The 10 Strangest Disney Stories of the Year
Given a year like 2020, you know that a bunch of weird stuff happened.
Here at MickeyBlog, we track all the oddities that make Disney fandom fun…or at least interesting.
Here are the strangest Disney stories of 2020.
The PTA Bill
Disney started off the year in some hot water when an overeager licensing monitor did something silly.
The company, Movie Licensing USA, billed an elementary school $250.
Who wants to hear an unbelievable story about how Disney is essentially fining Berkeley’s Emerson Elementary School PTA $250 while reaping millions of dollars through a corporate loophole that has decimated public schools across California? @Schools1stCA @evolve_ca @berkeleyside
— 🏳️🌈 Lori Droste (@loridroste) January 31, 2020
What had the educational facility done wrong? Emerson Elementary School had hosted a movie night for its children.
School officials treated the kids to pizza and showed them The Lion King.
You can imagine their shock when they received the $250 bill for such an innocent, well-intended event.
The school posted about the matter on Facebook, which triggered a firestorm of criticism so extensive that then-CEO Bob Iger had to apologize.
Our company @WaltDisneyCo apologizes to the Emerson Elementary School PTA and I will personally donate to their fund raising initiative.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) February 6, 2020
No, the school didn’t pay the $250. Yes, the whole thing was patently absurd.
The Guns and Pot in the Diaper Bag
Disney security guards have the weirdest job.
Almost all the time, they spend their shift answering ridiculous questions and telling people to remember to put metal objects in the receptacle.
Then, there are those days that seem so strange that the rest of us can’t possibly understand. We have three of those on the list this year.
One involves a simple search of a diaper bag. A security guard noticed a 9mm handgun in a woman’s diaper bag.
The would-be park guest was trying to enter EPCOT and apparently forgot she had brought that gun with her. Or the other one. Or the bag of pot.
The math here is simple. Two poorly concealed weapons + one bag pot = zero EPCOT admissions.
Disney called the cops, and the woman got busted for some misdemeanors.
The Worst Disney Mom of the Year
Then, there’s the other memorable firearms incident of the year.
A woman reached the temperature check tent at Magic Kingdom.
While waiting in line there, she realized that she must pass through a metal detector.
Panicked, this woman hid a loaded firearm in some nearby plants.
A healthcare worker witnessed the whole thing and informed security officers.
When pressed for an explanation, the woman stated the following:
“I had told my son to hold it for me and stand right here while I go get my brother.
He put it down and messed with the plants, and I put them back, but I didn’t know he left it over here.”
This seems like a good time to mention that her son was six years old at the time.
Also, Disney had security cameras everywhere that showed the mother was the one who hid the gun.
That poor kid’s gonna go broke paying for therapy someday.
The Shipwrecked Jungle Cruise
Bob Chapek had been on the job as Disney’s new CEO for less than two days when he faced his first catastrophe.
At Magic Kingdom, guests on Jungle Cruise got more than the usual spiel on that fateful day.
Right around lunchtime, riders on the Bomokandi Bertha experienced quite the surprise.
The boat started to take on water. Guests may have wondered whether this was a natural part of the show or some elaborate prank.
— ThemePark Clickbait (@TPClickBait) February 27, 2020
However, the Skipper in charge quickly alerted everyone to the fact that this wasn’t the least bit normal and had everyone evacuate.
Later, Disney towed the Bomokandi Bertha to safety, and no guest suffered an injury during the unexpected event. It was just funny.
— Matthew Vince (@synewaves) February 27, 2020
The Devolved Carousel of Progress
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress endeared itself to Uncle Walt during its creation. He loved how the stories tied together his entire life’s work.
Alas, that life started at the start of the 20th century, and the attraction’s more than 50 years old now. So, some stuff tears up.
2020 seemed especially hard on Carousel of Progress, which suffered two memorable incidents.
Poor John was telling his usual story back in February when something alarming happened. His freakin’ hand fell off!
Our narrator received a few months off during the pandemic. Alas, when July rolled around, John wasn’t doing any better.
The poor guy suffered a seizure in the middle of his show!
Viral video fans had a field day adding music to the experience. People really liked this one:
— 🎶 holly and the IVY ❄️ (@sincerelyivy_) July 7, 2020
In John’s defense, he’s got to be 100 years old by now. He was in his early 40s at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Of course, some stuff is gonna tear up!
The Ultimate Disney Karen
Speaking of the pandemic, poor cast members fielded plenty of complaint calls from dissatisfied Disney guests.
The rudest, most delusional one demanded satisfaction after Coronavirus caused the cancellation of her 10-day Walt Disney World vacation.
What did the woman expect as fair compensation? She wanted Disney to provide her family with a make-up vacation in a special suite.
Specifically, she wanted the suite in Cinderella Castle, the one that Disney only gives to prize winners these days.
She…got turned down in her request.
The Grand Theft Disney
Who says that embezzlement gets a bad rap? Well, Disney does.
In fact, the company came down quite hard on the practice this year when it learned about an employee’s theft.
A guest experience services coordinator went into business for herself when she realized that her job could become a side hustle.
The woman refunded money to unhappy guests.
At a certain point, she decided to fake some of these claims and transferred the money to her own account.
She also “refunded” family and friends, totaling $160,000 in ill-gotten Disney money.
Yeah, she’s in jail now.
The Unwelcome Camper
With Disney theme parks closed around the world, some boundary testing seemed inevitable.
Social media obsessives stand to gain too much from traversing the forbidden territories at Disney.
One such example occurred at Discovery Island, where a camper decides to live off the land for a while.
Since Disney security has access to cameras even at remote locations, they easily spotted the camper.
The police arrived and questioned the man, who claimed that he didn’t know he was trespassing. I’m sure the cops guffawed at that statement.
They arrested the individual, who later agreed to a plea bargain.
The whole thing was ridiculously stupid but actually helped Disney in a weird way.
The company utilized the headlines to show that people shouldn’t try to sneak on Disney land during the pandemic.
— Florida Man (@FloridaMan__) May 3, 2020
The Dumbest Sneeze
Look, if you visit Disney enough, you’re going to run into a fair share of jerks.
Even at the Happiest and Most Magical Places on Earth, some people misbehave.
One of the dumbest incidents this year involved a celebrity named Spectacular Blue Smith.
The musician and entrepreneur once reportedly made millions off Grumpy Cat. Still, the Ivy League graduate wasn’t on his game at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Smith thought it’d be hilarious to fake-sneeze the sound “Coronavirus” in a line queue.
A cast member didn’t act amused by the behavior, which forced Smith to comment that he thought it was funny.
At this point, the Disney worker asked Smith to leave the line, blocking him from progressing. Smith proceeded to sucker punch the cast member.
This error in judgment may prove costly to the entrepreneur, as he was kicked out of the park, arrested, and left himself open to a civil suit.
The cast member suffered a concussion from this obnoxious behavior.
2020 has overflowed with idiots, and even smart people like Smith have lost their minds at some point.
The Fallen Caballero
The final Disney oddity for the year comes from our own Nick, the host of Magical News Live.
During a park visit, Nick went viral when he captured some hilarious video.
He was riding Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros when this happened:
— MagicalNewsLIVE (@MagicalNewsLIVE) July 21, 2020
Poor Jose has fallen, and he can’t get up!
In a way, Jose represents all of us during 2020…but it’s over now!