Disney Character Permanently Disables Guest, Lawsuit Filed

in Disneyland Resort

A child runs up to hug a Disney Character Performer portraying Goofy at Pete's Silly Sideshow in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

Credit: Disney Fanatic

A woman is suing Disneyland Resort and two of its cast members, claiming that a Disney Character Performer portraying Goofy caused her lifelong physical and emotional “pain and suffering.”

Disney Character Performers endure a lot. “Fur” characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck must communicate exclusively through hand signals and body language while carrying a heavy costume. “Face” characters like Cinderella and Peter Pan can talk with guests and breathe fresh air, but they’re more likely to deal with inappropriate comments or hard-to-answer questions.

Cinderella walking toward Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Character Attendants have a “secret code” with Disney Characters, whether they can speak or not. Subtle but distinct emergency signals allow cast members to discreetly notify each other of a medical emergency, an unruly guest, a costume malfunction, and more. These gestures protect the character performers while maintaining the magic of the Disney parks around guests.

However, one Disney Park guest claims cast members should’ve protected her. According to KTLA5, Katrina Griffin visited Disney California Adventure Park with her young daughter on April 3, 2022. The guest alleged that as she bent over to tie her child’s shoelaces, Goofy “walked directly” into her. Griffin said she was “severely injured” by the fall on the “hard cement.”

Goofy at Goofy's Kitchen, dining located at the Disneyland Hotel in Disneyland Resort
Credit: Disney

Griffin is suing Disneyland Resort as well as the Disney Character Performer and the Character Attendant working alongside Goofy. The filing claims the man in the costume fell on top of the guest with “all of his body weight,” causing “severe, traumatic, debilitating, and permanent injuries that necessitated significant medical care as well as emotional pain and suffering.”

The lawsuit, filed in Orange County Superior Court last month, doesn’t detail Griffin’s exact injuries. The guest claimed “Goofy” or his Character Attendant “failed to prevent the collision” and her subsequent suffering. She requests a jury trial and seeks damages for loss of income, health care expenses, and negligence, claiming her injuries “will result in some permanent disability.”

Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Credit: Disney

Disneyland Resort didn’t comment publicly on the new lawsuit, and a trial date hasn’t been set. A case management conference is scheduled for September 4, 2024.

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