Friday, May 10, 2013

Incidents at Disneyland Resort & Walt Disney World

*.Incidents at Disneyland Resort

This is a summary of notable incidents that have taken place at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.
While the California Department of Safety and Health (CDSH) has ruled that some guest-related incidents are Disney's fault, the majority of incidents were due to negligence on the guests' part.
The term incidents refers to major accidents, injuries, deaths and significant crimes. While these incidents are required to be reported to regulatory authorities for investigation, attraction-related incidents usually fall into one of the following categories:
·         Caused by negligence on the part of the guest. This can be refusal to follow specific ride safety instructions, or deliberate intent to break park rules.
·         The result of a guest's known or unknown health issues.
·         Negligence on the part of the park, either by ride operator or maintenance.
·         Act of God or a generic accident (e.g. slipping and falling) that is not a direct result of an action on anybody's part.
According to a 1985 Time magazine article, fewer than 100 lawsuits are filed against Disney each year for various incidents
Disney California Adventure 
Hyperion Theater 
·         On April 22, 2003, a 36-year old stage technician fell 60 feet from a catwalk in the Hyperion Theater, prompting an investigation by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA). The victim did not regain consciousness following the incident and died on May 18, 2003 In October 2003, Cal/OSHA fined the Disneyland Resort $18,350 for safety violations related to the technician's death.
California Screamin' 
Main article: California Screamin'
·         On July 29, 2005, 25 guests were injured when one train rear-ended another and 15 guests were transported to local hospitals for treatment of minor injuries. An investigation determined that the cause was a faulty brake valve installed by a Disney employee a few days earlier.
Guest altercations 
·         On February 18, 2012, a 53-year old man was allegedly drunk and proceeded to attack a cast member right at the entrance gate ofthe Twilight Zone Tower of Terror around 3:30pm. The cast member pepper-sprayed the man multiple times prompting him to continue fighting and was subdued by other guests before security stepped in to handle the situation. Details on what actually started the fight remains unknown. The man was eventually removed from the park and charged with assault and battery by Anaheim police. The incident was filmed via camera phone and uploaded to YouTube.
Disneyland Park 
America Sings 
Main article: America Sings
·         On July 8, 1974, an 18-year-old employee was crushed to death between a revolving wall and a stationary platform inside the America Sings attraction. She was in the wrong place during a ride intermission; it was unclear whether this was due to inadequate training or a misstep. The attraction was subsequently refitted with breakaway walls. The ride was only open two weeks before the death. They closed the ride for two days.[10]
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 
·         On September 5, 2003, a 22-year-old man died after suffering severe blunt trauma and extensive internal bleeding in a derailment of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster that also injured 10 other riders.[11] The cause of the accident was determined to be improper maintenance.[12] Investigation reports and discovery by the victim's attorney confirmed the fatal injuries occurred when the first passenger car collided with the underside of the locomotive. The derailment was the result of a mechanical failure which occurred due to omissions during a maintenance procedure. Fasteners on the left side upstop/guide wheel on the floating axle of the locomotive were not tightened andsafetied in accordance with specifications. As the train entered a tunnel the axle came loose and jammed against a brake section, causing the locomotive to become airborne and hit the ceiling of the tunnel. The locomotive then fell on top of the first passenger car, crushing the victim.[13]
Main article: Sailing Ship Columbia
·         On December 24, 1998, a heavy metal cleat fastened to the hull of the Sailing Ship Columbia tore loose, striking one employee and two park guests. One of the guests, a 33-year-old man, died of a head injury. The normal tie line, an inelastic hemp rope designed to break easily, was improperly replaced for financial reasons by an elastic nylon rope which stretched and tore the cleat from the ship's wooden hull. Disney received much criticism for this incident due to its alleged policy of restricting outside medical personnel in the park to avoid frightening visitors, as well as for the fact that the employee in charge of the ship at the time had not been trained in its operation.[14] After this incident, Disney reinstated lead foremen on most rides and the Anaheim police department placed officers in the park to speed response.[15] This accident resulted in the first guest death in Disneyland's history that was not attributable to any negligence on the part of the guest. California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health investigated the incident and found fault with the training of the park employee who placed the docking line on the cleat. The cleat was not designed to help brake the ship and the employee should have been trained to recognize when the ship was approaching too fast. Ride procedures called for the ship's captain to reverse the ship if it overshot the dock and re-approach the dock at the correct speed. Disney was fined US$12,500 by Cal/OSHA and settled a lawsuit brought by the victim's survivors for an estimated US$25,000,000.[16]
Main article: Frontierland
·         On May 6, 2001, 29 people suffered minor injuries when a tree in Frontierland fell over. The tree was over 40 years old, one of the park's original plantings.[17]
Indiana Jones Adventure 
·         On June 25, 2000, a 23-year-old woman exited the Indiana Jones ride complaining of a severe headache. She was hospitalized later that day where it was discovered that she had a brain hemorrhage. She died on September 1, 2000 of a cerebral aneurysm.[18] Her family's subsequent wrongful death lawsuit against Disney stated that the victim died due to "violent shaking and stresses imposed by the ride." In an interlocutory appeal (an appeal of a legal issue within the case prior to a decision on the case's merits), theCalifornia Supreme Court held that amusement parks are considered "common carriers" similar to commercially operated planes, trains, elevators and ski lifts. This ruling imposes a heightened duty of care on amusement parks and requires them to provide the same degree of care and safety as other common carriers.[19][20] Disney settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed sum after the interlocutory appeal but before a decision was rendered on the case's merits. The victim's medical costs were estimated at more than US$1.3 million.[21]
It's a Small World 
Main article: It's a Small World
·         On November 27, 2009, the ride broke down while a quadriplegic guest was on the ride. The guest was stuck in the Goodbye Room for between 30-40 minutes before being evacuated. As he suffered from medical conditions that was aggravated by the "blaring music" and inability to exit the ride, he sued Disney for not having adequate evacuation procedures for disabled guests on that ride, and for not providing the proper warning developed for those who could not evacuate during a ride stoppage. On March 26th, 2013, a jury awarded the man $8000.[22]
