A wild and violent brawl between two families at Magic Kingdom resulted in multiple injuries, arrests, and lifetime bans from the Central Florida Disney Parks. But the number of incidences of awful behavior from Disney World Guests in the parks doesn’t seem to be declining, meaning a very different experience may await Guests who visit Disney World, despite all their saving, planning, and dreaming.
The violent fight that erupted in Fantasyland at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom resulted in three arrests by local law enforcement as well as lifetime bans from the Florida parks for those who were found to have participated in the altercation that instantly made national news headlines nearly one year ago.
At least 10 Guests were involved in the violent fracas that broke out just steps away from Mickey’s Philharmagic theater in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. While it wasn’t immediately clear what led to the massive disturbance, it was later discovered that the fight took place between two families who began arguing while waiting in line for an attraction.
A woman from one of the families was in line for the attraction when she realized she left her phone in her electric conveyance vehicle (ECV), sometimes referred to as a “scooter,” so she left the line to retrieve her phone. Her family was still in the queue at the time, so once she retrieved her phone, she attempted to join her family in line, but members of the other family reportedly would not allow her back in line and shoved her. Ultimately, the woman was able to get back in line with her family, and they enjoyed the show together with no further incidents. That is, until the woman and her family exited the attraction, only to discover that members of the other family (who had refused to let her re-enter the line) were waiting for them at the exit.
The woman’s brother reportedly told members of the other family that he didn’t want any trouble–but to no avail. According to bystander accounts, the family ganged up on the woman’s brother and “jumped him.” Multiple Cast Members and bystanders attempted to break up the fight, but chaos ensued so quickly that their attempts were unsuccessful, and a wild and violent brawl involving multiple Guests played out in the thoroughfare in front of the attraction’s exit for every single ticketed Guest in the area to see.
Participants were seen fistfighting and shouting expletives. At one point, according to a bystander, members of the other family shouted at the woman who had attempted to re-enter the queue and her brother, calling them “terrorists.” The massive altercation played out for several minutes before Disney Security and Orange County Sheriff’s deputies arrived. Reedy Creek EMS loaded the woman’s brother into an ambulance, and he was transported to a local hospital for treatment for a significant laceration to his chin.
But the incident was far from over.
Videos of the fight began surfacing on social media platforms, and though the footage of the huge brawl is indeed unsettling and extremely concerning, witnessing such a violent display was surely far more upsetting for Guests at Magic Kingdom that day–especially for young children, some of whom could be heard crying in the videos. Some of the footage even captured other panicked adult Guests yelling for security as the brawl exploded.
Following an investigation into the wild altercation, three arrests were made with charges of misdemeanor battery. Later, though, the charges were reportedly dropped. Disney World dealt out its own version of consequences, banning the Guests who participated in the huge fight from the parks for good. As of the time of this publication, there’s nothing to suggest that Disney dropped its “charges’ against the unruly Guests.
Members of one of the involved families were reportedly staying at Disney’s Riviera Resort and had reservations booked for another two weeks. But they were told by Disney management to pack up and evacuate the Resort hotel and that they could not visit Disney World’s four theme parks, its two water parks, or the Disney Springs shopping and dining district. In other words, the Guests received a ban from Florida’s Disney Parks entirely.
Nothing New Under the Sun
While fights like these are rare at Disney World, there’s no denying that the number of incidents involving arguments, physical altercations, and other unsavory Guest behavior has increased in recent years. More altercations take place in the parks than our staff of writers can cover, quite honestly. The awful Magic Kingdom brawl made national headlines, but such accounts are hardly news, as each fight that takes place is merely a different variation of the same thing–different people involved, different events that spark the fight, and a different day on the calendar.
A huge fight broke out near the exit to the Toy Story Mania attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in early January 2022. The scene was so chaotic that a Cast Member who arrived to diffuse the situation finally excused himself from the situation. Why should he put himself in harm’s way when the Guests involved had no intention of stopping their behaviors–and no interest in acting like civil adults? We can’t say we blame him one bit.
It’s beyond disgraceful. It’s disgusting. And since news of another fight at Disney World is hardly news anymore, tougher measures need to be taken against Guests who participate in such altercations.
It’s Time for Disney World and Law Enforcement to Get Tough. Really Tough.
