Has Disney Lost Their Sense of Humor?

By now you’ve heard the story of David Swindler, the man who was on vacation with his family over the Labor Day Weekend 2015 at the Pop Century Resort at Walt Disney World. According to several news reports, Swindler was on hold with the front desk for a long period of time looking to get a question answered. Frustrated with waiting, he called back and jokingly stated that he could have built a meth lab during the time he was on hold.  

Pop Century

This joke was taken seriously and the next thing you know, Orange County Deputies began searching Swindler’s Pop Century hotel room for any indications of a meth lab. Good news: no meth lab found. Bad news: Swindler is escorted from Pop Century and given a trespass notice not to return to Walt Disney World property. 

David Swindler

After reading many of the comments online and even the slant that many bloggers took on the subject, the consensus seems to be: Disney can’t take a joke. I’m not speaking on behalf of Disney or David Swindler, but I do know there is an important element of this story missing: Disney’s side. 

Keep in mind, no journalist came knocking on his door asking, “Hey, got any juicy stories for us today?” Simply put, he called them. Meaning he has his version prepared to tell reporters about his love for Disney, his family and Jesus Christ. What I can’t wrap my head around is…. why? 

The Huffington Post isn’t in a position to lift Swindler’s trespass notice. That job only goes to the folks at Walt Disney World security, who have more information than anyone of us do on the incident and certainly a different version of the meth lab “joke” than what Swindler tells. My guess is Swindler tried to reason with the powers that be and got nowhere, so he turned to the media for sympathy. 

I’m here to tell you that Disney is totally doing the right thing by not responding publicly to Swindler’s media frenzy. If Disney responded publicly to every disgruntled Guest who left Walt Disney World, Disneyland or even people who didn’t care for a movie, it would be a never-ending cycle. No doubt what he is getting is sympathy from the public who can’t imagine how a man with the nickname Grumpy could have gotten a trespassing order. 


Meanwhile, trespassing orders can be lifted at Walt Disney World. As Adam the Woo can tell you, the appeals process is one that can be overcome. Adam was given a trespassing order several years ago after a video of him surfaced snooping around in Cast Member-only areas of WDW. While Adam didn’t get hurt, do any damage or steal anything, that doesn’t mean that others couldn’t see that video and attempt do to any of those things and therein lies the problem. 

One person’s “this was no big deal” could be another one’s “I see a potential problem and a pattern that can not only be followed by not only this person but other guests.” Again, I don’t know either side. I wasn’t there, but just adding some perspective to the story. Your thoughts?

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Images Copyright: Walt Disney World, Huffington Post, Adam The Woo

This entry was posted in Disney, Theme Parks 101 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.


  1. Posted September 24, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Headline seems a bit on the sensational, considering the story is mostly one-sided.
    The conclusion would seem to say, nobody really knows at this point.
    Is it really adding perspective, if you only speak to one side of the story; a story that’s already been told in numerous media outlets?

    I’m not trying to blindly take Disney’s side (which we haven’t heard) on this, but his story just doesn’t add up.
    Some others in the Disney community have reported on this guy and some of his actions being “questionable” or of the whiny, needy guest, looking for freebies.

    If there was a police raid, there should be a blotter somewhere. Is this not public record? Wouldn’t it show more information about the incident?

  2. fan51
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Of course Disney can’t take a joke when he is joking about an illegal activity. Disney could ignore it, but that depends on the guest. This guy already made himself a nuisance, I’m sorry to say. The news reported that he tried to get an extra night of an already booked weekend. No rooms are available. So how many more times will he try? This an officially sanctioned time out. If you don’t know how to behave, do it elsewhere.

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