Epcot Parks & Resorts Walt Disney World Resort

PHOTOS, VIDEO: Woman Controversially Brings Pet Monkey to Meet Pluto at Disney World

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I have seen my fair share of outrageous guests at Disney World in the 28 years I have been visiting. I have seen inappropriate t-shirts, scantily clad women, grownups in full blown character costumes, and even a woman with a “service” squirrel dining with her at Katsura Grill, but nothing may have been stranger than the lady who brought a monkey in a diaper (traveling in a stroller) to Epcot this weekend.

A pet monkey, not part of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts I think…

Not only was this monkey being wheeled around in a stroller and wearing a diaper, but the monkey got to meet Pluto while at Epcot.

Now, since I posted pictures and videos of the incident, we have been bombarded with angry feedback from guests who are upset that a service or therapy monkey was allowed into a Walt Disney World theme park. Technically, per the rules of theme park entry, this type of creature is not allowed in the Walt Disney World theme parks, even if they have certification for it. A monkey qualifies as a wild creature and for the safety of surrounding guests, simply should not be allowed in.

Now, I did not try to get an answer from Disney on the situation (I doubt they would talk to me anyway), but it seems that the monkey shouldn’t have been allowed in, but some sort of special exception was made. I highly doubt that a monkey was smuggled into Epcot, especially with security procedures as they are now.

What do you think? Should the monkey have been allowed in?

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.

77 Comments

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  • It should be a general rule – if your “service animal” or “therapy animal” has the mobile ability to jump on me and/or rip off my face, it isn’t allowed in. Call me a curmudgeon, I would have walked straight to Guest Services and complained. Seriously, what an attention whore this woman must be.

      • Or she could have a mental illness and see the monkey as her child. You have no idea what her situation is, Disney is just as much at fault for allowing her in with the monkey.

    • My thoughts exactly…she is doing it for attention as are so many other people with companion animals. Some people actually need them but some just don’t want to leave their animal at home. They will ruin it for the ones that actually need a service animal when Disney decides to deny them entry.

  • No the monkey should have not been allowed in. Disney should only be allowing Service animals that meet the qualifications. In my opinion, even “support animals” should not be allowed. Disappointing on so many levels. Wonder what excuse this patron gave. Still shouldn’t have been allowed in. So I couldn’t bring in a glass christmas ornament into the park that I had bought from a resort due to the no glass rule. But she can bring in a monkey.

    • Disney only cares that the lady pays money, she’s in line for an autograph with a book she bought from them, and will pay for photos. She’s a model patron. They could care less about anything else.

    • Of course you can’t have a glass ornament in the parks! If they let you do that, someone’s monkey might steal it and throw it at someone!

  • No, and the untrained “service dogs” that ran around and barked on the Carousel of Progress shouldn’t have been allowed in either. The CM saw them but did nothing except say “thanks for bringing the puppies, they made my day!” WTF?

      • Service Animals are trained in all sorts of situations, one being crowds. A monkey is not a Service Animal; perhaps an Emotional Support Animal. I work at a zoo and this is an ongoing problem nowadays, making it harder for people who actually need Service Animals.

    • They probably belonged to the lying bitch who drags 10 untrained dogs to Disney everyday and claid she is training them. She doesn’t need the dogs, she just wants attention. Also, real service dogs ARE trained to ignore crowds and distractions and shouldnt be in public if they can’t behave.

  • I think if you’re the type of person who lets something like this ruin your day, you need to get your priorities in order. Also, you’re probably the type of person thats tons of fun at parties.

  • I think the service animal thing is getting way out of hand. If you need hearing or sight dog, fair enough. These people that need dogs for comfort etc, it’s a bit ridiculous and somewhat unfair on the dog. On Christmas day I saw a lady feeding her service dog Gatorade. These people are substituting animals for children.

    Still.. I bet they didn’t feel the need to put the monkey on their shoulders during a show, or make their monkey push to the front of the parade route… So better than most people with kids at WDW!

