Woman dies after riding Disney's Mission:Space

Posted Thursday, April 13, 2006 9:41 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A 49-year-old woman from Germany died Wednesday after riding Walt Disney World's Mission:Space ride, the second death in less than a year associated with the signature thrill ride. The woman died at Florida Hospital Celebration Health, where she was taken Tuesday after becoming sick following the mock space flight at Epot, according to a statement released late Wednesday by the theme park. Disney told state inspectors that the woman may have suffered from high blood pressure and other health problems.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006 10:08 AM
Totally apart from a potential safety issue, this attraction was such a waste of money. That amount could have been used to make a much more impressive attraction.
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Thursday, April 13, 2006 10:19 AM
rollergator's avatar I thought the *attraction* was very well done. The ride itself, I found a little too intense (wow will I take a beating for saying THAT). Considering the forces and the duration they're applied, I'm still in the camp that says Disney has to do SOMETHING to re-work the ride....maybe shorten the "flight" by about 30 seconds or so...after the last incident, I suggesting raising the height requirement.

For DISNEY, there's the expactation that *everyone* can ride. M:S is an attraction only for the hardcore...

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Thursday, April 13, 2006 10:39 AM
That ride was too much for me. I came off pale and shakey....if you would have "flown" for 30 more seconds I would have lost it.
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Thursday, April 13, 2006 10:43 AM
matt.'s avatar I think for me it wasn't that the ride action was too intense, per se, it was just the combination of the intense ride, plus the tiny space you are confined to, plus the general darkness of the small space. I'm not fearful of small spaces or anything, but just the combination of it all together made for an interesting experience, but not something I care to ride ever again.

Whether it is the rides fault or not, there are serious, serious issues that need to be taken care of here, even if this is all just coincidence.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006 11:51 AM
I don't think the ride is intense at all. I actually found it kind of boring. Perhaps they should tone it down. I think in the end we will find that there was some unknown medical condition that contributed mainly to the death. Its still sad an my thoughts go out to the family.

Someone messed with my spell checker. Sorry guys! *** This post was edited by Crashmando 4/13/2006 1:16:25 PM ***

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Thursday, April 13, 2006 12:20 PM
crazy horse's avatar Let me be the first to say that my heart goes out to her family.

I dont think that raising the height requirement would have saved this lady. As for the ride, I dont think that the ride has anymore forces than a round-up or rotor at any carnival.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006 12:22 PM
This is just another misfortunate case of someone with health issues riding a ride that they can't handle.
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Thursday, April 13, 2006 12:28 PM
Nothing says sorry for your loss like a bucket of the Colonels original recipe.

We rode this last September. As crazy horse said, its not much different from a round-up, just that it puts a story around it.
I actually found it quite fun. Of course, when I was in grade school, me and a friend would go out to our church festival on Friday after school and hit up the round-up a dozen or so times without getting off. So I've always kinda liked this kind of ride.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006 12:41 PM
sirloindude's avatar I really like this ride too. If they tone it down, I have to say I'll be quite disappointed. It's a good ride that people just need to stop and think about before riding. My prayers go out to the family, and I have the deepest sympathies for them, but if Disney alters or tames the ride because of other people's neglect of their own medical conditions, I will be extremely disappointed.
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Thursday, April 13, 2006 12:45 PM
This is terrible news. When I rode this a couple years back with my mother, she got off crying saying she felt like she was about to die. I laughed it off and said tunnel vision isn't anything to worry about. Thinking about it, though, I did think it was unusual considering that my mother is, believe it or not, an enthusiast herself. In the end I figured it was just her age catching up with her.

Then came the news about the who died on Mission: Space and I didn't know what to make of it. Should he have been on the ride in the first place? Should Disney raise the height requirement and make it more clear just how intense the ride is? Who knows. The point is, and this story confirms it, something needs to be changed. As 'matt.' said "Whether it is the rides fault or not, there are serious, serious issues that need to be taken care of here, even if this is all just coincidence."

My condolences to the friends and family of this woman.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006 12:58 PM
CPLady's avatar It should be pointed out that not everyone might be aware of any kind of physical condition that could be affected by this ride. At my age, riding coasters and round ups isn't a problem at all. Even the intensity of TTD is okay with me, although that is a rather short exposure to the G forces. But I do find the intensity of the Witches Wheel (Enterprise) at CP to be a bit much now. I get off feeling light headed and dizzy enough that it's no longer as fun as it used to be.