Main article: Matterhorn Bobsleds
·         In 1964, a 15-year-old boy was injured after he stood up in the Matterhorn Bobsleds and fell out. It was reported that his restraint was undone by his ride companion. He died three days later as a result of those injuries.[23]
·         On January 3, 1984, a 48-year-old woman was killed when she was thrown from a Matterhorn Bobsled car and struck by the next oncoming bobsled.[24][25] An investigation found that her seatbelt was not buckled. It is unclear whether the victim deliberately unfastened her belt or if the seatbelt malfunctioned.[26]
·         On a Grad Nite in 1966, a 19-year-old-male was killed while attempting to sneak into the park by climbing onto the monorail track, ignoring the shouted warnings of a security guard, he was struck by the train and dragged 30 to 40 feet down the track.[23]
Main article: PeopleMover
·         In August 1967, a 17-year-old boy was killed while jumping between two moving PeopleMover cars as the ride was passing through a tunnel. He stumbled and fell onto the track, where an oncoming train of cars crushed him beneath its wheels and dragged his body a few hundred feet before it was stopped by a ride operator. The attraction had only been open for one month at the time.[27]
·         On June 7, 1980, an 18-year-old man was crushed and killed by the PeopleMover while jumping between moving cars. The accident occurred as the ride entered the SuperSpeed tunnel.[28]
Rivers of America 
·         In June 1973, an 18-year-old man drowned while attempting to swim across the "Rivers of America". He and his 10-year-old brother stayed on Tom Sawyer's Island past closing time by hiding in an area that is off-limits to guests. When they wanted to leave the island, they decided to swim across the river even though the younger brother did not know how to swim. The victim attempted to carry his younger brother on his back and drowned halfway across. His body was found the next morning. The younger brother was able to stay afloat by "dog paddling" until a ride operator rescued him.[27]
·         On June 4, 1983, an 18-year-old man drowned in the Rivers of America while trying to pilot a rubber emergency boat from Tom Sawyer's Island that he and a friend had stolen from a "cast members only" area of the island.[24]
Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin 
·         On September 22, 2000, a 4-year-old boy fell out of the ride vehicle and was dragged underneath the car, causing serious internal injuries, cardiac arrest and brain damage.[29]On October 7, 2000, Disneyland changed its emergency policy and began instructing ride operators to call 911 first, instead of the Disney security center, in order to speed emergency staff to any incident on park property. Records showed that more than five minutes passed between the time the victim fell out of the ride vehicle and emergency personnel were contacted. A Disney spokesman claimed that the timing of this policy change and this incident were coincidental.[15] An investigation ending in December 2000 concluded that a lap bar had malfunctioned and the victim was placed in the wrong seat in the ride vehicle, too close to the opening.[30] Three months after the incident, the Permanent Ride Amusement section of California's Division of Occupational Safety ordered Disney to install additional safety features on the ride.[31] In January 2002, Disney settled with the victim's family, based on the cost of the victim's continuing medical care and suffering; Disney was not required to accept blame.[30] The victim never fully recovered from his injuries and died in January 2009.[30]
Main article: Skyway (Disney)
·         On April 17, 1994, a 30-year-old man fell about twenty feet from one of the cabins into a tree in front of Alice in Wonderland. Paramedics rescued him and took him to an area hospital for treatment for minor injuries. The man filed a $25,000 lawsuit against Disney, claiming he had simply fallen out of the ride. However, just before the trial date in September 1996, the victim admitted he had indeed jumped out of the ride; the suit was subsequently dropped.[32]
Space Mountain 
·         On August 14, 1979, a 31-year-old woman became ill after riding Space Mountain. At the unload area, she was unable to get out of the vehicle. Although employees told her to stay seated while the vehicle was removed from the track, other ride attendants did not understand that her vehicle was to be removed and sent her through the ride a second time. She arrived at the unloading zone semi-conscious. The victim was subsequently taken to Palm Harbor Hospital where she remained in a coma and died one week later. The coroner's report attributed the death to natural causes: a heart tumor had dislodged and entered her brain. A subsequent lawsuit against the park was dismissed.[33]
Storybook Land Canal Boats 
·         On March 16, 2005, a 4-year-old boy broke a finger and severed the tip of his thumb when the child's fingers were pinched between the boat and the dock while passengers were unloading. The ride was closed for nearly two days while state authorities investigated the accident. Authorities directed Disneyland to lower and repair rubber bumpers along the dock's edge, and to make sure workers tell passengers to keep their hands in the boat while it docks.[34]
Tom Sawyer's Island 
·         On January 21, 2001, a 6-year-old girl lost two-thirds of her left index finger while playing with a toy rifle that was mounted on a turret on the Island's playground. Disney did not report this incident to OSHA, as serious injury accidents only need to be reported if the incident occurred on a ride. OSHA stated that the incident did not fall under their review, as accidents and injuries that occur on playground equipment do not qualify for OSHA reporting.[35]
Costumed characters 
·         In 1976, a woman filed a lawsuit claiming one of the Three Little Pigs ran up to her at the "It's a Small World" attraction, grabbed at and fondled her while exclaiming "Mommy! Mommy!" She claimed to have gained 50 pounds as a result of the incident and sued Disney for $150,000 in damages for assault and battery, false imprisonment and humiliation. The plaintiff dropped charges after Disney's lawyers presented her with a photo of the costume, which had only inoperable stub arms.[36]
·         A 1981 case tried a cast member who was playing Winnie the Pooh in 1978. It was alleged that he slapped a child and caused bruising, recurring headaches and possible brain damage. The cast member testified that the girl was tugging at his costume from behind. When he turned around, he accidentally struck the girl in her ear. At one point, the cast member entered the courtroom in the Pooh costume and responded to questions while on the witness stand as Pooh would, including dancing a jig. Appearing as Pooh showed the jury that the costume's arms were too low to the ground to slap a girl of the victim's height. The jury acquitted the cast member after deliberating for 21 minutes.[36]
Guest altercations 
·         On March 7, 1981, an 18-year-old man was fatally stabbed with a knife during a fight in Tomorrowland. His family sued the park for US$60 million. The jury found the park negligent for not summoning outside medical help and awarded the family US$600,000.[37]
·         On March 7, 1987, a 15-year-old boy was fatally shot in the Disneyland parking lot.[38] The incident began as an early morning confrontation between rival gang members before escalating into a brawl. Eighteen-year-old Keleti Naea was convicted of second-degree murder, but the conviction was subsequently overturned by a state appellate court.[39]

