Seven Messed Up "Incidents" That Actually Happened At Disneyland
While Disneyland is a magical place, there have been some pretty f*cked up accidents there over the years.
So much so, that there’s a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to “Incidents at Disneyland Resort”.
Here are some of the most notorious:
In December 2014, there was a serious outbreak of the measles at Disneyland (in California). Over the course of three days, 40 people contracted the disease while visiting the park. They, in turn, went on to infect over 80 more people, and there are currently around 127 measles cases attributed to the Disneyland incident.
It is believed that “patient zero” was an international visitor, perhaps coming from a country where the measles (which is airborne and highly contagious) is more widespread.
The Disneyland outbreak prompted a new law in California. Since June 2015, parents have not been able to opt out of vaccinations due to their “personal beliefs”.
One of the most tragic accidents in Disneyland’s history took place on the America Sings attraction in July 1974. Just nine days after it opened, an 18-year-old employee of the park was crushed to death when a rotating wall closed against the platform that she was standing on.
The attraction was later remodelled, and the walls designed so that they’d fall away if a similar thing were to happen.
America Sings was eventually closed for good in the 1990s.
Disneyland’s first fatal accident took place in 1964. A 15-year-old boy was killed after a friend undid his seat-belt while they were riding the Matterhorn Bobsleds.
20 years later, in 1984, 48-year-old Dolly Young suffered a similar fate. She was thrown from her bobsled, then struck and decapitated by the one coming up behind. Investigators quickly concluded that Dolly’s seat-belt hadn’t been fastened at the time of her accident, but they couldn’t determine whether it had malfunctioned, or whether she had undone it herself.
When a ride operator tells you that you must remain inside the vehicle at all times, you really should listen. Between 1967 and 1980, two teenagers were killed and another badly injured while jumping between the cars of ride PeopleMover.
One of the incidents – in 1972 – saw a girl jump out of the ride when her mouse ears blew off. She and her cousin went to retrieve them, and then tried to jump into a different car. While the first girl succeeded, the second couldn’t quite manage it, and ran down the track instead.
She hit an exit, but tripped under a guard rail, and fell 30 feet to the concrete floor below. She was badly injured (breaking her arm, hip and pelvis) but lived to sue Disney for not warning her about the exit.
It’s A Small World
In 2010, a Disneyland Paris employee was killed while cleaning the It’s A Small World attraction. An operator – not realising that he was there – turned the ride on, trapping the cleaner underneath.
He sustained serious injuries, and – while he was quickly airlifted to hospital – sadly died.
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
In 2000, a four-year-old child fell out of the Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin ride, and was dragged underneath the car. He sustained serious injuries – including brain damage – and never fully recovered; he died just nine years later.
Disney were heavily criticised for their handling of this tragedy. At the time, their company policy was to call park security staff before alerting emergency services to an accident, and an investigation found that it took staff more than five minutes to call an ambulance for the child.
The policy was changed that same year (now ride operators are trained to call 911 before they alert their supervisors), but Disney have maintained that the decision wasn’t related to this child’s accident.
The Haunted Mansion
In 1991, a teenager fell out of the Haunted Mansion ride while attempting to jump between cars. She was trying to scare her cousin.
She was dragged 50 feet before being rescued by park staff, and sustained serious injuries – including a fractured skull. Thankfully she survived.
It’s worth pointing out that most of these accidents happened while people were misusing the rides, and there have been very few incidents in the past 20 years.
On the whole, Disneyland is pretty safe guys.
Images via iStock