Epcot Incident: Under-Aged Drinking Cited As Cause
It’s almost ubiquitous around Disney circles – everyone has an Epcot drinking story – an Epcot incident, if you will.
Usually, it involves “drinking around the world.”
Whether it’s the dude in the mirror having too many tequilas in Mexico, your buddy dropping the glass boot in Germany, or your sister tasting too many wines in France; everyone has a tale to tell.
Unfortunately, some of those tales aren’t so lighthearted. And, recently, the Orlando Sentinel had to disseminate that story.
Epcot Incident: Alcohol A Factor?
The paper posted:
A Kansas City mother recently settled a lawsuit with Disney after she sued when her 11-year-old daughter was randomly attacked by a drunken, Mickey Mouse-ears wearing teenager at Epcot during a 2017 melee.
Melissa Weber sued in 2018, accusing Disney of serving alcohol to someone underage and not keeping guests safe, according to the lawsuit that had sought more than $15,000 in damages in Orange Circuit Court.
Court documents do not reveal the amount of the settlement, and neither Disney nor the Weber’s attorney would comment.
“Began punching her on the ground…”
The bottom line is that the teen “a stranger, grabbed the child by her hair, threw her into a garbage can and then began punching her while on the ground on Jan. 13, 2017, according to an Orange County Sheriff’s report.”
- The 17-year-old Naples girl, also accused of attacking another person at the park, was arrested and charged with child abuse, battery, and criminal mischief, the report said.
- The Sentinel is not naming her because she was a minor at the time.
- The state attorney’s office would not comment on the case.
- Since the attack, the little girl has suffered from “anxiety, fear, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder,” the lawsuit said.
Too Much Drinking Around the World?
Now, I’ve never felt unsafe in ANY Disney park, and given how much I’ve traveled in my career – that is an impressive statement about any location (never mind multiple locales).
So, I hope that the story in Orlando Sentinel is a very isolated incident.
However, anecdotally, I do feel as if there are times when events like the ever popular “Food and Wine” toe the line.
While fear doesn’t usually enter the equation, annoyance indeed occurs; mainly during the very crowded food and wine (on both coasts).
It’s hard to even walk in a straight line, sober!
And, in such a crowded environment, clearly some guests are overserved, and emotions and celebrations run high.
Add a too-young guest into the mix; add alcohol (or other chemicals, acquired at the park or otherwise), and, well, that story gets in the paper.
But tell us: Have you ever felt unsafe at Walt Disney World (or any Disney park)? What happened? How did the park handle the situation?