Report: Man caught camping on Disney’s Discovery Island says it was ‘tropical paradise'

Richard McGuire banned from Walt Disney World property

Richard McGuire. (WKMG)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A man is facing trespassing charges after security found him camping on Walt Disney World’s Discovery Island, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they were called to 4301 N. World Drive Thursday after Richard McGuire, 42, was spotted on the Disney-owned property, which is currently closed to the public.

Orange County deputies searched for McGuire on foot, by helicopter, and by boat before finally making contact with him, according to an arrest report.

When deputies told McGuire they had been using a loud speaker to address him, he said he didn’t hear them because he was sleeping inside one of the buildings on the island, which he referred to as a “tropical paradise,” according to the report.

According to an arrest report, McGuire told deputies he was not aware that the property was off limits and that he had been camping there since Monday or Tuesday and planned to stay for about a week.

Discovery Island, which was a zoological attraction before Disney’s Animal Kingdom park opened, has been closed since 1999. All of Disney’s Orlando-area theme parks are also currently closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

McGuire was arrested and charged with trespassing on posted property and was also ordered not to return to any additional Walt Disney World properties, according to the report.