Walt Disney recreational parks have always been the first choice of children and adults alike and why should they not be? The entertainment is wholesome, the ambience is merry, the rides are fun for all ages. However, behind the fun façade, Walt Disney Parks in Florida hold a deep, dark and rather disturbing secret.
Dozens of workers at Walt Disney World in Florida have been busted for child sex crimes in recent years. About 35 employees at the famous theme park have reportedly been accused of stashing sick child porn or trying to meet and lure minors for sex. Apparently these heinous acts came to light and have been going on since 2006, when the first offender was arrested at the Walt Disney Park.
A recent investigation recently resulted in arrest of five staffers at nearby Universal Studios and two from SeaWorld on similar charges, reported NY Daily News. Of the 35 employees, 32 have already been convicted, while the remaining three cases are pending in the courts, awaiting trial, reported Huffington Post.
Walt Disney has apparently been quite successful in burying the news about these crimes for pretty obvious reasons. However, in an extended six month long investigation, CNN managed to unearth these disturbing facts. CNN’s internal investigation team carefully and meticulously sifted through police and court records to discover that these crimes and the arrests were all well managed either by Walt Disney Corporation or the law enforcement officials themselves.
So who were the perpetrators? Criminals involved in such acts didn’t belong to any particular income class or staff grading. Disney staffers arrested include security guards, a costumer, a VIP tour guide in training, a gift shop employee and maintenance workers.
Is the Walt Disney Florida Park unsafe? Disney employs 70,000 people at its sprawling park. It has time and again reiterated the statement that the corporation takes the responsibility of providing a safe environment for children and families “very seriously.” Speaking about the “unfortunate” incidents, a Disney spokesperson said,
“We have extensive measures in place, including pre-employment and ongoing criminal background checks and computer monitoring and firewalls”
When posed with a similar question about the arrests, SeaWorld spokesman Nick Gollattscheck said,
“The company has policies and procedures in place and we need to take appropriate action as needed.”
The Walt Disney Corporation categorically pointed out that the number being splashed around is a mere one one-hundredth of one percent of the 300,000 people they had employed during that time.
Nonetheless, the fact is surely disturbing and makes you indeed wonder about bringing your child to Walt Disney theme park, that is clearly one of the most loved destinations for children around the world.
[Image Credit | Walt Disney, Lake County Sheriff’s Office]