Disney World is known as a place for family fun, but there is definitely a line, and some of the characters in the theme park claim that the idea of a few tourists having fun is a right-wing crime.
Disney World employees who wear Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck costumes each filed police reports this month claiming to have been inappropriately touched by tourists, reports the Associated Press.
The woman inside the Mickey Mouse costume claims that she went to the hospital with neck injuries from a grandmother patting the character’s head. Employees wearing the Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck costumes say they have been groped by tourists, according to reports from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
These incidents of harassment come after a 51-year-old man was arrested in November after an employee depicting a Disney princess told investigators that he groped his chest while having his photo taken.
“Everyone should feel safe at work, and we encourage Cast Members to come forward in any uncomfortable situation,” Disney spokesperson Andrea Finger said in a statement. “We provide multiple resources to protect the well-being of our Cast Members, including on-site law enforcement officers who respond and are available to them when necessary.”
A 36-year-old woman playing Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom Park told investigators that a woman had tapped the head of her costume five times, slipping it and stretching its neck, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The employee said she did not believe the woman intentionally injured her, and the sheriff’s office ruled that the December 4 incident was a civil matter, not a criminal one.
The tourist’s family said they did not know that the employee was taken to the hospital until he was contacted by the newspaper on Thursday.
Boone Scheer told Sentinel that his mother-in-law had tapped Mickey to prove to his nervous 2-year-old grandson that he should not be afraid of Mickey.
“She barely touched him,” said Scheer, adding that her mother-in-law would not intentionally hurt Mickey Mouse. “It was very minimal.”
The family was confused as to whether Disney had a no-touch rule for the costumed characters, as they give high-fives and hugs to visitors, said Scheer.
He added that no one in the park had told them anything after hours later when they tried to check in at their Disney hotel. Disney interviewed his wife and “they certainly tried to imply that it was on purpose,” said Scheer.
On the same day, Disney World had to ban one of its members from traveling to the park after allegedly groping Minnie Mouse several times and allegedly had inappropriate reactions with another actor. Authorities were contacted, but the actor who played Minnie decided not to file a complaint.
On December 3, MPs received a call about a guest mistreating a costumed character at an Animal Kingdom restaurant. A woman in her 60s reportedly asked if she could kiss Donald Duck, according to the incident report.
Donald Duck accepted the kiss, but the situation worsened when the 18-year-old employee playing the character said that the woman had started to touch and grab the arms, chest, belly and face of the character.
The employee went to another Disney employee for help, but the woman followed, holding her, and then “frantically” put her hands in the character’s costume, touching her chest, according to the incident report.
The woman’s family yelled at her to stop and the attendant led the employee to the break room. The employee later decided not to file a complaint, telling authorities that she believed the woman, who was not identified in the report, could be suffering from dementia.
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