Law suit raises questions about Space Mountain Safety

Posted Friday, February 14, 2003 4:00 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A Venezuelan doctor is suing Disney for injuries he sustained while riding Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom. After being struck by something on the ride, he returned unconscious. He suffers from partial paralysis and a loss of short-term memory, rendering him incapable of practicing medicine.

Testimony speculates that he was struck by a falling object from somewhere in the ride, perhaps from another car.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

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Friday, February 14, 2003 4:05 AM
Jeff's avatar Dare I say that I'm not the least bit surprised this happened. Maybe it's just because I frequent the most anal park in the world over carry-on objects (namely Cedar Point), but I was shocked to see that I could bring my hefty camera bag on virtually everything in Disney, including Space Mountain. The bag is heavy and bulky with an SLR camera, two lenses and a spare battery.

That said, I don't have a problem with their policy, and while the article doesn't mention the most obvious remedy (banning carry-ons), I do think that some simple netting in the cross-over areas, on a ride you can't see anything anyway, would be a good idea.

IOA still has the best system anywhere to deal with this issue, even if they don't do a very good job of promoting it. Put your stuff in a locker, take your little receipt, ride, come back and get your stuff. All free and extra convenient. I stuffed said camera bag in these lockers for Hulk and Dueling Dragons, free of charge.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"The world rotates to The Ultra-Heavy Beat!" - KMFDM

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Friday, February 14, 2003 4:22 AM
CPLady's avatar I was also surprised the article didn't mention banning carry on items. Considering they found a candle in a glass jar on the concrete, and although they can't say WHEN that item fell, that sounds suspicious enough to me.

If they don't believe netting will work, they should at the very least ban carry on items on Space Mountain, even if they don't ban items on the other rides.

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I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

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Friday, February 14, 2003 5:58 AM
It must be my "old" age, but I had no idea the ride only went 28mph. This reminds me of the cell-phone incident on Villian from years ago.

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This is counter culture from the underground eternal revolution this is our sound KMFDM better than the best Megalomaniacal and harder than the rest

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Friday, February 14, 2003 7:36 AM
Jeff, sine *when* is Cedar Point any where *near* anal about Carry on items? On my visit in 2000, only on Millennium Force was I not allowed to carry on my bookbag. Actually, let me rephrase that. On Corkscrew, Magnum, Mean Streak and Gemini I was prompted to take my bookbag on the ride with me. No one prevented me from entering those lines with the bag, and I was not allowed to leave it on the platform. The female attendant on Mean Streak actually said "You *must* take it with you". I dont think CP is anywhere near anal against carry-on items except on Millennium Force (I exclude Raptor and WT as there is really nowere to stow gear 'on ride' anyway).

But I agree with the IOA process being the current best (and under advertised :)).

Actually though, I think SFA is a little more anal over carryons than CP. Just ask GregLeg hee-hee ;)

lata, jeremy

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"Life *is* pain, Princess. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something."

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Friday, February 14, 2003 7:36 AM
As if the structure doesn't get close enough to you now there are "UFOs" to worry about in that ride, anyone else afraid to put their hands up on that thing? And on to the IOA thing. . . they have done what I think all parks should do with and no carry on policy give a free place to put your stuff. I feel if you are forced to pay to lock your stuff up, or not be able to ride it is nearly the same as a "pay attraction" because in the long run you are required to pay to ride it in some way or another.

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It isn't so bad. . .
Once you're used to it*** This post was edited by Whizzer Boi 2/14/2003 12:41:02 PM ***

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Friday, February 14, 2003 7:37 AM
ShiveringTim's avatar Would you believe that Disney already has a similar locker system out in California? DCA has the same free locker system for Grizzly River Rapids. Why they couldn't have several banks of such lockers around the park is beyond me?

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Scott W. Short, "A-Lister"
scott@midwestcoastercentral.com
http://www.midwestcoastercentral.com

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Friday, February 14, 2003 7:46 AM
janfrederick's avatar Attendants cost money. That being said, I'm sure the price would be well worth it.

One thing I like about DCA is their gift shop program where they ship your goods to the front of the park for pick up on the way out. That still doesn't take care of backpacks and cameras, but sure cuts down on the amout of junk you tote around...aaaand allows people to shop in the middle of the day when they would normally wait until they were leaving.

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"Know thyself!"

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Friday, February 14, 2003 9:12 AM
Jeff's avatar Hostyl: Last year I watched them turn away people from Corkscrew who had large purses. Heck, they wouldn't let one guy carry a camera on Giant Wheel! They've gone beyond cautious and into the realm of ridiculous in some cases lately.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"The world rotates to The Ultra-Heavy Beat!" - KMFDM

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Friday, February 14, 2003 9:46 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar I've been stopped from taking my camera bag (average size) on the ferris wheels at both Cedar Point and Dorney Park. Cedar Fair parks seems to be the least tolerant about carry on items. Not that other parks don't discourage it - most places I've visited tend to stop you from taking items on board with you. I usually have a nice big baby stroller (not much longer I guess) to stow stuff in or I leave my cameras in the car and get them later to take pictures specifically after riding. It's become too much of a hassle to carry the bag around and worry about riding.

