• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

A man was found camping out on Disney World's abandoned Discovery Island park during coronavirus shutdown. He told police he didn't know he was trespassing.

kmclaughlin@businessinsider.com (Kelly McLaughlin)
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff's Department say they found Richard McGuire, 42, camping out on Walt Disney World's abandoned Discovery Island on Thursday.

  • Discovery Island has been closed for 21 years, and it remains unclear how McGuire gained access to Walt Disney World, which has temporarily closed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • McGuire told police that he was unaware he was trespassing, and called the island a "tropical paradise."

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

discovery island disney world
Disney World's Discovery Island.

Wikimedia Commons

An Alabama man was found camping out on Walt Disney World's abandoned Discovery Island after the park closed during the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the local sheriff's office says the man told deputies that he was "unaware" he was trespassing.

Richard McGuire, 42, was arrested on Thursday after security found him on the Disney-owned property. He was charged with one misdemeanor count of trespassing.

Related: Disney Hotel Serves Character-Themed Dim Sum

According to an arrest affidavit seen by Newsweek, McGuire told authorities that the island was a "tropical paradise."

It remains unclear how McGuire gained assess to the island, which sits in Florida's Bay Lake, on the property of Walt Disney World.

Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff's Department said McGuire, from Mobile, Alabama, accessed the island on Monday or Tuesday, ignoring multiple "no trespassing" signs to make his way there. McGuire told officials that he had planned to camp for about a week.

Discovery Island closed to the public 21 years ago, but many abandoned buildings still remain. Before its closure, the island had been a wildlife park for 25 years.

According to Click Orlando, McGuire was sleeping in one of the island's abandoned buildings when police arrived.

McGuire has since been banned from Disney World properties.

Insider