Disney Company Does the Unthinkable After Worker Steals $24,000

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Cast member steals $24,000 from Disney company.

Credit: Taron Sargsyan

Disney did the unthinkable after one of its cast members was caught racing up thousands of dollars with a company credit card.

Magic Kingdom entrance
Credit: Brian Becton / Flickr

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The Disney theme parks are some of the best places to spend a vacation, either alone or with your entire family. From Walt Disney World to Disneyland, there’s no end in sight to the magical experiences waiting for the lucky guests who get to enter these incredible amusement parks. While Walt Disney World is comprised of four theme parks, the most iconic is Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom has been Disney’s best-performing park for decades and is consistently ranked as the most-visited theme park in the world. Here, guests will find rides and attractions like Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Disneyland is not far behind Walt Disney World, with both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure bringing in millions of guests each and every year as well. However, the Disney theme parks would be nowhere near as magical if not for the excellent employees that work there.

These employees are called “cast members,” and they serve many roles, with the most important being their service toward guests. While Disney’s treatment of its cast members can be debated, what happened recently is truly an example of how compassionate The Walt Disney Company can be.

A wide shot of Disney California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort in California.
Credit: Inside The Magic

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As we stated earlier, a Disney cast member got into some serious trouble, not just with Disney but with federal law. Taron Sargsyan, who was 22 years old at the time, was actively addicted to hardcore drugs. While studying in California, he managed to land his dream job as an Engineer within the PhotoPass system for Disney. However, Sargsyan found his addiction to drugs intersected with this job in a nasty way, with him racking up over $24,000 on a company credit card.

As reported by Insider, Sargsyan was told to admit his problems to his manager, which he was sure would mean the end of his dream job. To his and our astonishment, Disney offered to keep him on the team under the agreement he would pay back the money owed.

“Had it not been for Disney’s impact on my life, I may not have healed from my addiction or my relationship with my family. I’m glad I didn’t miss out on a life filled with joy, love, and kindness.” Sargsyan said.

Despite this incredible second chance, Sargsyan said that he failed another six times while in rehab.

“I entered treatment centers multiple times, but various factors, including fear of losing my job, undiagnosed mental health issues, cultural insensitivity, and personal safety concerns, led to failure. I didn’t know what to do anymore.” Sargsyan said.

A Cast Member in VIP Tour guide costume high fiving a kid and his father in front of Spaceship Earth at EPCOT
Credit: Disney

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The fight for sobriety is an incredibly tough one, and after so many struggles, it would be quite easy to lose hope. However, what The Walt Disney Company did next was shocking. On Disneyland’s birthday, Sargsyan received a compassionate gesture from Disney.

“On July 17, 2018, I was stranded in Palm Springs, California, with no gas and no money with ten days left to return to work from my second medical leave of absence. I had just left another rehab against medical advice and I feared I was about to lose the only thing left in my life: my job.

Disney fully believed in my capacity to change and offered me everything I needed to succeed. I spent six months healing through various modalities of therapy. After a year into my sobriety, I quit my job and moved back in with my family to heal the damage I caused them during my active addiction. I also wanted to give my family the chance to make their amends to me and get to know their son.”

Sargsyan said that the compassion Disney showed him allowed him to transform his own personal attitudes toward his family and friends as well, showing them the same love Disney showed him.

“I extended the same gesture of compassion and forgiveness towards my family that Disney extended towards me at the lowest point of my life.”

Disney employee while the films can hurt actors' mental health
Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Sargsyan said he hopes to help inspire change for others struggling with this same problem.

“If we want our loved ones to heal and find their way back to their families, we need to approach addiction with more compassion and understanding. That’s exactly what Disney did for me, and it changed my life. How many people can say that Disney saved them from addiction and brought their family back together? It’s pretty mind-blowing. If it wasn’t for Disney’s profound impact on my life, I wouldn’t have the confidence to share my message and make a difference.

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