Not-So-Grand and Miraculous: Guest Gets Bumped by Wheelchair at Spaceship Earth, Waits at Exit for a Fight

Spaceship Earth is a slow-moving, gentle, relaxing ride. No one has ever accused it of being an exciting thrill ride. On September 6, 2022, most of the action at Spaceship Earth happened in the line for the attraction.

EPCOT Photo Report 5 18 22 Spaceship Earth stock

Two men got into a physical fight that began over a wheelchair, according to an Orange County Sheriff’s report that was released this past week. One man said the other clipped him while pushing a family member with disabilities in the wheelchair.

The incident report captures the ugly side of humanity at Walt Disney World. Since no one was arrested or charged with a crime, we’re not identifying the men by their full names.

Darren, a 57-year-old man from Missouri, was standing in line for Spaceship Earth with his wife and his son, who was using the wheelchair. The report does not say how old the son is.

Darren gave his version of events to the sheriff’s department.


“While pushing his son’s wheelchair in line, Darren accidentally clipped the ankle of a male (James) in front of him with the wheelchair. The two men got into a verbal altercation, but eventually separated and got onto the ride. Darren stated James was waiting for him when he exited the ride,” the report said.

“A second verbal argument ensued. James was still upset, and Darren told him to stop being a wimp and to get over it. Both men argued one final time, outside the exit of the ride. Darren stated it was at this time that he shoved James with the palms of both hands. Darren recalled that James called him ‘piece of shit’ and got into his personal space, which was why he shoved him. Darren stated he was not afraid or fearful of James in that moment.”

The sheriff’s department also interviewed James, 48, who lives in Seminole County, to hear his side of the story.
James recounted how he and his wife, who uses a mobility scooter, waited for the ride in the wheelchair accessible line.
James said he got clipped in the ankle by Darren pushing his son in the wheelchair. Even though he thought he was struck unintentionally, James said he was upset Darren didn’t apologize, and he “verbally berated him but continued onto the ride.”

The two men’s feud continued after the ride was over, and the situation escalated.

“When James stepped outside, the male followed him, pushed him against the building with both hands, and struck James on the right side of his neck, with his left fist. James separated himself from the situation to find security,” the arrest report said. “James felt that the subject was waiting to confront him after getting off the ride, but also clarified that they got off the ride within minutes of each other.”

After speaking with law enforcement, James decided against pressing criminal charges against Darren.

“All parties were allowed to go their separate ways,” the incident report said.

Another incident where a guest waited at the exit of an attraction to start a fight occurred at the Magic Kingdom last year.

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9 thoughts on “Not-So-Grand and Miraculous: Guest Gets Bumped by Wheelchair at Spaceship Earth, Waits at Exit for a Fight”

  1. When people have to save for so long to go on a Disney trip, they have expectations of it being everything they wanted. That is understandable, I do too. A Disney trip is so expensive now and you get less and have to miss so much due to the time you have, one thing can push you into stupidity. People, we must realize we are all living on earth and we all have the same but different things going on in our lives. PleSe remember a vacation is just that, a vacation from all the stress of home life. People make mistakes because we are human not robots. Say excuse me or sorry I didn’t mean to…. or can I fix this situation? You are responsible for your actions and the lessons you are teaching your kids. Don’t teach them to fly off the handle about every little thing. Enjoy life, it can become very short sometimes. Laugh. Smile.
    Disney keep working on fixing your prices and what we get for our money to alleviate this stress the best you can. Please.

  2. I had an old man run my ankle over in an electric chair right outside splash mtn. He then started to cuss me out cuz i was in his way. Hes lucky i wanted to flip the damn thing over om top of him. And i wasnt even able to find a cast member to get him in trouble. Kinda wish i would of flipped him over while in his chair.

  3. Why was the person with the wheelchair in the normal line anyway??? And why wasnt this family made aware there is a separate entrance around the left side of spaceship earth for wheelchair and the electric scooters. We have had to use this entrance on a few occasions and there is no line no nothing. You park your thing and walk over to the staff member and they eventually get you on spaceship earth. Real easy.

  4. Not surprised. People in wheelchairs and scooters at Disney don’t pay attention and constantly bounce into bystanders. They are also notorious for stopping cold and making abrupt U-turns. There is a solid 10% of people that Disney should refuse to rent to. There would be less injuries at the park if they started monitoring the repeat offenders.

  5. Good grief… hopefully all of these idiots are banned for life. There’s no need for this kind of nonsense in a place filled with kids, who we are trying to teach to be better than this.


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