Are visitors ignoring thrill ride medical warnings?
A 52-year-old man collapsed after riding Gwazi
at Busch Gardens Africa
, then died two hours later.
It is yet another death in what's seeming to be a trend of "pre-existing" conditions. According to a local TV telecast, the ride was shut down pending an investigation, but it sounds pretty much the same as everything else. Are people just ignoring the warnings? Could this be a case of brutal Florida summers taking its toll on hapless theme park goers?
I'm wondering how much liability theme parks are going to be willing to accept in the future? It seems like there's always competition to have the biggest/fastest/tallest/etc. coaster...but at what expense to the human body? Sooner or later, these rides will be performing beyond what the AVERAGE human body can handle. Will they start having in-park doctors at the beginning of these rides giving physicals to everybody? Or at the least, will they require a fitness report from your personal physician?? Will they start having riders sign liability waivers before riding? Or will they post 'ride at your own risk' signs at the entrances? Theme parks should start re-thinking their current strategy, and start focusing on OVERALL park entertainment/experience...instead of just coasters. It'll save them lawsuits, bring families back to the parks, and bring in more profits by avoiding the high cost to build and maintain these coasters. It'll also help reduce the amount of people getting hurt on rides (which can scare people away). Just my opinion.
If we all admit it, we've gone on rides when we really shouldn't have.
I wish they would begin to concentrate on dark rides/immersive rides like Spiderman, DarKastle, and Pirates and Haunted Mansion rather than build new, bigger and faster coasters. I know the coasters have their own rabid rans, but I don't think nearly as many people have been killed coming off It's a Small World...
There is an astounding disconnect in this country between our physical health, and our perception of our physical health.
I think there are 3 things going on.
As I've posted many times before on this site on many threads, guest negligence for ride disclaimers seems to be the primary cause of injury for visitors. For example, look at all of the Disney Grad Nite injuries/fatalities, while most of the injuries are not caused by pre-existing medical conditions they are still the result of not abiding by the rules...crazy hormone-driven teens...lol
Well this clearly shows that Disney is not the only one with this problem!
I think a lot of people are concentrating on being a "big thrill ride" when it really isnt. Gwazi is a wooden roller coaster, which is rough, but no more rough than any other wooden coaster in the world. It wasnt Sheikra that drops you straight down, or Montu that is inverted...its a wooden roller coaster.
I'd count Erik's excellent point on weather as another one driving the development of story-driven, effects-driven attractions. They're typically inside.
It's amazing how preventable this is. If people would actually read the warnings, we wouldn't have the deaths that are occuring.
I think the problem is that some people really don't know that there is something wrong with them. Let's face it: if you don't have the right tests, you're not going to know that you have a problem. A physical can only expose so much. I'm having a complete physical tomorrow, and I can guarantee you that I'm going to have to request a cholesterol and blood sugar test.
I wouldnt be so sure about government, if enough voters get behind a cause and raise enough sand someone will take the platform and run with it. Its a cause of the week. I still go back to the whole "summer of the shark" thing. There was a call to irradicate certain species of sharks because they were more prone to attacking humans than others. This was quickly squashed in the scientific community, but still, goes to show you have insane certain segments of society go about trying to rule things they deem to be dangerous for you....like you cant make your own decisions and wont become educated about the situation. And, there is always someone out there worried that you're having way too much fun...be it repelicans or dermosplats. End of political rant.
I find it a little intriguing that these rider deaths due to preexisting conditions have almost exclusively happened in Florida. The weather could very much be a factor here. Gwazi is not a kiddie coaster, but it's also not a super intense ride either. GCI rides look a whole lot more intense than they really are. Compared to rides like Beast and Son of Beast, Gwazi is rather tame in the intensity department. There aren't any continous G's, and the rough factor isn't that high either. I suppose I consider Gwazi an unlikely coaster candidate to be the cause of death for a healthy person.
I just have to add that in Hershey Park last week I saw two pregnant woman ride Storm Runner. I was in shock anyone could be so ignorant. The ride operators didn't stop them from riding either. The stupidity of some people is truly amazing.
I'm a mother, grandmother, thinking responsible human being who must be accountable for my actions. The rides are there so if someone ignores the medical warnings or decides to try a ride that may not be appropriate, then that person has to be accountable for his/her actions. "Stuck on stupid" also comes to mind.
The way I see it, there are several reasons for the seeming increase in theme park fatalities in recent years.
I think that people ignore warnings because they view them as a "cover your ass" move by the theme park instead of a notice of actual danger. Our society is bombarded with silly warnings like "Caution: Coffee is hot" and "Do not use hair dryer while sleeping" to the point that they have almost become a joke. No one believes them anymore.
I'd like to offer up my theory on the current surge of thrill ride related accidents.
I think the fact that alot of people are out of shape/have bad or unheathly life styles is the main factor here, and things like the weather or the intensity have very little effect.
I beg to differ about the heat Robert. If you look back at year after year about this time, the news is full of people dying from heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. For a while it was REPORTED that several football players dropped dead in the heat. That always plays a factor, but as was said earlier, the media has put the "killer coaster" spin on it, which plays a major role in the last three deaths that we've had at florida theme parks. Why do you not hear about all the other states as much as Florida? They arent home to Orlando area parks that see more visitors pure year than any other area of the country, thats why. There isnt a "rash" of coaster deaths any more than there were shark attacks a few years ago...yes I bring that up yet again as it is an example of the same thing happening.
I am 48. I live in Florida. I go on all of the rides. I haven't had a problem yet. Heat is definatly a factor out here. I tell anyone that wants to visit to skip the summer and come some other time. A lot of people have kids, so they come here when the kids are out of school.
i see this every day i work at magic mountian. guest's ignoring the safety warnings. i've been cussed out by parents because their children are not tall enough to ride a ride. they go on about paying all this money to get in and their kids can't ride a certian ride. just because they paid money for admission, doesn't mean they can change the safety rules. the key word here is admission. paying admission to enter the park (private property). another thing is guests that are large in size. when the safety restraints will not be able to hold them on the ride. folks, many of the rides were not built with large people in mind. you need to realize this. i for one, am not going to get fired for violating any safety rule, no matter how much it anger's a guest. safety comes first, over everything else.
I totally agree with this article because so many people die on rides at amusement parks and its not the theme park's fault, its the people who dont listen to the medical warnings or arent concerned with how dehydrated or how dizzy, or what condition theyre in that may cause danger to their health on an amusement ride, Im glad you brought this topic up.
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