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Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:53 pm

I just opened my MSN homepage and noticed some terrible news:

1 killed, 10 injured on Disney ride

Locomotive breaks loose from roller coaster at Disneyland


ANAHEIM, Calif., Sept. 5 — A locomotive broke loose from a train on Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster Friday, killing a man and injuring 10 other riders, officials said.

THE MAN DIED inside a tunnel section of the ride, and his body remained there for the investigation, said city spokesman John Nicoletti. He was not immediately identified.
Eight of the injured, ranging in age from 9 to 47, were taken to the hospital, while two others were treated at the scene, Nicoletti said. One of those taken to the hospital had moderate injuries, while the other cases were considered minor, he said.
The accident took place inside a tunnel section of the ride, but exactly what happened was unclear, said police Sgt. Rick Martinez.


The roller coaster takes people on a twisting, turning ride aboard what is supposed to be a runaway train in the Old West. Riders zoom around outdoors past falling rocks and tumbling waterfalls, occasionally entering tunnels designed to look like mineshafts and caverns.
The attraction, which opened in 1979, can carry as many as 32 people. The ride is computer-controlled, and the operator does not ride aboard the train.
“On behalf of the entire cast of the Disneyland Resort we are shocked and saddened,” said Cynthia Harris, president of Disneyland Resort.

© 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

This is really terrible. My condolences go out to the family of the man that died. I hope that those injured will be okay.

This is quite scary. I have actually been on this ride before. You never think that a day of fun at an amusement park is going to be the last day someone ever has.


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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Sat Sep 06, 2003 1:04 pm

It must have been terrorism.

Ok, I'll knock off the sadistic humor for a second.

I wonder how Disney handled the accident. There has been much criticism of their security and safety operations.

They don't like city officials looking in on the Magic Kingdom.
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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Sat Sep 06, 2003 1:21 pm

maybe I'm the only one who wants to ask though........why is this news?

oh, becuase it's just a precursor to the lawsuit drama to follow, I forgot


bad way to go though, I've seen people die at an amusment park and it wasn't pretty.

They're not handing trophies out today
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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:25 pm

When you wish apon a star, makes no difference who you are ........ Looks like some lawyers wishes finally came true.
Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Sat Sep 06, 2003 5:03 pm

Exactly the reason why I will not step onto one of those things. Really Sad.

On a similar note...

I don't know if anyone posted the story here, but on August 16 a man was killed when his hair got caught on a roller coaster car. It carried him up 12 meters before he fell onto a fence. Ouch, happened at the Island County Fair in Langley, Washington. (I had just been to Langley for the first time like 3 weeks before this happened...)

Chris in YYC.
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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Sat Sep 06, 2003 5:09 pm

Truly shocking and terrible to hear.

Big Thunder Mountain was my very last ride that I took when I visited Disneyland last July. I rode it just before midnight on the 18th with a friend of mine who works at Disneyland. That thing is alot of fun in the dark, never ridden it at night before.  Sad

But my friend did have alot of interesting info about Disneyland which I won't discuss in depth, but I will say that she did mention that alot of the rides and attractions in the park are no longer maintained up to former Disney standards. Disneyland needs help right now. And she expected that it won't be long before we see a very large management change at the park itself.

I'm familiar with Cynthia Harris. I don't expect her to be there much longer, based on what my friend told me. Cynthia is working hard to keep the park up to good standards but it doesn't look like she will remain at the job for long. There's other people eyeing her spot and it looks like she may resign in the near future.

If that happens, you'll see some sweeping changes done to Disneyland. Mostly for the better. It is not Cynthia's fault that the park is in the condition it's in now, but her leaving will supposedly cause a domino effect which will change the entire shift of the park. One other thing to notice is in the tiki room: Alot of the animatronics no longer work. Many of the birds no longer move and some tiki faces have eyes that don't move anymore either.

This applies to just about all the rides at the park or attractions. Space Mountain has been known to be down frequently over recent years because of unscheduled maintenance. The Rocket Rods were an absolute nightmare when they were still around. They were always up and down, and one of them actually derailed. Fortunately it didn't fall off the platform, but it came close, and someone could have died that day as well. That's why this management shift needs to happen. It's not a question of if, it's a question of when.

Because I don't want to get her in trouble I'm not going to reveal her name. I know there's alot of people who claim to have inside sources and often they lie about that, but I'm not going to call her an inside source. She works there. She's a friend, we had a long talk. Take it for what it's worth.  Smile

If the one person who is most likely to take over Cynthia's place gets the job, you will most definitely see an improvement in maintenance, and I'd keep an eye on the tiki room. If he gets the job (I forget his name), the tiki room WILL change. For the better. And exactly what goes in there to improve it...well, let's just say you're already familiar with him/them.  Smile

I wont give any further details. But just some food for thought.

I hope that when management changes, things like this will no longer happen. Walt Disney would not have stood for poor maintenance. The man always demanded perfection in his parks. He just wouldn't have allowed this to happen if it were avoidable. And you can bet some maintenance workers will be driven to the wall over this one. Disneyland likes to be an entity unto itself, not investigated buy the government. But then again, all companies are that way. No one should ever lose their life at a theme park. Especially not at Disneyland, which is supposed to set the standard for others to follow.