*. Incidents at Walt Disney World

This is a list of notable incidents that have taken place at Walt Disney World in Florida. Several people have died or been injured while riding attractions at Walt Disney World theme parks.[1] Since 2001, Disney has been required to report incidents to state authorities. For example, from the first quarter of 2005 to the first quarter of 2006, Disney reported four deaths and nineteen injuries at its Florida parks.[2]
The term incidents refers to major accidents, injuries, deaths and significant crimes. While these incidents are required to be reported to regulatory authorities for investigation, attraction-related incidents usually fall into one of the following categories:
·         Negligence on the part of the park, either by ride operator or maintenance.
·         Caused by negligence on the part of the guest. This can be refusal to follow specific ride safety instructions, or deliberate intent to break park rules.
·         The result of a guest's known or unknown health issues.
·         Act of God or a generic accident (e.g. slipping and falling) that is not a direct result of an action on anyone's part.
According to a 1985 Time magazine article, nearly 100 lawsuits are filed against Disney each year for various incidents.[3]

Resort-wide transportation system 


·         On March 23, 2010, a Disney transportation bus rear-ended a private charter bus near the entrance to the Epcot parking lot. Seven guests aboard the Disney bus received minor injuries, while the bus driver was reported to have received critical injuries.[4]
·         On April 1, 2010, a nine-year-old boy was crushed to death by a Disney transportation bus at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground while he was riding his bicycle with an 11-year-old friend.[5] A report from the Florida Highway Patrol says that the victim appeared to turn his bike into the road and ran into the side of the bus, subsequently being dragged under the bus' right-rear tire.[5] The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.[6] A preliminary report stated that the bus driver, who has 30 years' experience with Disney, was not impaired or driving recklessly and that charges probably would not be filed, pending a full investigation of the incident.[5] In October 2010, Disney World was sued for $15,000 by the boy's mother.[7]
·         On December 26, 2010, a 69-year-old man died after stepping in front of a moving Disney transportation bus in the parking lot of Disney's Port Orleans Resort.[8]


