Whether it be the increase in Guests sharing videos to social media, or an actual increase in instances of Guests behaving poorly, it seems like there has been an uptick in videos of Guests breaking the rules at Walt Disney World since the theme parks reopened in late 2020. The latest incident comes from the queue of the Haunted Mansion attraction in the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square as a Guest, @gracie.jones04 shared a video to her TikTok account showing her lying on Master Gracey’s gravesite in the interactive queue.
The original TikTok appears to have been removed, but Disney fans continue to share it and discuss the topic on social media:
what the heck are you doing baby girl pic.twitter.com/CKp6YC0GNr
— mayor of waddle dee town (@epthot_) April 28, 2022
As the video makes the rounds on social media, lots of Disney fans are reacting negatively to the content citing everything from the simple fact that Disney has rules for the theme parks for multiple reasons and the fact that even though it is a fictional attraction, it does strike some fans as insensitive where the Guest is posing atop a gravesite.
Disney’s official rules point out that Guests are not allowed to engage in unsafe behaviors in the park or access backstage or other designated areas that are for Cast Members only. While there was no sign around Master Gracey’s gravesite, there is a railing, where the rest of the queue is open and accessible to touch since it is interactive. Typically when instances like this happen Disney will install a sign stating that the area is off-limits in the days or weeks to come, as was the case with the recent incident involving a child making their way up to the top of the pyramid at the pool at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
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As for this incident feeling “off” to some viewers of the video where it is a gravesite, albeit a fictional one, some of the comments and replies to the video have pointed out that while the space is not an actual grave, it is still a tribute not only to a renowned Disney Imagineer, but to a person who was innocently murdered.
Master Gracey in the Haunted Mansion attraction is named for Yale Gracey, one of the Imagineers who worked on the ride. In 1983, the Imagineer was on a short getaway with his wife in Los Angeles, when a burglar broke into where the couple was staying and fatally shot Gracey. His wife survived the attack but sustained injuries from a gunshot wound to the back, and no suspect was ever found in connection with the crime.
Of course, Gracey’s family and friends, as well as his colleagues at the Walt Disney Company were distraught over the artists’ death, and while years have passed since the murder and while numerous individuals who worked on the attraction are also referenced throughout the graveyard, it is understandable why posing with this gravesite in particular just isn’t sitting well with some fans.
It is unclear whether or not the Guest in the original video faced any consequences from Disney for her actions. And, while we are glad that the Guest involved was not hurt while climbing over the fence, it is worth noting that Disney reserves the right to remove Guests from the park who are not following park rules. Even if something as simple as posing over a railing seems harmless, if it is an area that is off-limits, it is not worth the chance that you could be removed from the park.