Florida Man Banned from All Disney Parks for Life After Making a Meth Lab Joke

File the following under "what not to say at to cast members at the Walt Disney World Resort." A Florida man was recently banned for life from all Disney theme parks after making a joke about building a meth lab while he was speaking to a cast member at Disney's Pop Century Resort.

Man banned from Disney Parks for life after meth lab jokeMan banned from Disney Parks for life after meth lab joke

David Swindler of St. Augustine was staying with his family at Pop Century over the Labor Day weekend when they decided they wanted to extend their two-night stay for another night.

According to several reports, Swindler called the hotel's front desk to ask if a room was available for the next night. After being on hold for 15 minutes he hung up and called back. It was during this second call that Swindler said he "could have built a meth lab in the length of time it's taken you guys to answer my question."

Soon, deputies from the Orange County Sheriff's Department and Disney security came to his hotel room to question him about the meth lab. No meth lab was found in the hotel room and no charges were filed, but Swindler and his family was escorted out of Pop Century.

Swindler was also given a trespass notice from Disney which bans him from entering any Disney theme park for life. His wife and kids can still visit the theme parks.

For his part Swindler says he feels terrible about what happened would like Disney officials to reconsider the lifetime ban.

What do you think about the lifetime ban from Disney? Let us know in the comments.


truthh wrote on Mon, 09/21/2015 - 16:22:

truthh's picture

this is absurd, question some poor customer service and in return you are banned from all WDW properties for life?

ThatMouse wrote on Mon, 09/21/2015 - 17:26:

Sounds like poor customer service. I was at All Stars Movie over labor day and had some pretty poor handling of my room key not working. They gave me $130 in credits and free fast passes for my trouble. Good thing I didn't make any jokes or it could have gone the other way!

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 09/21/2015 - 17:28:

Kristen K.'s picture

There are just some things that you don't joke about, this is apparently one of them. Too many people these days don't think before they speak.

Lisa B. wrote on Mon, 09/21/2015 - 20:05:

Lisa B.'s picture

Honestly, that feels a bit extreme to me for a guests attempt at humor.

crazycatperson wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 01:10:

crazycatperson's picture

There are some things you don't say even in jest, such as packing a bomb in your luggage while going through airport security. But this seems like an overreaction to me.

Dave wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 13:26:

Dave's picture

Guests are not PR experts, and they shouldn't need to be. Sounds like awful customer service to me, and yes his comment was funny.

jones wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 16:40:

jones's picture

He didn't build anything. What else might be on a list you can't joke about getting done in 15 minutes that would get one banned or not get you banned.
- I could have renewed my Universal Annual pass in the length of time it's taken you guys to answer my question
-I could have gotten through the queue at Space Mountain in the length of time it's taken you guys to answer my question.
- I could have handed out 130 dinners to the homeless in the length of time it's taken you guys to answer my question.
- I could have watched the end of 'Escape from Tomorrow' in the length of time it's taken you guys to answer my question.

OliviaLee27 wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 16:50:

OliviaLee27's picture

I made a comment about kids getting drunk off hand sanitizer the other day at Bath and Body Works... felt like they were gonna kick me out too (jaws dropped). People are far too sensitive these days. In this guys case he was obviously kidding... people need to understand sarcasm and take a chill pill!

Donna Lynn wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 16:52:

Donna Lynn's picture

Recently in the news, a man and son died because a previous hotel guest made meth in the coffee pot. It was not a Disney property, but I am sure this is something they have to take seriously for the safety of their guests. Lifetime ban may be a little extreme, but I can understand why this was not a good joke to make to hotel staff.

Tamara wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 16:54:

Tamara's picture

That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Disney
owe this family an apology!

Julie5709 wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 16:56:

Julie5709's picture

Not a funny joke. We hear about explosions from meth labs all the time. I think the cast member did the right thing by calling the authorities. I'm sorry he had poor service, unfortunately....it happens, and it was probably a mad house there. Might have been easier to speak face to face at the front desk. With that said, I think banning him for life is pretty steep!

MJB12 wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 16:57:

MJB12's picture

I have always read that when you are in your room in a Disney Resort and you use the button that says "front desk" that you're NOT actually speaking to someone at the front desk at your hotel, you are directed to a call center. While that agent was checking the reservation availability he hung up and called back and almost assuredly got a whole new agent who had no idea of the 1st call or why this man was talking about a meth lab. I think it's just a matter of miscommunication. Disney takes the security of it's guests very seriously. Banning for life? Yes, that's harsh. But, we don't know the whole story like how belligerent was this man when security came? You know what they say, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!

