Disney World has no shortage of standard souvenir shops, but there’s a particular kind of person who wants something rarer, more exclusive, like a Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 40th anniversary pin or Swarovski crystal-coated model of Cinderella’s castle. And then there’s the even more particular kind of person who traffics in stolen pieces of Disney World itself. Seriously.
On October 1, a Disney materials attendant doing inventory at a storage shed behind the Test Track ride at Epcot noticed that a set of sails from Peter Pan’s Flight was missing. Later that afternoon, he discovered three seats and something called a “shell”—Disney won’t say what it’s for—from Space Mountain were also nowhere to be found.
It’s not quite as exciting as someone kidnapping animatronics from It’s a Small World mid-ride or boosting one of the teacups from the Mad Tea Party in the dead of night, but the theft still netted an impressive haul.
The planning manager reported the crime, classified as grand theft and burglary, to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office the next day. It remains a mystery how the shed, which was padlocked and surrounded by fencing, was breached.
Maybe it was Peter Pan and he simply flew over the fence? Dumbo also remains a suspect.
When you consider that even legitimate limited edition souvenirs can fetch three times their original price on the secondary market, it’s no wonder that an authentic piece of the park—an even more limited edition—would fetch big bucks.
But if you’re a Disney collector in you get an offer to buy an original Space Mountain seat soon, you should probably avoid it. Maybe settle for this badass windbreaker that doesn’t carry the risk of jail time?