Vote of the week: Have you ever been evacuated from a theme park ride?
Merry Christmas to all Theme Park Insider readers! Rather than leave you with a holiday-themed vote over the weekend, I thought I'd instead offer a vote designed to spark a lot of comments from those of you on the Internet over the holiday.
If you have, we would love to hear your story in the comments. Was it a frightening experience? Or wonderful one - where you got to see lots of cool backstage stuff you'd never get to see otherwise? Detail your experience, and let's share them with other Theme Park Insider readers.
And if you haven't, why not tell us in the comments which ride you'd most want to see backstage?
To that end, I'll be back on Monday with a cast member story about one of the times I got stuck on Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World, and had to evacuate myself. After that next week, I'll have our annual pre-parade coverage of the Tournament of Roses float decorating, followed by live coverage of the Rose Parade on Twitter and a post-parade photo gallery here on ThemeParkInsider.com.
Have a very happy holiday, wherever you are this season. And thank you, as always, for reading Theme Park Insider.
I was young and can't remember the details, but Skull Mountain at Six Flags Great Adventure broke down while on it and we had to get off. Wish I could remember the details, but I do remember the line having somebody smoke a cigar while waiting, horrible smell while waiting for the ride.
When I was younger I was on the Matterhorn when it broke down. We were at the top of the mountain and had to be evacuated off the ride and walked down the entire mountain. Very cool to see everything with the lights on!
The flume at Carowinds broke down when we were on it. I was there with my sister, brother-in-law and nieces. I blamed my brother-in-law. :) No cool backstage stuff, just a lot of stairs.
I wasn't ever evacuated from a ride but I got to witness sort of a forced evacuation and got to learn something about how/why a ride stops and what goes into the restart. I was riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Disneyland and it was supposed to be my last ride of the night before watching Fantasmic. As our train left the station and rounded the first bend, the guy in front of me apparently decided that he didn't like his seat. So, he hopped out of his seat and into the one in front of him. Almost immediately, the ride stopped. We sat there for a bit as the usual announcements started coming - stay seated, the ride has stopped temporarily. A Cast member came to our car and the guy who caused the problem started to get nervous. He was talking about what he did and asking what would happen.We found out that security was on the way and shortly thereafter, he was whisked from the car. We also learned that he may get permanent eviction from the park and may have to pay for the cost of the stop and restart. Since we were at the beginning of the ride, we were the last car to get released when they reset the ride. We also got a second ride since our first was disrupted. I did miss Fantasimc but it was something you don't get to experience very often.
We got the Walk Through version of Monsters Inc at DCA in 2006. The ride stopped in the locker room scene. Shortly after, all the audio stopped EXCEPT the sound of the little girl in the bathroom stall; that was just a bit creepy. The cars behind us walked back to load, but we got to go forward through the remainder of the ride. We were also allowed to take photos, some of which can be seen at http://s100.photobucket.com/albums/m16/ralfrick/Disneyland%202006/
Up until this year I have never been evacuated from a ride. First ride was called Fire in The Hole at Silver Dollar City, the train I was in departed from the station when all of of sudden are train did a quick jump and we stopped. It was very cool to see how everything works with the lights on, even tho we were a stones throw away from the station. And ,one of my personal favorites, I had to get evacuated from Le Taxi Tour at Worlds of Fun. It was very cool to follow the tracks and dodge broke down "Taxis". Hopefully the 2011 season will be nicer to me and get me evacuated on something much bigger like maybe the Autobahn at WoF. ha!
Mystery Mine at Dollywood conked out on us right before the first lift hill that is inside the structure - we sat there for a while then they escorted us through a side door and around the backside of the ride building. It was interesting to be stuck directly prior to the 90 degree lift hill.
And the best was seeing Maverick stuck upside down. It was a 40 degree morning in May a few years ago and during test runs of the ride, the car got stuck in one of the inversions. The tracks were so cold the friction got the best of the coaster. They had to bring in a winch and pull it through to the mid-launch area. I managed to snap a pic before a security guard almost tackled me.
Never been evacuated, but been stuck many times. Favorite was on Orlando's Pirates. Was stuck about 15 minutes. All animatronics working, but no sound. I distinctly remember the mute pirates and especially the tail-wagging, jaw-moving, soundless dog.
For shame, Robert! "Evacuation" is such a naughty word; the current nomenclature (or at least it was current two years ago) is "in-show exit". :) My manager told me that "evac" conjures up images of mangled people being pulled off trains, whereas the second term seems utterly benign.