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www.coasterimage.com

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Friday, February 14, 2003 10:02 AM
But half of the point of going on a Ferris Wheel is to take pictures from it, I agree with Jeff it is to the point of being rediculous now, I can understand Corkscrew however doesn't it flip over the midway?

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It isn't so bad. . .
Once you're used to it*** This post was edited by Whizzer Boi 2/14/2003 3:10:09 PM ***

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Friday, February 14, 2003 10:53 AM
Man I hope Cedar Point lets me wear my scream mask (from the Scream movies) on the coasters. That is like my number 1 amusement park tradition. i do agree that Disney should definately consider being more like IOA in the locker storage system.
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Beast-Crew 04'
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Friday, February 14, 2003 12:26 PM
Kick The Sky's avatar I know Six Flags isnt as anal as they should be about carry ons. I watched them demand some kid take his backpack on Batman instead of leaving it on the loading platform only to have the operator have to e-stop the ride on the lift because the backpack fell out of the kid's hands and was stuck on his foot.

As far as CP was concerned, last year they let me on nearly every ride with something carried on. In fact on Draggin Iron I carried on two backpacks with me because the kids we were with all rode and didnt want to carry their backpacks themselves. I ended up having to wrap the straps of the packs around my legs because the ops wouldnt let me leave them at the station.

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Bob Hansen

Operation Wicked Twister
Goal: Lose enough weight (50lbs) to ride Wicked Twister in 2K3
Progress: 18 pounds since 1-1-2003

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Friday, February 14, 2003 4:31 PM
2Hostyl is right in one regard. CP's policy is somewhat inconsistent across various rides. Personally, I like it the way it is because I understand the reasoning behind why things are the way they are at various rides, but that might not be true for the average guest. I prefer being allowed to carry stuff on when it is feasible rather than being told that I can't carry articles onto anything. The rides that are most strict are MF and Corkscrew where next nothing can be brought into line. Then there's rides like Magnum and Mean Streak where people can take bookbags, purses, sealed pop (soda for us NY folk) bottles, etc.

Personally, I see it going more the direction of "nothing in line" rather than the other way. The question is will they go to a system like IOA has or just say tough - deal with it?

-Matt
2001 Magnum Crew
2003 Magnum Crew

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Sunday, February 16, 2003 9:53 AM
When it comes to anal policies about carry on items, the worst place I have experienced is Busch Gardens Tampa. Both Kumba and Montu would not even let me carry (or wear) sunglasses. They, of course, offered expensive lockers nearby, but under no circumstances were you allowed to ride with anything loose.
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Sunday, February 16, 2003 12:20 PM
I know what Jeff means about Space Mountain allowing him on with his camera! The same thing happened with me. This happened just last November. They told me to take it with me on the coaster, so I just threaded the strap around my legs and hoped it wouldn't fall out!

At Cedar Point, I was told not to take my little disposable camera on Millennium Force. So I put it in my pocket. They let me on. On the Mean Streak, they told me I couldn't take my Cedar Point Mug with me. So they let me set it down and said they would watch it. *shrugs* I guess they just react differently depending on the item? Very confusing.

-Shawn

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Sunday, February 16, 2003 1:15 PM
Well, Bailes,

MF does not have a "common station" so it is not like you could get back to where you put your item down, hence the lockers near the ride's entrance. On Mean Streak, there is only one station, so when you get off of the ride, your item is right there...So it was not the item that caused the different "reaction" it was the different coaster.

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--George H
---Superman the ride...coming to a SF park near you soon...
Currency tracking experiment... http://www.wheresgeorge.com (Referring to The "George" on the $1 bill - Not Me)

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Sunday, February 16, 2003 3:25 PM
They wouldnt even let me and my dad wear our ponchos on MF on memorial day weekend of 2000.... really anal..... and that pelting rain really stung.... it was fun though!
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Sunday, February 16, 2003 4:11 PM
To the Iron Dragon comment : There is a floor, and nothing on that ride should make the bag come out, except maybe if your kicking the bag as your going down from the second lift hill.
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Sunday, February 16, 2003 7:30 PM
It has changed, 2001 I was told I must bring a backpack on with me to ride the Corkscrew, and to "Thread the Strap between my legs." One year later, The same bag was ineligible for ridership. Which Batman at SF? I know at Knight FLight at WoA, (Don't flame me, i know they can be inconsistent) the policy is that hip packs are not allowed on the ride.

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- GeaugaDog
Ain't Nuthin but the Dog in me..

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