Alabama Man Camps Out At Walt Disney World’s Discovery Island While Resort Is Closed

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 02 May 2020 14:47
disneyOrange County Sheriff’s Office/PA Images

A man has been caught camping out at Disney World’s Discovery Island while the resort is closed due to the ongoing health crisis.

Richard McGuire, 42, was arrested by Orange County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday, April 30, after he was spotted by the resort’s security.


Despite Discovery Island having several ‘no trespassing’ signs, McGuire apparently didn’t realise we was doing anything wrong. Discovery Island, located at Walt Disney’s Bay Lake, is entirely isolated and can only be reached by boat. It’s currently unknown how McGuire successfully got onto it.

Discovery IslandDarren06811/Flickr

According to reports, McGuire told police he had entered the island on Monday, April 27, and had planned on staying there for a week or so.

McGuire’s arrest report states Orange County police searched for McGuire on foot, by helicopter and by boat before finally arresting him, as per Newsweek.


Despite the police using a megaphone to try speak to McGuire, he apparently didn’t hear them because he was sleeping inside one of the buildings on the island. McGuire called the island a ‘tropical paradise’, according to Click Orlando.

McGuireOrange Country Sheriff's Office

McGuire is now facing trespassing charges as well as no longer being allowed to enter any additional Walt Disney World properties.

Once a key part of the resort, Discovery Island is no longer used for guests to visit, despite it still being owned by Disney. The island was first opened in 1974, as Treasure Island, and used as a wildlife resort. The name was changed to Discovery Island in the late 1970s. The island closed to public in 1999, and has mostly been unused since then.


In March this year, Disney announced it was temporarily closing its parks until the end of the month; however, with the pandemic still prominent in many parts of the world, they have remained closed.

Currently, all Disney theme parks and water parks are closed ‘until further notice’.


A statement from Disney World reads:


The safety and the well-being of our Guests and employees remains our top priority.

As a result of this unprecedented pandemic and in line with the direction provided by health experts and government officials, Walt Disney World Resort will remained closed until further notice.

According to Variety, earlier this week a Florida task force set out guidelines for Disney theme parks to reopen once the pandemic has become less intense, though no date has yet been set.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Arrested, California, Disney, US News


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