Man Who Jumped From Disney Parking Structure Identified As School Principal Facing Legal Problems

Partners statue and Sleeping Beauty Castle at night
(Image credit: Disneyland)

On Saturday night what was supposed to be a special night at Disneyland, the annual Candlelight Processional, turned tragic when a man reportedly committed suicide by jumping from the Mickey and Friends parking structure. Now, some of the details have begun to come to light, as suicide has been confirmed and the identity of the man has been revealed, thanks to what appears to be a suicide note posted to Facebook.

A principal at Newland Elementary in Southern California named Chris Christensen has been identified as the man who jumped from the Disneyland parking structure on Saturday evening. In a post to Facebook that went up shortly before the incident, Christensen made reference to an alleged domestic disturbance that had taken place two weeks previously. According to the post, Christensen had been jailed following the alleged altercation, and while he proclaimed his innocence, he also stated that the incident had damaged his reputation and he believed he would lose his job.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, court records indicate Christensen was due in court today for a pre-trial hearing in regards to a pair of misdemeanor counts, child endangerment and battery. 

The suicide resulted in a suspension of tram services back to the Mickey and Friends garage on Saturday night on what was an especially busy night at the park. The annual Candlelight Processional, a tradition that dates back to the earliest days of Disneyland, and also takes place at Walt Disney World's Epcot, took place the same evening. Viola Davis was on hand to do the reading of the story of Christmas, and newly returned as Disney CEO Bob Iger was on hand in the parks alongside DPEP Chairman Josh D’Amaro. 

This is, unfortunately, not the first incident of suicide at Disneyland Resort, and specifically, not the first time that it has happened at the Mickey and Friends parking structure. In 2010 a 61-year-old man jumped from the structure and in 2016 a 40-year-old Anaheim resident did the same. An incident in 2012 saw another man fall from the structure. His death was investigated as a suicide but it was not confirmed as nobody saw him jump.

While the identity of the man is now known, there are certainly many questions that remain unanswered. At this point it's unclear if we'll ever really learn enough to explain the events of this tragedy. 

We here at CinemaBlend extend our thoughts to the family and loved ones of the individual who died. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can find assistance by visiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and can call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 800-273-8255.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.