A Disney World cast member narrowly escaped a perpetrator who attempted to kidnap her as she walked to her vehicle following the end of her shift at EPCOT.
Disney Cast Members Are Pure Magic
Cast members at Disney Parks have some of the most important jobs in all of The Walt Disney Company. No, they don’t have a corner office in Burbank, California, and they don’t fulfill the roles of Disney’s CEO, CFO, or CCO. They are, however, responsible for making the magic real and tangible for guests of all ages who visit the Disney theme parks.
And at a company like Disney, making magic is probably the most important job there is.
Despite cast members’ focus on doing things to keep the magic alive for guests, there are still some guests who seem focused on being difficult and unruly, just for the sake of being . . . well, difficult and unruly. For some guests, it’s not enough to merely break the rules at Disney’s parks–they have to include belittling and disrespecting cast members in their repertoire.
And sometimes, things get even worse for cast members.
A Kidnapping Attempt Near EPCOT
On Thursday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office officially released a report detailing an incident that occurred on the evening of July 3, 2023, between a Disney World cast member and a would-be kidnapper in a parking lot near EPCOT. Though some news outlets briefly reported on the incident in July, the official police report was not released to the public until this week.
According to the report, a female cast member who worked at EPCOT had just finished her shift and was walking to her vehicle, which was parked in a parking lot reserved for cast members only. But on the way to her car, an unknown man leaned out of the driver’s side window of a vehicle parked nearby.
According to investigators, the man grabbed the female cast member around her waist and pulled her into the window of his vehicle. The woman began screaming and then “elbowed him in the head” until he finally let her go. But the terrifying incident didn’t stop there.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office report states that after the man let go of the female cast member, he reportedly said to her, “It’s ok; just come to me, princess.”
Leaving Without a Trace
Despite the perpetrator’s statement to the cast member, he then sped off in his vehicle toward the exit of the parking lot as the cast member ran to her vehicle, according to detectives working on the case. After the incident, the woman contacted law enforcement officials, telling them that the man was driving a dark-colored sedan. She was unable, however, to see the license plate on the vehicle and could not give officers any information about the vehicle’s plates.
The incident took place just outside the range of Disney’s surveillance cameras, but security footage in the parking lot shows the sedan speeding through the lot just after 9:00 p.m. local time.
The cast member described the perpetrator as a bald male, possibly in his 40s or 50s. His identity is unknown at this time. More details and information about this case will be shared as it becomes available.