Man Charged After Camping on Deserted Disney Property

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man trespassing discovery island

One of the biggest policies in place at Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide is this: no trespassing. But not everyone abides by this strict rule.

Earlier this spring, a Florida man was caught camping on Discovery Island, a deserted property at Walt Disney World Resort. This week, formal charges have officially been filed against him.

WKMG News 6 reports that Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala has filed formal charges against 42-year-old Richard J. McGuire, the Florida man who was caught trespassing on Disney’s Discovery Island just over a couple of months ago. At the time when he was caught, McGuire said that he planned to stay on the Disney property for around one week. The sheriff’s office arrest report says McGuire claims he was unaware that the property was off-limits.

In our initial story, we shared that in late April, Orange County Deputies were called to Disney World property after a man was seen from a distance camping on Discovery Island. Deputies had to search for McGuire on foot, by helicopter, and by boat before finally catching and arresting him. They had been using a loudspeaker to address McGuire but he said he couldn’t hear them.

Man Caught Camping on Deserted Disney Property

McGuire had been allegedly sleeping inside one of the buildings on Discovery Island, an area in the middle of Bay Lake adjacent to Magic Kingdom. At the time McGuire was caught, Walt Disney World Resort had been closed for well over a month due to the pandemic. Discovery Island itself has been abandoned for years, but that didn’t stop McGuire from camping there for days before he was caught. At the time, he said it was a “tropical paradise.”

Now, McGuire has been charged with trespass on property other than structure or conveyance, court records state. McGuire was banned from ever stepping foot on Disney property after he was arrested a few months ago, and that still stands.

discovery island
Discovery Island

While the Disney Parks around the world were closed, numerous stories of trespassing came to light. A man was arrested for trespassing on Disneyland Resort property in California. Police suspected he had been attempting to steal from a construction site in Disney California Adventure, where the new Marvel-themed land, Avengers Campus, will be located. At Tokyo Disney Resort, a teen was arrested for attempting to enter the resort’s shopping, dining, and entertainment district. Additionally, a drone pilot was issued a trespass warning after attempting to illegally film in Magic Kingdom.

Walt Disney World Resort’s official property rules can be found here.

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