View Full Version : How confident are you in Disney's ride safety?

09-06-2003, 09:15 PM
Just a quick poll about guest confidence in ride safety at the Disney Parks. How confident are you?

There has been good response to this poll in the 24 hours it's been up. Please vote if you already haven't.

09-06-2003, 09:59 PM
In general amusement park rides are very safe. Although
what happened is tragic, I would not hesitate to ride
any of the Disney attractions tomorrow if I had the chance.

09-07-2003, 10:15 AM
I think we all take many things for granted in life. We assume when we drive a few miles to the grocery store we will return home safely.
What happened in Anaheim could have happened to anyone of us at WDW or DL. I think that is what hits home with most of us.
Right or wrong, I would feel more secure at WDW than at DL. Between what happened on BTM and what few major rides are even open in DL at this time, I can't imagine guests flocking into DL now.

Peter Pirate
09-07-2003, 10:27 AM
I have ALWAYS felt safe at Disney Parks...The question though (IMO) is do I feel safer today than I did last week? And if the answer is no, is this reasonable or reactionary?

Disney's track record is quite good but recent events, particularily at DL, have to raise some sort of red flag to anyone whos paying attention.

Certainly you can look at the big picture and rationalize that a Disney Park is probably safer than the car or plane ride to it, but still do we need to have ANY safety issues at a Disney Park?

Certainly accidents and mistakes can happen that can occasionally have deplorable/horrific results and in this case the jury is still out. But if fact finding determines it was a warn out part or some other such thing that should be found during daily inspections then it would certainly seem apparant that Disney has some problems.

Lastly, I'd like to say that while nobody or nothing is perfect, I think a good many of us frequent Disney because of the safety factor in all aspects of the Park experieince. I will not let my kids ride at local fairs or carnivals because I do not trust the quality of the employee at these venues to be truly concerned about safety. At Disney I expect them to be...Right now, I'm a bit more concerned than I was last weekend...

Mr D
09-07-2003, 12:02 PM
do you work for Disney lucky-bunni? you are new here, asking a TON of questions about ride safety, or maybe you are a fledgling newspaper reporter?
Trying to see what the general thoughts are of people towards Disney after the recent incident it makes me think you are with public relations at Disney.

Used to be years ago Disney had snoops here on the boards.

Bella the Ball 360
09-07-2003, 12:05 PM
I agree with Peter Pirate. I do feel a little less confident than I did last week. The good that will come from this is that saftey procedures will be revisited and tightened or amended in areas that might have been overlooked before. I always felt that everything at Disney was safe but when cut backs are visible to us one must wonder what goes on behind the scenes.

Bella the Ball 360
09-07-2003, 12:13 PM
Mr. D.

I would welcome "snoops" from Disney on these boards. It is pretty apparent that there are none or if there are just by judging from some of the sentiments expressed they ignore anything but the positive stuff that is expressed.

Off topic but in relation to this. I took a survey outside Animation a couple of weeks ago. The person giving me the survey did not use the proper methodology for administering an unbiased survey. Each time I hesitated on a response he suggested the most favorable response as my choice. Do you think they really want to know what we think? Or do you think they want to stick their heads in the sand and believe everthing is positive??

09-07-2003, 12:26 PM
The only time I have been injured on a Disney ride was because of my own stupidity, but I am aware that mechanical defects do happen. Still, I know that I am much more at risk hanging up a picture in my apartment or driving down to WDW than actually being there and enjoying the rides.

But I also agree with what others have stated, which is that Disney implicitly appears to have lowered the threshold for what constitutes an "acceptably incidence rate" - the increase in incidents over the past few years while attendance has changed very little speaks for itself. The rate is still very low, but I would argue that it is not as low as it could or should be. And I am reluctant to only take into account fatalities and discount "mere injuries" - that's a pretty morbid way of looking at it IMHO.

