Disney fans on social media have been buzzing over the alleged theft of Buzzy, the animatronic star of Cranium Command, the long-shuttered Wonders of Life attraction at Epcot.
UPDATE – 12/28/18: An incident report has surfaced from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) detailing the theft of Buzzy’s “personal” items, including his green military-style hat and headset, his red bomber jacket, as well as his pair of custom-made rubber hands. These items are listed in the report at a value of $500.
According to the report, sometime between Aug. 1 and Aug. 8, 2018, an unknown suspect entered the backstage area of the Wonders of Life pavilion. The suspect removed Buzzy’s articles of clothing and left through one of the exhibit’s many unsecured exits. The building is currently being used constantly by third-party vendors and contractors.
Walt Disney World did not give permission for these items to be removed. The report does not specifically state that the Buzzy animatronic was stolen.
“The items are a part of Walt Disney World history and hold a value on the black market for collectors,” said the report.
This animatronic has been reportedly sitting inside the abandoned attraction in Epcot for nearly a decade, so when someone posted on Twitter that it was stolen, DisTwitter (Disney fans on Twitter) erupted in a multitude of #SaveBuzzy and #FindBuzzy posts, memes and theories on what might have happened. Disney has had no comment on the theft, nor word on whether or not a theft has even occurred.
Has anyone considered the fact that maybe Buzzy was just angry with the creative direction of Epcot and left? I mean sometimes the simplest answer is the right one. #SaveBuzzy
— BRENDAN (@Ctb22684) December 22, 2018
“Drake, where’s the Buzzy animatronic?” pic.twitter.com/548SnSXe8z
— SnaxAttacks (@SnaxAttack) December 22, 2018
Cranium Command originally opened at Epcot in 1989, offering a humorous explanation of the importance of the human brain. The attraction has been closed and abandoned since Jan. 1, 2007.
The former Wonders of Life building, where the attraction was located, has been used as the Festival Center for many of Epcot’s annual events.
Many Twitter users claimed the culprit to be “BackDoorDisney,” a anonymous Twitter user who recently appeared on the Disney scene sharing backstage photos and videos – most infamously, photos of the Stitch animatronic from “Stitch’s Great Escape” in a devastating state of disrepair.
BackDoorDisney’s Twitter account and all backstage content has since been removed after an alleged arrest and, possibly, a cease and desist letter from Disney. The person behind the account was said to have been arrested on the night that news broke about the theft, which led many to believe they were the one who stole the animatronic.
BackDoorDisney, posting on a new account, said that his arrest was unrelated to the theft.
According to @DreamfinderGuy on Twitter, who first posted about the alleged theft, Buzzy was removed from the Cranium Command theater, had his hydraulics slashed, and was ripped from his connected platform.
BackDoorDisney posted that the resulting scene was splashed and covered in hydraulic fluid, and looked as though the animatronic was not removed with technical care.
In order for someone to actually steal an audio-animatronic from a Disney park, they would have to successfully overcome many obstacles, with the most crucial ones being removing the heavy figure and getting it out without being seen or caught on cameras.
And yes, obviously this was an inside job. 3+ people with tools and a ladder and a van with legit access to backstage. Apparently Disney knows the buyer, so my question is, can't they just take Buzzy back from him and arrest him for purchasing stolen property? #FindBuzzy
— Leonard Kinsey (@DarkSideDisney) December 22, 2018
Many theories are circulating on who could have taken Buzzy, if he was stolen at all. There are a few people who think the animatronic was simply taken to the Walt Disney Archives.
Disney has not responded to our request for comment. As of now, we can find no proof of anyone being arrested in conjunction with this or of any animatronic figures being stolen.
Dumb question: if Buzzy was tagged for removal, maybe someone from the archives removed him?
— How Bowers (@GoAwayGreen) December 22, 2018
We will continue to update this story as it develops. Until then, check out this video of Buzzy in his prime with a classic POV of Cranium Command below: