Featured News 2012 Disneyland Disasters

Disneyland Disasters

People call Disneyland “The Happiest Place on Earth,” and for millions it is just that. But for the unfortunate victims of a Disneyland accident, the “Happiest Place on Earth” brings sorrow and sad memories. A lot of times these accidents happen because of negligence on the part of the ride operator or a visitor’s refusal to abide by the ride safety instructions. Other times a person will have a negative reaction because they went on a ride when they had a health condition. According to Time Magazine, Disneyland deals with an average of 100 incidents each year. These accidents can happen to park visitors and workers.

In April of 2003, an employee at the Hyperion Theater in California Adventure fell from the catwalks high above the stage. His 60-foot tumble sent him to the hospital, where he died a day later. The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the part for safety violations that lead to a wrongful death. In all they had to pay $18,350 for the incident. In 2005, a 4-year-old boy broke his finger and severed the tip of this thumb when his hand was pinched between the boat and landing dock while unloading from the Storyland Canal Boats in Fantasyland. The park then added bumpers to all boats and created recordings which remind passengers to keep their hands inside the boat until they are asked to disembark.

In another traffic incident, a visitor on the Indiana Jones Adventure in Disneyland developed a severe headache. She was hospitalized after the headache became unbearable, and doctors determined that the ride had given her a brain hemorrhage. She died because of the incident, and her family chose to sue Disneyland. They claimed that the excessive shaking in the ride caused her to develop the brain hemorrhage. The California Supreme Court ruled that amusement park rides are considered common carriers and are similar to commercially operated planes, buses, elevators, and ski lifts. This means that they have an obligation to provide the same amount of safety as the other common carriers. Disneyland had to pay the family an undisclosed amount, but many assume that it covered the victim’s $1.3 million in medical bills.

In another horrific accident, a 4-year-old boy fell out of a vehicle on Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin and was dragged underneath the car. The accident caused serious internal injuries, a heart attack, and brain damage. The park had to change its emergency process as a result of the accident, because they formerly called the Disney Security before calling 911. The victim died in 2009, having never fully recovered from his injuries. Disney was not found fully to blame for the accident, and wasn’t sued, but they had to recreate the ride with better safety features following the disaster.

At the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, disaster struck when the large and impressive Christmas tree caught fire in the lobby. The entire hotel was evacuated, and two guests were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Some of the famous injuries at Disneyland happened up to 50 years ago, but are still talked about by guests who enter the park. One of these famous incidents occurred when a teen tried to sneak into a Disneyland grad night by walking the Monorail tracks. Security guards beckoned the 19-year-old from Northridge to come back off the track, but he refused and was struck by the train. He died at the scene of the accident. If you have been injured at Disneyland or another park and believe that the accident could have been prevented if the park had not been so negligent, then talk to a personal injury lawyer for more information!

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