A former Disney World employee has entered a plea of not guilty on charges that he stole and then sold items from the Magic Kingdom. He’s also facing a new charge alleging he entered an off-limits area of Epcot.
In a May affidavit, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office detailed how 25-year-old Patrick Spikes and his friend Blaytin Taunton allegedly took costumes from the Haunted Mansion, took photos of themselves wearing the items and then sold them off to a buyer for thousands of dollars.
By the time of his arrest, Spikes had already become infamous among Disney fans as the man behind the Twitter account @BackDoorDisney, which posted photos of backstage areas of Disney World. He was also entangled in rumors surrounding Buzzy, the animatronic star of Epcot’s long-shuttered (but still largely intact) Cranium Command in the former Wonders of Life pavilion.
Spikes said in a March video posted to YouTube (and since deleted) that a OCSO search warrant for his house mentioned “Disney World animatronics” — which he strongly suggested was the result of Disney having “used the police force to run someone down that they didn’t like.”
After more than two months with no publicly-available documents being added to the Spikes case, the courts added a new charge for Spikeson Aug. 26: “burglary of a structure,” meaning he allegedly entered an off-limits area of Epcot “with the intent to commit an offense therein.” This occurred between July 23, 2018 and Jan. 8, 2019, according to the court document, which you can read here.
Nothing is mentioned about Spikes being accused of stealing anything from Epcot, though he already faces charges of grand theft and dealing in stolen property as a result of the Haunted Mansion allegations. It also doesn’t mention an animatronic or the Wonders of Life building. In its last statement to Orlando Rising, OCSO said the Buzzy animatronic is still the subject of the active theft investigation and “has not been recovered.”
Spikes’ alleged accomplice Taunton, who is scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment on Sept. 19, is not named in the new charge. Spikes’ hearing is scheduled for Sept. 26.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new charges. Spikes’ attorney, LeRoy Costener, also did not respond to an email from Orlando Rising seeking comment on the case.
This story has been updated with the date of Patrick Spikes’ court hearing.
D23 Expo: Epcot’s World Showcase gets Mary Poppins, but not rumored Brazil pavilion
D23 Expo: Disney World’s Star Wars hotel is called Galactic Starcruiser
Buzzy ‘has not been recovered,’ Orange County Sheriff’s Office says