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Power outage shuts down part of Epcot

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Published: March 28, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Power went out at Walt Disney World's Epcot this morning, shutting down rides throughout Future World. The outage lasted about half an hour, though there were some power problems reported at the front entrance to the park for a while after that. Power's back up now, and no one was hurt.

It's the weekend: we're winding down the second round of the tournament, so let's make this a thread for folks to share their stories of power failures and other times they've been stuck on rides at theme parks.

Readers' Opinions

From Robert Niles on March 28, 2008 at 2:08 PM
I'll start. This happened when I was working at Pirates of the Caribbean at Disney World. We had a power surge, or something, that resulted in approach belt at the unload station breaking. Which, of course, meant that we could not cycle the boats and we would have to evacuate the ride so that maintenance could get in and fix the belt.

A big deal, but not a huge one. Except that I was the lead on duty, and thus, in charge of the evacuation.

And... I was on a show-quality-check ride-through at the time. :-(

So there I am, stuck in a boat in the burning city scene of a ride I am supposed to be evacuating, out of sight of any security cameras, knowing only that the ride's stopped, the animation and ride pumps are turned off, and the voice of the cast member in tower who just spieled the "thank you for your patience" spiel sounds mighty nervous.

So (and if you are or know a Disney lawyer, please stop reading here), I reached over the side of the boat, grabbed the ride flume, and started pulling my boat back to the boat storage exit under the bridge after the chase scene. Once I got there, I hopped out, politely asked everyone to remain in the boat, grabbed the phone that's stored there, called to tower, found out what was up, and started the evacuation.

(We had everyone out in no time flat, and, if memory serves, we were back up within the hour. Good times. Good lord, I loved doing that stuff.)

From Mike K on March 28, 2008 at 2:18 PM
So Robert, were you not locked out tagged out when you started your evacuation?
From Scott Marlow on March 28, 2008 at 2:19 PM
I honestly can't remember a time in the last few years where I went to a park and didn't get stuck on a ride. Most were only a few minutes, and I actually enjoy the few minutes trying to listen to what corny themed lines they have about why the ride stopped.

List of stopped rides while I was on them:

Jurassic Park(IOA)
Men In Black(USF)
Winnie the Pooh(Magic Kingdom)
Cat in the Hat(IOA)

From Robert Niles on March 28, 2008 at 2:42 PM
Mike, there was no tag-out system on Pirates then (don't know if there is now). We had to go through the ride to get to the unload station and boat storage areas, and did so frequently. (There were maintenance people walking around the backstage area of the show building all the time, too.) I just told the tower operator to call in the evac to the area supervisor and DACS, then walked back up to tower to assign positions.
From Bradley Robertson on March 28, 2008 at 4:23 PM
I got stuck on the Incredible Hulk at IOA back in 2003. I assume it was a safety measure for one the trains in front of us. Anyway it was at dusk so it was getting to be fairly dark. We were stopped on a brake run right before the final corkscrew. Being stuck wasn't all the scary. Most of us were wondering what was going to happen once the coaster starting moving again. On the initial glance it didn't appear that the drop we were going into was going to give us enough momentum to get us through the corkscrew. We were stuck somewhere between 20-30 minutes. No one really panicked or anything and it was a great view. We did make it through the the corkscrew okay, but I will have to say that the speed at which this occurred made it feel like a kiddie coaster.
From Vincent S on March 28, 2008 at 6:27 PM
I got stuck on Everest 2 months back for like 10 minutes. It was weird, since it was dark inside and they didnt turn on the lights.
From Jordan Siegert on March 28, 2008 at 6:43 PM
when i was at walt disney world i got stuck on small world with my family, i was 15 i think at the time(now 19)and let me tell you that is the worst one to get stuck on for an hour., all that singing was like torture lol but we got to get out of the boats finally and go through the emer. exit where they kelpt the boats which was pretty cool
From Tony Stevens on March 28, 2008 at 7:39 PM
In 2003 at Disney World I was stuck on It's a Small World for about 15 minutes. If the CIA is looking for a new tourture method they should try playing the "It's a Small World" song to the detainees over and over again. I would have told anything after hearing that song for so long. That same trip I also got stuck on Pirates of the Carribean but that wasn't nearly as bad. In 2006 Test Track had a slight delay, but there was no music to drive you nuts.
From Brian L on March 28, 2008 at 8:18 PM
Wow...and on my day off at mouse gear shop i miss some craziness. Oh well.
From Gareth H on March 28, 2008 at 8:52 PM
I've been stuck on Spiderman a few times, always Tilted.