  • From the ADA:
    A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Tasks performed can include, among other things, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, alerting a person to a sound, reminding a person to take medication, or pressing an elevator button.
    Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals either. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. It does not matter if a person has a note from a doctor that states that the person has a disability and needs to have the animal for emotional support. A doctor’s letter does not turn an animal into a service animal.
    Examples of animals that fit the ADA’s definition of “service animal” because they have been specifically trained to perform a task for the person with a disability:
    · Guide Dog or Seeing Eye® Dog1 is a carefully trained dog that serves as a travel tool for persons who have severe visual impairments or are blind.
    · Hearing or Signal Dog is a dog that has been trained to alert a person who has a significant hearing loss or is deaf when a sound occurs, such as a knock on the door.
    · Psychiatric Service Dog is a dog that has been trained to perform tasks that assist individuals with disabilities to detect the onset of psychiatric episodes and lessen their effects. Tasks performed by psychiatric service animals may include reminding the handler to take medicine, providing safety checks or room searches, or turning on lights for persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, interrupting self-mutilation by persons with dissociative identity disorders, and keeping disoriented individuals from danger.
    · SSigDOG (sensory signal dogs or social signal dog) is a dog trained to assist a person with autism. The dog alerts the handler to distracting repetitive movements common among those with autism, allowing the person to stop the movement (e.g., hand flapping).
    · Seizure Response Dog is a dog trained to assist a person with a seizure disorder. How the dog serves the person depends on the person’s needs. The dog may stand guard over the person during a seizure or the dog may go for help. A few dogs have learned to predict a seizure and warn the person in advance to sit down or move to a safe place.
    Under Title II and III of the ADA, service animals are limited to dogs. However, entities must make reasonable modifications in policies to allow individuals with disabilities to use miniature horses if they have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for individuals with disabilities.

    This was not a service animal nor should have been treated as one. Unfortunately the lines have been blurred between Service and Companion animals and few know what they can and can not ask a person about their animal or disability. I foresee a day long ADA training session for Disney cast members in the near future to explain the difference.

    • Disney allows Working Animals provided they are not “Active” meaning they cannot have attack commands. Therapy, SAR, ESA, Passive Drug/Explosive Detection. Monkeys are classified with Therapy, to get in she was probably bombarded with questions from Management when it comes to other animals besides a dog or miniature horse. She did not give the correct answers, the monkey would be staying free of charge at the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford.

      Certification from an accredited Animal Behaviorist, Doctor’s Note reasoning for monkey, for monkeys they need a full medical record.

      • Cloe, I doubt that the Central Florida Zoo would have allowed this. The animals in our zoos, as well as our guests have to be protected. Outside animals can carry diseases and can disturb our animals. We have had guests sneak small dogs in and they their owners wouldn’t control them. They bark at the animals and the people. One was going under the fence into the Adax yard. A guest informed us and we escorted them out. I could go on and on.

  • I don’t think they should have allowed the monkey in either. As you can see in the video she dropped the leash and quickly stepped on the leash on the ground. A true service animal would not require you to be pressed to hold them that close on a leash because a service animal stays with the person they are servicing. Had I been there with my children I would have been highly upset.

  • Yeah, I personally think that this stupid women, should have never have bought the monkey into the park! Like hello! Did the security not see her with a monkey, were They not paying attention to the lady with the monkey?! ? a lady like that with a pet monkey doesn’t belong in the park! ? I don’t why security didn’t stop her and say to her: “excuse me Mame, but your not allowed in with that monkey into the park! ? was the security blind not to see a lady with a monkey! ? pffff…give me a break! ?

  • Yes there is a big difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal. Unfortunately, there seems to be great potential for abuse with the latter. Don’t want to leave your pet monkey (or pig or whatever)home or pay for someone to care for them. Got a doctor that will give you whatever documentation needed? There you go…you get to bring your pet along. Seriously, if you can’t go to WDW without your monkey, you probably should stay home.

  • Anyone with a paying ticket is allowed whatever pet they see fit. We’re not gonna let that money get away juts because there are old rules from the previous management.

    We look after the money.

  • I had someone try to convince me that a snake was her therapy animal.

    No…snakes are reptiles who are only concerned for themselves and would bite the hand that feeds it if it felt that was a viable food source.

    A monkey is in no way a “domesticated” animal and I would be VERY curious to see if she has a license to have an exotic animal, let alone a license to have this animal as a service companion. These types of things are getting VERY out of hand.

    • Snakes are great therapy animals. have actually seen snakes coil around the neck of handler alerting an owner…. A seizure is about to happen. Therapy and Emotional Support Animals can be any type of animal to help comfort others including monkeys.

      When it comes to Service Animals ONLY dogs and miniature horse.

      Monkeys can be domesticated with lots of constant training. Too get in the parks with a Therapy Monkey, she has all the legal certifications, medical records, and doctor’s note. If she did not have all the paperwork or answered Management Questions incorrectly, the monkey would be staying for free at Central Florida Zoo in Sanford.

  • That is not a legit pet or allowed it is not in the approved list and was smuggles or snook by passing it off as a kid

  • Yeah this should not have been allowed to happen. I’m sure this issue could have been avoided and probably dealt with a little differently if she tried to pull this stunt at DAK. They would’ve been on her like white on rice.

