New details have come to light in a reckless incident that took place at EPCOT on Monday evening when a guest took leave of his senses and jumped from a bridge into a body of water at Disney World’s second park.
If it’s social media glory he was seeking, mission accomplished. But glory doesn’t come cheap, and a guest’s participation in a mindless, prohibited act at EPCOT on Monday cost him dearly, as he was officially banned from visiting the Walt Disney World Resort for a year, per his own admission. Then again, it might have actually paid him dearly as well, according to details that have surfaced since the incident initially took place.
He Did WHAT?
On Monday afternoon at approximately 5:30 p.m. local time, a man, who has yet to be publicly named, climbed over the railing atop a bridge near the Italy pavilion at EPCOT’s World Showcase. Once over the railing, the male guest stood atop the bridge, holding on to the railing, for what seemed like a long time–long enough, at least, for a cast member or two to potentially notice that the man was standing on the water side of the railing on the bridge.
But if any cast members witnessed the man’s preparations for his ensuing jump off the bridge, videos posted online that captured the incident don’t show any intervention on the part of Disney World staff before the man’s swan dive off the structure into the water below.
A guest off-camera can be heard shouting, “You’re gonna get kicked out of Disney, mister,” as another guest shouts, “Don’t do it!” in one of several videos that captured the incident, which played out for any guest near the Italy pavilion along the World Showcase promenade to witness.
Seconds later, the man, who donned shorts, a t-shirt, socks, Nike sneakers, and a bandana on his head, only removed his sunglasses before asking aloud, “How deep is that water?” and nearly immediately plunging into the waters of World Showcase Lagoon below.
As soon as he disappeared under the water, he resurfaced, smiling, and climbed up over a tethered gondola toward dry ground. As he made his way back to the promenade, he held his arms up as several guests cheered him on.
The Fallout From the Incident
While many guests who participate in dangerous stunts inside Disney’s theme parks do it for the thrill or for views across various social media platforms, there was reportedly something more in it for the Walt Disney World guest who went feet-first into the lagoon at EPCOT.
A TikTok video posted by one of the man’s friends hints at the reason for the man’s aversion to EPCOT’s park rules: money. The man reportedly jumped into the “freezing cold” water to come back the victorious winner of a bet that netted him $60,000. The video also seems to give clues to the identity of the man who jumped off the bridge at EPCOT, as it tags “@Elit3Trainers” in its comments, though as of the time of this publication, there aren’t details about who exactly uses that name on the social media platform.
@saulbrandonreiter Why did @Elit3Trainers jump in that freezing cold #disney #epcot water for 60k like that 😅 #disneyworld #foodnwine #halloween #bet #fyp ♬ original sound – Brandon Reiter
By the time everything was said and done, the man was rewarded by Disney World management with a one-year ban from the parks, but he said in an online video, “Year ban, no fine. No arrest–for everyone wondering.”
Yep, we’re pretty sure that jump was in response to the alleged bet of $60,000 and the limelight that naturally comes with performing dangerous, prohibited acts in a very public setting.
We’ve Been Here Before
Monday evening’s incident at EPCOT isn’t an isolated event–not by a long shot. Something about the parks at Disney World seems to lure a unique kind of thrill-seeker, seemingly beckoning those with an adventurous spirit and zero regard for rules, for regulations, and often, for their own well-being, to use Disney World property as the backdrop for their respective pranks, stunts, and various other forms of ridiculous conduct–conduct that often puts the health and safety of the mischievous guest at risk, as well as the safety of other guests in the parks–not to mention exhausting Disney World’s security and safety teams who need to be available to deal with other situations that may arise as guests enjoy the Central Florida Disney parks.
Earlier this year, a guest at Magic Kingdom recklessly jumped in front of a moving train at the Big Thunder Mountain attraction inside Frontierland. A month earlier, a drunk guest at EPCOT’s Mexico pavilion jumped out of a boat at the Gran Fiesta attraction onto a platform in the ride and began yelling at other guests enjoying the attraction.
In a separate incident, a young boy who was fearful of the drops at the now-defunct Splash Mountain attraction jumped out of the log flume as it stopped to wait for its turn to plummet down the steep drop, and what ensued was a lengthy series of pleas from the boy’s parents for him to return to the boat–as well as a mass evacuation of the area when the child refused to comply with his parents’ request.
The moral of the proverbial story here is this: it really, truly doesn’t pay to endanger yourself and others–not even for that kind of payout, so please find another way–another legal way to amass that 60 grand, if you absolutely must have it.