Man points gun at Disney guests in fight for disabled parking space at Animal Kingdom, report says

An elderly man allegedly pointed a handgun at a Lake Mary couple during a dispute over a parking space for the disabled at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, according to Orange County sheriff’s records.

The Sheriff’s Office has forwarded the case to the state attorney’s office to decide whether to file charges. The man, whose name was not released, wasn’t arrested because there were conflicting stories about what happened, the report said.

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The 62-year-old woman and her 60-year-old husband, both Disney annual pass holders, were visiting the theme park Sunday when the altercation happened, according to a sheriff’s incident report.

The woman, who was driving, waited for a car to back out so she could take the spot in the parking lot.

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A man driving a gray SUV from the opposite direction sped up and tried to cut them off to get the space, the woman told deputies. The driver, described as in his 70s with a full, gray beard, almost crashed into them, she said.

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Her husband raised his right fist at the SUV driver who responded by lifting a semi-automatic handgun above the steering wheel and pointing it at them, the couple said in the report. The SUV driver’s passenger, however, disputes their account.

Both the husband and wife said they feared for their lives.

Authorities found the SUV driver at the security checkpoint of the theme park with his passenger, a 65-year-old woman from Greensboro, N.C. The woman told authorities he made an angry gesture with his wallet — not a gun — in his hand. She also said they were concealed weapon permit holders and they did have a gun in the vehicle.

The sheriff’s report acknowledged that the SUV driver holding his wallet on the steering wheel “possibly could have resembled a ‘square flat’ [gun] magazine’” as the Lake Mary woman described.

The sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant from a judge to search the man’s vehicle, but the incident report redacted about what, if anything, was found.

The state attorney’s office did not release any other information to the Sentinel.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom has become increasingly busier as crowds pack to see the new Avatar-themed land that opened in 2017. The Flight of Passage ride has been especially popular.

The park’s attendance jumped 15 percent— or about 1.7 million more people — in 2017 compared with 2016, according to a report released last year from Themed Entertainment Association and the global management firm AECOM.

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