·         In February 1974, a monorail train crashed into the train ahead. One driver and two passengers were injured.[9]
·         On June 26, 1985, a fire engulfed the rear car of the six-car Mark IV Silver monorail train in transit from the Epcot station to the Transportation and Ticket Center.[10] This fire pre-dated onboard fire detection systems, emergency exits and evacuation planning. Passengers in the car kicked out side windows and climbed around the side of the train to reach the roof, where they were subsequently rescued by the Reedy Creek Fire Department.[11] Seven passengers were hospitalized for smoke inhalation or other minor injuries.[12] The fire department later determined that the fire started when a flat tire was dragged across the concrete beam and ignited by the frictional heat.[13]
Monorail Silver sitting on the EPCOT beam after the fire was put out.
·         On August 30, 1991, a monorail train collided with a diesel maintenance work tractor near the Contemporary Resort as the tractor drove closely in front of the train to film it for a commercial. Two employees were treated at a hospital for injuries.[14]
·         On August 12, 1996, an electrical fire occurred on a train pulling into the Magic Kingdom station. The driver and the five passengers on board exited safely. Two bus drivers who witnessed the fire and assisted were overcome by smoke and treated at a nearby hospital.[15]
·         On July 5, 2009, during a failed track switchover from the Epcot line onto the Magic Kingdom express line, Monorail Pink backed into Monorail Purple at the Transportation & Ticket Center station, killing the 21-year-old pilot of Monorail Purple.[16] One employee and six guests who were also on the trains were treated at the scene and released.[17] OSHA and park officials inspected the monorail line and the monorail reopened on July 6, 2009, after new sensors and operating procedures were put in place.[18][19] An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board showed no mechanical problems with the trains or track but did find that the track used in the switchover was not in its proper place for the track transition. The NTSB also noted that Purple's pilot attempted to reverse his train when he saw that there was going to be a collision. Disney suspended three monorail employees as a result of the incident.[20] On October 31, 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board issued its findings on this incident, citing the probable cause as the shop panel operator's failure to properly align the switch beam before the monorail train was directed to reverse through it.[21]

Disney's Animal Kingdom


·         On April 30, 2005, a 30-year-old man from Mooresville, Indiana lost consciousness shortly after exiting the ride and died from a heart attack moments later. An investigation showed the ride was operating correctly and was not the cause of his death; he had an artificial pacemaker.[22]

Expedition Everest 

Main article: Expedition Everest
·         On December 18, 2007, a 44-year-old man from Navarre, Florida lost consciousness while riding the coaster. He was given CPR on the ride's loading platform and was pronounced dead at the hospital.[23] An autopsy by the Orange County medical examiner's office concluded that the victim died of dilated cardiomyopathy and that the death was considered natural.[24]

Kali River Rapids 

Main article: Kali River Rapids
·         On May 29, 2007, five guests and one cast member were injured when an emergency exit platform malfunctioned. The guests were exiting a Kali River Rapids raft during a ride stoppage triggered by a monitoring sensor. The raft was on a steep incline and the emergency exit platform was designed to allow guests to easily access the emergency stairs from the incline. After an investigation determined that the platform "disengaged and slid", it was removed and an alternate evacuation procedure was adopted.[25] The six people were taken to local hospitals for minor injuries and were later released.[26]

Primeval Whirl 

·         On November 27, 2007, a 63-year-old employee died from a brain injury sustained four days earlier when she was hit by a ride vehicle after falling from a restricted area of the ride platform.[27] On May 23, 2008, OSHA fined Walt Disney World US$25,500 and charged the company with five safety violations. The fines were: $15,000 for three serious violations; $7,500 for a still missing handrail that had been previously reported; and $3,000 for not responding to OSHA requests within the requested time period.[28]
·         On March 13, 2011, a 52-year-old employee sustained head injuries while working on the ride and was airlifted to a local hospital, where he later died. The ride was undergoing maintenance and was closed to the public at the time of the incident.[29]

Blizzard Beach 

Main article: Blizzard Beach
·         On March 16, 2007, a 51-year-old man from Pulaski, Mississippi collapsed near the Downhill Double Dipper water slide. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy showed that the victim died due to a heart attack.[30] His family says that he had a pre-existing heart condition.[31][32]

