Strangest Disney Stories of 2021
Whenever I think the world can’t get any weirder, something crazier than murder hornets gets a news cycle.
The Walt Disney Company has proved no different than any other business during the pandemic. Lots of nutso stuff happens to the company each week.
Here are some of the strangest Disney stories of 2021.
The Scarlett Johansson Fiasco
Some stories can give you whiplash with the way they turn so quickly.
During the promotional tour for Black Widow, which legitimately lasted more than a year, actress Scarlett Johansson repeatedly stressed her love of Disney.
In fact, just around the time Black Widow came out in theaters, Disney announced that Johansson would produce a new movie.
We’re not talking about just any story, though. Disney wanted her to make a Tower of Terror movie, entrusting her with one of the company’s top properties.
Everything seemed fantastic between the two parties right up until Johansson announced that she was suing Disney.
The actress felt that the company had shortchanged her tens of millions of dollars. A pandemic release, Black Widow had debuted on Disney+ and in theaters.
Johansson didn’t gain her fair share of the Disney+ revenue. So, she sued, and the situation dialed up to 11 FAST.
Disney officials attacked her character for complaining about money during a pandemic. She swore never to do business with them again.
Then, just as suddenly as it started, the fight ended with Johansson and Disney coming to an agreement.
The actress is even working on Tower of Terror again. In fact, she’s apparently working on a (non-Black Widow) secret Marvel project, too.
This whole thing felt like a microwaved version of a couple filing for divorce, only to reconcile in front of the judge. The whole thing unfolded in about 60 days!
The Shanghai Disneyland Imprisonment
I honestly don’t know the tone to take with this story because it’s so bizarre.
Every country has approached the pandemic differently. In China, a place with fewer civil liberties, health officials have called the shots.
China offers arguably the best contact tracing and pandemic response systems on the planet.
Well, in mid-November, one (!) person at Shanghai Disneyland tested positive for COVID-19. If you were in the park that day, you hate that person.
I say this because Shanghai Disneyland shut that place down! Imagine the sound of prison cell doors slamming shut and bolt locks turning. It was pretty much like that.
Anybody in the park at the time couldn’t leave. Health officials wanted to ensure that an outbreak didn’t occur.
So, literally everyone in the park had to take and pass a COVID-19 test. Park officials prevented 30,000 guests from leaving that day. It was intense.
MickeyBlog has a soft spot for this strange happening, as our friend, Nick from MagicalNewsLIVE, broke the story.
During one of his rides on The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, Nick noticed that one of the Audio-Animatronics had fallen and couldn’t get up.
— Nick – MagicalNewsLIVE 🎄✨ (@MagicalNewsLIVE) July 21, 2020
Yes, that’s Jose the Parrot face-planting beside the other two animatronics. This incident went viral and shamed Disney into making a few small repairs.
The Three Caballeros vanished from the ride that bears their name for a time. In their place, cardboard cutout drawings of the characters appeared.
Finally, in May, the animatronics returned, even Jose! The cutouts were legitimately the cheapest fix I’ve ever seen Disney do. It was comically bad.
Disney Fight Club
This isn’t one strange story per se. Instead, I’m combining several of them at once.
During the pandemic, some people have lost their marbles. I don’t have to tell you that, right? A couple of folks likely sprang to mind when you read that.
Well, at Walt Disney World, strangers have handled their aggravation poorly.
Busy day at Magic Kingdom
Fight breaks out on ferry pic.twitter.com/fSOARxVDNI
— DisneyWorldTom (@disneytiktok) September 5, 2021
I’ve covered Disney for many years now, and I only recall three (significant) stories of people fighting before the pandemic.
These incidents all gained headlines because such conflict is so rare at Disney. I guess I should say “had been so rare.” Things changed in 2021.
On multiple occasions, guests started throwing punches at one another. Here’s the first one that gained headlines:
The irony here is that these people were riding a Friendship Boat at the time. But, remarkably, that wasn’t the only recent boat fight.
There’s no video of it I can show you. Still, another pair of groups took an immediate dislike to one another and started throwing haymakers.
Speaking of which, even Living with the Land isn’t safe from the violence. Here’s another slugfest:
— RandomDisneyDude (@DisneyVengenz) November 28, 2021
I don’t know what’s going on, but we should all give peace a chance more. Seriously, who fights at Disney???
The Failed Temperature Check
You may have already forgotten, but Disney required temperature checks for a while. It was a pandemic tactic for identifying potential outbreaks.
Over time, the science suggested that temperature checks weren’t especially effective at identifying the spread of COVID. So, Disney got rid of them.
Before that happened, one pinhead embarrassed himself at Disney Springs. This dude drew a line in the sand and decided that he’d had his temperature taken enough.
So, when this brainiac noticed a temperature check tent at Disney Springs, he…made a run for it. I’m not joking.
This dude’s “strategy” involved ditching the area and heading into the greater Disney Springs area, presuming that he could lose himself in the crowd.
Has this dude never seen a James Bond movie? That NEVER works!
Sure enough, the guy got caught close to The BOATHOUSE, where he threw a tantrum. He claimed that he’d spent a ton of money at Disney.
I guess that if you pay X amount of dollars, Disney officials will just let you do whatever you want.
In a huge shocking twist, this argument failed to sway the security guards who had tracked him down. He went to jail.
Also, I can tell you the one place where he won’t be going anytime soon…a Disney theme park. That guy is BANNED.
Why a Cucumber?
What’s the first rule of a Disney boat ride? You can keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, right?
Disney rides take place on rails, often hidden ones that you cannot see. Stories of people losing fingers on rides don’t spring up out of thin air. It happens.
That’s what makes this next story so stupid. A clearly intoxicated guest jumped off their boat at Living with the Land for no apparent reason.
Suddenly, this person couldn’t live another second without a cucumber. So, they ditched the safety of the boat and headed out in search of fresh produce.
I want to laugh at this because I know, at least on some level, that it’s funny. But, unfortunately, each time I watch the clip, I fixate on something else.
This buffoon falls backward after retrieving her vegetable. Then, she falls down again, forcing a second person to exit the boat to rescue her.
A guest was caught on camera leaping off the slow-moving Living with the Land ride at Walt Disney World and accused of stealing a cucumber. https://t.co/JbPNo7Ah9z
— 10 Tampa Bay (@10TampaBay) June 21, 2021
If that woman had fallen under the boat, she’d be dead right now.
I get that the World Showcase sells delicious adult beverages, but try to stay on the safe side of plastered, mkay?
The Worst VIP Tour
I laughed way too hard the first time I heard this story.
An enterprising company came up with a novel way to make some extra cash. They would host VIP Tours at Walt Disney World.
There’s just one little problem. None of them worked for Disney. That should be a dealbreaker, right? Not if you know a guy…
Somehow, these individuals acquired a Disney tablet, the kind that Plaids use for VIP Tours.
Whether they stole it, bought it on the black market, or had an inside person is up for debate.
The point is that park officials grew wary when someone who wasn’t a Plaid tried to take a party to the front of the line on a ride.
This happened in June before FastPass had returned as Disney Genie+. So, it was that much easier to recognize.
Very few people were using the shorter line queues at the time. I don’t know who thought this was a good idea, but I admire their optimism and confidence.
Disney cast members noticed, called the police, and took the dude’s iPad.
He was also kicked off Disney property and warned that he’d be charged with trespassing if he returned.
As far as criminal masterminds go, this dude isn’t scoring high on the Ocean’s 11 scale.