Disneyland coaster has a "bump" again

Posted | Contributed by supermandl

A 10-year-old boy and his parents suffered minor back and neck injuries late Thursday afternoon after two trains collided on Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad — the second crash on the ride in three months.

Read more from The LA Times via The Sun-Sentinel.

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What the heck is wrong with this thing?! Disney better get their act together and quick; this could have been a lot worse.
I don't think I'll be going to a Disney park for a long while...not that I liked them anyway! I don't see how such a large corp. like Disney continues to have such stupid accidents like this that injure or even kill people. It's rediculous!!


With as many accidents as this coaster has had recently...I for one wouldn't ever ride this coaster.

What is disturbing is that for years that this was a well performing ride, with little or no problems.If you read the DOSH report on the fatel accident last year you can see that things had deteriated during Presslers administration. Reducing staff size,inadequete training and the farming out the maintenance to an outside firm were but a few of the problems that they uncovered. This incident is going to cost Disney in more ways than just the fine.
Between the last block violation during a reset and now this block violation of a train allowed to enter an occupied station I think Disneyland needs to invest in a new control system for the ride with new programming. Trains should never be allowed to enter occupied blocks during normal operation, ever!


Sounds like the Disney staff got this wrong again.
If by staff you mean ride ops, then no, its probably a control system flaw like Ride_Op pointed out....

Looks like the ride has been shut down for a couple of weeks by the state.


On the mouseplanet web site in a article its being reported that the accident was caused by operator error.

As for going to disney parks i cant wait for my trip to wdw this dec. and if i was visiting DL i would go on BTMR, the ride from the airport would be much more dangerous than going on any theme park attraction.

Ride of Steel's avatar
And I think SF is bad, but they also have like, I dunno, over 100 coasters, Disney has like 8 total from all their parks and accidents keep happenning.
..and accidents clearly can't happen on any other ride...
Operator Error? Operators should not be able to cause a crash. The computer should step in and not allow a train to advance into an occupied station, end of subject. If there was a mechanical failure of the switch the computer should have seen what direction it was pointing, and again not allowed the train to advance unless the switch track was pointed to a station that was clear.


I was just telling a non-enthusiast friend of mine the other day about how 99% of accidents were rider error and hardly anything bad ever happened, and now this, for the second time in three months, on the same ride. I really hope that Disney gets their act together on this, because clearly something is wrong somewhere.
I don't have the statistics for all accidents, but less than half of fatal ride accidents are caused by rider error. The other major causes of fatalities are operator error and mechanical failure.
Ride_Op, there is an exception.

When the ride is E-stopped or shut down, the computer suffers a bout of amnesia, and doesn't know where the trains are. While it is possible for the computer to check the lifts and brakes to try and figure out where all the trains are, because the computer can't "see" the whole ride, it can't be sure that it knows where the trains are. It has to assume that all blocks are occupied, then the operators have to manually clear the blocks that don't have trains in them as part of the procedure for bringing the ride back up. I don't know if that is what happened in this case, but if that procedure is not done right, it is apparently possible to clear an occupied block, causing a collision.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

You would think after the tragedy on this ride caused by (in my opinion) Disney's budget cutbacks and the directly related maintenance errors, they would be scrutinizing EVERY ride they have. Obviously not. Why would anyone want to visit a Disney park when all they care about is taking your admission fees and NOT providing a safe environment?
Jeff's avatar
You're right. I'm sure they don't mind killing a few people to save a buck.
Rideman, I think DL's Space Mountain has a similar setup, except there, they have a button at every block. a ride op has to go to every block, make sure it is clear, use the phone system to call the main panel, and then both ops press thier buttons to clear the block. Do they not have anyone physically check on BT?

You're correct that when in manual mode blocks can be cleared out manually, overriding what the computer may or may not see. At that point it is up to the operators to follow proper proceedure and avoid the accident that happened last March. Normal operating proceedures should still have the safeguard in place to not advance a train into an occupied station. Heck, there are even brakes on the short section of track leading from the switch to each side of the station. I really hope Disneyland gets this ride back together and running properly.


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