Disney's Hollywood Studios (Disney-MGM Studios) 

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster 

Main article: Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
·         On June 29, 2006, a 12-year-old boy visiting from Fort Campbell, Kentucky was found to be unresponsive after the ride came to an end. Though his father administered CPR until paramedics arrived, he was declared dead en route to the hospital.[33] The ride was shut down for the investigation and reopened a day later after inspectors determined that the ride was operating normally. The victim had died as a result of a congenital heart defect.[34][35][36]

Tower of Terror 

·         On July 12, 2005, a 16-year-old girl from Kibworth, Leicestershire, Great Britain complained of a severe headache and other symptoms after riding the Tower of Terror. She was taken to an Orlando hospital in critical condition,[37] where she underwent surgery for intracranial bleeding. On August 6, 2005, she returned to Britain via air ambulance. While she reportedly had ridden the attraction several times previously during her visit with no ill effects,[38] she had been in pain for a few days prior to the incident. She had a massive stroke leading to cardiac arrest. After an examination by both Disney and state inspectors showed no ride malfunction, the ride was reopened the next day. The girl returned home safely after spending six months in the hospital due to two heart attacks and surgery.[39] On February 13, 2009, the victim's family sued Disney for negligence in the ride design, failing to adequately warn riders, and not providing proper safety restraints. They are seeking at least US$15,000.[40]

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! 

A number of incidents involving the show's performers have occurred since the live-action show's premiere in 1989. In 1990, OSHA fined the resort $1,000 after three performers were injured in three separate incidents.[41] In one incident, a performer fell 30 feet when a restraining cable failed. In another, a performer fell 25 feet when a prop ladder collapsed unexpectedly. A third performer was pinned by a malfunctioning trap door.[41] At the time, OSHA cited Disney for failing to provide adequate fall protection, including padding and other equipment.[41] Later, while rehearsing a new, safer routine, another performer fell 25 feet onto concrete.[41]
·         On August 17, 2009, a 30-year-old performer died after injuring his head while rehearsing a tumbling roll.[42] Performances for the next day were canceled out of respect for the performer.[42]

Downtown Disney 

·         On April 22, 2010, a 61-year-old woman from Celebration, Florida, suffered a collapsed lung, fractured ribs, and back pain due to a boating accident near the Treehouse Villas. The rented Sea Raycer that her husband was driving collided with a Disney ferryboat. The Orange County Sheriff's report states that the Sea Raycer crossed into the ferry's right-of-way.[43]


·         On September 12, 1992, a 37-year old man entered Epcot after park closing and brandished a shotgun at three security guards, demanding to see his ex-girlfriend who worked at the park. He fired four blasts at the guards and took two of them hostage in a restroom near the Journey Into Imagination pavilion. As Orange County sheriff's deputies surrounded the area, the intruder released his hostages and emerged from the restroom with the shotgun held to his chest. After exchanging words with deputies, he put the gun to his head and fired. The man was pronounced dead on arrival at the Orlando Regional Medical Center. Investigators attributed his actions to a recent breakup with his long-time girlfriend.[44]
·         In July 2012, a 41-year old doctor from Italy was arrested after allegedly kicking his three-year old son in the face. According to arrest reports, several witnesses saw the doctor kick his son while he sat in his stroller during an argument with his wife and children. An Epcot employee then "went up to the child and saw that his face was bloody and the child was crying hysterically". The family refused to let their son be taken to a hospital because they did not think his injuries required further attention. He was eventually freed on a $2,000 bond.[45]

Body Wars 

Main article: Body Wars
·         On May 16, 1995, a four-year-old girl with a known heart condition passed out during a ride on the Body Wars attraction in the Wonders of Life pavilion. The ride was stopped immediately and paramedics took her to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy was inconclusive as to whether the ride had aggravated her condition.[46]

Mission: Space 

Main article: Mission: Space
·         On June 13, 2005, a 4-year-old boy died after riding Mission: Space. An autopsy by the Orange County Medical Examiner's Office, released on November 15, 2005, found that the boy died as a result of a pre-existing, previously undiagnosed idiopathic heart condition called myocardial hypertrophy. On June 12, 2006, a lawsuit was filed against Disney by his parents, claiming that Disney never should have allowed a 4-year-old child on the ride and didn't offer an adequate medical response after he collapsed.[47] On January 11, 2007, the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice.[48]
·         On April 12, 2006, a 49-year-old woman from Schmitten, Germany fell ill after riding Mission: Space and died at Celebration Hospital in nearby Celebration, Florida. An autopsy determined that she died from a brain hemorrhage caused by longstanding and severe high blood pressure; there was no evidence of trauma attributable to the ride.[49]
·         From June 2005 to June 2006, paramedics treated 194 Mission: Space riders. The most common complaints were dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Of those 194 guests: 25 people passed out, 26 suffered difficulty breathing and 16 reported chest pains or irregular heartbeats.[50] In May 2006, Disney altered the ride by offering a less-intense ride experience that did not include the centrifuge. Statistics reported to the state of Florida since then have shown a decrease in the number of health complaints filed by riders.[citation needed]

