Disneyland's Mad Tea Party Ride tamed in the name of safety

Posted Tuesday, March 2, 2004 7:51 AM | Contributed by Outlane

The Mad Tea Party ride at Disneyland with 18 giant spinning teacups was recently modified in the name of safety to make it harder for people to spin.

Read more from AP via The Sacramento Bee.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2004 8:17 AM
I didn't find them exactly "easy" to spin when I was at Disneyland about 10 years ago. You could definitely get them going, but it took lots of effort. If they're worried about people falling out, put a door on them.
Next thing you know, they "will" install OTSR's on Splash Mountain (Remember that pic?).
*** This post was edited by Matt Scott 3/2/2004 8:21:51 AM ***
Tuesday, March 2, 2004 8:19 AM
"This is laughable," Koenig said. "They've taken the madness out of the Mad Tea Party." I loved this line. Next thing you know they're going to tamed down everything from the Matterhorn, to Space Mountain (when it's put back together), to all the other kiddie rides. And chances are it'll spread down to the one at WDW. Granted they're doing it in the name of "safety", but the idea of the ride is you make you feel like you're spinning out of control.
Tuesday, March 2, 2004 8:29 AM
I believe the Tea Cups is one of the older rides in the park. It was safe enough for some 40 odd years but one person falls out and suddenly it needs to be toned down? I am so sick of the overreaction in the industry...most likely driven by idiot insurance companies and a-hole lawyers.
Tuesday, March 2, 2004 9:51 AM
Get used to it. It will only get worse. This is a societal problem that is out of control. California is just setting the trend. Unfortunately, I just do not see any reason to think that this type of stuff will ever get better. Anybody have any real reasons to believe more and more rides will not be tamed? Any chance we'll see any new coasters anywhere breaking G-force records? Sadly, I think we all know the answer to these questions. Ride the classics while you can. The days of the Zipper and likes are limited.
Tuesday, March 2, 2004 12:06 PM
How Depressing! There are so few of these rider controlled spinning rides left anymore. I love spinning these things HARD. As long as people keep hiring lawyers, there won't be any amusment left in the parks.
Tuesday, March 2, 2004 12:25 PM
janfrederick's avatar Yah, it's ALL California's fault! Waaaa! ;)

I don't really think California is the only state with a litigious population.

Anyway, this is pretty sad (the "taming" and tha blanket statement).

Tuesday, March 2, 2004 12:27 PM
Mamoosh's avatar I haven't ridden the Mad Tea Party Teacups since an incident about 10 years ago. I took my neice on the ride and had to use such great force to get the cup spinning that I ended up with severe blood blisters on my hands.

This is not a recent development...those cups have been difficult to spin for a long time.


Tuesday, March 2, 2004 12:44 PM
"The ride, which was built in 1995 when the park opened, depicts a scene from Alice in Wonderland's "unbirthday party." The teacups have a wheel in the middle that allows riders to spin the cup on its axis, controlling both speed and direction."


wow...gotta love that media!

i agree that the tea cups were never all that easy to spin in my lifetime...i read somewhere that the first incarnation of the ride (about where Dumbo sits today), that they didnt have anything to slow them, not even a brake for loading. as a result you could a acheive really high speeds. when they rebuilt it where it is now they made it harder to turn and added the brake for loading and unloading.*** This post was edited by haiderodes 3/2/2004 12:50:00 PM ***

Tuesday, March 2, 2004 12:57 PM
Mamoosh's avatar When I was a kid you could spin those things as fast as you wanted. Anyone still wanting such an experience can jsut go down the street to Knotts...their Hat Dance "teacups" ride owns.


Tuesday, March 2, 2004 1:41 PM
janfrederick's avatar And if you go on Cinco De Mayo, they spin them for you. ;)
Tuesday, March 2, 2004 1:57 PM
The article states that a "disabled" rider fell from the "Cups" after the ride was over. Was the rider "disabled" before getting on the ride? Was it the ride that disorientated him and made him "disabled"?

I agree that many of the older rides will start disappearing with this trend that is occuring. People look at Theme Parks as $$$ and with the slightest problem they are ready to sue. Call it as to greed, poor economy, a way to build up one's bruised ego, or just plain advice (from legal or non-legal sources), the attitude of the people keep this momentum going.

