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Disneyland Article
Dangerous Disneyland Mental Fatigue Part 1

America Sings
Cal Jones
January 06, 2016
January 25, 2016
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Disneyland gets sued for injuries and deaths all of the time. Believe me, I get that accidents happen, but most of these tourists are simply victims of their own stupidity. Mild disclaimer: a few of these I've read about on only one site, so I'm not entirely sure they happened. Now, let's get down to business.

Matterhorn, Space, and Thunder Mountains are not most dangerous in that respect, surprisingly. Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain both had one person wriggling out from under the safety bar. The Thunder rider stood up and was flung onto a ledge, sustaining no major injuries. The Space rider, on the other hand, was not so lucky. He hit a wall and landed five feet below the track. His friends hadn't seen him fly out of the car until the ride ended. He ended up with brain and spinal injuries, remaining in a coma for a month and not recalling what happened when he awoke. Two people, a young man and a not-so-young woman, unbuckled their seat belts and stood up on the Matterhorn for whatever reason, both of whom ended up dead. The way the woman ended up underneath the bobsled was evidently reminiscent of the Wicked Witch of the East under Dorothy's house.

Someone tried to sneak into Grad Nite by scaling a sixteen foot fence. His aim had been to walk along the Monorail rail and jump down near Autopia. Unbeknownst to him, a train was coming and he didn't hear it, or the guard telling him to jump clear. While he did get off the track and onto a fiberglass canopy beneath it, it wasn't low enough. The driver of the oncoming train never saw him, so when the under side of train caught the teen and dragged his body forty feet, the driver wondered why his train came grinding to a halt.

Tom Sawyer's Island has always closed at dusk, now in preparation for "Fantasmic!" But, in 1973, two brothers climbed over a perimeter fence and hid near the Settler's Cabin in the woods. Later that night, the two decided to swim back. After the older brother disappeared under the water while his brother rode on his back, the younger brother managed to doggy paddle until a boat saw him. The older brother's body was found the next morning.

On Grad Nite in '83, two friends commandeered at motorized rubber raft from a Frontierland "employees only" area. It was complete darkness as they were speeding along the River when the raft hit a rock, hurling one into the water. His body was found an hour later in four feet of water. Both of them were drinking.

For some reason, a group of teenagers thought it was a good idea to rock their Skyway bucket. It was rocked so violently that one of the ride's guide wheels jumped off the cable, leaving the car dangling over Toad Tower in Fantasyland. The ride had to be shut down for several hours to get the guide wheel reset, leaving passengers stranded forty feet in the air while city firefighters got them out with extension ladders.

Adventure Thru Inner Space and PeopleMover were two of Disneyland's slowest rides. Most injuries come from folks getting complacent and jumping from car to car. The PeopleMover, going at a blistering two miles an hour, has injured about six people not staying seated. A four-year-old boy was trying to join his parents in the trailing car (why weren't they all in the same car?), fell to the cement between America Sings and Mission to Mars, ending up with a double skull fracture. Somehow, he survived. A seventeen-year-old ended up with his head cut in two after he slipped doing what his friends were doing. The ride had to be dismantled to remove his body. Another was crushed and dragged hundreds of feet.

A gust of wind blew a Mickey Mouse cap off the head of one person in a group of four girls as they went past the Progress City exhibit. Two of the girls climbed out of the car to retrieve it. They then ran along the track to hop into the next car. Only one of them made it. The one who didn't had run to the end of the tunnel and off the track platform, where she fell thirty feet. Before she hit the concrete, she hit a railing, adding to her bruises, cuts, a broken leg, pelvis and hip. She was able to walk again after three months in a body cast and had to have a steel plate and pin in her leg.

Inner Space had someone tripped-up as she was jumping from car to car with her boyfriend. The car behind her ran her over, causing cuts, lacerations and many severe fractures. A couple decades later, kids threw a fire cracker, setting fire to the fiberglass structure of the ride. The fire spread to some draperies which would fall onto four other cars, injuring some. Others would be injured in the dash to the exit. Five guests were treated for smoke inhalation and minor injuries.

Simply being inattentive is pretty dangerous also. A maintenance worker tried to take a shortcut through the cars not long after Star Tours opened. He forced open the opposite door and quite suddenly realized there was no platform on the other side, falling 30 feet to the ground.

A teenage boy riding Alice in Wonderland broke his foot and leg when the foot became caught between the car and the guardrail around the ride. Don't they tell you to keep your hands and feet inside the caterpillar at all times?

Pirates of the Caribbean caught fire when a moron flicked his lit cigarette into a basket of plastic fruit at the wench auction, because the water all around would be far too easy. The basket and its contents caught fire and filled the ride with black smoke. No one was hurt but a lot of people panicked. One woman even handed her nine-month-old to a park attendant pleading to "save my baby!" That might be why smoking is only allowed in certain places of the park now.

Thus ends the human stupidity portion. For the next portion, I will be going over the actual accidents, essentially acts of God. For now, I will be banging my head against my desk; so, if you'll excuse me.
Attractions Referenced

Adventure Thru Inner Space

Alice In Wonderland

America Sings

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Disneyland Monorail


Matterhorn Bobsleds

Mission To Mars

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride


Pirates Of The Caribbean


Space Mountain

Star Tours

Tom Sawyers Island

Tomorrowland Autopia

Lands Referenced



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