Gregg wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 17:05:

Gregg's picture

If that's exactly what was said I would have fired the employee who call the cops!

Janis wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 17:12:

Janis's picture

Think before you speak!

diamn51 wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 17:17:

diamn51's picture

Personally, I think the "attempt at humor" was out of place especially for a Disney resort. I wouldn't call it poor customer service at all. It's called waiting your turn. There are many other guests around and cast members do their best to make everyone's day magical; we all need to be patient and if you can't be then don't be a park visitor. Maybe a lifetime ban sounds harsh, I'd have to have been there and heard the questioning to decide.

Linda wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 17:20:

Linda's picture

Too extreme...way overboard with the ban.

Mugz85 wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 18:22:

Mugz85's picture

Ridiculous. I mean, the joke was perhaps I'm poor taste, but, at most, that merits a warning. By no means should he be banned for any period of time.

bongo wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 18:33:

bongo's picture

I'm more inclined to think he got belligerent and rude besides making the comment.

I can't see a lifetime ban for that comment but I've seen people getting offensive and aggressive at the main gate getting hauled out by security and handed a lifetime ban.

Disney's attitude has always been that if you can't play nice they don't want you there.

James wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 18:37:

James's picture

Wow, are you kidding me. Disney provides bad customer service and then responds to a joke by calling the cops and banning him for life. And no, I personally don't see this as something you just can't joke about, like having a bomb. I don't think it was very funny but not having a great sense of humor is hardly worth a lifetime ban.

Axess Denyd wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 18:47:

Axess Denyd's picture

I wonder if that's the whole story. I wouldn't be surprised if he was being a huge jerk all the way around, possibly threatening employees.

L wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 18:51:

L's picture

Something this guy said, or the way he said it, was serious enough that the CM felt the need to call the sheriff. This is probably only part of the story.

TinkASL wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 18:58:

While I feel like we must be missing part of the story, if that's the only thing that led to the ban then it's ridiculous. While maybe not the most tactful thing to say, he said nothing threatening or illegal. He could have easily said "could have built a time machine" or "could have built an ark" or any other obviously silly thing that takes a long time to build (and both, much like a meth lab, he probably had no intention of building). If he had threatened the cast member's well being or safety, I would get it.
And seriously, how about that video with two women openly fighting in a queue for a ride with guests, adult and children alike, watching. They weren't even thrown out of the park! On a recent trip we watched 3 adults absolutely berate some cast members and manager because they felt the wait in the fast pass lane was too long! But off they walked and weren't removed from the park.
Poor choice of words - Maybe. Overreaction on the part of Disney given past practice - Absolutely.

Roxanne Loughlin wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 19:00:

Roxanne Loughlin's picture

He must've just watched "Breaking Bad":-) It was funny, but Disney takes the family experience seriously, so tolerance is extremely low for anything is poor taste. They may reconsider.

Nfreel wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 19:03:

Nfreel's picture

That was not a FUNNY comment in this day and age . I agree with the ban.

Seriously wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 19:42:

Seriously's picture

This is completely outrageous. They allow young girls to enter their parks with shorts so short their butt cheeks are hanging out. They have women running around with exposed mid drifts. In a FAMILY park! Disney should be billed for wasting the police department's time and should offer this family an apology plus a free week - hotel and tickets. This kind of crap makes me want to stop going there. It's been too crowded lately anyway - even during the so call "low attendance" times like last week. I've been going to Disney World since the early 70's but their political correctness and politics seem to be getting the best of them.

Cjelsea wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 19:51:

Cjelsea's picture

I think I'll ban my 7 year old and my 8 year old from Disney. That's ridiculous. A 15 minute hold time would be infuriating. So much for the land of the free and home of the brave. He wasn't making a joke. He was making a comparison. HUGE difference. Way to be a part of the problem Disney instead of the solution. God forbid someone makes a comparison about how powdered sugar looks like cocaine or that lemonade looks like urine. I think I'm done with Disney forever. I'm not risking my kids being terrified because someone is having a bad day and takes it out on my family.

MIKE wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 19:52:

MIKE's picture

I like what they did. I think Disney should so it more often. No respect,loud mouth and just abad joke. maybe he is on meth and that would be a problem in the park. lucky I am not the top management it would happen more often. respect the park at all costs. Can any of you just do that for a weekend.

Barbara wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 20:03:

Barbara's picture

OKAY he learned his lesson, to think before he opens his mouth. But, really a total ban, maybe from the hotels but not from the parks.

Clara Christensen wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 21:09:

Clara Christensen's picture

I just feel that we are not getting the whole picture here. Disney does not ban people that easily. I have a feeling that something went on after the deputies arrived.