Earlier this year, I was visiting friends in Southern California and we spent a day at Disneyland. Our first ride of the day was Space Mountain (which I had been on since its refurb a few years ago, but my friend hadn't).
My husband in 1992 had to climb down the side of the Loch Ness in Busch Gardens. It was on Memorial Day weekend and at night in the pitch dark. I was so glad the kids didn't go with him. We got free tickets for our next BG trip and used them in Tampa! thankfully no one was injured. The ride rolled back and there was a crashing sound. We were waiting for him while on the ride and just heard the crashing sound and then employees were yelling they needed lights.(ahh moment...my daughter offered them the tiny Loch Ness flashlight we had bought to use) It sounded worse than it was.
My friend, Harry Knowles, who runs Aint It Cool News, posted one of the most hilarious things I've ever read about the Haunted Mansion. Harry is in a wheelchair, unfortuneately, but like everything else he does, he sees the positive in every situation. Harry and I are both Haunted Mansion fanatics. He said (and I quote) "I highly recommend being disabled when riding the Haunted Mansion at Disney Land." He loved the fact that he got to stay on ride and disemabark at a different location than everyone else, giving him a backstage look at the stretching room. He told Haunted Mansion fanatic, Joe Moe (who was the caretaker of Famous Monsters of Filmland's Forry Ackerman) all about it in the guest room at Wonderfest last year and we all had a laugh.
On our last visit, my children and I were evacuated from Heimlich's Chew Chew Train after we had completed about half of the round trip. They explained to us that Heimlich had eaten too much and had a tummy ache. We waited for the cast member to escort us and had a fun little parade down the track to the exit. It was a very fun experience. I hope Heimlich feels better now.
I got evacuated from Poseidon's Fury during the preshow because someone in the front of the room passed out. See the Accident Watch for more info.
Yes, My daughter,my grandson and my self had to get off the Incrediable Hulk ride. We were in the tunnel ready for take off. We had to get off and walk down the catwalk steps which were pretty scary cause you could see right through them to the bottom, we had to walk down them kind of leaning back it was strange. but we got a free pass to ride later.
In January my family got stuck on Haunted Mansion at MK. We were almost halfway through the ride and were stuck for about 20 minutes. All of a sudden the lights came on and we were "rescued" by the staff. It was interesting how plain the walls are on the back side of the doombuggy, which you never see during the ride. We got some passes for free rides and really enjoyed the unexpected tour.
My wife and I, along with several other "Scoop" vehicles full of guests were walked out of Spiderman not long after it opened at Islands of Adventure. What had happened, according to Universal employees, was a guest or guests had thrown something out of the vehicle and it landed in the track and it caused the car to malfunction.
It's not exactly an evacuation situation but I had a (near) bad experience on 'Oblivion', the world's first dive machine at Alton Towers in the UK.
Yes. Space Mountain in MK after it broke down.
No, I haven't. Unless it was one of my favorites, I kinda think it would be fun actually :D
Fright from The Haunted Castle...
I've been on an evac from Pirates at Disneyland. Nice to see how close to the ceiling of the showrooms the sets are built. Got to walk behind the sets, through hallways, down stairs, up stairs, behind the main buildings, through more halls and re-entered the park near the restrooms by the train station.
I remember that haunted house fire at Great Adventure very well. I frequented the park, had a season pass for years in the 80s, was 19 years old that year. My friends and I were ther every Friday night back in the day for the concert series, actually saw Bon Jovi before anyone knew who he was. As far as the haunted house was concerned we used to love staying in there for an extended period of time scaring the staff by hiding and waiting for them. Apparntly it was a block of 18 wheel trailers (the kind you see on the road every day). Limited emergancy exits, limited lighting and ver hot. The heat & smoke must have been unbearable? It's amazing to think that such a completly un-safe attraction existed. Times have changed!
Evacuated from Toy Story Midway Mania in Disney's Hollywood Studios earlier this year. It stopped when I was at the green army men gallery. The lights came on and about 15 minutes later, the cast member arrived to unlock the car doors and fold out a little stairs between the cars which we walked down. Since all the lights were on, I decided to turn my camera video on and recorded the entire unloading and walk-out. Nice video. At the exit, everyone got a return fastpass good for about 2 weeks. I used mine the next day.
Yep. I was evacuated out of Toy Story Midway Mania in DCA.
I was evacuated from Spiderman at Universal´s Islands of Adventure, almost 3 years ago and it was a frightening experience.
