Are you thinking about sneaking into Disney World? Maybe you think you’re clever enough to hop a fence when a security guard is taking a nap? Or perhaps you actually plan to pay for your ticket, but want to sneak a specific item into Disney World, like a beer or a vape? Well, I’m here to save you some time, as I will walk you through all of the unique ways people try (and fail) to game the Disney World system, and why attempting to sneak into Disney is such a futile (and embarrassing) endeavor.
Sneaking into Disney World – Why Even Try?
There seem to be two main reasons that people think they can break the rules at Walt Disney World. Some, of course, are trying to get in and enjoy the parks without having to pay the ever-rising cost of admission. Or, they try to sneak into after-hours events without paying the extra price. We all know that Disney World is more expensive than ever, but that in no way justifies trying to sneak in.
Other people attempt to sneak into the park, or into restricted areas of the park, so they can post videos on their social media accounts. These so-called “urban explorers” put themselves at risk and disrupt behind-the-scenes operations. If they don’t immediately get caught by Disney security and/or law enforcement, they’ll often post evidence of their crime online! They seem to do this strictly for the personal thrill and social media “likes”, but there are stiff consequences when (not if) they get caught!
Disney Sneaks and Rule Breakers
Let’s take a closer look at some of the “criminal masterminds” who thought they could outwit the extensive security measures at Disney World.
Some people are bold enough to literally try to push their way into Walt Disney World without paying. With all the security staff at the entrances, as well as the abundance of security cameras, it’s astounding that anyone would actually attempt to gate-crash—but it has happened.
For example, in August of 2022, a man with a child pushed through the turnstiles at the entrance of the Magic Kingdom. Then he shoved the Disney Security Manager and another cast member when he was approached and asked to show his ticket or annual pass. Local law enforcement was called, and he pretended that he didn’t speak English when they tried to arrest him.
That tactic only lasted a few hours. He has been charged with battery, and his bond was double the usual amount because he lived outside the state of Florida. I can’t help but be astounded that this guy thought he could just stroll in without paying! Also, it takes an especially awful person to gate-crash Magic Kingdom and assault Disney cast members in front of a child.
But wait folks—there’s more. Very recently, there has been a video shared online that appears to show a family sneaking a child into the parks using a stroller. In the video, the child is bundled under blankets in the stroller and isn’t clearly visible. Children under 3 years old don’t have to pay admission, but when the little girl is lifted out of the stroller after entering the park, she looks obviously older than 3 years old.
If this video is truly someone sneaking their child into the park, it seems especially awful. Was the little girl told to “pretend” she was only two years old? Did her family tell her to curl up and be very quiet? This video was shot by another Disney guest, and it’s unclear if Disney security was notified. So far, there isn’t any public news on if the family was confronted by security. Regardless, I hope others won’t try this. Involving children in attempts at breaking rules is appalling.
Not everyone trying to sneak into Disney World is bold enough to go through the admission gate. Some people actually try to jump over barriers or sneak into employee entrances to get inside the parks.
In 2021, a 31-year-old man snuck into the Magic Kingdom by climbing over a wall into a cast members-only area from the parking lot. He was spotted walking out of a restricted area by Disney security and was quickly apprehended and removed from the park. Because he entered the park without paying admission or the parking fee, he was charged with trespassing and petty theft.
Climbing over or under barriers is not only dishonest, but it’s also quite dangerous. People who try this are not only putting themselves at risk but also risking injury to any first responders who might have to “rescue” them if they’re injured.
Obviously crashing the admission gate or climbing over walls isn’t an effective way to sneak into Walt Disney World. So why not simply hide once the park closes and then stay overnight? Well, because that ain’t working either. And the reason it ain’t working is because the Disney Parks are never empty.
Once the park officially closes, security staff make a detailed sweep of the property to ensure no guests are hanging around. They know all the potential hiding spots; it’s highly unlikely they’ll miss anyone.
In addition to security staff being there at night, there are also people working to restock store shelves, keep the parks clean, inspect and perform maintenance on rides and attractions, and work on any construction projects that might be happening. Additionally, any seasonal decorations you see in the parks will be put up overnight.
With there being so many hard-working people throughout the parks at night, and the large amounts of security cameras, it would be especially foolish to think one could simply hide and then have the park to themselves!
Walt Disney World has been a favorite place for so-called “Urban Explorers” to trespass. These are the people who usually post videos of their illegal explorations on their social media accounts. What they do is not only illegal but astoundingly dangerous. Of course, they’re bound to get caught after they publicly share evidence of their crimes online.
