Disney World doesn’t skimp on security. All of the parks in the Disney empire are regularly packed with people who are there to have a good time. Guests to the parks are screened before they are allowed inside, which gives many a false sense of safety. News of an active shooter at the park would cause pandemonium.
That’s what happened Monday just outside of the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. A man, hoping to gain fame with a viral YouTube video, told staff and guests at the Contemporary Hotel that there was an active shooter. Dillion Burch wanted to film their reactions.
The Contemporary is just outside the gates to the Magic Kingdom. The Monorail runs through the lobby. The hotel has high balconies that overlook a cavernous lobby.
And when Burch told guests and staff that there was an active shooter, people panicked. Authorities believe the Arizona man was intoxicated and was hoping to film people’s reactions to the threat.
Staff quickly called police. They turned out in force, expecting an active shooter. Instead, they found Burch hiding in the bushes on the property. When he had heard the approach of the sirens, he himself panicked and ran from the scene.
He was caught. After determining that the whole incident was a hoax, the police pulled back. While the incident consumed the Contemporary, the event stayed isolated. The panic didn’t spread to the theme parks.
Burch pleaded no contest to the charges of disturbing the peace at public lodging and disorderly conduct. He spent three days in jail. He has also been banned from Disney World and all of its associated parks.