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Fatal Shooting Reported at Walt Disney World Resort

Old key west resort waterfront view
Credit: Disney

Disney is the most magical place on Earth, but it can sometimes also be the most tragic. There are back-to-back reports of deaths at Disney World this week. Yesterday reports surfaced claiming that a guest tragically fell to their death at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Now another guest has come forward to share a terrifying situation they encountered just last week. Sadly, another suicide.  

Old Key West

Credit: Disney

Redditor u/disabled_flowers95  reports that she and her family were witness to a guest taking their life last week at Old Key West Resort. The family arrived at the Disney Vacation Club resort on July 17, 2023, celebrating their son’s first birthday. While relaxing in their room, they heard a deafening bang. At first, they assumed it was a firecracker or perhaps a stray golf ball had broken the windows of a car. The noise terrified her one-year-old and newborn. 

She said when it dawned on her that what she had actually heard was a gunshot, she contacted the front desk, who were already aware of the situation. They were later informed that the guest in the connecting studio to their one-bedroom had taken their own life, and Disney asked them to stay inside their villa. The Redditor said that was exactly the opposite of what they wanted to do. All they could think about was getting out of there. The family was uncomfortable and just wanted to put distance bewteen themselves and the resort.

They were kept in their room for so long that they missed their dining reservation at Chef Mickey’s. Eventually the Cast Members at Old Key West arranged for them to go to their dining reservation late and alerted staff ahead of time what the family had experienced. At that point, the Redditor says Cast Members tried their best to keep them from returning to their room while law enforcement officers were in and out. 

She says, “The Resort did everything to try and keep us out of the room and around. Chef Mickeys even kept us later and did extra magic, but honestly, I couldn’t get over the noise. It scared my one-year-old and newborn to death.” 

contemporary resort chef mickey's

Credit: Disney

She went on to say that the Cast Members at Chef Mickey’s went above and beyond for them. They had special desserts made, and everyone was very sympathetic. When they were finished eating, the Cast Members even arranged a private character meet and greet for them, and the kids got to spend as much time with them as they wanted. 

The Redditor stated that Disney offered them grief counseling but did not offer to move them to a different resort which they would have liked. 

“I don’t know how I feel about Old Key West for a while. “I get it wasn’t the hotel or Disney’s fault, but something about it just stuck,” they wrote. “I also feel like the guns in room, thing makes me more uncomfortable what if that person decided to take out other people before themselves? That’s what made me more upset.”

Walt Disney World and Old Key West have not commented on the incident.  

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, there is hope! You’re not alone. Please call or text the  National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 from your mobile device to connect for free with a counselor who can help. You can also call 800-273-8255 from a landline. 

About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.