The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed to Orlando Rising that the Epcot animatronic known as Buzzy has been stolen.
Soon after the rumors of the theft were first reported on Disney fan sites and message boards in December, the sheriff’s office released documents showing that the animatronic’s hands and gloves — not the full figure — were reported stolen in August 2018.
No further details were released until May 17, when the sheriff’s office released an arrest warrant for a former Disney World employee charged with stealing and selling items from Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion. The affidavit mentioned that around November 2018, investigators “had also recently learned that the entire Buzzy animatronic was later stolen from the attraction, separately from the clothing.”
Orlando Rising reached out to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for clarification, asking whether the animatronic was reported stolen or was the arrest warrant reflecting rumors that detectives heard at the time, rather than the present state of the investigation.
The response: Buzzy has indeed been stolen.
“Yes, the animatronic is stolen. However, that is still a very active investigation and we do not have additional details at this time,” investigators at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office told Orlando Rising.
Disney World declined to comment on the theft, calling it “an Orange County’s Sheriff’s Office matter” in an email to Orlando Rising.
Buzzy was the animatronic star of Cranium Command, an attraction that ran in Epcot’s Wonders of Life pavilion from 1989 until 2007. Despite the pavilion’s closure, the show was left largely intact, becoming a prime target for urban explorers — including one interviewed by Orlando Rising last year.
After years of sporadic use as the center for Epcot’s various festivals, the Wonders of Life building is being overhauled into a new interactive “play pavilion.”
The sheriff’s office has not named any suspects in the Buzzy theft.
The criminal charges against Patrick Spikes, the 24-year-old former Disney employee accused of stealing from the Haunted Mansion, do not relate to either the theft of Buzzy’s clothes or the full animatronic figure. His arrest warrant did mention that Disney told investigators that “Spikes had photographs of other animatronics that were reported stolen last year on his phone” and alleges that Spikes had sent photos showing the stolen Buzzy clothing in his car to another Disney World employee.
The report also says Spikes “initially denied any part in the theft” in text messages but “knew the stolen Buzzy clothes were sold for $8,000.”
Spikes has been charged with burglary, dealing in stolen property (also known as fencing) and grand theft, with items he allegedly stole from Haunted Mansion valued at more than $7,000. He has been released from Orange County Jail on bond.
This article has been updated with additional comment from Disney World.
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