Many in the Disneyland community are reeling today after the son of a beloved cast member took his own life at the resort last night.
The Orange County Register is reporting that the man who fell to his death from the Mickey & Friends parking structure around 9pm Saturday was Chris Christensen, 51. Christensen was the principal at Newland Elementary School in Huntington Beach and the son of the late Jim Christensen, a longtime music director for the Disney theme parks. [See Honoring the Late Conductor of Disney World's College Orchestra for our tribute to Jim.]
Chris was an accomplished educator and musician in Southern California. The Register's story quotes one of his musical colleagues who paid tribute to his work, while also providing additional detail about his career.
The incident last night obviously troubled many cast members in the area, including those who witnessed the aftermath. Tram service to the parking structures was suspended last night while local authorities responded to the scene.
Last night was the annual Candlelight Ceremony at Disneyland, which brings together hundreds of musicians from throughout Orange County and Southern California, as well as Disney corporate and local officials, including returning CEO Bob Iger.
The incident also happened at almost exactly the same time as my daughter and I were driving out of Mickey and Friends last night. (I did not see anything.) Laurie played in the Walt Disney World orchestra under Chris' father years ago, so we feel additionally connected to the family.
We extend our condolences to the Christensen family, Chris' colleagues and students, and to all the Disneyland cast members involved last night. Please dial 988 in the United States if you ever need immediate mental health counseling and have no other health care resource available to help.Tweet
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.