Despite being touted as “The Most Magical Place On Earth,” Walt Disney World is still subject to the same ups and downs as any other Florida resort, and earlier this week, a man came to his untimely end in one of Disney’s most iconic theme parks.
As reported by the New York Post, a Disney construction worker fell to his death on Tuesday, March 13. At the time, the man was working at Disney’s Epcot theme park, specifically in an area behind the French Pavillion.
For those who are unaware, Epcot is split up into a handful of themed areas, the biggest being the park’s World Showcase, which features close to a dozen small sections devoted to countries around the world. Aside from offering local food and drink, each country’s pavilion features merchandise, cultural activities and shows, and occasionally, a ride.
At the time of writing, the World Showcase is comprised of pavillions modeled after Japan, Morocco, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, China, Norway, Germany, Italy, and of course, France.
The construction worker, later identified as Walter Dewayne Grimes, 58, was working in a small area behind the French Pavillion, which is in close proximity to the park’s rear entrance. As the New York Post notes, deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s office arrived on scene at approximately 5:20 p.m., alongside firefighters. Shortly after, Grimes was pronounced dead.
Worker, 58, falls to his death from a construction site at Disney's Epcot https://t.co/jMGzC0y5it— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) March 13, 2019
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office did not disclose exactly what Walter Grimes was working on at the time of his death, but they did confirm that the accident was limited to a single casualty.
“Preliminary investigation revealed this was a single-man accident and there are no signs of foul play,” the sheriff’s office explained in a statement shared by the New York Post.
The French Pavillion, which has existed for the entirety of the World Showcase (Morocco and Norway were added in 1984 and 1988, respectively) is set to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2022. As a result, it is one of several pavilions around the park that is currently under construction. Aside from a 4-D ride based on the popular Pixar film, Ratatouille, a new transportation gondola — dubbed the “Skyliner” — is being constructed in the same area.
This isn’t the first time in recent years that a Disney worker has died during construction. As reported by The Washington Post, on August 29, 2018, two workers fell several stories to their deaths, after a piece of scaffolding collapsed at a Marriott resort hotel.