Sometimes, even inside a Disneyland or Walt Disney World, things don’t go as planned. As Murphy’s law states, “If it can go wrong, it will go wrong.” This is especially true given the unpredictability of Disney character meet and greets. Oftem, costumes are restrictive of vision and movement. Recently, one popular character at Avengers Campus learned this the hard way. On his way to greet fans, Groot, the famous character from Guardians of the Galaxy, took a tumble and had to be helped to his feet by Cast Members. TikTok user @brenda_dee18 was filming when the situation unfolded and Groot went down.
The accident happened at California Adventure. California Adventure neighbors Disneyland and is home to popular attractions such as The Incredicoaster, Radiator Springs Racers, and Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission BREAKOUT. Avengers Campus is the newest addition to California Adventure, which opened in 2021. As Marvel remains restricted from Walt Disney World due to wonky distribution rights, Disneyland is the home to Marvel Cinematic Universe-themed rides, shows, and characters.
Avengers campus has two rides. WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-man Adventure allows Guests to aid Spider-man by capturing Spider-bots who are wreaking havoc on Avengers Campus. Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission BREAKOUT is a retheme of the Tower of Terror that opened in 2017. Groot is one of many characters that Guests can meet and take photos with around Avengers Campus. Other popular Marvel heroes include Thor and Jane, Captain America, Black Panther, and Doctor Strange.
Recently at Avengers Campus, while walking out to approach Guests, the largest member of the Guardians of the Galaxy seems to have lost his footing and tumbled to the ground. Groot laid on his back briefly before Cast Members rushed to his aid. After redirecting the crowd, Cast Members were able to get Groot to his feet. He then gave a heroic wave to the Guests standing around to assure them he was okay!
Incidents like these happen at Parks. Sometimes they’re unavoidable. As costumes become more elaborate, Guests should expect malfunctions occasionally. This doesn’t make incidents like this any less shocking. There have been plenty of other incidents involving Disney character meet and greets in the Parks. Recently a video shared by @Liz_magical_adventures on TikTok shows Beast, from Beauty and the Beast, losing his head while greeting visitors at Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom. Guests to the character dining experience caught the following.
Another video, shared by @backlotprod on TikTok shows fan-favorite Stitch falling while running to meet Guests at Disneyland Paris. Somtimes actors can go a little overboard on the entertainment as seen here. Although Stitch is doing his best to entertain guests, running probably wasn’t the wiset decision.
Remember a couple of years ago when Merida’s horse was caught in balloons in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World? If not, Bill Zanetti captured the mishap up close and personal. This entire incident was avoidable in the first place. Placing a live actor on the back of a large horse in a Theme Park carries risk, and luckily Cast Members successfully stopped anything bad from happening.
These types of incidents are not uncommon and happen more often than you’d think. Roaming Disney characters have handlers for a reason. However, it seems that these handlers could have done a better job. There needed to be more direction for Groot by Disneyland Cast Members. The character was led between a short concrete bench way and a lampost. As the costume is bulky and most likely restricting the actor’s vision, Cast Members could have done a better job of helping the actor navigate the tricky landscape. In addition, one Cast Member immediately blames another for Groot’s fall. “You tripped him,” she says.
Cast Members are well trained to handle just about any situation that may unfold during Disney character meet and greets. Although they could have done more to prevent Groot from hitting the pavement, they handled the situation well once he’d fallen. Toward the end of the video, Groot is helped to his feet by several Cast Members, further showing the actor’s lack of mobility in the costume. Groot is okay, however, and without breaking character, walks away waving to the crowd with a loud “I AM GROOT!” As one commenter points out, it’s a shame that no one present had the awareness to yell, “Timber!”