The year 2023 will go down as one for the record books–especially when it comes to the number of guests at Disney Parks who put their bad behavior on display for all to see. Not only were there numerous incidences of guests behaving badly at Disney World and Disneyland, but the behaviors displayed by many of those frustrated, fussy, angry, and disgruntled guests are some of the worst behaviors we’ve seen.
Just when you think you’ve seen and heard it all . . . the range of emotions felt and acted upon by some guests in the parks is simply unbelievable at times.
We’ve All Had a Bad Day in the Parks
If you’re a frequent visitor at Disney’s theme parks, you know it’s not uncommon to have an “off” day–even at the Happiest and Most Magical Places on Earth.
Those “off” days are often the result of a perfect storm scenario during your visit. Sometimes it’s a combination of rushed schedules, a lack of sleep, cranky kids in tow, rude guests in line in front of you–and sometimes behind you as well–summer heat that makes you wonder how anyone actually lives in the Sunshine State, a lack of hydration, and perhaps unprocessed grief over the removal of the Splash Mountain attraction.
Sometimes, it’s because you don’t feel good, you ate something that didn’t agree with you, or, in rare instances, it might even be because you lost your wallet, your keys, or your MagicBand. And let’s not even talk about those trips during which the airport misrouted your luggage.
But regardless of the reason for your “off” day at the parks, the vast majority of Disney Parks guests can deal with those days without acting out toward others, yelling, swearing, cutting in lines for attractions, jumping out of moving ride vehicles, or belittling cast members. (We also learned this year that Disney fans are responsible for some of the worst online behavior as well!)
The other less than 1% simply don’t seem to understand how to conduct themselves in the parks during those hard days.
Horrendous Behavior in the Parks Over the Years
In recent years, there have been incidences of guests spitting on fellow park visitors simply because they were walking too slowly in the queue and a guest dropping his phone during a ride through the savanna at the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom–and then jumping off the safari truck in front of a herd of rhinos in an effort to retrieve the phone.
One man who jumped the queue in line for Avatar: Flight of Passage at the World of Pandora nearly started a physical fight with guests who called him out for his behavior.
In 2023, as in years before, there has been no shortage of guests in the parks who simply don’t know how to conduct themselves in public. Perhaps they should have read Disney World’s Bill of Non-Rights for Guests, 2023 Edition.
Here are some of the worst examples of guest behavior in 2023.
Line-Jumpers at EPCOT Shift the Blame
In early December, a video of some truly atrocious guest behavior went viral–probably because it was so awful and because the guests behaving badly actually initiated the situation by jumping the queue at the Soarin’ attraction inside the Land pavilion at EPCOT.
A quartet of young adults reportedly cut in front of everyone waiting in the queue at the attraction, but when guests called them out for their insensitive and selfish behavior, the group immediately proved that their initial behavior was just the beginning of their abilities as guests behaving badly at Disney World.
Immediately, the group–two young men and two young women–began cursing, swearing, and using slurs toward other guests in line for the attraction. It made no difference to any of them that there were children in line as well–children who had a front-row seat to possibly the worst behavior they’d seen in their young lives.
According to witnesses in the queue, the group was eventually removed from the line by cast members, though it’s not clear whether they were escorted to the gates and forced to leave the park.
Dude Takes a Dive on a $60,000 Dare
At the Walt Disney World Resort, there are dozens of themed swimming pools at each resort hotel. Disney World even features two themed water parks. But for some guests, that’s simply not enough, and they choose, instead, to enjoy their water activities in other spaces throughout the resort.
In 2022, surfing in the fountains at Disney Springs seemed like the appropriate thing to do for at least one guest who brought his surfboard into the crowded shopping and entertainment district at Disney World, only to find out that Disney World security didn’t share his affinity for fountain surfing.
But in October 2023, one guest just couldn’t turn down a lucrative dare to jump into World Showcase Lagoon at EPCOT. Various reports stated the payout on the dare, should the guest complete the task, would be $60,000. Other reports had the payout at a fraction of that amount–at just $6,000.
But whatever the amount, a young man at EPCOT simply couldn’t go on with his life without determining whether he had what it takes to climb over the railing of a bridge over the lagoon and jump into the water below. The entire “event” was captured by other guests, some of whom called out to the man, telling him he’d be in trouble if he were caught.
He took several minutes to climb over the railing of the bridge and assume the pre-jump position, and when he had his form just right, he released the railing and jumped into the water below. The guest then swam toward a gondola in the water and climbed out, soaking wet. No word yet on exactly what his payout was, whether he actually received it, and whether Disney Parks compensated him with a lifetime ban.
Our question is, would the jump be worth the ban?
