British newspaper the Portsmouth News has reported a distressing incident which took place with a local visitor on the walkway between the main Disneyland Paris parking lot and the Disney Parks. Going back to his car during the day, the 39-year old man was twice pestered by a “ticket tout” for his park tickets, presumably so that they could be sold on by the tout for profit. Upon refusing a second time, returning to the parks, the visitor was apparently punched repeatedly in the face and left needing emergency surgery to remove two teeth and a piece of his jawbone.
Fans will be well-aware that this area and all around the resort’s train station is officially classified as public land, outside the control of Disneyland Paris. It’s through this “loophole” that the area immediately outside Disney Village is almost always filled with unpleasant vendors, selling cheap gifts such as wind-up kittens, plastic models of the Eiffel Tower and even potentially dangerous laser pens. Will this attack on a guest finally convince Disney and the French government that something needs to be worked out with the security and status of this incredibly busy, sensitive spot of land?
According to the article, a Disney spokesperson said: “This incident took place on public land, which Disneyland Paris security is not permitted to police. We continue to work closely with the authorities to ensure an incident like this does not happen again.
Those authorities should be aware that, even on a good day, cheap vendors don’t sell a great image of France to millions of international visitors. Being punched in the face is an altogether different league. It could happen anywhere, but it shouldn’t happen at Disneyland.