One of the most infamous people to get caught after sharing some urban exploring videos is Matt Sonswa. He has the dubious distinction of being lifetime-banned from all Disney properties twice! This guy has shared videos of himself trespassing on defunct Disney attractions, sneaking into backstage restricted areas, and walking through rides after hours. In one of his most risky stunts, he posted a video of himself climbing the tracks on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Magic Kingdom.
After getting caught trespassing on Disney property for the second time, Disney had Matt arrested and charged with misdemeanor trespassing and felony burglary, in addition to reiterating that he was forever banned from all Disney property.
A big target for urban explorers is Disney’s Discovery Island. Discovery Island is a now-defunct attraction that is located in the middle of Bay Lake. It closed down in 1999, but there are some abandoned buildings still on the island which makes it hard to resist for die-hard urban explorers.
In May of 2020, a man was caught camping in one of the empty buildings on Discovery Island. Since this happened during the pandemic closure of Walt Disney World, he had been there for several days before law enforcement found him. He was charged with trespassing and was banned from Disney properties.
But that wasn’t even the first time someone was caught exploring Discovery Island. In 2010, a blogger named Shane Perez swam out to Discovery Island and took photos of the abandoned buildings and equipment. He also ended up with a lifetime ban from all Disney properties.
It is very dangerous to explore Discovery Island because of wildlife and hazardous conditions around the abandoned property. Attempting to swim out to the island is especially foolish, because of the threat of snakes and alligators in the surrounding water. Trying to out-swim an alligator (or even a crocodile) won’t end well for anyone, just ask Captain Hook!
Each Disney Resort has one or more very nice swimming pools, but they are only for use by guests staying at that particular resort. Pool hopping, or visiting a resort just to swim in their pool, is against Disney’s rules. Regardless, people still attempt this whether they’re staying on the Disney property or just visiting for a day. Since every Disney Resort has a nice pool for its guests, it doesn’t make much sense to break the rules when you can swim at the hotel you’re staying in.
Pool hopping sounds like it should be easy, but you’re unlikely to get away with it. Many of the Walt Disney World resorts now have gates around the pools that require a Magic Band or your resort room key to unlock. Some even have a cast member stationed at the gate confirming only guests are using the pool. Of course, even if you can get through the locked gate and past a vigilant cast member, don’t forget there are cameras everywhere.
If you try to go into a restroom to surreptitiously change into swimsuits, then visit the pool, it’s going get noticed on security cameras. Honestly, just enjoy the pool at the resort where you’re staying or purchase tickets to one of the Disney water parks.
Can I Bring a Vape Pen into Disney World?
No—absolutely not. While Disney does have designated smoking areas within its parks (and even Disney Springs), you are now allowed to bring a vape into Disney World. It you were to attempt to sneak a vape into Disney World, it would likely get caught and confiscated at the security bag check.
What Happens If I Get Caught Sneaking Into Disney?
Between the abundance of security cameras, fellow Disney guests recording everything on their phones, and the expertise of the Security Staff, you just can’t get away with sneaking into Disney World.
Even when urban explorers think they’ve gotten away with sneaking around on Disney property, they’ll always face consequences because they share evidence of their crimes online! These people are not whistle blowers, exposing dark Disney secrets that the world needs to know about. They are attention seekers, desiring clicks, clout and attention, which further drives them to break the law.
So what can happen if you are caught sneaking into Disney World, or into a restricted area? Well, for starters, you could be charged with a crime. Disney has never hesitated to contact law enforcement when dealing with sneaks! If you don’t pay admission or are in an area clearly marked as restricted, you’re trespassing. The penalty for trespassing can be a monetary fine or even jail time. Not paying admission or parking fees can get you arrested for petty theft.
If you get caught (and you will) and subsequently touch a Disney cast member, it’s likely that assault and/or battery charges will be filed. Don’t even think about taking a “souvenir” from restricted areas! Disney will make sure theft or even burglary charges are filed.
Other than the criminal charges, Disney can (and frequently does) ban trespassers from being allowed on their properties. Being banned from Disney World can be for a set number of months—or for a lifetime. Is losing the chance of ever going to Walt Disney World again really worth some social media clout?
In the words of DMX: don’t do it, dog, it’s just not worth it.
This article was written by Kimberly and edited by Michael.
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