Don't Go Camping At Abandoned Disney Property

Don't Go Camping At Abandoned Disney Property

The Disney parks in California and Florida were among the first big-ticket places to close in the United States due to Mr. COVID's Wild Ride. However, there are certain parts of the parks that have been closed for much longer than that. For example, there's Disney World's "Discovery Island," where a man was arrested a couple of days ago for going on a camping trip.

Richard McGuire claims to have not had any idea that he was trespassing, and was merely at some "tropical paradise" (it's Orlando, my dude). Florida authorities said that McGuire would have had to have Mr. Magoo-ed his way past multiple barriers and "No Trespassing" signs en route to his campsite. He was there for a good three or four days before a security force of helicopters and boats extracted him from his whimsical Survivor: Discovery Island episode. McGuire claims to have not heard them and their requests for him to come out, or the announcement over a PA system, because he was sleeping.

Don't Go Camping At Abandoned Disney Property
Walt Disney Pictures
Surveillance footage of McGuire at the scene.

Oh yeah, why'd they need to circle Discovery Island with boats and helicopters? It's not actually inside the park. McGuire didn't just kick down the gates to Main Street USA and waltz around until he found a nice place to sleep. Situated across the literal pond from Disney World's Contemporary Resort Hotel, Discover Island has been at various times a bird-centric zoo, part of a video game design thing, and ultimately, totally abandoned since 1999. It takes a concerted effort to get to this island. It's not something you do blindly:

Yeah, even dedicated "urban explorer" types have a hell of a time breaking into the joint. It's like if Frodo and Sam just accidentally walked into Mordor. Trespassers risk getting banned from all Disney sites for setting foot on the island ... Which is exactly what happened to McGuire, who is now barred from Disney property and got slapped with a misdemeanor trespassing charge. Honestly, kinda feels like a small price to pay for a story any annual pass holder would strangle Pluto for.

Top Image: Josh Hallett/Flickr

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