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Police Reports Filed for Incidents Where Guests Abused Cast Members Attempting to Enforce COVID-19 Safety Protocols

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Cast Members have endured abuse from guests while enforcing COVID-19 safety protocols such as mask wearing and physical distancing. Police reports have been filed against guests that have abused Cast Members by spitting on them, shoving them, and even attempting to pull a gun on them.

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One particular altercation took place where a guest became so enraged when asked to put on his face mask, that he attempted to draw the gun from an Orange County Sheriff Deputy. The man was drunk and upset when Reedy Creek firefighters asked him to step back and put on a mask. They were called to help his wife whom hurt her ankle at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort. The man threatened to kill the Sheriff Deputy and attempted to physically assault the officer before reaching for his gun. The guest was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer.

Another man plead not guilty of disorderly intoxication after an altercation with law enforcement when continually removing his mask and refusing to physically distance himself from other guests at Disney Springs. Guests have been caught attempting to avoid mandatory temperature checks and refusing to stay physically distant from others. One guest threw their phone at a Starbucks employee when asked to stay distanced from others. Countless stories are popping up of guests abusing both Cast Members and law enforcement over COVID-19 precautions.

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Disney created their own specialized safety task force that helps keep guests in compliance with the precautions, however every Cast Member is trained to speak up when they see a guest breaking those policies.

A Cast Member temporarily working in the COVID-19 policy enforcement team told the Orlando Sentinel, “There’s never a day when I don’t have a story. I cried the first week I started. It was not a good time at all. Imagine going to work every single day where people ridicule you.”

It is Disney’s policy that all guests over the age of two must wear a face mask unless “actively eating or drinking” in a stationary location. All Cast Members are expected to help enforce those rules so the parks can stay open, and most importantly to keep everyone safe.

  1. Unfortunately, physical altercations have been a thing at the parks long before COVID-19.

  2. This situation is unfortunate but also a bit complicated. A majority of these incidents involve intoxicated Guests, so COVID or no COVID, these incidents would most likely happen anyway – can’t point directly to non-compliance of health protocols as the source.

    Secondly, while I always empathize with CMs, a significant part of their job (which they know when they apply/interview/get hired) is to reinforce Guest compliance. Again, COVID or no COVID, they’d be charged with asking Guests to comply with some sort of rule, which is always messy and never a pleasant experience. However, as CMs, THEY SIGNED UP FOR THAT!! I am in HR, and get a nasty dose of Employee and Manager complaints on a daily basis. My job is to reinforce company policy and I often catch hell for it. But, at the end of the day, it is MY JOB. Just another perspective here.

    The question the reporter of this article should address is has the incident rate increased since parks re-opened last July? Otherwise, it is nothing new from the norm.

  3. Those people have a brain the size of a pea. They know the rules. They just refuse to follow them.

  4. People are tired of being told what to do like a bunch of school children. Numbers are coming down. People would respond much better if they were given the choice on whether to wear a mask or not. Let’s be honest. Wearing a Homemade mask does not really protect you against Covid. It just makes people feel better and allows the government to have control of us.

    1. If you don’t want to be told what to do, wear your mask correctly and abide the guidelines in place. You agree to wear a mask when you come to the park. Over half a million people are dead and your vacation is in no way more important than safety of the casts and guests in the park.

    2. To be honest, you do have a choice when it comes to wearing a mask or not. If you don’t want to follow Disney’s policies and you don’t want to wear a mask, you don’t have to visit Disney. Disney is not a necessity. Also for places like grocery stores that are necessities, I would say most of them (at least in my area) are providing curbside/pick up and to-go services for all customers. These services do not in anyway require you to wear a mask. You do have a choice in these matters, but businesses also have a right to enforce their own policies.

    3. These people agree to follow the posted rules when entering the park. Even if I think the masks are useless and pointless, the private company has decided that’s what they want people to do on their property, and that’s what I’ll do. If they don’t want me there without a mask, I can’t go. I think we could have a real, reasonable discussion whether we should shut down businesses, or if the government has the right to do. This is NOT what this is. We’re talking about wearing a small piece of cloth over part of your face. It practically changes nothing about what you’re doing day to day. (And no, I’m not counting the teeny, tiny amount of people who may have some medical reason not to.)

      And no matter what you think about it, there is NO EXCUSE for being abusive towards the people who are trying to enforce rules that they have been told to enforce. Cast members who may even themselves not like the masks.