Nyxess wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 21:20:

Nyxess's picture

I would be extremely surprised to hear that this was all that happened... Sounds like part of a story to me.

Jack wrote on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 22:01:

Jack's picture

Disney takes the security of the customers very seriously. One should keep their stupid remarks to themselves....who knows if he was kidding. Anyway he is banned indefinitely but can apply to Disney Security for a pass. He was not banned for life.

Beth turner wrote on Wed, 09/23/2015 - 02:40:

Beth turner's picture

A bit too extreme. I am a huge disney fan for life, but really how serious are they taking them selves. Obviously the man isnt building a meth lab in his room... He was just aggravated. I understand taking caution...but a lifetime ban when nothing was found is stupid. Now his family can go without him..how fun

Hollie wrote on Wed, 09/23/2015 - 13:30:

Hollie's picture

When they found nothing in his hotel room, then that should have told them he was making a joke. What these people do at home is none of Disney's business as long as they don't take what they do at home to Disney. They went way overboard with the ban and should reconsider. Customer service being slow is normal especially over the holiday seasons so the guest should have chosen his words a bit more wisely, but calling the sheriffs office I believe was entirely not called for. If you have to watch every tiny step and word you make at Disney, that will just be too hard to do. It would be like going to mall and not talking about a thing with anyone. Not possible.

Warren wrote on Wed, 09/23/2015 - 13:47:

Warren's picture

This is stupid. It takes way longer than 15 minutes to build a meth lab, even if he was exaggerating. Disney should have known that before overreacting.

Amy wrote on Wed, 09/23/2015 - 14:57:

Amy's picture

Like seriously??? I think that was pretty comical....and ratting someone out for a stupid joke...obviously the guy wasn't making a meth lab unless they got someone on the phone who didn't speak very good English and heard "Your taking too long, Im making a METH LAB" Like COME on Disney is for the young at heart and for the guys family and families all over the world....banning his is pure LUDICROUS!!!

Lacey wrote on Wed, 09/23/2015 - 15:49:

Lacey's picture

People need to lighten up, it was just a joke! If the man was a drug head he wouldn't have said that in the 1st place, Duh! The life time ban is stupid on Disneys part and why hadn't customer service answered his question asap like on the commercials , kinda false advertisement don't ya think!

jakie chan wrote on Wed, 09/23/2015 - 17:11:

jakie chan's picture

I have worked in retail customer relations for nearly 35 yrs, and I have to say that the consumer today is not the consumer of 20-30 years ago.....there is an attitude of "I am spending some money with you, this gives me the right to say and act as immoral as I want"

I truly think the repercussions of his words were just.

Those are just common people on the other side of the counter, phone-line or whatever, just trying to make a living too......just because you "bought something" does not give you a free ticket to act and say things you wouldn't ordinarily say to someone just walking down the street.....because if you did say those things outside the retail spectrum...I don't think other people would put up with it.

David Swindler wrote on Fri, 09/25/2015 - 01:45:

David Swindler's picture

I would LOVE to hear DISNEYS side of this! Why are they being so quiet...saying they are waiting on a letter from me to plead my case! They screwed up big time and know it and are hoping it will all go away! They way overreacted to a sarcastic comment, had AMPLE time in which to check it out, I passerby security coming and going from my room no less than four times AFTER THE PHONE CALL! The professional and true DISNEY WAY TO HANDLE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN TO CONFRONT ME AND CHECK MY ROOM AND CHASTISE ME FOR BEING SARCASTIC IN THAT WAY!!!
I love Disney, my family loves Disney but this time they went WAY TOO FAR!!!
And it's not just my family , I have comments and responses from all over from Guests and Cast members treated horribly by Disney!
I am no longer fighting this battle just for my family but for anyone and everyone who gets run over by overzealous employees who think they have the right to do what they will! Well then that leaves us at their mercy and that is not right!
Google my name: David swindler Disney. And read the dozens of reports! Go to my YouTube page and watch the LONG TRUE STORY! My story doesn't change, just like the truth doesn't change... But where is DISNEYS story????!!!!!
William Swindler is my YouTube account. My email is [email protected] and I am on Facebook David Swindler. I welcome your opinions, prayers and support!!! Please make sure to watch David vs Goliath pt 1&2 on YouTube too and help me by getting out TRUE STORY OUT THERE! Thank you and GOD BLESS YOU!

K.C. Cooper wrote on Fri, 04/09/2021 - 04:39:

K.C. Cooper's picture

In 2011 there was a huge fire at a hotel in Kissimmee when a meth lab blew up.

This is likely why Disney took Swindler's comment so seriously.

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