An altercation between a husband and wife in the parking lot at Disney’s Animal Kingdom played out in front of other Guests in the lot, as well as the couple’s young children. During the rage-filled tirade, the woman put the couple’s children in their vehicle and continued screaming and cursing at her husband. When her husband walked away from her to diffuse the situation, the woman followed him and spit on him before attacking him.
The woman blamed her actions on the stress of the family’s Disney vacation. But blame would have been more appropriately placed at the feet of the woman, her selfishness, and her lack of integrity and intelligence, as exhibited by the childish ways in which she decided to deal with her “stress.” What makes this scenario any different than an at-home episode of domestic violence–one for which police would be called and someone would go downtown for booking? That’s right–nothing.
In another altercation at Disney Springs, a family was celebrating a birthday when their wagon was stolen by another family. A heated verbal exchange decorated with all kinds of curses and expletives ensued, and a major fight was narrowly averted after the wagon was finally surrendered by the family who stole it. And in yet another incident at Magic Kingdom, a man with no park tickets and no park pass reservation smuggled his child into the theme park, and when two Cast Members caught up with him, the Guest assaulted both of them.
Guests who engage in such displays of immaturity, selfishness, and hate should be forever banned for their actions from ANY Disney property, including the Disney Resort where the melee occurred, as well as every other Disney Park, Resort Hotel, water park, and property on earth. If a Guest can act in such a manner in one park, he’ll do it again in another park; it’s only a matter of time. And bans for responsible parties should be 100% irrevocable. There’s far too much leeway when it comes to consequences for violent Guest behavior.
Those involved should then be fined for stealing from other Guests who ALSO purchased a park ticket for that day–the day that was ruined by the inhumane, violent behaviors of a few Guests who simply don’t have the interest or intelligence to conduct themselves appropriately while in the parks. You have the right to be angry. You do not have the right to take away from other Guests who are simply trying to enjoy the magic with their friends and family members.
Have Guests Learned Nothing?
No matter the number of physical altercations that take place at Disney World, the fact that they keep occurring is evidence that Guests have either learned nothing from the consequences others receive for fighting in the parks–or that they just don’t care. In either case, the forecast is grim for Disney World visitors who do know how to express themselves in a civil manner and behave like adults.
The fallout will eventually be felt by those who fight in the parks and disturb park operations. When was the last time you heard someone remark about the surprising affordability of a Disney vacation? That’s right–never. While Disney Parks vacations are the most magical, they have never been the most affordable, and when Guests choose to spend their time in the parks behind fists headed for another Guest’s face, they’re not only destroying the magic and the memories for others, but they’re also throwing money away. Every minute spent fighting with other Guests, berating Cast Members, making insatiable demands of Disney World’s management, and bullying costumed characters is another minute when Disney made their money while those Guests got nothing in return.
Park time is precious, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. That goes for Guests who are forced to witness these awful fights and altercations when they’d rather be experiencing Disney World’s newest offerings, as well as for Guests who don’t think enough about how much money their tempers are costing them.
Disney World Takes a Stand
Guests who think Disney is aloof about these incidents and the rising number of altercations in the parks need the blessing of a reality check. These situations do not fly under the radar–ever, and Disney has had just about enough. In response, the company posted a new warning on its official website to anyone who plans to visit the Central Florida parks. Those planning to visit Disney World can find the warning in the “Know Before You Go” section on the Disney World website under the heading “Courtesy.”
The new warning to Guests comes with a couple of directives, followed by a clear statement of consequences for Guests who choose not to comply with those directives. It reads as follows:
Be the magic you want to see in the world. You must always remember to treat others with respect, kindness, and compassion. Those who can’t live up to this simple wish may be asked to leave Walt Disney World Resort.
The warning is bold and calls out those who have an affinity for being disrespectful in the parks. And Disney makes no bones about the severity of the situation, using phrases like “you must” and “those who can’t live up to this simple wish.” Guests who just can’t comply will be met with stiff consequences in the parks, and Disney World makes this abundantly clear.
Just Stay Home and Stop Poisoning the Water
Guests who simply don’t have the wherewithal to get along with others need to do everyone a favor–themselves included–and just stay home. They can save themselves the stress (and everyone else the heartache) by not visiting the parks at all. Another perk–it is completely free to be a homebody, and Guests who are paying all those pretty pennies to be in the parks can enjoy the parks for all the magic they offer without those kinds of Guests ruining it for them.