A Guest at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida (Orange County) has been arrested for spitting at a security Cast Member over the theme park’s face mask mandate.
The Orlando Sentinel reported on the situation, which resulted in felony battery charges for 51-year-old Palm Beach, Florida resident, Kelly McKin. When a security guard requested that the Florida man put his face mask on, the Disney World Guest accosted the Disney employee by spitting in her face.
The Sentinel provided these details from the arrest report:
She [the Disney World security guard] asked if he needed directions. “I’m a guest,” he told her.
She asked him to put on his mask. He promised he would do so once he went inside the building.
The security guard reminded him masks were required at all times on Disney property.
“The male told her to leave him alone, and took a step towards her and spit on her,” the arrest report said. “The spit did not make direct contact but some saliva did hit her on her left forehead.”
The guard, who did not have a radio on her, went to get backup while the man disappeared inside the hotel and got on the elevators.
“That was the last he was seen,” the arrest report said.
Fox 35 Orlando provided additional details about McKin’s Disney World vacation gone awry. He was only apprehended following a second situation, which involved trespassing:
The next day, they said that an Orange County sheriff’s deputy responded to Disney because the theme park company wanted to issue a trespass warning. Upon arrival, the deputy recognized the man that needed to be trespassed as the same suspect from the spitting incident at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
McKin has reportedly denied the allegations, but the security guard later recognized him from his appearance, including a long gray beard and mustache.
People received a statement from Disney regarding the incident:
“Guests have overwhelmingly been supportive of our protocols. Millions of Guests visit our theme parks each year and in rare instances when things of this nature occur, we hold them accountable,” the representative said, noting that similar occurrences have been happening across the hospitality industry.
Disney World Face Mask Rules
Since Walt Disney World Resort reopened following its pandemic-related closure in July 2020, all Guests age 2 and over must wear appropriate face coverings at all times, unless they are in a stationary position while actively eating or drinking. Disney World strictly enforces these rules as well as the existing rules at the theme park resort.
Disney’s official face mask policies read:
Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing.
All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) must:
- Be made with at least 2 layers of breathable material
- Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the Guest to remain hands-free
At this time, based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind are not acceptable face coverings.
Costume masks are also not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn, in alignment with our existing rules.
Face coverings may have an integrated transparent plastic panel to aid in viewing the wearer’s mouth. These face coverings must:
- Be a fabric face covering featuring a solid plastic panel containing no openings that is attached to the fabric on all sides using tight knit stitching
- Meet all face covering requirements listed above
The use of face coverings is not a substitute for physical distancing.
Disney World Mask Enforcement
Walt Disney World Resort and Walt Disney Company officials have consistently enforced face mask rules since the property’s f0ur theme parks — EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — reopened.
It is important to note that the same face mask requirements exist at Disney Springs, Disney World’s shopping and dining district.
If Guests on Disney World property refuse to properly wear their face masks, Disney reserves to right to refuse them entry to any establishment — this happened last fall at Disney’s Pop Century Resort hotel — or to remove them from Disney World.
Furthermore, Disney has proven its willingness to enforce its face mask mandate by stopping rides when Guests remove their masks while riding. One of the first instances of Cast Members stopping a ride due to improper mask usage was on the classic Carousel of Progress attraction.
At this time, Disney has not confirmed when its theme park mask mandate will be lifted, but Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek has indicated it isn’t likely to be prior to 2022.
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