girl screams “WHAT ARE THEY DOING???” I immediately reply, “Oh, that’s a game called Leap Zebra. Like Leap Frog, but with more stripes. This particular zebra seems to be very bad at it.”
The adults were all busting up laughing…it seriously eased the tension.
I worked the Dinosaur ride at Animal Kindgom and if you’ve never been on it, it would be legitimately terrifying to a 5-6 year old kid. I’m about to launch a car into the ride and there is a kid who is bawling and screaming that he did not want to go on the ride. We were required to ask the parent if it is okay for their kid to ride if they were reacting like this. I say, “Ma’am, is your son going to be able to ride?” As this happens, the kid begins to violently cough and then, in what I can only assume is an act of motherly instinct, she cups her hands under her son’s mouth and he projectile vomits into her waiting hands. I stand there in shock, but she calmly looks me in the eyes and says, “He’ll be fine,” as she moves her now overflowing palms over her bag and dumps the vomit into her purse without flinching. I stand there, mouth agape at the act I just witnessed, and press the button to start the ride.
I’m not ready for fatherhood.
If a Disney employee catches you dumping ashes in the park, they’ll literally sweep up the ashes and throw them away unceremoniously to try to get people to freaking not. Hardcore Disney fans can be so nuts that this is an actual policy/rule.
A drunk dude picked up a princess, threw her over his shoulder and started heading toward the exit. I don’t believe his intentions were malicious, but security/police followed him until he was done with his ‘act’ and promptly took him to jail where he got charged with at least one felony.
I suppose the most bizarre things were what the guests didn’t see. A man is found dead from an apparent suicide in his hotel room. The room’s windows and entrance are immediately concealed by those, “pardon our dust” renovation ply boards as costume characters/castmembers have an impromptu meet and greet diverting attention away from the room as police arrive to process the scene. The lobby of the Grand Polynesian Hotel features a rather elaborate waterfall foliage atrium where a poisonous snake is found. In the utmost efficiency, dressed as janitors animal control has captured the snake within a 15 minute window while the guests were once again distracted this time by fire jugglers.
A family attacked a Pluto. Pushed her into the fountain. I didn’t actually see the attack, just got to deal with the aftermath backstage. I got to dry all of pluto’s costume and clean the head. Later Pluto told me the family was mad that she had to take her break after they had waited to get a picture. I think pluto either broke her arm or her leg. I can’t remember. The family was arrested.
People would do a lot of dumb stuff, but the most bizarre was when I was working at space mountain I was on rotation in a position called “mountain 3” basically I stood by the handicap entry to the ride and helped people get on and took wheelchairs to the exit. Anyway it was middle of summer and really busy when a lady wearing a big disney hoodie was going through the normal line. I thought it was a little weird to wear a jacket during the summer, but whatever.
She then gets to restraint which is the last check point before the ride begins. At restraint they just check your lap bars and then press a green button. While there the cast members hear a whine coming from the ladies jacket and found that she was trying to smuggle her infant daughter on the ride. So he calls me over because I have a radio and we kick her off the ride, call our managers, and security. She ended up getting blacklisted from Disney world.
This was about ~15-16 years ago now, but when talking on headsets, you’re supposed to use different codes for things; for example, a medical situation was usually a “balloon” for blood, I think it was (“there’s a balloon in the parking lot.”)
So, you can imagine my surprise when we get a call in saying “We have a code Pooh, Piglet is on the loose.” Like, what? Turns out some crying toddler-aged kid was using the sandbox as his public bathroom, and when someone approached him, he just.. ran away.
I worked Pirates of the Caribbean Disneyland 2008-2009. Every younger couple tries to get away with messing around on the boats during non-peak hours. There are seriously cameras everywhere.
We caught this couple having oral sex in the back. Instead of normally yelling at them over the intercom, we let him finish. As the girl leaned over to spit, my co-worker got on the intercom with the loudest “NOT IN THE WATER”.
I hope they’re married by now.
Picked up a shift in Magic Kingdom one rainy afternoon. A lady approached me and asked if I could ‘close the dome’. I said “excuse me?”, to which she replied: “It’s raining! Close the dome so we don’t get wet!”. I had to explain to her that there isn’t a giant dome that covers Magic Kingdom to prevent getting wet from the rain. I then told her that the Dumbo ride is actually a lot of fun in the pouring rain.