Yea I was evacuated from the Ryeplayland logflume. one of the boats got stuck on the convayer at the very top of the ride.then another boat hit the side if the conveyer going up the hill so the bottom boat was on a angle. no one was hurt but I was stopped as the boats jammed behind this one and I got drenched cause I was stuck in the mist house. I had to climb out of the boat holding the emplyees hand and then they walked back to the station exit. I do not remember anything spectacular just remember a long wet walk back.
I was evacuated from Spiderman at Universal´s Islands of Adventure almostr 3 years ago and it was a frightening experrience.
I was evacuated off of Toy Story midway mania last spring. I was at the first stage and got to walk through the rest of the ride (except we didn't exactly follow the path of the ride. That place is a maze!)
I've never been evacuated from a ride, but when I was a kid I was riding Thunder Mountain at WDW when it had an E-stop in the middle of the ride. We were stuck just as the train crested one of the hills in a cavern. A cast member came by and chatted with us for a while until they restarted the ride about 20 minutes or so later.
I have never been fortunate enough to have been stuck on a ride. Even on those weird Carney rides at the fairs. Don't know if I am lucky, or cursed. It seems that it is really interesting seeing the behind the ride when you have to be evacuated. Love the stories!
Wow, this topic generated a lot of response.
I don't think I have ever been evacuated, but a brief disruption in the ride here in there.
Both Splash Mountain in 2005 and Pirates in 2001 at Disneyland. Pretty cool experiance, actually. Splash Mountain was at the very apex of the drop after we'd bribed and cajoled our 5 year old son to go along. All the lights came on and we sat there with him at the very top for maybe 15 minutes before we were evacuated down the steps and through the mountain. Poor little guy wouldn't get on another flume for years! On Pirates, we got stalled in the middle of the battle scene and had to make our way boat to boat to the town shore, me carrying the same unfortunate little boy at almost 2yo all the way. It's amazing he will even go to a theme park at this point, but he can't wait to go back! Neither can we - Disneyland rules in my opinion and these little adventures only add to the fond memories.
Not evacuated, but I did do Space Mountain at Disneyland with the lights on. We stopped not too far from the end, maybe 3/4 through the ride, and the lights came on. We didn't stay for too long, 10 minutes tops, then they pushed us through the rest of the ride, and of course, let us ride again immediately. No idea what happened, but it must not have been too serious if we all stayed in our cars. I will say though, that ride is WAY scarier with the lights on! Being Southern California, it's not uncommon to see cracks in walls and things thanks to earthquakes. But you don't expect to see quite so many scary looking cracks on Space Mountain. This was shortly before the major refurb it got in 2004 or 2005.
Last year on Christmas Day my family was evacuated off Test Track in Epcot within half an hour of opening. We suspected something was up as the entire ride was 'jerky' and when you go to accelerate up the first hill after the hot/cold tunnels we actually slowed to a jerky stop. We sat for about 5 minutes on the incline, and then the lights came up. It took another 10 minutes for the evacuation team to get to us (trailing a long line of other evacuees). We got good looks of the interior of the ride as well as behind the scene glimpses of the lockers and rest spaces of the cast. The fast passes we all got were nice, too.
It seems that a lot of these are from the same rides. Patterns like this aren't a good sign about these rides...
We have been on three rides that have broken down whilst being on it; Dr Seuss Skyride at Universal IoA (very boring and hot stuck in the same place), Crush Turtle Coaster at Disneyland Paris ( very difficult as the car stopped in an almost vertical position making egress difficult plus we had to exit via some very steep open stairs) and the Great Movie Ride at Disney Hollywood when bizarrely the driver crashed the vehicle into Munchkinland! This led to an interesting walk back through all the sets and the static animatronics.
I think I'd enjoy the evacution from Everest just to be able to get the backstage tour!
Resses dark ride at Hersheypark. I was stuck on a mini lift and we had to stay their for about, well, I'm not sure how long. Everybody else was evacuated, but since I was where I was, I had to wait for the ride to get started up again. I did see the area with the lights on, though.
Not exactly evacuated from a theme park ride/ attraction, but on my recent trip to Disneyland during the Holidays, the combination of the fireworks and massive amounts of people in the park gave us a backstage view... of Main Street.
I think that any theme park goer worth his/her salt has been evacuated from at least one ride in their history. I have done DL's Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin. Magic Mountain's Goliath, and Colossus. Knott's Berry Farm's Kingdom of the Dinosurs, Knott's Berry Tales (both the same ride in different incarnations) Timber Mountain Log Ride. I always equate the breaking down of a ride to be the opportunity to explore a ride in a different manner than was originally intended. On Splash Mountain it has always (been evacuated on it at least 5 times) been the opportunity to see some behind-the-scenes areas. I am never scared as I believe that all safeguards are in place and just take it in stride. Plus, I usually get a front of the line pass for any other rides in the park. It's a win-win.
