Published: July 13, 2006 at 9:07 PM
I agree with Randy and Melissa. The rides clearly define who should and who should not ride the ride, and if you have a medical condition and you choose to ride, then if you get injured, the blame lies not with Disney, its employees, or the engineer who designed the ride; it lies with YOU.
I personally am 50 or 60 pounds overweight and suffer from high blood pressure and chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain. Technically, I should not ride these rides. However, I enjoy them, and I take the risk, willingly, for a cheap thrill, and am willing to accept the unlikely consequences. To this day, I've not had any injuries (unless you count headaches the days I have ridden the roller coasters and thrill rides several times). I am a 24-year-old adult and I have no wife, children, or pets. I am completely responsible for what decisions I may make, for good or ill, and I exclusively will be affected by it. And in reality, what is the risk? How many MILLIONS of people visit Disney every year and ride these rides? I have a much greater chance of death or serious injury from activities I do every day than I do riding a thrill ride at a theme park, including driving my car. I am not morbidly afraid of driving my car, in fact, I enjoy it, and it does not phase me one bit. In fact, I see driving my car as a neccessity. And yet 50,000 people die in tragic automobile accidents annually. Compare that to probably fewer than 100 for roller coasters and thrill rides in theme parks. And how many of these millions of people ride these rides multiple times? Another Disney park, MGM, has two awesome rides, Rock n Rollercoaster and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and I know I've ridden each at least 70 or 80 times, as I go on each several times each day I go, and I'm a season passholder. I think most people will agree, theme park rides have a phenomenal safety record. Blaming Disney for someone dying or getting sick on a thrill ride is like blaming a major automobile manufacturer for a tragic accident with a drunk driver.
Unless one has a SERIOUS mental challenge (I say serious because I personally suffer from a minor or moderate one I have been forced to conquer in order to live my life, I'm referring to much more serious conditions than mine where the individual literally cannot think for themselves), anyone over the age of 12 should be intelligent enough to read the sign and know whether or not they should be on the ride. And if one is under 12 or seriously mentally challenged, they should be accompanied by a responsible and intelligent individual who can make the decision for them.
Disney does not owe anyone ensuring all their rides are gentle, slow, and family-friendly. Quite the contrary. Disney has a variety of guests of all ages, walks of life, AND RIDE INTENSITY PREFERENCES; and not everybody likes to ride the kiddie rides in Fantasyland. I personally think Disney needs MORE high-thrill adrenaline-pumping rides for those of us who enjoy them. Disney has the land area, all it would have to do is modify one of the fences of one of its parks, or even create a fifth major park. I personally would like to see a flying rollercoaster (one that you are lying face down on the car and your face, arms, and legs are free and are not restrained) with a 500+ foot near-vertical drop (natural acceleration due to gravity at the top of the first lift hill), a series of at least 15 good loops and corkscrews, a top velocity of 150 mph or so, and two or three tunnels, all on two or three miles worth of track. Will they do this? Very unlikely, because they are afraid of a lawsuit because of the idiots who cannot read signs and gauge, for themselves, the intensity of the ride; and many repugnant individuals have this assinine mindset that Disney's rides should be gentle, slow, boring, tame, and child-friendly; suitable for the most cowardly of guests with the very weakest of stomachs, the kind of people who make Monty Python's Brave Sir Robin (from The Quest for the Holy Grail) look like a decorated war hero who has been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, numerous silver stars, and numerous purple hearts. Hell, if it gets any worse, the parks may need to hire more attendents (raising prices higher) to force guests to sign a waver before they ride merely to protect themselves!!! When will the lunacy end? Call me insensitive, but I feel absolutely no remorse for any of the guests who died or got sick on the rides at Disney this year. They CHOSE to ride the ride in their condition despite the warnings clearly stated on the sign, and by doing so, they sealed their own fate. If you lose the contents of your stomach, pass out and become unconsious, or if the Grimm Reaper decides to escort you to heaven (or hell, whichever you deserve), the person at fault can be identified merely by looking in a mirror. In the words of the greatest rock band of all time:
"The evidence before the court is incontrovertible, there is no need for the jury to retire. In all my years of judging, I have never heard before, of someone more deserving of the full penalty of law."
In which in this case, the law in question is the law of survival of the fittest, in which case failure to read a sign leads to the penalty of illness, injury, or death. Physics is an excellent and very predictable judge, and she does not take kindly to the ignorant.
I say long live the good thrill rides such as Mission Space!!! I applaud Disney for giving us it, as well as Rock n Rollercoaster, Test Track, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and numerous others, to enjoy!!!