  • Get a frigin’ clue people! Remember the woman whose face got taken off by a monkey?Sorry the so called ” service” animal abuse is so out of control!!

    • Disney allows Therapy Animals, and Therapy can be all sorts of animals from monkeys to snakes to birds. I know 6 monkeys in Central Florida which detect seizures, know what term they are called Medical Therapy Animals due to ADA not allowing monkeys on the ADA list.

      Travis which ripped the face off a person in Connecticut was caged and also on Xanax. Prior to attack Travis was showing signs of aggression. Travis was over 50lbs.

  • I think she snuck the monkey in ..probably covered it with a blanket so they thought it was a baby in the stroller..I don’t believe it was a service animal..

    • Hi, me & my mom were talking about the lady with the monkey in the park, & she figured it was a service monkey, I thought it was her pet, But then again, it could have been a service monkey.?

      • Monkeys can’t legally be service animals. The laws only covery dogs and miniature horses.

  • I know you can buy documentation saying it’s a service animal even when it’s really not…money talks…pay someone enough…

  • You guys need to chill out. There are spiders that can warn a person about an impending seizure, and there are monkeys that can help people with crippling hand conditions. You all sound like a bunch of sour pusses.

  • No offense, we always take our pet dogs and just put a vest on them. Disney couldn’t care less. As long as we’re spending money, we’re golden. If Disney really gave a shit about their guests they might have better policies for the comfort of all guests,, but we know, they don’t, so, game on!

    • Sadly Mary, you are the guest Disney management is catering to. Monkeys, Cats, Puppies, whatever else doesn’t impact Disney’s only goal. Money. If they really were a company looking to make a good experience, at least there would be some guidelines. Reminds me of the Guest Assistance Pass everyone and their brother could get to skip the lines, until it made the news, Disney ignored the mayhem and inconvenience to guests. Now they have the Disability Assistance Pass which is almost as nonsensical.

    • If you think faking a disability to drag your precious puppy everywhere is okay you’re serious b**** and don’t belong in these places.

      • Why, don’t you read about a person named (Petra) on here she commented on here, she wrote about her pet monkey. & she posted about her disease that she has, & you’ll see why she has the monkey with her ! ?

      • Cuz Disney would rather have me and my dog there spending money. Until they change their business model as Disney only cares about my money, screw ’em. I’ll bring the cat too!

        • Bitch, it’s ILLEGAL to bring pets into places pretending they are service animals. Youre dog is going to end up distracting a real service dog and possibly KILLING the owner. The park workers are just too afraid to ask because liars threaten to sue them the second they question anything. If you can’t keep your fucking dog home, don’t go outside and stay with it all day forever. Probably better for you anyway.

          • No offense, I really don’t care about your opinion, what offends you, nor your legal interpretations. Disney doesn’t care, they only want my money. Therefore I don’t either! That simple. Your true colors looks like you’re not a very pleasant person anyhow, and have a mouth your mom should have knocked the teeth out of for language.

    • It is a second degree misdemeanor in Florida to pass your pet off as a service dog. You face a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

      You’re also really hurting those of us who need legitimate service dogs just to be able to do the things you take for granted, like going to a restaurant, shopping, or going to a theme park (where we still may not be able to do everything or spend all day there). Businesses give us access problems because of people like you. Our service dogs get attacked, which could lead to expensive re-training or retirement for the dog (and being home-ridden for the handler), by pets passed off as service dogs.

      Be thankful you don’t need a dog to help you do everyday basic things. Be thankful you didn’t have to spend many thousands of dollars on a service dog, whose training takes a full one to two years of multiple training sessions each day. Be thankful and leave your pets home, where they’ll be happiest, or in the kennels Disney has for pets.

      You said “no offense”, but it is truly offensive when someone fakes a pet/emotional support pet as a service dog.

      • No offense, I really don’t give anything about your opinion, what offends you, nor your legal interpretations. Disney does not care. They ask nothing about service animals. They only care about making money. Therefore, the other arguments make this “not about you”, so, go mind your own business.

        • Could you please let the rest of us know when you and your unlicensed animals will be at WDW so we can turn you in to the Orange county authorities for breaking many laws?

          • And I’ll vouch for her so you get arrested for filing a false police report. Also let’s be honest, Disney would vouch for her too because they wouldn’t want the bad press and I’m sorry pretty sure the cops would believe Disney over a stupid bitch like you. Have fun doing 5 to 10!