      1. Tom, sorry but I don’t think the reporter presented the facts properly here. The article seemed to have pointed to non-compliance of COVID/safety protocols as the issue, where in fact it was intoxicated Guests.

        The question the reporter of this article should address is has the incident rate increased since parks re-opened with COVID/safety protocols in place? Otherwise, it is nothing new from the norm we saw pre-COVID.

        1. Yeah, they’re saying there are daily occurrences. They’re not all alcohol related. That would be irresponsible journalism to claim they’re all drinking related because two were.

          1. As a former cast member, I can say that such situations definitely pop up from time to time where a guest is a jerk to a cast member for asking them to follow rules (I once had a guest change their kid’s diaper on my food counter and get angry when I asked them not to because they were a “paying guest” and that it was my job to clean up after them).

            That being said, COVID-19 restrictions definitely seem to have made such situations MUCH more frequent, as cast members are now tasked with being mask police, and a lot of people (as I see at the casino that I now manage) will try anything to get around such rules. So I 100% support the cast members who are dealing with people who abuse them for doing their jobs.

            I also agree with Tom that this is not a drinking thing; it’s an entitlement thing. Which has always been a thing, but in our increasingly polarized population, in the midst of a pandemic and the frustration that such measures are still in place after all this time (mostly due to the people who try and flout the rules — I’m amazed that no Florida parks have been the source of a super-spreader event because Disney, Universal, and other Florida parks have all done an amazing job of enforcing the rules), I hear these stories WAY more often than I used to. Even when I was a cast member and most stories were just talked about backstage and not published online. I personally consider this article absolutely legitimate, because those who work in guest service, in and out of theme parks, are dealing with a LOT more abuse than we used to.

            If someone doesn’t want to follow the rules that theme parks are enforcing, those people should avoid going to theme parks. It’s that simple. Don’t be a jerk to people who are doing their jobs and enforcing rules that you KNOW are rules before you get there (unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year). People abusing anyone in the service industry over pandemic mandates are just being jerks and — as both a former cast member and a current casino manager — we’d rather you just not come. We’ll get along just fine without you.

  5. It annoys me soooooo much when I see people not wearing a mask properly or at all or trying to sneak a photo without a mask and castmember will kindly tell them that they neee to keep their mask on. Then the guest will become all rude and snappy. Or… my favorite… Castmember has to repeatedly tell the same person to keep their mask on and this person is now using profanity and if all in a castmember’s face. These people are not intoxicated. Disney should remove these people from the parks immediately! No slaps on the wrist, just a bye! Or maybe scan their bands or tickets and if they continue to act like jerks, 3 strikes and you either lose your pass or cant come to the parks for the remainder of your visit. Something needs to be enforced that’s harsher because clearly adults cannot act like adults.

  6. to abuse those just doing their job as required by management requires one to have a very small mind. while i disagree with just about everything disney and chapek are doing [ ALL BOTTOM LINE, HECK WITH THE MAGIC. example. get a huge property tax relief for disney, soak the dvc members with higher dues. and no magical bus to even get there? really!?} all just to cya. to blame and abuse the little guy just trying to keep their job is the sign that yes, you are a mental midget of epic proportions! who in their right mind would ever attack someone for just doing their job in order to keep their job and pay the bills for they and their own?? the stupidity of too many has become the new norm it seems.

  7. I have mostly seen obnoxious cast members being rude to guests who just put up with it because they paid too much to waste time arguing with low wage workers.

  8. I saw multiple physical altercations during my last visit, always from a guest refusing to wear a mask threatening other guests and cast members with violence. The one time someone in my party forgot to put theirs back on and a CM reminded them, the fact that my friend was apologetic and polite was so surprising to the CM that they thanked *us* repeatedly and almost cried with relief, saying “you have no idea how bad it’s been.” People who don’t wear masks are terrible people.

  9. No one should verbally or physically abuse these workers.
    But the road runs both ways in some cases too. Some cast
    members border on harassment and ridicule when talking to
    guests. Some are very rude and act as if a crime has been
    committed. There have been a few times that I honestly forgot
    that I did not have it on when leaving my resort room. I was
    harassed as if I had spit on them. One time it was when I was
    actually returning to the room to get the damn thing. Lets be
    honest…people are tired of this crap and want normalcy. Disney
    charges alot of money for even little things….the least they can
    show is some understanding and be polite. The road runs both
    ways.

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