Tourism, Trespassing, & You:
Don’t Do Disney on the Down-low!!!

A Florida Man Arresting for Trespassing on Disney Property

Pictured: 42-year-old Richard McGuire, the man who was caught trespassing on Disney property

The last year has been both crazy and relatively boring. The entire world was in lockdown for various amounts of time causing millions of Americans to stay at home. Everyone began to become restless, wanting nothing more than to get out of the house four a couple of days. 

One man in particular, 42 year old Richard McGuire,  decided to do just that by going on a week-long camping trip. This seems harmless right? He would be socially distanced, not breaking any Covid-19 related laws. What this man claims to have not realized was that he was breaking other laws. You see, in America camping is perfectly acceptable, but only in designated areas. This man went looking for a place to camp and found his way to what he claimed to be a “tropical island”. The island he was referring to was Walt Disney World’s Discovery Island.

Just like most all other non-essential businesses in America, the Happiest Place on Earth had to shut down during the pandemic, still remaining closed. Anyone that steps foot on Disney property while the park is closed is trespassing. Since Disney is such a large and popular company they are well prepared for catching anyone that is there outside of business hours. This man walked onto the island on Monday, ready for a week of camping, and was found by security on Thursday.

Security knew when made his way onto the island, but because of the nature and dense plant life they had trouble tracking him down. They had search parties on foot, boat and helicopter, all of which the man claimed he never heard. Once he was found he said he didn’t know it was Disney property but simply a “tropical paradise”. The issue was that in order to get to the island he had to pass two gates and several no trespassing signs. He was also warned by Orange County Marine deputies that he was not allowed on the island.

Once found, the man was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor of trespassing. He also lost all Disney privileges and is not allowed on any Disney property.



1. Do you think it was possible for the man to not know he was on a Disney island? Why or why not?

2. What else could the man be charged for? Explain your answer.

3. Is revoking all Disney privileges necessary? Why or why not?

4. What would be the consequences for trespassing if Disney World was in Nevada?

Be sure to provide full explanations for your answers.  For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here


Contributed by Saralynn Lindsay

Discovery Island, Disney World, Private Property, Project REAL, Read The Signs, Teaching the Law, Trespassing, Tropical Paradise,

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