  • My favorite part of the article is where you wrote “With security procedure with what they are”. What a JOKE! They don’t do ANYTHING for security, a show and tell metal detector for some guests, no staff, and tons of ways to get weapons, or pets, or whatever you like in the parks.

  • That was me and my Monkey, Abu. He is my rock. I have Dravet syndrome and it could be deadly. Abu is trained to recognize when I go into an episode and seek help. It pains me to see that people are so ignorant about this. You have no idea how hard it is to lead a semi-normal life. Abu has allowed me to do things that I could never before accomplish.

    I urge you to learn more about my disease: https://www.dravetfoundation.org/what-is-dravet-syndrome/

    • Petra I knew you had all the certificates, doctor note, and medical records to get a monkey in Disney. Management must have drilled you hard. What many people do not know is that monkeys detect seizures. Service Dogs have a 40-65% detection rate when it comes to Davet Syndrome. Abu if not mistaken has detected at 100%. When it comes to seizures with Davet Syndrome you cannot have a Service Dog that 40-65% detection rate is too low, chances having a terminal seizure to high. Petra, you probably see me with Dr Tink or Cinderella if you come to Epcot often I am the Director of Emergency Rapid Response Team http://www.errt.us

    • Petra I’m so sorry if this has been embarrassing for you. Both of my friend’s sons have Dravet Syndrome and it pains me to see all the things they’re unable to do. Tom should be ashamed of himself for posting this and calling you outrageous and strange. It’s absolutely pathetic that he wouldn’t even try and contact Disney for an answer before stating his opinions like they’re somehow facts. He really should take this post down out of respect for you, but sadly I know he won’t because all he cares about is website traffic and I’m sure he’ll probably make fun of me for criticizing him, but I could care less. Please keep trying to live the best possible life that you can and never let uniformed idiots control what you do.

    • I have sympathy for your condition. I understand that you feel that you need your monkey for your own health and safety. My question is – Where is the line? What if tigers, meerkats, mountain lions, hippos, were all better at detecting seizures? At what point are you taking a non-domesticated animal and not only trying to forcibly domesticate them, but putting them in situations with thousands of people, which has to be stressful to ANY species of animal that is not a domesticated species?

      You can love that animal with all your heart – I am sure you feel like your specific monkey behaves just fine. But leashing a wild animal, even for your own health, is putting other people at jeopardy. The woman with the pet chimp who ripped off her face also thought her animal was perfectly behaved and domesticated pet. The truth is, unless it is a dog/cat/horse/pig/misc farm animal, it has not had hundreds of years of domestication and should not be brought into a public place. Even if it is better at doing a job than a dog.

      • I am not the only one who feels this way :

        “While the relationship between a disabled human and a service monkey may appear mutually beneficial on the surface, the monkeys used in this industry have sacrificed their health and general well-being. Unlike dogs and cats, monkeys are not domesticated animals and cannot be made so in one generation or twenty. Painful training methods, including electric shock packs, are utilized in an attempt to control these naturally independent and inquisitive wild animals. Non-human primates are extremely social animals whose normal development requires the company of others of their own kind. Ideally, primates should live in the wild. Their natural habitats include species-typical social groups that allow them to learn from their families and have a rich emotional life.”

        http://www.primatesanctuaries.org/issues/advocacy/service-monkeys/

    • It is great that you have him at home, but you cannot take him into public places. He is not a service dog under federal or state laws. Passing him off as a service animal is a misdemeanor in Florida. Taking him into restaurants and anywhere that sells food is against the health codes, which could lead to the businesses to face fines. Obtain a service dog for when you need to go out. There are very valid reasons why monkeys were excluded from the laws, including safety for all. Even before the law excluded monkeys, program-trained monkeys were only for home use because the trainers and handlers understood the problems.

  • Therapies dogs and emotional support animals don’t have Public Access rights guys, only service dogs do. Try a little research before commenting out of your ass.

  • For all of you saying she brought the monkey in just for attention, please… by all means… give me some concrete proof of your accusations:: if not, don’t don’t judget a book by its color:: she might have really needed that qualified service animal with her.

  • I am going to buy a South American Macaw, dress it up in a pirate outfit and teach it to say horrible, vile things and bring it to the park as my ‘therapy animal’.. And I mean vile..

  • Just to make this as simple as possible, a monkey no matter how trained the owner says it is, is still a wild, undomesticated animal and should not be allowed in the parks or any public place. It could become agitated and really hurt someone. I understand this animal helps this lady and her disease but what would happen if a child had say pulled it’s tail, that child would have been bitten or worse and then where would the owner and her monkey be? Not to mention WDW and a law suit for letting it happen. The owner needs to think before she subjects everyone else to her possible threat of a monkey