Shanghai Disneyland bans Mickey Mouse attacker
- Man turns to violence when ignored by mouse, hitting employee on the head
- Amusement park slaps six month ban for bad behaviour
A man has reportedly been banned from Shanghai Disneyland for assaulting an employee in a Mickey Mouse costume, in the latest incident of misbehaviour at the city’s top tourist destination.
According to Shanghai Television, the man unsuccessfully tried to stop and engage the Mickey Mouse character as he was walking by. A woman who witnessed the incident said later on Weibo that the man said, “If you won’t stop for me, then I will hit you”.
She said he then hit the employee on the head and, when challenged over his behaviour, became angry and tried to stop her from making a video recording with her mobile phone. He backed down when other visitors gathered around as other Disneyland staff tried to restore order.
“I did pat its head. [But] what’s wrong with patting its head?” he shouted, before leaving the scene with his hands covering his face.
The woman complained to the visitor centre and the man was ejected from the amusement park and banned from returning for six months, according to Shanghai Television.
Shanghai Disneyland refused to comment and the man has not been identified. It is a regulation at the amusement park that visitors are not allowed to touch the acting staff.
The Mickey Mouse head, like the others used for the park’s Disney characters, weighs 3-5 kg, making anybody wearing it vulnerable to injuries when struck on the head.
This is not the first time park employees have been assaulted while in costume since the Disneyland park opened in Shanghai two years ago.
In November an employee, dressed as chipmunk character Dale, was hit so hard by a female visitor that he had to be rushed to hospital with concussion. It was reported that the woman was laughing at the time of the assault and said her action was “just for fun”.
That same month, a Disneyland worker was beaten by a male visitor after being told not to pull the costume of another employee dressed as Mickey’s dog Pluto, according to a post on Weibo.
In July, another visitor was barred for six months after attacking a park employee in the costume of Disney bear ShellieMay.
The latest incident sparked widespread reaction online, with a video posted by popular Weibo account Top News shared 300 times and eliciting 1,000 comments. It was reposted by various Weibo accounts 10,000 times and attracted a total of 5,000 comments.
Most internet users tore into the man for his behaviour, with one Weibo post reading, “He is too uncivilised. I think Disneyland should put him on the blacklist and forbid his entry forever!”
But a few were more sympathetic. “I think many people pat the cartoon figures because they want to interact with them, and his intention was not bad. It’s true that these visitors don’t show enough respect for the actors, but isn’t it an overreaction that the female visitor exposed it online and media reported the incident?” another Weibo user asked.