ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – The universal rule and now #MeToo mantra: Keep your hands to yourself.
That was the golden rule for every kindergartner and all throughout one’s adolescent years. However, this rule needs to be revisited with adults, especially in the case of those who visit our national tourist attractions such as Walt Disney World.
Mickey, Minnie and Donald have had it up to here with tourists laying hands on them and sometimes even causing serious harm. While it may seem innocent and appropriate for kids, adults pack a much harder “touch” as revealed in recent police reports filed in December 2019.
Employees, or “cast members” dressed as well known Disney characters, have complained that they are being touched inappropriately or with such force as to cause injury. In one incident, a cast member complained of neck and head strain due to a female tourist repeatedly “patting” her on the head of her costume and had to be taken to the hospital for medical attention. In that instance, a family relative’s explanation was that she was trying to show her grandson that there was nothing to be afraid of by patting Mickey on the head, the Orlando Sentinel reported. As her son-in-law Boone Scheer told the Orlando Sentinel, “she barely touched him… it was very minimal.”
On December 3rd, one cast member, while dressed as Donald Duck, agreed to accommodate an elderly female guest asking to kiss the Disney character for a photo opportunity. Unfortunately, the guest, who later was confirmed to be suffering from dementia, began to aggressively touch and grope at the cast member’s torso, face and arms. The guest had to be physically restrained by her own family members while the cast member retreated to a break room area nearby.
Even more disturbing, another occurrence led to a 51 year-old man’s arrest. The same cast member dressed as a Disney Princess was groped about her bosom while taking a photo with the guest who had been repeatedly inappropriate with a number of other cast members during his visit on December 5, 2019. He is now banned from all Walt Disney World properties, despite having a membership with the Disney Vacation Club.
The moral of the story? While all are welcomed to roam about at the “happiest place on earth,” one should exercise restraint and respect for those bringing laughter and cheer. This time around, the kids seem to know best.
Kareen Kennedy is the Entertainment & Business Associate Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org