Child Abandoned on Disney World Ride for Four Hours, CPS Responds

in Walt Disney World

Guests ride Dumbo at Hong Kong Disneyland

Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

A Walt Disney World Resort guest pushed the boundaries of Disney cast members’ job responsibilities when she abandoned her young child outside the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride at Magic Kingdom Park.

Though it was already one of Walt Disney World Resort’s most iconic attractions, Walt Disney Imagineers made Dumbo the Flying Elephant one of the most unique during the Storybook Circus expansion in 2012. It now features an indoor, air-conditioned play area that families can utilize instead of waiting in line. Parents are given a buzzer that notifies them it’s time to ride.

A vibrant amusement ride featuring a Dumbo the Flying Elephant character is seen in motion. The elephant is gray with blue eyes, wearing a pink hat and collar. A whimsical castle is visible in the background, enhancing the magical atmosphere of the scene.
Credit: Disneyland Paris

Everyone is welcome in the circus tent. Guests using a Lightning Lane, not riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant, or otherwise not part of the standby queue are welcome to play for as long as they’d like.

There is a catch–parent supervision is required. According to former Disney cast member Kelsey Conkling (@disneywithkels on TikTok), that was too much for one guest who abandoned her child in the Dumbo ride playground for more than four hours:

@disneywithkels

She said ✌🏼 #disneyworld #disneyworldorlando #stacyatdisneyworld #karensofdisney #disneykaren #karen #disneyparks #momsofdisney #disneymom #disneyfamily #familyvlog #disneyland #disneyorlando #orlando #florida #freebraxton #savebraxton #disney #disneyvacation #disneytips #disneytipsandtricks #disneyhack #kids

♬ original sound – Kelsey Conkling

The mother, who Conkling nicknamed “Stacy,” ran away after telling Disney cast members that she planned to leave her son “Braxton” in the play area for three hours. After more than four hours, she returned and was furious that cast members called security to watch her son.

“Why is he with security?” Stacy asked. “Weren’t you watching him?”

“Because you left him here unattended,” Conkling replied.

The image shows a Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride at a theme park. People are seated in flying elephant-shaped carriages as they spin around. A castle-like building is visible in the background under a clear blue sky.
Credit: Shanghai Disneyland

“But it’s a play area for kids, and you’re a staff member,” the guest argued. “Aren’t you supposed to be watching all these children?”

In fact, a sign at the entrance to Dumbo The Flying Elephant states that guests are not to leave children unattended.

“We’re not a daycare,” Conkling said. She notified the guest that security called the Florida Department of Children and Family (DCF) to report the abandoned child.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant Feature Image
Credit: Disney

“On what grounds?” Stacy asked.

“Because you abandoned him in the busiest theme park in the world,” Conkling answered.

“When I was a kid, my parents would leave me alone for three days straight,” the guest argued. “But fine, I’ll go talk to them.”

A family riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant at the Magic Kingdom.
Credit: Disney

Exactly how DCF and Walt Disney World Resort security resolved the incident is unclear.

If you witness inappropriate behavior at Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, notify the nearest Disney cast member. It’s best to allow trained security professionals to de-escalate tense situations rather than personally intervening.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve witnessed another guest do at Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort? Share your story with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

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