Man Arrested for Trying to Quarantine on Shuttered Disney World Island

Man Arrested for Trying to Quarantine on Shuttered Disney World Island
Orange County Sheriff's Office

A man was arrested Thursday for allegedly trespassing on Disney World’s Discovery Island in Orlando, Florida.

Authorities said they found 42-year-old Richard McGuire living out his quarantine on the Bay Lake island during the coronavirus pandemic, according to ABC 6.

When a Disney security representative saw the suspect using a company boat even though there were numerous “No Trespassing” signs posted in the area and two closed gates, she decided to call the police.

Once Orange County Sheriff’s deputies made contact with McGuire, he told them he had been there since Monday or Tuesday and planned to stay for a week because it felt like a “tropical paradise.”

Following his arrest, the suspect claimed he had not heard the officers as they searched for him on foot, by boat, and by helicopter because he was asleep inside one of the island’s abandoned buildings.

McGuire also claimed he did not know the island was a restricted area.

Inspired by the movie, Disney originally named the pirate-themed property Treasure Island when it opened in 1974. However, it was renamed Discovery Island in 1976 and turned into a destination to view exotic birds and fauna before closing in 1999, according to Insider.com.

“On the official map of Disney World, there is a blank green mass in the middle of Bay Lake in Orlando, Florida. The mysterious island is not labeled and no one is allowed to enter — not Disney World guests and not even Disney World employees,” the article read.

“For nearly 20 years, Discovery Island has remained under lock and key, people banned from stepping foot inside,” it continued.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all of the company’s Orlando-area theme parks were recently closed until further notice, according to ClickOrlando.com.

Authorities charged McGuire on Thursday with trespassing and took him to jail without incident. Additionally, the suspect was ordered not to return to any Walt Disney World properties in the future.

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