Man Boards Boat at Disneyland, Only to Jump Out, Disrobe, and streak Through the Park
Perhaps we should have seen this one coming. As of Thanksgiving 2023, to our recollection, there had been no incidences of naked guests streaking through the parks, so perhaps we were due.
But regardless of our apparent inability to access and translate our trusty crystal ball, one man thought that zero naked guests at Disneyland making the national news headlines was simply one guest too few, and therefore, he fulfilled the role so that 2023 wouldn’t go down in the history books as “The Year Devoid of Naked Streaking Disney Guests.”
And though that makes it sound like we should be thankful, we were actually shocked and disgusted.
Just after Thanksgiving, as guests at Disneyland were wrapping up the holiday weekend, a young man boarded a boat at the it’s a small world attraction at Disneyland Park, and all seemed normal.
But shortly after the boat entered the building that houses the ride, the man jumped out of the boat and onto the platform on one side of the waterway before proceeding to remove his clothing and move around the hundreds of dolls in the attraction, which were inspired and created by legendary Walt Disney Imagineer Mary Blair.
Look, you do you. We won’t judge. But if “you doing you” means our $130/day Disney Park admission includes a strip show, we’ll pass. Nobody wants to see that, man, so don’t ruin it for everyone else in the parks.
Makeshift Toilets Appear in Disney World Pool
You just can’t make up this stuff. (Honestly, we wish the story were made up.)
A female guest at Disney World shared her experience of what is probably the worst guest behavior we’ve ever read about at any Disney Park. She recounted the awful scenario via Reddit, and even after hearing her account, the story was still nearly unbelievable. Part of her post reads as follows:
“I was swimming in the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon when a group of boys gathered in a circle in the shallow end,” the guest said. “They all pulled down their trunks and pooped in the water together like some kind of horrible ceremony. I got out of there as fast as I could and told the nearest cast member and the whole wave pool was promptly cleared out.”
The scenario is disgusting on several levels for several reasons, and the fact that a group of guests would partake in such a display is horrifying. Add to that the fact that the group of teens is reportedly experienced in synchronized . . . well, you get the idea . . . is terrifying and triggers our gag reflex nearly immediately.
Look, we get it. You’re swimming with your crew. You’re having a great time. And then the urge comes upon you. What an inconvenience. But it’s worth noting that Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach both have multiple restroom facilities onsite. After all, it’s not your local “swimmin’ hole,” despite the fact that these teens treated it as such.
Sorry, not sorry; makeshift toilets are not a thing, and if the teens have so little control over their bladders and bowels, perhaps they should be donning Lil’ Swimmers diapers instead of trunks. After all, in 2023, the swim diapers bare Disney100 theming.
Also, we can’t help but admit that we’re hopeful that the group was barred from the parks.
Non-Paying, Banned Guest Sneaks Into Magic Kingdom & Shuts Down Three Different Themed Lands
One guest takes the prize for displaying the worst behavior inside a Disney World theme park. In September, a non-paying guest who was banned from the parks arrived at Magic Kingdom. Since she had no admission ticket, she also had no park pass reservation for the day.
Perhaps that’s why, instead of attempting to enter through the front gates like any normal human guest, she instead proceeded to sneak into the park through a backdoor, cast-member-only entrance.
On September 18, just before Magic Kingdom officially opened, a giant, hairy guest was spotted in the park. Yep, it was a black bear. The wild animal had made her way into the park, and according to Florida Wildlife Commission officers, she was most likely looking for food.
Walt Disney World management and cast members immediately sprang into action, closing off three lands in the park: Adventureland, Frontierland, and Liberty Square. (Smart bear: she visited Frontierland; it would have been weird seeing her in Tomorrowland!) Disney World contacted specialists at Florida’s Wildlife Commission, requesting their help in capturing the bear.
But rather than earning a lifetime ban (which she kind of already had because . . . well, she’s a bear), the bear’s trespassing incident scored her a brand-new home. Officers with the Wildlife Commission shared a video of the bear being re-homed in Ocala National Forest.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has shared video of the black bear that was found in a tree at Magic Kingdom being released in Ocala National Forest. pic.twitter.com/rvK09XJcg0
— Ashley Carter (@AshleyLCarter1) September 19, 2023
Why was the bear in the park? We like to think her Google Maps app was glitching, but another “report” suggested the bear was in the park to attend a protest against the removal of the Splash Mountain attraction. But whatever her reason for stumbling into Magic Kingdom that day in mid-September, the female black bear seemed happy enough to be dropped off at her new home.
Perhaps that was her goal the whole time.
Well played, lady bear. Well played.
While there were many more examples of bad guest behavior at Disney Parks throughout the year, these stories seem to detail some of the worst of the worst. And we just can’t wait to see what 2024 inspires guests to do at Disney World and Disneyland.