Whether it’s finding yourself in a park late at night with no one around, hopping on a ride that ends up terrifying you, or stumbling upon some of the more scary decor items around the resorts, you can end up feeling a little creeped out when you’re visiting Disney World.
And, over the years quite a few creepy stories have circulated around the Disney Parks. We’ve already shared some of the stories at Magic Kingdom, and today we’re tackling the urban legends, tales, and even attractions from EPCOT that might keep you up at night.
EPCOT itself has changed a lot over the years (and is set to change even more in the next few). Disney fans who visited the park between 1989 to 2007 might remember the Wonders of Life Pavilion in Future World East. When it was in full swing, guests could go into the pavilion (which really was just a big building) and find some attractions and activities all focused on you and your body. One of the biggest draws there was its two attractions: Body Wars, a motion simulator-type ride, and another little gem called Cranium Command.
The ride was filled with animatronics and props that helped teach guests about the human brain of a young boy, but when the Wonders of Life Pavilion closed, all of the animatronics were left to sit…for a LONG time. And, if the thought of animatronics sitting lifeless inside the pavilion for years wasn’t creepy enough, someone actually decided to steal the main animatronic (called Buzzy) from the ride.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Disney reported that Buzzy’s hands and gloves had been stolen off of the animatronic in 2018. But, shortly after, rumors started circulating that the entire Buzzy animatronic had been stolen from the attraction and Disney confirmed this in 2019.
So, what happened to Buzzy? Well, NBA player Robin Lopez took an interest in a piece of memorabilia from EPCOT that was being sold on eBay and, when he spoke with the seller, he learned that they also had Buzzy’s headphones, jacket, and hat for sale. Lopez enjoys collecting historic Disney pieces so he paid $8,000 to purchase them (without knowing that they had been stolen).
Shortly after, however, a former Cast Member (named Patrick Spikes) was arrested for theft of Disney property. And, while he did plead no contest to other thefts (like costumes from the Haunted Mansion attraction in Magic Kingdom), he never ended up being charged in connection with the missing Buzzy. Pictures later surfaced of Buzzy’s face and of an ominous puddle of hydraulic fluid (like the kind used in Buzzy) where the animatronic had been located. The location of the rest of the Buzzy animatronic remains unknown to this day.
Two Kids Haunt Spaceship Earth
It turns out that the Haunted Mansion isn’t the only place that you can encounter a ghost in Disney World! According to Notes From Neverland, there’s a chance that you could have a paranormal encounter on your ride through Spaceship Earth in EPCOT.
Over the years, there have been reports that guests and Cast Members have seen a ghost of a young boy and a blonde girl playing near the entrance to the attraction and even inside of the attraction. But, not much is known about why (or how) they ended up there.
Mickey Stood on Top of Spaceship Earth
Alright, this next one may not involve ghosts at EPCOT, but it is still pretty terrifying to think about (and look at) if you’re afraid of heights!
Wayyyy back in 1989, Disney ran a brand new commercial for the new EPCOT Center. It had lots of families smiling and enjoying their day at Disney World, and, like every great Disney commercial, it ended with Mickey Mouse! The only thing is…he was standing ON TOP OF SPACESHIP EARTH. No REALLY! 😱
Mickey and crew went all the way to the top of Spaceship Earth on the inside and then he crawled up through a hatch on the roof. And you won’t see a rope holding onto his waist like you can see for characters in parades down Main Street, U.S.A. — the only thinking keeping him “safe” was a rope that looped over his foot while a camera operator flew by to get the shot. So, YEAH, that happened. (NGL, we’re dizzy just thinking about it!)
Zombies in the Germany Pavilion
World Showcase has been home to many different interactive games geared towards kids (though anyone can do them) throughout the years. And, from 2009 to 2012 you could pick up a flip phone and explore the pavilions with Kim Possible’s World Showcase Adventure. In the game, you would go on “missions” in select pavilions that had some interactive components and one of those was a bit creepier than the others… .
Over in the Germany Pavilion, guests had to go around to help defeat the villain, Professor Dementor, and part of the mission led you to the miniature train village. The only thing is, when you got there, it would trigger mini-ZOMBIES in the town square! So, yeah, zombies basically took over the small quaint village in EPCOT.
Is That You, Ellen?
Our last creepy story from EPCOT takes us back to the now-closed attraction, Universe of Energy…well, the Ellen’s Energy Adventure version of the ride, really. The attraction was revamped in 1996 and featured Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye as they took you on a SUPER long educational adventure about energy. It was mostly a slow-moving ride through different theaters, but one part was near identical to the original Universe of Energy: a trip through prehistoric times with dinosaurs. The big “addition” was that of an Ellen animatronic to the dino-filled scene. But, she was almost scarier than the dinos themselves!
Animatronic technology wasn’t the same as it is today back in the 90s and we ended up getting a GOOD look at the animatronic after the ride closed in 2017 when Ellen asked if she could get her animatronic from the closed attraction. She didn’t think her request would be granted, but her producers surprised her with (what appeared to be) the animatronic for her 60th birthday and…WOW…it was creepy.
It turned out to be a joke by Ellen’s staff, so the animatronic on the ride wasn’t exactly that creepy, but the red shirt and pants were actually what was worn by it on the ride!
So, there you have it — some creepy stories from EPCOT that you can share with friends and family the next time you want to give them a good scare! And, if that’s not enough for ya, we’ve got even more creepy things from the Disney Parks in our video below including some that you may have already experienced yourself!
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Have you ever felt creeped out at Disney World? Let us know in the comments!