Robert Downey Jr. Arrested at Disney Following Incident

in Disney Parks, Entertainment

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in 'Iron Man' (2008)

Credit: Marvel Studios

Did you know that Disney has its own jail? And, did you know Iron Man and Avengers icon Robert Downey Jr. has been in it?

If you are ever at a mall and you do something wrong, like an attempt to steal from a store, you may end up in a jail-like structure. It won’t be a real jail or prison, but there will be bars, and you will be detained while the proper authorities arrive and take you to the police station, where the real-life panic of jail will certainly set in; at Disney, things are similar.

robert downey jr as Iron Man
Credit: Marvel Studios

The “Most Magical Jail on Earth” does exist, however, it certainly is not somewhere you want to be whilst on your Walt Disney World vacation. Disney has a lot of rules and regulations that Guests must follow, and being on private property, they are allowed to enforce them. That being said, Guests must also follow the actual law while in the theme parks, and assaulting or injuring others is not at all permitted.

Unfortunately, even in a place where Guests can watch Tinker Bell fly from Cinderella Castle, there is also some bad that happens. Lately, we have seen an influx of fights breaking out on property and more arrests taking place now than ever.

If a Guest severely breaks any rules or laws and authorities need to be involved, Disney will use their jail system. Instead of making a public scene, unless an active fight is not ongoing, they will deal with issues behind closed doors in their “Disney jail”. If Disney has an entire underground system (utilidoors) so that Guests don’t see Adventureland Cast Members walking through Tomorrowland, you bet they will find a way to conceal any negative sighting of an arrest when possible.

That is why it is a little surprising to see the Oppenheimer (2023) star in Disney jail.

Robert Downey Jr. is no stranger to the prison system. As reported by CNN, “He was arrested in 1996 for possession of heroin, cocaine and an unloaded .357-caliber Magnum, given three years of probation and required to undergo mandatory drug testing.

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark
Credit: Marvel Studios

A year later, he skipped a court-ordered drug test and spent nearly four months in the Los Angeles County jail.

He skipped another drug test and was sentenced to three years of prison in 1999. Downey served 15 months in state prison in Corcoran, California.

Four months after his release, he was arrested on Thanksgiving weekend for alleged cocaine and Valium possession and being under the influence of drugs. The valium charge was eventually reduced to a misdemeanor, he pleaded no contest to the remaining charges and avoided more jail time.”

During the 2019 D23 Expo, Downey took to the stage and began with a fun fact about the time he was arrested at Disneyland.

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in 'Iron Man' (2008)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: “Traumatizing” Disney Jail Captures Criminal at Magic Kingdom

Entertainment Weekly recalls the story:

“Here’s a bit of trivia for you. The very first time I went to Disneyland I was transported to another place — within moments of being arrested,” he said onstage. “I was brought to a surprisingly friendly processing center, given a strict warning, and returned to, if memory serves, one very disappointed group chaperone. I’ve been sitting on that shame for a while and I‘m just going to release it here tonight.”

As the fans gathered for the panel laughed, Downey Jr. continued. “I would like to make amends to whoever had to detain me for smoking pot in a gondola without a license,” he said. “And I don’t wanna further confuse the issue by insinuating that pot smoking licenses for the gondola are in any way obtainable.”

Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man
Credit: Marvel Studios

Funny enough, it seems that Downey’s time with Disney security did not affect his career with the Mouse.

Guests cannot be arrested by Disney security. However, depending on the circumstance, the “Disney jail” can be used as a place to hold a disruptive Guest until police arrive. Typically, Guests who are not going to head to the police station are brought down to the security-like room, asked questions, at times detained for a few hours, and then released.

What is next for Robert Downey Jr. and Marvel?

Robert Downey Jr. is well known for his role as Avenger Tony Stark / Iron Man in the Marvel world, and considering his immense popularity in the franchise, it is interesting to speculate what Downey Jr.’s next move is with Disney, if there even is one. At the moment, there has not been confirmation of a new Disney project for Downey Jr., but it seems the Disney door could be open for the actor.

D23 Robert Downey Jr.
Credit: D23

If you are a Marvel fan, you likely know that when a death occurs in the MCU, there is almost always a way to bring that character back for future movies or series, such as via the multiverse. This is something that we have seen clearly demonstrated between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, where half of the Marvel Cinematic Universe characters were snapped away in the Blip caused by Thanos.

In order to defeat Thanos (Josh Brolin), however, a death had to take place that felt a lot more permanent. Tony Stark had an emotional departure after a ten-year run as Iron Man, leaving everyone — both on screen and off — wiping their eyes. When it comes to Iron Man returning to the MCU, in the past, Downey has stated that, “I’ve done all I could with that character and can do other things now. Now, being middle-aged, you start looking at the back nine and realize this is all part of the journey, and things end. I am fortunate and eternally grateful to have wound up where I have.”

Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man fixing his suit
Credit: Marvel Studios

That being said, during a recent interview with GQ about the same subject, the actor stated, “Well… I have alighted, for now. Real world to save. But never say never.”

This is interesting because, until this interview, it seemed as if the option of Downey Jr.’s Iron Man being seen on screen again was a definite no-go.

Could Marvel bring back Tony Stark?

Short answer? Of course. There are plenty of ways to see Iron Man again, which could come from exploring different timelines or even creating prequels to Avengers: Endgame. That being said, in this reporter’s opinion, Iron Man’s death was showcased so strongly that it would dilute its importance if Downey Jr. made a quick return.

Plus, Tony Stark’s death was crucial for the storyline that would follow Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in Spider-Man: Far From Home, which took place after Endgame. Parker is set to follow in Stark’s footsteps in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which really only works as a storyline if Stark remains dead.

robert downey at d23 red carpet
Credit: Disney

There are also two Iron Man spinoffs that Marvel will be bringing to Disney+ — Marvel comic’s Armor Wars starring James ‘War Machine’ Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and Ironheart starring Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne). Robert Downey Jr., however, will not appear in either.

Beginning in 2008, Robert Downey Jr. portrayed Tony Stark/Iron Man in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, The Consultant, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

What do you think about Robert Downey Jr. going to Disneyland’s jail?

Are you looking to visit Disneyland? Considering Disneyland, located in Anaheim, California, is the first ever theme park, and the only one that Walt Disney himself was able to walk through, it holds a magical spot in all of our Disney-loving hearts. Seeing Sleeping Beauty Castle is a picture-perfect moment; there is so much to do! When it comes to attractions, Guests can enjoy the spooky adventures in The Haunted Mansion during the year and Haunted Mansion Holiday (featuring the characters from Nightmare Before Christmas) during the holiday season. Pirates of the Caribbean will take you on a swashbuckling journey, and Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain provide thrills like no other. Classic rides like Matterhorn Bobsleds, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and Snow White’s Enchanted Wish are a must, and dining is excellent with stand-out locations like Blue Bayou and Carnation Cafe. Want to start booking so you can see Mickey Mouse in his home in Toontown? The Disneyland website has everything you need to know about the Disneyland app, hotels, tickets, and the Disney Genie+ service. Click here to check it out. 

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