It's funny, you get dead silence and then from behind the screens you hear a "Hellooooooooo" from another car.

Men In Black gets a reset sometimes too, you end up just going around, no spinning, all the lights on. very boring.

From Eric Malone on March 29, 2008 at 2:52 AM
I've never actually been stuck on a ride when the power's gone out, but I can't even count on both hands and feet how many times I've been stuck on a ride at either Disney, Universal or IOA. I'd make a list, but that'd be boring, but the highlights for me were easily Haunted Mansion, Mummy and Pirates.

I'm fairly certain that all the times Haunted Mansion's stopped on me were for allowing handicapped visitors on, but hey, if you're lucky you get some real awesome views of stuff you only get passing glances at.

From Chris Walton on March 29, 2008 at 7:43 AM
I've been stuck on Spider-man, which made for some great "behind-the-scenes" pictures...

I also took some great pics of the Space Mountain track while it was down as I toured through on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority.

I know I've been on other rides when technical difficulties occured, but none as memorable.

From Mike Shirley Jr on March 29, 2008 at 8:11 AM
Best outage ever: Simply put....top of Millenium @ CP right befor the crest.....no stairs, hand rails or anything of the sort.....estimated time elapsed, 1 1/2 hours. Imagine being near the top of one of the worlds tallest, fastest steel coasters with nothing to keep you in except for about 6 inches of plastic on either side. As you could guess, the anticipation for the rest of the ride was palpable. Oh, by the way...first time on the darn thing!!!
From Erik Cobbs on March 29, 2008 at 11:41 AM
The first ride the broke on me was Grizzly River Run at DCA. Before the drop the raft slamed against the side wall and I was thinking, was I at Magic Mountain? Then gravity took over and the raft floated downstream and we smashed the next raft in front of us. We were at the end of the ride and could have walked off. But the cast member said "wait to be rescued" and so we waited 15 mintes and were giving fastpass for the ride.

The second time happen in Revenge of the Mummy at Orlando. We were stuck at the part where the fire was above your head. It went of 3 or 4 times while we were waiting in complete darknees and some kids in the ride are asking if this was part of the ride. It was fun telling these kids that the ride was 20 minites long and we are going to sit here for another 5 mintes. I think the ride was 12-15 minites long that day.

On the same day Twister broke down right before you enter "the show part". We left Twister and I have never been "on it" yet.

From Betty Rohrer on March 29, 2008 at 12:08 PM
i can not remember the coaster's name at the old Opryland park. i was not on the ride but waiting for daughter and her friend. a thunder storm was coming and they had to have one last ride. they got stuck almost at the top of the first hill. they could see the storm coming closer, a ride op came up and talked with each row of the train. aft unloadin other train, another ride op came up and started at last row and removed the riders one row at a time. they had to crawl down the ladder beside the track. not the safest place to be in a thunder storm.
From Scottland Jacobson on March 29, 2008 at 1:39 PM
We got stopped at the end of Splash Mountain at Disneyland right after the showboat scene. They had to evacuate us and took us through all sorts of backstage passages (which seemed odd because we were so close to the unloading area), so it was quite a treat to see what Splash Mountain really looked like! Lots of scaffolding.

Also got stuck on Mystery Mine at Dollywood - right before the first lift hill. About 6 workers came in to evacuate us and they seemed really concerned that we were going to panic. I thought it was great!

And I've also seen Space Mountain shut down with the lights on (from Tomorrowland Transit Authority). It was my favorite part of that day!

From Reid Loveland on March 29, 2008 at 5:41 PM
The craziest evac I did was at SpaceShip Earth (I heard Horizons was interesting to evac but it never happened while I worked there). We had two guys jump out on the descent area because they couldn't find their family (this happened often as people do not pay attention to the warning that says your cars are turning for their return). They both got their feet run over by the cars as they tried to climb back in. That made two ambulances needed. Then as we evacuated a woman had an asthma attack and we had to call a third ambulance for her. It was a great way to close out the evening. :-)

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