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Guest banned from WDW for meth lab joke.


Maleante Izquierdozo
Premium Member
Original Poster
I can't even fathom this happening. Disney is majorly in the wrong on this one - major overreaction.


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- St. Augustine resident David Swindler and his family are huge Disney fans -- in fact, his wife goes by Tinkerbell and she calls him Grumpy, he says.

But a recent goof got his room at a Disney resort raided in the middle of the night, his family booted from the hotel and even a lifetime ban, he says. Now he's taking his story to social media with the hopes of rebuilding his relationship with Disney.

"My first and foremost love is Jesus Christ, then my family and then Disney," Swindler said.

He and his family were staying at the Pop Century resort over the Labor Day weekend and though he had only booked a two-night stay, he was hoping he could extend his family's visit.

He told First Coast News that when he grew impatient with an employee, or cast member as they're called, he joked that he could build a meth lab in his room by the time he could finally get some service. As you might imagine, his joke didn't go over well.

"I accept responsibility for saying that, don't know where it came from," said Swindler. "Don't know why I said meth lab, I should have said, 'I was going to build an atomic bomb,' or something else. I didn't think anyone would take me seriously."

Little did he know the "goof" that he thought was innocuous would trigger a middle-of-the-night raid by Orange County Sheriff's deputies and Disney security.

Even after finding nothing, authorities evicted Swindler from the resort.

"It was a figure of speech. I wish I could take it back," he said in retrospect.

And he has been issued a trespass warning for all of Disney's properties, so he's banned indefinitely. "It is for life," said Swindler.

His children and wife Shelley can visit the parks and the resorts, but not him.

"It has been all consuming," said Shelley Swindler.

Shelley said it has taken an emotional toll on the family.

"David has been beating himself up about it as if he had done something that warranted any of this," she said.

Swindler said he was told to file an appeal with Disney's security. A spokesperson told On Your Side they will review the complaint and respond. On Your Side also told Swindler he needs to file the appeal.

"This has not taken away my love for Disney," he said. "I will not let them take that away."

Swindler wants his rights to the park restored. But he has to wait to see how Disney responds to a joke gone bad.


Well-Known Member
I mean with the popularity of Breaking Bad I can see where he thought of "Meth Lab" from. The employee probably miss heard him as "I'm building a meth lab in my hotel." Instead of I could build a meth lab in the time it takes to get service. I have to agree that this is a gross over reaction to a side comment.

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
I just did a background check on the guy - nothing. He has nothing in his past.
That might be true, but that does not forgo the possibility that he did something else in this altercation to prompt the ban that he is conveniently omitting.

If he did not, Disney definitely overreacted, but my gut tells me there is more to this story.


Well-Known Member
That might be true, but that does not forgo the possibility that he did something else in this altercation to prompt the ban that he is conveniently omitting.

If he did not, Disney definitely overreacted, but my gut tells me there is more to this story.
He said he lost his temper (or something to that effect) makes you wonder what he really said to the employee.


Well-Known Member
Doesn't sound like he has spoken to a lawyer...

I guess he doesn't realize that in this day and age, that "joking" about building a meth lab OR an atomic bomb in your hotel room raises red flags....

It's like building a clock and bringing it to school. With out going political, in today's day and age you have to think three times before doing or saying something in public. Your side comment that could have been a joke can be taken seriously.


Well-Known Member
there are places to make jokes and places you should not make jokes. Why would a handicap, Jesus loving, Church going man who LOVES Disney be nasty to a CM and invoke drug references because someone may be moving to slow. Seems wrong to me. On the other hand the punishment may not fit the crime.

I'm sure more will come out about this that maybe we don't know about as yet, we are only hearing his side right now.
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Well-Known Member
I wonder if he's handicapped? ;)

That was a joke, that I'm sure is in poor taste, but, the fact that he was handicapped had nothing to do with the situation or the results. If what he said is the truth, and it did seem sincere, then Disney suspended their common sense. I think that they will drop the no trespass thing, but, it might have been more that little conversation that he had with nobody supposedly that may have been heard and since the hour was very late, it scared someone at the front desk and their sanity was questioned. A lot of things might have happened or led to that, but, it certainly doesn't seem like a logical thing to react to. Also, he complained earlier about a chemical smell in his room and later mentioned Meth Lab. Those dot's might have been connected to a degree that caused concern as well.
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Well-Known Member
This family was at WDW with a Church group. Both he and his wife are wheelchair bound and they have two adopted kids from China.

Disney will back track on this one.
I am sure all of the call center tapes will be reviewed - many times.

They were probably listened to a few dozen times before they sent security to the room.

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