Disney Cast Members Report Being Spat on, Harassed by Guests Who Don't Comply with Safety Protocol
"I cried the first week I started," one Florida park employee told the Orlando Sentinel.
In a report published by the Orlando Sentinel, a Disney security guard that was stationed at Disney's Contemporary Resort hotel detailed the incident when they reminded a guest to put their mask on before walking into the building.
The male guest — who was not identified by name by the publication — reportedly told the guard, "I'm a guest," and asked to be left alone, before he allegedly spat at the guard with some of his saliva landing on the guard's forehead.
The outlet added that the man then "hurried inside the hotel" where he entered an elevator bank and disappeared. He was unable to be identified following the incident.
A representative for Disney told PEOPLE the isolated incidents don't reflect the majority of rule-abiding park-goers.
"Guests have overwhelmingly been supportive of our protocols. Millions of Guests visit our theme parks each year and in rare instances when things of this nature occur, we hold them accountable," the representative said, noting that similar occurrences have been happening across the hospitality industry.
At the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, guests need to comply with a series of safety protocols during their stay, including wearing an approved face mask at the resort's four theme parks — Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom — as well as its resort hotels and Disney Springs.
Unlike many others, Florida never enacted a statewide mask mandate.
"There's never a day when I don't have a story," another employee, who took on a new role enforcing mask rules in the Disney Springs parking garages after her previous job was terminated, told the Sentinel. "I cried the first week I started. It was not a good time at all. Imagine going to work every single day where people ridicule you."
"I've had a guest literally get right up in my face and literally curse me out," she added to the publication. "If I honestly didn't have good coworkers, I would have already quit by now."
Walt Disney World began a phased reopening in July after shutting down in March as Covid-19 began to take hold in North America.
Since reopening, the resort has instituted strict new health and safety protocol, including mandatory mask-wearing, temperature checks upon entry, cashless payments, remote ordering at restaurants, limited capacity at parks and socially distanced lines, shopping and dining. They've also enacted an "enhanced" cleaning and sanitation regimen.
Since then, some restrictions have been reduced, such as not spacing out guests on certain rides, while others have been tightened, namely, the required wearing of masks when not actively eating or drinking, even when seated in a dining location.
Disneyland in California remains mostly closed per state guidelines but will host a food festival with "limited-time, timed ticketing" in March. About 1,000 employees who were laid off or furloughed will be rehired for the upcoming festival.
This story originally appeared on people.com