Word has it that the guy who resurrected Disneyland Paris is being brought in to evaluate Disneyland itself, the man basically brought Disneyland Paris out of the gutter and turned it back into one of Europe's top attractions. Numbers are lacking at Disneyland right now and if he can turn the park around I'll be very pleased.

Here's hoping. And my heart goes out to all injured and especially the man who died. Good heavens what a terrible way to lose your life. It just upsets me that something like this was even allowed to happen. I hope those changes are swift in coming.  Sad
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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoast

Sat Sep 06, 2003 5:25 pm

"Numbers are lacking at Disneyland right now and if he can turn the park around I'll be very pleased."

Ya think people would flock to a place that basically rapes you everywhere you go inside the park? $5US for 2 dinky hot-dogs and a handful of stale chips. $4US for a lemonade filled with mostly ice. And with regular mx not being done, it simply means someones wallet is simply just getting bigger day by day.

The new catch slogan for DisneyLand : "Where we not only take your cash, but also your life!"

What other people think of you is none of your business!
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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Sun Sep 07, 2003 5:48 am

This incident will further fan the flames of the regulation of roller coasters and of theme park safety. Many states have little if any oversight on rides and of theme parks, and Federal regulation of the same does not exsist. Several members of Congress have been trying to introduce legislation over the last few years to regulation theme park rides, especially roller coasters. This accident will probably put those proposed laws back on track so to speak. The fact that it was at a Disney park that this unfortunate accident occurred at will be the nail in which the legislation will be framed upon.
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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Sun Sep 07, 2003 5:52 am

Was it owned by Rail Track?
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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Sun Sep 07, 2003 6:34 am

I visited both Disneyland and California Adventure less than a month ago and I found them amazing. I rode all the roller coasters and attractions, some of them twice and I always felt confident with the multi-million dollar infrastructure. I was satisfied with what I saw, I'm not and expert though, but never felt that safety was compromised. Two days after my Disneyland Resort visit I went to Magic Mountain (Six Flags) where the roller coasters and rides are a bit more intrepid. Sad to say but I found this park cheesy, dirty and not so well maintained.

The Disney theme parks are real industries that set the standards for others to follow. It's shocking to know that behind the magic some deep transformations are needed. I just hope that whoever runs the company from now on, would have the same vision Disney had his entire life. If this happens this way, I'll be looking forward to visit them again and enjoy the parks just the way I enjoyed them a little ago.

There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Sun Sep 07, 2003 2:32 pm

Flame me all you want for this. While this story is indeed sad, I dont think its shocking, tragic, or terrible. There are much more terrible things going on in this world for me to be shocked by this. Its happened before in Disney parks and in other theme parks. Sadly, the people who run these parks have recently put safety on the backburner.
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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Sun Sep 07, 2003 3:55 pm

This is sad news. I went to Disneyland this past August as well as Knott's Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain (both local L.A. theme parks as well) and I rode Thunder Mountain. I agree with Fly727 that even though Six Flags has more thrilling rides, the management is terrible and the workers hired are twentysomethings who get minimum wage and just don't care. It took us 40 minutes to get in, half the attractions were closed...

I found that Knott's Berry Farm was at a par level or even above Disneyland. Disneyland is outrageously overpriced, but when I went there I did feel safe on the rides. The staff seemed professional and experienced, though with all the media and this recent incident it's sad to realize that their standards are declining. As Aloha717200 said I hope that the park will turn around soon to the standards of its creator Walt Disney.

My condolences go to the relatives of the deceased man.

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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Sun Sep 07, 2003 4:06 pm

Was it owned by Rail Track?

You mean AmTrak?
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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Tue Sep 09, 2003 5:08 am

I have been on the one in Disney World and this is sad. It seems every summer season, we hear stories of roller Coasters and other amusement attractions malfunctioning and killing and injuring people.

It seems it hits local carnivals and major theme parks alike.

I was in Gurnee several years ago the day the demon roller coaster got stuck in one of its loops leaving several people hanging upside down. As I recall, no one was injured, but still a scary moment for all involved.


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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Tue Sep 09, 2003 6:13 am

Some theme park companies are very safety oriented; if the problem is just a minor thing, they'll shut the ride down until it is fixed. Some of the most up-date rides have higher maintenance rates than a ride built 20 years ago. Why? The amount of computers used in those older rides pales in comparison to the newer rides. Tech issues that would shutdown a newer roller coaster may not even be in the parameters of the computer controls on a ride built in the late 70s early 80s. So is a newer ride safer than an older one? Maybe on the surface, but with many of the newer rides incorporating newish technology in them, the number of components that could cause safety issues increased with it. Perhaps this is a wakeup call for all theme parks to upgrade older rides to more up-to-date computer controls.
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RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Tue Sep 09, 2003 6:16 am

...It's a small world after AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!

RE: Man Dies, 10 Injured On Disneyland Rollercoaster

Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:47 am

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