Spaceship Earth 

Main article: Spaceship Earth (Epcot)
·         On August 14, 1999, a 5-year-old boy was seriously injured after falling or stepping out of a ride car at Spaceship Earth. He was treated for an open compound fracture at the Orlando Regional Medical Center.[51]

Magic Kingdom 

Enchanted Tiki Room 

Main article: Enchanted Tiki Room
·         On January 12, 2011, a small fire broke out in the attic of the attraction. The Iago audio-animatronic figure was severely damaged in the blaze. It was announced that it would be closed and rethemed as Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room. No guests were injured during the fire. Linked at [1]

Astro Orbiter 

Main article: Astro Orbitor
·         On October 9, 2011, a fire broke out in the centerpiece of the attraction structure. Authorities reported that the fire was caused by a light bulb that shorted out and started to smolder. The incident occurred shortly after the park had opened for the day, and no guests were aboard the ride when the fire was discovered.[52] The attraction re-opened the following day.[53]


·         On February 11, 2004, a 38-year-old employee dressed as Pluto was killed at the Magic Kingdom when he was run over by the Beauty and the Beast float in the Share a Dream Come True Parade. The employee had worked at the park for 8 years. Disney representatives commented that no incident of these circumstances had ever happened before to a cast member and that no guests had seen the incident.[54] This led OSHA to fine Disney US$6,300 for having employees in restricted areas.[55]

"It's a Small World" 

Main article: It's a Small World
·         On August 18, 1994, a 6-year-old girl from Miami, Florida fell out of one of the ride's boats while it was in the loading area. Orange County authorities believe she was then struck by an incoming boat. The girl suffered a broken hip, a broken arm and a collapsed lung, but was expected to recover fully. The ride was closed for an inspection and re-opened the following day.[56]

Main Street 

·         On August 11, 1977, a 4-year-old boy from Dolton, Illinois drowned in the moat surrounding Cinderella Castle. The family sued Disney for US$4 million and won; however, the jury found the plaintiffs 50% liable for allowing the boy to climb over a fence while playing and reduced the award to US$1.5 million.[57]

Pirates of the Caribbean 

·         In February 2005, a 77-year-old woman from Minnesota lost consciousness and died after riding the Pirates of the Caribbean. A medical examiner's report said the victim was in poor health and she previously had several ministrokes. The report concluded that her death "was not unexpected."[58]
·         On August 6, 2009, a 47-year-old employee playing the role of a pirate in the "Captain Jack's Pirate Tutorial" show slipped on a puddle on the stage and hit his head on a wall. He was taken to Florida Hospital Orlando with injuries including a broken vertebra in his neck and severe lacerations on his head that required 55 stitches. He died August 10 due to complications.[59]

Prince Charming Regal Carrousel 

·         On December 12, 2010, a 77-year-old woman with pre-existing conditions collapsed after exiting. She later died due to the incident.[60]


Main article: Skyway (Disney)
·         On February 14, 1999, a 65-year-old part-time custodian was killed when he fell off a gondola. He was cleaning the Fantasyland Skyway station platform when the ride was accidentally turned on by employees unaware he was there. He was in the path of the ride vehicles and grabbed a passing gondola in an attempt to save himself. He lost his grip, fell 40 feet, and landed in a flower bed near the Dumbo ride. He died shortly after arrival at a local hospital. The Skyway ride, which had been scheduled to be closed before the accident occurred, was permanently closed on November 10, 1999.[61] As a result of the accident, OSHA fined Walt Disney World US$4,500 for violating federal safety codes in that work area.[62] This incident echoed a similar incident at Disneyland Resort in 1994, when a 30-year-old man fell 20 feet out of a Skyway cabin and subsequently tried to sue Disney. In this case, however, the man later admitted that he had in fact jumped out of the ride, and the case was dismissed.[62]

Space Mountain 

·         On August 1, 2006, a 7-year-old boy fainted after riding Space Mountain and was taken to Florida Hospital Celebration where he died of natural causes. The victim was a terminal cancer patient visiting the Magic Kingdom as a part of the Give Kids the World program. The medical examiner's report showed that he died of the natural causes due to a metastatic pulmonary blastoma tumor.[63]
·         On December 7, 2006, a 73-year-old man lost consciousness while riding Space Mountain. He was transported to a hospital and died three days later. The medical examiner found that the man died of natural causes due to a heart condition.[64]

