Posted Thursday, September 22, 2005 10:04 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Disney officials rejected a request for tougher thrill-ride height restrictions proposed by the parents of a 4-year-old Pennsylvania boy who died after passing out on Epcot's "Mission: Space" ride, according to the family's attorney. An attorney for Disney says making an arbitrary change doesn't benefit anyone.
Read more from AP via WFTS/Tampa.
Another similar story here.
Disney on the other hand doesn't have that issue to deal with because they created the ride, not an external entity, plus I am not sure if Florida has that law, even if they were not the manufacturer.
*** This post was edited by redman822 9/22/2005 12:48:37 PM ***
If they change the requirements now, it looks like they're admitting that they were wrong in the first place, and ultimately are responsible for the child's death.
OK, call me cynical.
I see one of the articles raises the "prove it's safe" issue. You can never prove that something is safe. You can prove that it's dangerous, but you can't prove it's safe. There is always the possibility that you will later find a hazard. Besides, how would you establish an upper limit for G forces for riders under a certain height? Take a few hundred of them and see how many die at given G forces and duration? Obviously, not moral, ethical, or legal. Besides, the criteria for ride safety has to be less than one death in millions of rides. Numbers this low are very hard to test for.
Disney is making the right decision in not changing the height restriction. Parents should realize that most 4 year olds, even if they're above average in height, are not ready to ride most 'adult-sized' rides.
Just because they set the height requirement somewhere doesn't necessarily mean that it's the safe height requirement, regardless how long it's been in effect. Case in point: last weekend I was at Dorney and when I rode White Water Landing, I noticed something odd... a ride whose height requirement has been 48" to ride since the day it was open now had a new restriction. 48" guests can still ride, but you can only ride in the front row if you're more than 54" tall. Why the change after 12 years? I asked the ride ops and they told me that there is considerably more "leg room" in the front row, and over the years they've had problems with people sliding under the restraint bar because their legs were too short to brace properly and getting minor bruises as a result. Nothing dangerous as potentially falling out, but injuries nonetheless. So, they decided to change the height requirement.
I don't think it should be changed as drastically as the parents want, but I think the height requirement should be reconsidered.
How many 44" astronaughts are on NASA's payroll, anyway?
Just like next weekend I'm going to a halloween event at a theme park. What happens at these events is beyond what most little kids can comprehend. There aren't any height restrictions to this event but do you think there should be? There also isn't any age restrictions either but they do have warnings for parents. A lot like the warning at the entrances of most any ride. What do you think the park should do to restrict people from going to the event that might not be able to mentally withstand what they experience?
I'm sure there aren't any Astronaughts on NASA'a payroll because it's spelled ASTRONAUT.
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