While a lawsuit is necessary for a ride malfunction,or a case of poor maintainace, that leads to injury or death, but how many are due to the reasons listed above?

I am so happy to have ridden coasters with stationary lap bars (and great Neg-G forces), Hey-Deys, the Steeplechase Horses, great Fun Houses with spinning barrels and discs, Cuddle-Ups, Circle Swings, Frolics and Boomerangs (the old fashioned flat ride not the newer looping coaster) and I feel sorry for those that lost that opportunity.

People have ruined it for themselves

Tuesday, March 2, 2004 3:07 PM
Marine World has Monkey Business, it's about the size of Hat Dance at Knott's (maybe smaller) and made by Zamperla. The thing flies, it's very nice. We get spinning so fast that we're thrown around in the plastic "cup." Awesome, fun, sickenig rides. I'm glad Zamperla makes a good modern version for parks- maybe we'll see more?

Did I mention a woman had an aneurysm after riding Monkey Business over and over?

About the Disney Tea Cups, being a little kid it didn't matter how fast we spun. Any speed felt fast. I don't think many people will care.*** This post was edited by GoliathKills 3/2/2004 8:07:22 PM ***

Tuesday, March 2, 2004 3:10 PM
Yes, but those that just won lawsuits think it's all worth it - until 5 years later when they're dirt poor again cause they blew all the money, and have to go looking for someone else to sue. It's a self-perpetuating system and until a judge or ten has the balls to step up and put a reality check on things, its gonna keep going.

And the thing is, I don't really even believe that it's greed driven by the litigants - I think the motivating force behind all of it is the legal profession. I think the legal profession right now has more power in this country than the government (government officials can be sued right? So there ya go ... )

It's seriously scary ...

Brett - who's debating moving to Canada before the lawyers begin to spawn from spores on gym floors ... oh wait, they're already doing that ...

Tuesday, March 2, 2004 10:46 PM
Hey jan---no offense to CA! They just seem to set a lot of trends. Good and bad. Isn't California where all this "common carrier" stuff is getting ready to be decided?

I don't claim to be an expert, but from the stuff I've read---the "common carrier" categorization of amusement rides could be the most devastating regulations the industry has ever seen. Some insiders predict every coaster in CA would have to be slowed should this come to be!

Check this link to see what I'm talking about.


These are not my opinions. I'll leave it to the supposed experts.

At issue is whether an amusement park should be considered a "common carrier," a century-old legal term to describe a business that carries the public.

If so, the amusement park would be required to exercise "utmost care" in operating its rides, rather than the current standard of "reasonable care."

If the state Supreme Court upholds the appellate court ruling, amusement park officials said they could be forced to slow down attractions.

"No one will get on amusement rides, because they'll be boring. They'll all be kiddie merry-go-rounds," said industry attorney Wayne Pierce.

"If you now subject everything to being toned down, that could easily become the end of the amusement industry and the birth of a meditation industry."

P.S. This sentence seems to indicate that CA is indded singled out on this issue!

Industry officials said redefining amusement parks as common carriers could conflict with state regulations and could increase insurance costs, force the redesign of attractions, drive away customers and prevent ride manufacturers from doing business with California parks. *** This post was edited by Jeffrey R Smith 3/2/2004 10:49:34 PM ***

Wednesday, March 3, 2004 1:01 PM
the park opened in 1995? read the page again, it says that the ride opened in 95 with THE PARK?
Wednesday, March 3, 2004 2:36 PM
Mamoosh's avatar They obviously meant 1955, but that fact is irrelevant. It's called a TYPO...get over it ;)
Thursday, March 4, 2004 1:33 AM
Thursday, March 4, 2004 3:39 PM
Mamoosh's avatar Sorry, you're wrong. Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955. Proof: http://www.justdisney.com/disneyland/timeline/1950s/frame.html


Thursday, March 4, 2004 3:39 PM
janfrederick's avatar The whole argument seems to stem from the publics expectation of the device. The end of the article talks about ski lifts and how the public expects them to be operated a certain way. Well, heck, all the wild rides I've ever been on set my expectations with a sign out front.

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