Three Disney employees have filed three separate police reports after incidents with tourists that left one of them injured and all of them shaken enough to get authorities involved.
As first reported by The Orlando Sentinel this week, a string of unrelated “inappropriate touching” cases with cast members at Disney World in Florida occurred over a two-day period in early December, resulting in the filing of three police reports with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The first and most bizarre of the three incidents, which occurred on December 3 at a restaurant in Animal Kingdom, involved an elderly woman and an 18-year-old female employee.
A woman in her 60s asked the young cast member, who was wearing a Donald Duck costume, if she could give the character a kiss. When the employee agreed, things went from strange to alarming in rapid fashion.
The elderly woman allegedly began “touching and grabbing the character’s arms, chest, belly, and face,” the Sentinel reports. “The employee moved toward another Disney employee for help, but the woman followed her, holding on, and then ‘frantically’ put her hands inside the character’s costume, touching her chest.”
At that point, the woman’s family noticed what was happening and began to yell at their relative to stop groping the cast member. An attendant eventually helped the Cast Member get away from the woman and led the employee to a break room.
Though the employee filed a police report, she declined to press charges, explaining to authorities that she believed the woman may have had “dementia,” the paper reports.
On the same day at a different park, Magic Kingdom, another 60-something guest, this time a male, allegedly groped the chest of a cast member in a Minnie Mouse outfit three times after he and his wife posed with Minnie for a picture.
The employee, 36, identified the man from a photo three days later and Disney determined that the same man had engaged in another “inappropriate interaction” with another cast member at Magic Kingdom on December 5.
“It should be noted that (the man) is a Disney Vacation Club member,” the sheriff’s report states. Disney has barred the man “from all of Walt Disney World property, to exclude the Saratoga Springs resort,” the report notes.
The next day, a 36-year-old female Cast Member who was playing Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom ended up in the hospital after a different elderly woman, described as a “grandmother,” allegedly patted “Mickey” on the head “about five times” and hard enough to injure the employee’s neck.
According to the police report, the grandma patted the head of the costume, causing it to slide down and injure the cast member’s neck badly enough that she felt compelled to go to the hospital. The incident did not appear to be deliberate, the employee said.
The son-in-law of the woman, who said the family did not know the cast member was hospitalized until this week, expressed surprise that the grandmother’s actions resulted in injury.
“She barely touched him,” he said, explaining that she was simply trying to alleviate her 2-year-old grandson’s fear of the character by showing that he wasn’t real.
They were notified of the woman’s complaint a few hours after the incident when they tried to check into their hotel, said the son-in-law. When employees interviewed his wife, he said, “they definitely tried to insinuate it was on purpose.”