Published: March 15, 2006 at 11:15 AM
Websites are tracking this stuff now, so every incident is now making the news. I remember, when I worked at Disney World, one nasty incident at Pirates which sent several people to the ER, including one with serious head and neck injuries, that never made the news.
Today, when something happens, pretty much at any park, odds are that there is a Theme Park Insider reader somewhere in the vicinity. Who reports to us. (There are something like 15,000 registered readers of the site now. If I counted TPI "attendance" like it was a theme park, we had 4.99 million daily visitors last year, which would rank TPI 10th on Amusement Business' annual list, right between SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.)
And if not, there's someone who blogs it or posts it elsewhere. Newspapers and TV producers scan these sites and report the news when they get it.
As a result, parks are now much more forthcoming about accidents. Because they know it is hitting the news, no matter what they do (or don't).