I was on the Tower of Terror... of all rides to break down! Luckily, it wasn't as scary as it sounds. However, once the drops were complete, we sat in silence for several minutes. My friend and I were both on our senior trips, and we were having a great day, so we just took the opportunity to laugh and talk with everyone on board. Once the doors were opened, we looked around and were surprised to see that we were walking through what looked like a garage full of parked "elevator" ride vehicles. They escorted us out and we weaved in and out of them until we finally made our way to the exit. Needless to say, we talked our entire group that was on board with us to ride together again because we all had so much fun in each other's company.
Definantly....it was about two years ago or so....for my 20th birthday as a matter of fact!
Ellen's energy adventure in sept 2008. The video at the end of the ride lost sound, which prompted my best friend to narrate the rest of the video to me =) soon enough a very nice disney employee came to our rescue!
I have never been evacuated (knock on wood), but got stuck for what seemed like hours on the Ferris Wheel where the car cages spin upside down at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, NC when I was in college. That was truly creepy. I have been stuck on Pirates, Haunted Mansion, and Dudley Do Right's Ripsaw Falls.
I was on Volcano at kings Dominion a few years ago on a cold April Morning and we didn't launch over the first hill so we went down backwards to the launch area where we gotten off the ride. Scariest experience at a theme park. Took me 3 years to get back on that ride.
I've been to Disneyland over 50 times in the last five years, and twice to WDW - my husband is a former cast member and now we have passes. I really, really want to be evacuated off of a "cool ride;" for example, Haunted Mansion would be cool to see behind the scenes, Mr Toad not as cool. As a cast member my husband saw quite a few rides with the lights on/behind the scenes, and I'm so jealous! Almost been evac'd two or three times, but so far never fully evac'd. Someday, maybe...
Got stuck on the "Alice on Wonderland" ride at Disneyland, and we were trapped in a doorway that triggered maniacal laughter when the door was open...so it kept repeating the maniacal (and loud) laughter over and over and over...until they finally got us down! We were driven crazy by it at the time, but now the memory evokes a fond, warm smile...
Years ago my family was evacuated from the old Haunted River Ride at Kings Dominion. We were at the very beginning, in the pitch dark, with a voice saying "Welcome to the Haunted River. Some say it is a piranha river." Then we stopped. And sat in the dark for 5-10 minutes. They finally turned the lights on but another 5-10 minutes went by before they turned off the audio. Finally they drained the water and we were walked out of the tunnel and out the back of the Lost World Mountain. While my dad and sister never rode again, my mom and I pushed our luck every year because it had the best flume at the end. We never had to be evacuated again, but I don't know if we ever got to ride it as intended, because either the lights were always on/went on and off at random points or the boat stopped where it shouldn't. The final ride we took the boat was stuck at the top of the lift hill for 10 minutes. Maybe it isn't so surprising that Lost World and the Haunted River are now gone, replaced by Volcano.
When i was on the ride superman in Six Flags great adventure it was a very odd time. I was on the ride when they flip you so you can feel like your superman and the ride shut down. It really hurt to be in that kind of position for about a half an hour. The funny thing is that the staff working the ride acted like this was a usual thing which was pretty funny!
We were on Space Mountain a couple of years ago when it broke down. It was kind of a bummer to see it with all of the lights on.
This past summer I was stuck on Pirates at Disneyland. Just past the scene where the pirates are chasing the women with food. The boat were all backed up and after about 10 min a castmember came on the loud speaker to inform us. We heard Yo Ho Yo Ho for about 40 min until they finally shut it off and turn on the lights. Once back statge was cleared they started to evacuate. Some people were jumping boat to boat to be evacuated from the jail scene area. Our boat was pushed back to a place were brakes would hold us. The cast members were from all over the park to help with the evacautaion. They were wearing fish waders that went to their chest. We were taken off and went up some stairs coming out in the back area. They did not mention not to take any pictures until about half way going out. I got some cool pic back stage and some of Murphy the Dragon head broken off. Once we got to the New Orleans bathroom entrace they gave us park tickets and food vouchers.
Test Track during the first year it was open. Nuf said. :-)
We had to evacuate Space ship earth after being stuck on it for over 45 min. It is one of our fondest memories walking down the steep stairs. LOL. Our 3 year old loved it and said he "got stuck at epcot" for many months to come. the cast member were great!
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