Law enforcement is investigating a YouTube channel that is featuring videos of people trespassing into the theme parks and touring around into off limits areas.
Some of the areas profiled were Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World, Stitch’s Great Escape at the Magic Kingdom and a water slide at Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay.
They call it “Urban Exploring”
This hobby of “urban exploring” is not a new thing, there have been videos before of people going into “off limits” areas like the upstairs of Journey Into Imagination, before it became a lounge, or sneaking through the water to the old Discover Island in Walt Disney World.
I’ve often wondered how they got away with it, and why they would post it so people could track it back to them?
Now the channel MattSonswa is posting videos of risky ventures into theme parks after hours. At the beginning of the videos it’s posted that they are submitted anonymously.
However, Matthew St. Cyr, owner of the channel has been seen in the videos himself and has been arrested at least twice for “urban exploring” aka trespassing on Central Florida theme parks.
According to Click Orlando court records show he’s “currently being prosecuted for allegedly venturing into off-limits areas at Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa.”
He’s received two trespass warnings from Disney as well. The first was in July 2017 at Epcot when he entered the Wonder’s of Life pavilion. Then two months later, he was arrested after he was seen emerging from a construction site at Disney Springs where the DisneyQuest attraction was.
Disney security staff were apparently told to watch for him specifically.
Why risk it?
Well these videos can be very lucrative. Videos are monetized on YouTube by ads and the more popular they are the more money they make. Let’s be honest, we all are interested in seeing what we aren’t supposed to see. These videos are full of “hidden wonders” so of course they are attractive to parks fans.
The Expedition Everest one was very interesting, and frankly very creepy. That Yeti is freaky and he even touches it!
Just Yesterday he posted one of Stitch’s Great Escape.
Apparently it’s a meeting room now.
Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay was also visited and they are seen pushing buttons on one of the water slides.
He admits he makes money from these videos:
“I make a living out of it. I’ve got to put food on the table somehow.”
He claims that even though he does other types of locations, hospitals, abandoned houses, etc. it’s the parks that get the most traction on the video service:
“My niche is the parks. The theme park community is a very powerful thing.”
What’s interesting is that St. Cyr has never been accused of stealing or vandalizing anything, just trespassing. His goal is to observe.
Click Orlando talked to Mr. St. Cyr and he’s proud of what he does and even says it’s beneficial to the parks.
“One of the most rewarding things for me is to know I’ve tightened security (at the theme parks). I feel really bad if my videos get someone (in security) fired.“
Disney and Universal are assisting the law enforcement officers with their investigation and both parks have has official comments from spokespeople.
Universal Orlando’s spokesperson said:
“This is dangerous, reckless and unlawful behavior and we will not tolerate it. We are taking this very seriously and we are working with the Orlando Police Department on this.”
Walt Disney World’s spokesperson also had a comment:
“In any case where we find someone being intentionally reckless and promoting unsafe acts, we will bring in law enforcement to trespass them so they will no longer be allowed to come back to Walt Disney World.“
As interesting at it is to see, this is not a good idea and it isn’t safe. These attractions can be dangerous, and especially when there’s low light. Drop offs, edges, slippery surfaces, etc. People have been hurt and have died attempting these kinds of “tours.” Plus law enforcement and Central Florida parks are taking it very seriously and are cracking down hard on this kind of behavior.
If you want to see behind the curtain I recommend getting a job at the parks.
What do you think? Comment and let us know!