How safe can the summer of '09 be at America's theme parks?
That's the question - and the challenge - that I have today, not just for the nation's theme parks, but for the fans who visit them, as well.
We've long been advocates for theme park safety, here at Theme Park Insider. In 2001, we created Accident Watch, which empowered readers to track injury accidents at top theme and amusement parks, information which at that time was not being collected by any government agencies at the U.S. federal or state level. (A little trivia: that feature won an Online Journalism Award from Columbia University and the Online News Association, making the first time a major journalism award was given to a "crowdsourced" online feature, reported and written by readers.)
After tracking hundreds of accidents at parks in the United States and around the world, plus my five years' experience working as an attractions operator, it's become apparent to me that the vast majority of injury accidents at theme parks could be prevented, and often by the people injured themselves.
So let's do that.
Let's make 2009 a summer when no person under the age of 21 dies at a U.S. theme park. With help from many Theme Park Insider readers, I've compiled a list of Top 10 theme park safety tips, and I'm asking everyone to read them before your next theme park visit. And to forward these tips to family and friends, too.
More than that, I'm today asking all U.S. theme and amusement parks to publish these (or comparable) safety tips on their websites, with a link from the front page of their sites. Plus, to put safety tips in a prominent location on their free park guidemaps as well.
The biggest traffic days at ThemeParkInsider.com each year are the ones when someone loses his or her life at a theme park. While I love welcoming new visitors to the TPI community, I don't want to see any more traffic surges for that reason again. I want this site to be filled with talk of vacations, thrills, storytelling, and good-natured debate among fans. None of us want to see any more stories about tragedy.
So let us, all, do what we can to prevent it. I invite TPI readers to tell us what they are doing to help make their theme park visits safe. And I invite theme park representative to come on the site and tell us what they've done to accept our challenge, to help spread the word about how to stay safe at theme and amusement parks.
Again, here's the link: Top 10 theme park safety tips
Let's have a great summer.
Very good, but it just seems to me that alot of theme park deaths are really caused by the person's neglegence and not "following common sense". Still, its a good goal and message and everybody should read your ten tips. They have been changed and edited over the years to give the most complete and accurate list out there.
Alot of these "incidents" are easily preventable. I would gather 99% of them are tied to general human stupidity. All you have to do is obey the signs and stay out of areas you dont belong, it isnt rocket science gang :)
Good guidelines to go by. Everybody be safe and smart....try not to win a Darwin award this year.
I read the 10 Tips and you couldn't be more right-- especially in saying that restriction and warning signs are there for a reason. I have no idea how many times I've had to to "argue" with a parent who gets upset b/c their child is much too short for a ride. I wonder if they'll still be upset when their child falls off (mild laughter). Theme parks are definitely places to have fun, but safety for all takes precedence.
Wow.... what a topic to post! Robert brings up some decent points for people to do either for themselves, others with them, or just plain other park goers that are attending the park during the same visit. I have to agree with him, but am VERY sad to see him miss out on the biggest topic amongst any person sharing a public space with other people!
^ Who invited Rob Reiner to the party? J/K.
at Six Flags ST. Louis which i have no affiliation with ride and park safety is a top priority with signs in Que Lines on ride platforms on roller coaster trains and an audible announcement plus loose objects aren't allowed on rides.
Last year I had a self-induced accident at Cedar Point, fortunately not a vacation-ender.
Personally, I went to Epcot on the same day when a 67-year old man was rushed to a hospital after riding Soarin' my mother's favorite ride at Walt Disney World. It was a sunny MLK holiday, on the actual date, and we were off to board the attraction. Much to our chagrin, we found that the ride was closed! Thinking it was maintenance that caused it, we carried on by taking photo ops of perfect backdrops and Disney Characters before we headed back to Soarin' at about 6 pm with Fastpasses on hand and called it a day. (I didn't watch Illuminations, since I had school the next day.) When I read the news, I found out that the old man named John Parietti struggled with exiting the ride, with slurred speech and right-side weakness. Paramedics rushed him to Sand Lake Hospital, where he died two days after our visit.
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