They clearly are taking steps to reduce accidents due to guest behavior, which is evident throughout the parks (cattle gates, signage, multi-lingual audio and visual warnings, their "safety campaign" for children, etc - and I disgree with the criticsm many have voiced over these steps), but to date it does not appear as if they are doing the same for mechanical defects. I would very much appreciate if they used a precautionary approach rather than traditional cost-benefit anlysis when it comes to safety, because I fell uncomfortable with the company at which I spend more than 10% of my income should decide how much my life is worth to them. I can live with a 1 in 10 million chance of getting hurt on an attraction, but if they can change that to a 1:100 million chance by stopping those ridiculous bag checks and instead investing that money in maintenance and training, I am all for it.

Bella the Ball 360
09-07-2003, 01:01 PM

Read this article it is very interesting and addresses some of the issues we assume to be true.
Thanks again to Saftey Mom for finding it for me.

09-07-2003, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by Bella the Ball 360

Read this article it is very interesting and addresses some of the issues we assume to be true.
Thanks again to Saftey Mom for finding it for me.

although you keep referring to me as Safety Mom and I'm not, you're quite welcome.. ;) I was actually looking for information that would validate another posters comment along the lines of Disney having the safest theme park rides of all the amusement parks, and that's what I found instead..

As to the original question here, I think I'm right in the middle at this point in time.. It would be very helpful if more information were readily available to the public concerning accidents in WDW and DL, but lacking that, I guess I'm just "stuck" in the middle..

Bella the Ball 360
09-07-2003, 02:25 PM
Sorry C.Ann, I must have misread the name on the post.

09-07-2003, 04:34 PM
The odds of you dying IN a Disney Park while on a ride are a tiny tiny tiny tiny fraction of the odds of you dying trying to travel TO the Disney Park.

Peter Pirate
09-07-2003, 04:47 PM
Yes, SpaceAge this has been said already, but the question is when does deteriorating maintenance become a real issue? I'm going to be far less willing to patronize a company with decreasing concerns on safety issues (if this is, in fact, proven to be the case) even if the net result is still a relatively safe environment. Why? Because this isn't the way I would choose to risk my or my families lives.

It's just like air travel. It's still statistically the safest form of travel but with the increased threat of terrorism and the lack of a credible response from our government in this regard, air travel is decreasing greatly as Americans don't like the end result of a possible and possibly growing negative result. At a Disney theme park it may not seem like much to have x number of people killed in the past x years due to "accidents" but if that number is increasing year by year, even if it still appears a relatively small risk, it still poses cause for legitimate concern, IMO...

09-07-2003, 04:53 PM
Sure, the odds of getting injured or killed at WDW or DL are tiny. But, I can't get past the fact that someone DIED on BTMRR. I believe that I will still ride all rides as I always have. But I know that this accident will always be in my mind.

09-08-2003, 08:33 PM
If the highways had accident rates like Disney rides, I'd be out of a job.

That being said, HOWEVER, I DO believe there should be a legal mandate for reporting to the appropriate government agencies injuries that occur on such rides.

But it should ALSO be determined whether it is operator, maintenance, construction, design or PASSENGER error. Beleive it or not, not all injuries are due to the ride operators. But as was proven friday, they are not alldue to passengers acting like morons, either.

09-09-2003, 02:56 PM
My take is similar to Pete's, I think.

I'm confident Disneyland/world is still a safe option. I'm sure its safer to spend a day there than to drive to Tahoe or Monterey.

On the other hand, I am not confident its as safe as it was in the past, and further, I suspect it's not due to uncontrollable factors.

I find the Space Mountain incidents very disturbing, as well as the way the carousel problems surfaced.

I also hear the comments from Disney management about aggressive cost-cutting that has no effect on the guest experience. Since I have seen the effect on the guest experience, I know that these comments are stone cold lies. This makes me wonder about what other impacts the cost-cutting is having, including with regard to safety.

It gave the feeling that eventually, something terrible was going to happen.

Now, it has. In trying to think logically, I have to allow that its possible this is all just coincidental, but at the same time, I can't logically ignore the very significant chance that its not coincidental at all.

Peter Pirate
09-09-2003, 04:27 PM
See, even we can think alike on occasion. I agree with your agreement and promise to agree with you on the next agreeable subject matter that we can agree on... If that's agreeable to you?:D

09-09-2003, 04:38 PM
I'm outsourcing the interpretation of your post, so will have to refrain from responding until the vendor contract is signed...