Splash Mountain 

Main article: Splash Mountain
·         On November 5, 2000, a 37-year-old man from St. Petersburg, Florida was critically injured while trying to exit the ride vehicle while it was moving. He told fellow passengers that he felt ill and attempted to reach one of the attraction's marked emergency exits.[65] He was struck by the following ride vehicle and died at a local hospital.[66]

The Haunted Mansion 

·         In February 2007, an 89 year-old woman fell and broke her hip while exiting a ride vehicle.[30]

Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe 

·         In March 2010, a 4 year-old boy from San Diego, California, suffered severe burns to his face after being scalded by a cup of hot nacho cheese. The accident occurred when the boy sat down to dinner in an unstable chair and grabbed a food tray to prevent himself falling, resulting in the cheese flying into his face. The parents of the child sued Disney, with their attorney claiming that 'the cheese should not have been that hot' and that Disney made no effort 'to regulate and monitor the temperature of the nacho cheese which was being served to young children.' A Disney representative commented on the incident: 'It's unfortunate when any child is injured. We just received notice of the lawsuit and are currently reviewing it.'[67]

Guest altercations 

·         On May 20, 2007, five guests from Shirley, New York, ages 14 to 20 years old, were arrested for allegedly attacking a sheriff's deputy. They were accused of spitting on and harassing other guests and were detained by Disney security near Space Mountain. When an Orange County sheriff's deputy arrived, the deputy stated that he was "punched in the face with closed fists... by all the defendants." During the melee, the deputy used a stun gun on an unnamed 17-year-old female guest. The five guests from New York were arrested on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and for resisting arrest with violence. The 17-year-old guest was also cited for battery on a uniformed officer.[68]
·         On May 29, 2007, a 34-year-old Clermont, Florida woman was attacked by a 51-year-old park guest visiting from Anniston, Alabama as they waited in line at the Mad Tea Party attraction. Disney security interviewed witnesses on the day of the attack but Orange County police did not take any sworn statements. The victim stated that the sworn statements were not taken due to a delay in the arrival of the deputies.[69] On July 17, 2007, an arrest warrant was issued for the alleged attacker.[70] The victim claims that due to the incident, she has been diagnosed with a concussion and a herniated disc in her cervical spine and suffers from post-traumatic seizures.[71] The case went to trial on April 14, 2008. The attacker was convicted on charges of battery[72] and sentenced to 90 days in jail and nine months probation and will have to take an anger management course.[73] After the trial, the victim's lawyer stated that his client intended to sue Disney to force them to address their security issues.[74][75] On May 9, 2008, the victim and her husband filed two separate lawsuits against Disney. Her lawsuit claims, among other things, that: Walt Disney World provided inadequate staff and security at the ride; there was a lack of adequate training to recognize security threats, that the park did not anticipate the attack and have the attacker removed before anything happened and that the following investigation was mishandled. His lawsuit against Disney is claiming the loss of his wife's support and companionship due to the attack.[76]

Typhoon Lagoon 

Main article: Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
·         On August 4, 2005, a 12-year-old girl from Newport News, Virginia felt ill while using the wave pool. Lifeguards talked with her after noticing her sitting on the side of the pool; she said she felt fine, but passed out shortly thereafter. Though lifeguards performed CPR on her until paramedics arrived, she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the local hospital.[77] The autopsy showed that she died due to arrhythmia caused by an early-stage viral heart infection.[78]

Guest altercations 

·         On July 3, 2009, a 51-year-old man from Farmington, New York was charged with lewd and lascivious molestation after allegedly attempting to remove a teenager's bathing suit while both were in the wave pool. Disney security was notified and they called for Orange County deputies. In the arrest report, both Disney security and the deputies report observing the man attempting to do the same to at least five other girls.[79]
·         On July 10, 2009, a 51-year-old Connecticut man was charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition after he allegedly fondled himself in front of a teenage girl near the park's wave pool. One eyewitness, a visitor who worked with paroled sex-offenders in Missouri, confronted the man who then fled the scene. As he attempted to leave the parking lot, he ran a stop sign and was stopped by an Orange County deputy and detained on charges of driving with a suspended license. The man denied the lewd conduct charges, claiming his European-style swimsuit was too small. This was the fifth sexual-related reported incident to occur at a Central Florida water park in 2009; the other parks aside from Typhoon Lagoon were Blizzard Beach, Aquatica, and Wet 'n Wild.[80] The charges were dropped in August 2009 after prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence in the case.[81]
·         On July 16, 2009, a 29-year-old man from Washington was arrested and charged with one count of lewd molestation of a teenager.[82] He was sentenced to 24 months in state prison.[83]


·         In 2005, Walt Disney World reported 773 injuries to OSHA for employees portraying one of 270 different characters at the parks.[55]
·         Of those injuries listed, 282 (roughly 36%) were related to costuming issues, such as costume weight affecting the head, neck, or shoulders.
·        49 injuries (6%) were specifically due to the costume head.
·         107 injuries (14%) were caused by park guests' interactions with the characters, where the guest hit, pushed, or otherwise hurt (intentionally or not) the costumed employee.
·         Other items in the report include skin rashes, bruises, sprains, or heat-related issues.
·         One change that Disney made to assist character performers was to change rules limiting the overall costume weight to be no more than 25% of the performer's body weight.