I don't have high blood pressure (at least nothing noted in my last physical) nor any heart conditions that I'm aware of. But considering the death of the woman only 3 years my junior, I would have to wonder if I'm capable of riding M:S without any ill effects.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006 1:29 PM
There is nothing that can prevent any further problems with this. Height restrictions would not help, as anyone could have a heart problem, no matter what size or age. More warnings would not help, as many are not aware of the fact that they have heart problems. The only way to solve the problem is remove the ride altogether, or change the whole experience completely. This is of course all opinion that I write.
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Thursday, April 13, 2006 2:09 PM
Olsor's avatar ^^^
Folks have said it above. The problem isn't the ride so much as it is the location. There is a perception that Disney only does family rides. Rides like Rock n' Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror are the exceptions and not the rule. Adding to perception problem is the fact that Mission: Space is enclosed. People can look at X, for example, and see that it might just be too intense for them. But no one can see what Mission: Space actually does. How many people ride it and still don't know what they've actually physically been through? They just see warning signs in a park known for family-friendly rides... they probably don't think twice about them.

This will continue to happen until Disney decides (one would guess) to shorten or weaken the ride.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006 2:44 PM
The woman who dies is rumoured to be a German tourist. While she (like most Europeans) likely knows English, but there is a possibility that she did not.

Take a look at a picture of one of the Mission: Space warning signs. http://lostworld.pair.com/trips/florida2005/wdw5.shtml It is virtually all text, and only in English. I have not experienced Mission: Space, so I do not know if there are any signs besides what I found through Google. Do they have warnings in Spanish or other languages? Do they use the any visual images in other warning signs?

Personally, I think most Six Flags warning signs are more clear, especially those using large graphic warnings about recent surgery, neck or back problems, heart conditions, other medical issues. http://capital2.capital.edu/admin-staff/dalthoff/adventures/tr2002/pic/sfstl005.jpg

Disney World is such an important international tourist destination, I would expect the company to invest in visual warnings that are understood by all visitors, not just those fluent in English.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006 5:31 PM
sirloindude's avatar Mission: Space provides ample warnings of its intensity, not to mention an animation of the ride itself. I do suppose, however, that part of the problem may lie in the fact that many people write off the warnings because they're (assuming they read the ride warnings at other various incendiary parks) desensitized to warnings. Even the tamest roller coasters get high intensity ratings in safety guides. Perhaps they just don't think Mission: Space should be any different of a case.
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Thursday, April 13, 2006 7:44 PM
I've read the Mission: Space ride only exerts 2 g's on riders, which is really not that high compared to many other rides and coasters (Goliath's helix must pull at least 3 g's). So it surprises me that so many people have reactions (sometimes fatal) to the force of the ride.

Goliath's helix is probly the most intence amout of g's I have ever pulled. That Mission: Space ride was actuly pretty tame. Also Thing about how many people go to Disney compaired to other parks so it is only resonable that there will be people that get harmed on this ride.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006 9:07 PM
WildStangAlex's avatar A. First of all, me deepest sympathy to the family.
B. With that being said, I do not think Mission: Space was a waste of Disney's money at ALL. Disney's philosophy is all about providing quality entertainment to everybody. Let me tell you, my enitre group was thrilled with the overall experience, in fact I would say Disney did an Incredible Job with the ride.
B. I am also sure it is not Disney's fault for the death, there are many amusement fatalities. Look at Raging Bull at SFGAm, the only death that ever occured on it was all due to lack of rider resposibliy. A girl choked and died on a piece of Chewing Gum.
C. Anyways, it is an incredible ride and experience, and it really isn't too intense. If you read the sign and decide it isn't for you, don't ride!
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Thursday, April 13, 2006 10:03 PM
I thought I heard something that it was found that girl who died on Raging Bull was due to a brain anuryism (spelling?) and not the actual gum... Fact or Fiction?
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Thursday, April 13, 2006 10:52 PM
Jeff's avatar Honestly, I've always been skeptical that the ride was a good idea. It's not the safety of the ride, but why is being strapped into a little box with G-forces fun? Honestly, I don't think I'd ride it. Motion without visual cues, even if it is straight G's, doesn't sound appealing at all.
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