Seriously, Pete, I think we probably agree on much more than we disagree on... its just that agreements don't make for very entertaining threads.

Peter Pirate
09-09-2003, 09:09 PM
No worries scoop. I was just being agreeable since the raider fan was thinking I had ill intentions regarding our friend AV in another thread...That and I did agree with his post.

WDW is a different subject, I hope. They have never seemed to deteriorate during any of the lows to the extent of DL but still the parks are much newer. I just want some confirmation (somehow) that WDW (at least) is keeping safety as the number one priority. Mr. Matt said it somewhere that with regard to safety, the Company line should have a zero tolerance policy toward preventable acccidents. Mabe they do, but at this point in time, I'd sure like it reiterated...

09-10-2003, 02:11 PM
I agree with you, Peter. A little confirmation would certainly go a long way in fielding a few calls concerning next month's trip.

I am curious as to what the "unofficial" reaction has been - particularly at WDW.

09-10-2003, 04:43 PM
While not for a minute underplaying the tragedy that occurred at BTMRR in DL, I can not believe the hysteria of folks concerning safety at DL and that 14% are very unconfident about safety at Disney. Get a grip!!!

The reality is that the most dangerous part of anyone's vacation (or daily commute etc) is not at the amusement park or in the airport or on the flight, it is driving to/from the airport or whatever destination on your itenerary. Frankly, as far as WDW is concerned, given the shear magnitude of folks driving in Orlando in an unfamiliar location and/or in an unfamiliar car (if a rental) and/or the high probability of getting easily distracted, that is the part of the trip that folks need to most concerned about. During my vacations in Orlando, I have seen some absolute idiotic driving and I'm sure that the accident frequency in greater Orlando has gotta be pretty high.

09-11-2003, 01:06 PM
Senor Pirate, I really wasn't sure what you were trying to get at with AV. The obvious seemed, well, too obvious. In retrospect, I agree with you... the ensuing comments did add to the conversation.

Scoop, there is certainly some evidence to back up what you are saying. Most, if not all, of the troubling incidents have occured at DL. The only caveat would be that most of WDW's attractions are not as old as DL's. But there's also the case of Space Mountain, which is actually newer at DL (or at least was).

Honestly, I do feel better in general about WDW management than DL or Burbank management. If indeed WDW mgmt is doing a better job of keeping up their maintenance than DL, it just further taints my opinion of DL mgmt. It also reaffirms my opinion that Burbank is simply clueless about the theme park business. If they did have a clue, this type of basic stuff would be common to all resorts.

On somewhat of a side note, its weird how incidents like this make you think of things you might have said in the past. Back when the news came out about the wood-rot that had infested the carousel, I remember raising concern about how close it may have been to collapsing. I know I commented it was unacceptable for things to get that bad, for safety reasons, if not for asthetic reasons.

Most of the responses (not from you, Scoop, or Pete) were along the lines of "stuff happens"... they're fixing it so what's the big deal?

My thought was if wood-rot is progressing to that extent without being noticed, what else is going on. Seems like a basic thing that would be caught in any kind of decent maintenance/inspection program.

But, since nobody had actually gotten hurt, I didn't press the issue.

Makes me wonder now...

Texowl2, after reading your post, I'm going to assume that you just skimmed this thread and didn't really read the posts (something we all do from time to time :D )

If after reading the posts, you still feel your comments apply, let us know and I'm sure we can further clarify.

09-12-2003, 02:00 PM
The Disney parks are very safe, but still not safe enough. Until the injury rate is at zero, there is still room for improvement. Accidents don't "just happen". 99.9% of all accidents are a result of human error and/or unsafe acts. The other 0.1% are by act of God (earthquake, flood, etc.).

The Disney parks operate at very high volume. Zero accidents may never be attained just from the number standpoint, but a goal of anything less is unacceptable.

09-13-2003, 10:57 AM
Nobody has posted (unless I missed it, if I did I apologize) any FACTS regarding cutbacks about Disney expenditures on safety.

I would like to know if anyone has any facts to back this up or just emotion-fueled assumption? Please do not take this the wrong way, I just want to know.