I worked at the front desk of one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels, a lady, followed by another lady with like an 11 year old kid, walks up and asks if there is a place that people leave messages for their family if they are separated. I said, “not really” and inquired more into the situation, apparently the first lady was helping the other lady, who didn’t speak good English, and her kid.
The lady and her kid were in line for Indiana Jones when the father said he was going to the restroom, but never returned. They later went to the car, and the car was gone. They were hoping he left a message for them somewhere. Me and the lady while talking realized he left them, probably for good. The father was probably thinking, at least he left them at Disneyland. I spoke to my manager later about it, and apparently this happens ever so often, a father decides to leave his family, and thinks if it’s at Disneyland it softens the blow. Ruins Disneyland for the Family if you ask me. Ultimate jerk.
I knew a guy who was in charge of equipment safety, checking all rides, and pretty much making sure no one will die on a ride (I didn’t know his exact title). His wife was the manager of the restaurant I worked at at the time. One day he came in and was very tense and out of his place. I asked what was wrong and he told me he was working on tower of terror and realized one of the cars was one bad bolt and nut away from disaster. He told me if the ride went on for another 3-4 turns the car could have failed.
I don’t know how much of what he told me was exaggerated or what not but it was definitely freaky to hear…
I used to work on Main Street at Disneyland in one of the cafes. On my first day, I noticed that there were flies hovering around on the pastries in the glass display cases at the counter and told my supervisor. She then tells me that they turned off the lights in that particular case so customers wouldn’t be able to see the flies, and we could continue selling them.
I was a cast member during 9/11. It was a scary time, but amazing how quickly WDW responded and closed the parks. I worked for one of the All-Star resorts. They had Disney characters come to the resorts to entertain the kids on the day of 9/11 while parents could focus on news. In the following days, I was placed in the lobby of the hotel, with a computer and phone to assist travelers find trains, rental cars, and buses home since air travel was suspended. Those families that could not get home, were given free hotel accommodations for up to 5 days until airlines resumed full service.
While standing in line, an adult man took a crap in the corner of the pre-show (it’s like a little movie theater.) A toddler wandered over to the alleged poop, picked it up, and did what toddlers do- put it in his mouth. I encountered the aftermath of this in the castmember breakroom, as the mom rushed her poop-covered baby into our bathroom, with her half-drunk husband following behind her saying, “What? It’s just crap.”
Friend of mine used to dress as some of the characters and she was pretty tall about 6′ and they had her try out a new costume. That creepy witch from the emperor’s new groove.
They tested it out on a few kids behind the scenes to see how it would go over, and every kid freaked out so you will probably never see that character in costume at Disneyland.
A guy gave snow white an apple and tried to get her to eat it. Took it backstage and there were tiny pinprick holes in it. Turned out to have been poisoned.
My sister used to work at the Bippity Boppity Boutique (the hair-dresser that makes little girls look like princesses). Tom Cruise brought his daughter there like the day after he and Katie Holmes got divorced. It was totally a sorry-your-parents-are-getting-divorced trip to Disney World. The thing is though that since he’s a mega-celebrity, he obviously can’t be hanging around in public, especially a small area like that store. So they ushered him, the daughter (I think her name is Siri or something close to that?), and my sister into a closet and she did the makeover in there.
So, at the Alien scene, there’s a point where the alien comes down from the ceiling and strikes at the guests. It’s about 6 feet above their heads, strikes two or three times, then creeps back into the darkness above. So one day, the alien comes OFF of its track, and flies directly into the lap of one of the guests. He gets a good smack on the face, and everyone around him is suitably terrified. As was policy, before they could run around screaming about murdering disney rides, the guests were ushered into a room full of guest services people, and showered with gifts and refunds and free tickets and all sorts of “please don’t take this to the press” items. Now I did get confirmation that all this happened. What I never got enough evidence of was that the man who was directly hit by the alien – all he asked for was the alien. He wanted it for his collection. According to rumor, he was given the alien, and sent happily on his way while they installed the spare one.
An old guy died on my show. I feel bad that his final experience was animatronic munchkins.
They didn’t discover him until the ride was over, and he didn’t get out. He went on the ride by himself. It probably happens a lot if you think about it. Walking around in the heat all day is hard on anyone, and then you sit someplace comfortable for 22 minutes for a little rest… it’s honestly not a bad way to go… despite the munchkins.