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Is Crime on the Rise at Walt Disney World?

disney ticket system patent
Credit: Disney Fanatic

Crime isn’t the main thing people think of when they consider Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney World is a place where families can make memories together as they meet Mickey Mouse, ride Space Mountain, or take in a fireworks show in front of Cinderella Castle.

Unfortunately, it can also be an opportune place for thieves to take advantage of distracted adults and children.

cinderella castle magic kingdom

Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort / Credit: Brian McGowan, Unsplash

As with many tourist locations around the globe, it’s vital to pay attention to your belongings and always be on guard regarding all your personal property. But many who visit Disney theme parks often forget this.

After all, it’s Walt Disney World. It’s a magical place where only families and friendly people go, right?

Wrong.

Just as with almost everywhere nowadays, visitors must always be on guard. Recent reports this week suggest that there has been a large string of connected thefts throughout Walt Disney World theme parks.

spaceship earth, epcot

Credit: Disney

Victim 1

In July, a Walt Disney World tour guide was arrested for stealing guests’ keys and breaking into cars outside of EPCOT.

Although the man, Ahmed Snina, was charged with two felonies for burglary and motor vehicle grand theft, he pleaded not guilty last year.

However, a sheriff’s report shows that three more people experienced theft on that same day while visiting Walt Disney World.

These thefts come from people who had kept their belongings in their strollers while enjoying a ride or show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Although it has not been confirmed, the sheriff’s office suspects they may all be connected back to Snina.

festival of the lion king

Credit: Ryan Wallace, Unsplash

Three individuals have reported items stolen from their strollers while watching Festival of the Lion King or riding DINOSAUR on July 21, 2023.

Victim 2

While attending the Festival of the Lion King show, a 21-year-old man parked his stroller outside the theater. However, when he returned after the show, every bag in the stroller was missing. Among the belongings taken were his wallet, cash, and bank card.

velociraptor - dinosaur

Credit: Disney

Victim 3

On that same day, a woman riding DINOSAUR also had her belongings taken.

Although she was using the Lightning Lane and was only gone for a maximum of 30 minutes, it was enough time for all of the bags from her stroller to be taken.

Among the stolen materials, she had Pandora souvenirs from that afternoon, including two Banshees and four T-shirts.

Victim 4

A 29-year-old woman also left her bags in her stroller while attending a Disney’s Animal Kingdom attraction.

However, her belongings were eventually found in the companion bathroom across from the Tusker House Restaurant. It’s unclear whether or not she was an actual victim of the same string, as she claims nothing was stolen.

Colorful toy banshees arranged on wooden branches in a playful, vibrant display.

Credit: Disney

Are They Connected?

Although the sheriff’s report of these incidents is heavily redacted, the three victims all stated their willingness to prosecute and testify if necessary.

Whether or not these incidents are connected or there is a rise in crime in and around Walt Disney World Resort, it’s always best to be cautious.

The best practice is to take valuables with you and not leave them unattended in your stroller, wheelchair, or scooter. Although it can get costly, storing valuables or newly purchased souvenirs in a locker at the theme park can be one of the best ways to protect your belongings.

Have you ever experienced theft while visiting Walt Disney World? Tell us about it in the comments below.

About Steven

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)

3 comments

  1. Brian Duchscherer

    So sad, in the past it was just accepted that these items were safe while in the parks. We love Disney, however things like this and the fights have kept us away for a few years now. Disney spends a ton of money on everything “except” security guards in the parks. True people like this should be banned for life when caught, however it seems like fights and thefts are not stopped because there are never any security people around anywhere accept at the entrance to the parks. We always shopped at the end of the day when staying off site for this very reason, but our strollers with personal items was always left and never bothered, other than moved by cast members, we were lucky! Disney needs to invest in cameras or more security people if they want guests to return and feel safe, even the vandalism has gotten out of control.

  2. Who leaves cash, wallet, cash/credit card in their stroller or ECV? I wouldn’t even do that at home in my locked car and Zi live in a gated community. If you shop you should rent a locker and keep your key with you. I don’t carry much cash and my ID is attached to my purse.

  3. IT LOOKS LIKE MORE SECURITY IS NEEDED!!!
    These adults must know that they should not leave all that stuff for thieves to get their hands on!!!! Use the LOCKERS or as I stated before Disney should have fenced in areas attended by Cast Members who take the strollers and park them give the owner a ticket and owner presents the ticket upon return to get their stroller BUT PURSES AND WALLETS CREDIT CARDS AND MONEY SHOULD NEVER BE LEFT ON STROLLERS EVER

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