Donald Duck 

·        A 27-year-old woman from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit in August 2010 against the Disney corporation, claiming that the Donald Duck character groped her during a photo and autograph session in May 2008 while she and her family were visiting Epcot. The lawsuit is for US$200,000 in damages to compensate the alleged victim for negligence, battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress and intentional and reckless infliction of emotional distress. The woman claims to suffer from severe physical injury, emotional anguish and distress, acute anxiety, headaches, nightmares and flashbacks, and other emotional and physical ailments. Part of the lawsuit's basis is a report from the Orange County Sheriff's Office that alleged similar acts by costumed characters have been reported to them 24 times since 2004. The woman did not file a complaint at the time of the incident.[84]


·        In September 2004, a Disney employee who had been accused for a different act previously was suspended for allegedly shoving two Kodak employees while he was dressed as Goofy at Animal Kingdom on August 29, 2004. The two photographers believed that Goofy was a different employee who was joking around until they were relaxing backstage and saw it was not their friend. The cast member's attorney stated that the two photographers shoved back as part of routine horseplay among employees meant to entertain. The sheriff's office was considering misdemeanor charges.[85] During the investigation, two Animal Kingdom employees came forward saying the cast member had touched their breasts. The lawyer claimed that the cast member was merely looking at their lanyards containing lapel trading pins.[86]

Minnie Mouse 

·        On June 7, 2009, a 60-year-old man from Cressona, Pennsylvania allegedly touched Minnie Mouse while he was visiting the Magic Kingdom. He was convicted of misdemeanor battery on August 11, 2009.[87]

Wikinews has related news:
·        In April 2004, a 36-year-old Disney employee was arrested for allegedly fondling a 13-year-old girl and her mother while he was dressed as Tigger during a photo opportunity at the Magic Kingdom in February 2004. He was charged with one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child between 12 and 15 years old and one count of simple battery.[88][dead link] The case went to trial, where the jury's deliberation lasted less than one hour. The employee was acquitted of all charges and returned to work at Disney.[89][dead link]
·        On January 5, 2007, a 14-year-old boy from Greenville, New Hampshire was allegedly punched in the head by a Disney employee dressed as Tigger during a photo opportunity at Disney's Hollywood Studios.[90] The family felt that the act was deliberate and filed a police report of battery against the cast member from Kissimmee, Florida.[91] The cast member was suspended pending the results of the investigation.[92] In the cast member's statement to the sheriff's office, he claimed that he was acting in self-defense as the child was pulling on the back of the costume and causing him to lose his breath.[93] A lawyer for the employee accused in the 2004 case against Tigger released his own opinion on the situation. He believed the child instigated the situation and that cast member's movements were an involuntary reaction to pain. The lawyer was not representing the accused cast member at the time of this statement.[94] On February 15, 2007, the State Attorney General's office announced that no charges would be filed against the cast member.[95]

Resort hotels 

Disney's BoardWalk Inn 

Main article: Disney's BoardWalk Inn
·        On June 29, 2000, a waiter and a child were held hostage by the child's father in a hotel room over domestic issues. During the hostage situation, other guests were evacuated and given alternative accommodations in the resort. The man released the hostages and handed himself over to authorities in the early hours of June 30, 2000.[96]

Disney's Fort Wilderness 

·        On May 23, 1987, a six-year-old boy drowned in a swimming pool. The family later sued, stating that resort should have had more than one lifeguard on duty to monitor the crowded pool, and that the pool should have had a safety line between the shallow and deep ends.[97]

Doubletree Guest Suites 

·        On June 13, 2010, a body was discovered at the hotel. The cause was originally unknown, but was later declared a suicide.[98][99]

Disney's Pop Century Resort 

·        On March 10, 2013, a 13 year old boy from Springfield, Missouri, died after drowning in the resort swimming pool. He was swimming in the Hippy Dippy pool with a group of children including his younger brother and a cousin around 9.30pm when the incident occurred. There were no lifeguards on duty at the pool beyond 8pm but it remained open for use. He was pulled from the water by his father and another guest at the hotel, who attempted to revive him by performing CPR. The boy passed away at the Florida Hospital Celebration Health 3 days later.[100]


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