One of the coolest parts about visiting a Disney theme park is all the great character interactions you can have. Disney’s Cast Members are trained so wonderfully to become the characters they portray. A wonderful character interaction can be one of the most memorable parts of a Disney vacation. Some people may remember the food they ate and what their favorite attraction was, but an unforgettable character experience is sure to bring a smile to their faces. But, just like a great character experience will be remembered for a long time, a bad one can stick with Guests too.
Unfortunately, one Guest’s experience was so terrible that the Orange County Sheriff’s Office has become involved. According to Florida Politics, a woman and her party were enjoying dinner at the Crystal Palace in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. The woman, who is a travel agent, said that the Cast Member playing Tigger was “acting off”. She said that, when she went to pose for a photo with the character, Tigger slid his hand down and grabbed her rear end. He then pretended to laugh.
The agency owner believed she had video proving Tigger committed a crime. She reported what she believed she saw to the character attendants and the restaurant’s leaders.
Law enforcement spoke with the 40-year-old travel agent who “at times appeared scared or upset” and “looked as if she had been crying,” the Sheriff’s report said.
The 40-year-old said she felt Tigger’s hand slide down when they posed for a selfie and she immediately felt uncomfortable, moving away to another table, the report said.
The 40-year-old wanted Tigger prosecuted.
The Sheriff’s Office said that they had spoken to the Cast Members who were assigned to attend to Tigger as he made his way around the restaurant. Both the Cast Members stated that they did not see Tigger acting inappropriately with any of the Guests. However, one did say that they thought they heard a woman say, “I think Tigger grabbed my ass.” The attendant said that they didn’t think much of it because sometimes the characters accidentally touch Guests due to the difficulty of maneuvering in their costumes.
Additionally, the two attendants claim that it was the group of women — including the travel agent — were acting inappropriately with Tigger. They said that the women were making improper comments to Tigger and were grabbing his tail. Tigger was acting the part and playing along with the women. One attendant even said that Tigger was the one who needed help, having to deal with the Guests who were acting “so wild”.
Sheriff’s deputies also said that they spoke to the man who played Tigger that night. The man was very cooperative. In the video that the travel agent claimed showed Tigger grabbing her, the unnamed Cast Member in costume was seen posing with her. The video appeared to show his arm falling off the Guest’s shoulder as she took a selfie. The officers could not tell if his hand went to her backside.
According to the Cast Member, his costume leaves him partially blind during Guest interactions. He said that he cannot see anything below chest level when looking straight at a Guest. He also can’t see anything more than a thirty-degree angle when looking to the side.
The accused Cast Member was not arrested, and no charges were filed. Police determined that the claims made against Tigger were “unfounded”.