It’s the ‘happiest place on Earth’ – just not for Disney World’s employees.
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A review of police reports filed by Disney World’s workers through local law enforcement details how “cast members” are sexually harassed and verbally, or even physically assaulted while on the job at the park, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The newspaper examined 50 police records from the past 10 years, including nine from 2019, that were reported to have taken place in Disney World, which can boast a daily population of 250,000.
“Our cast members take great pride in making magic for guests, so it is always disturbing when something like this occurs,” Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger told the Sentinel in a statement. “Fortunately, it doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, we have multiple resources in place to protect our cast members’ well-being, including on-site law enforcement officers who respond, and are available to them.”
Finger did not immediately respond to FOX Business’s request for comment.
“There are so many situations, so many things that happen every single day to cast members,” Disney employee Tommy Fontenot told the Sentinel. “The guests will push the boundaries … We serve as an emotional punching bag.”
Fontenot, 39, added: “As a cast member, you have to develop thick skin.”
Just this past July, a 23-year-old Chicago woman punched a park worker after learning that her FastPasses could not be applied to a ride at the Tower of Terror, the Sentinel reported at the time, citing an Orange County Sheriff’s report.
The victim opted not to press charges, but Disney banned Chicago woman from the grounds for life, according to the Sentinel.
In June, a different Disney employee was groped in the entrance area to the park’s Haunted Mansion. After the victim told her coordinator, the man denied doing so and was asked to leave the Magic Kingdom, the report states. However, Disney gave him free FastPasses to use the next day in a different area of the park, according to the Sentinel.
Disney's employees are put through safety training and are outfitted with two-way radios, or given access to phones. Workers with specified security and safety roles “add an extra layer of protection,” according to the outlet.