When things really go terribly wrong in a theme park...
What was the biggest in-park disaster have you experienced?
Mine was when I worked at the Jungle Cruise, I was working Parade Audience Control on New Years Day, the busiest day of the year at the Magic Kingdom. I was in Liberty Square when a warning came along. At the Liberty Belle dock, there is a pipe connected to the sewers (I don't understand why it is there) but early in the day, it started leaking. This happened before, and like before they fixed it.
Then about 40 minutes later, all of Frontierland from the Little Mississippi to Pecos Bill was flooded with sewage.
Remember, we are at capacity, around 80,000 guest who need all the space they could get. Instead, we close the major thoroughfare to both Splash and Thunder, causing all that traffic to go through Adventureland.
On top of that, all the restrooms on the west side of the park were closed...
On top of that, the sewage access point was smartly placed in the patio of Pecos Bill, so we taped all the windows of the restaurant with black costuming fabric so the diners wouldn't be repulsed by the men diving in and out of the manhole covered in...stuff.
On top of canceling the day parade where 30,000 people were lined up do see because we couldn't sweep up and sanitize the street fast enough, and we had a mob of angry 30,000 people to whom we couldn't explain what was happening and to five angry guest bands who couldn't perform.
On top of that was because if all the secrecy of hiding the patio, blocking picture taking at all of the executives (I got to meet some pretty high up people that day) a lot of the guest thought some one died.
The candle on the cake was that Splash would leak animatronic fluid into the ride water and would have to be shut down for half the day.
The biggest in-park disaster I saw? When I was at IOA and in the preshow room for Poseidon's Fury, a guest fainted, which caused the "tour guide" to frantically call for help. That showing was then cancelled.
A Tom Sawyer's Island raft driver
Well...I work at my local theme park and this summer we had Miranda Cosgrove come and do a concert weekend. That Saturday she was there, the park reached upwards of 40,000 people (keep in mind this is BGW and the normal max is 32-35k). Around noon there were over 6000 little girls waiting in line for the concert to start at 6:00...the theaters max capacity is roughly between 3 and 4 thousand. Throughout the day, my ride experienced 12 shutdowns (a record) and had a 2+ hour long wait ALL DAY. Having to walk to the very front of the park to go on break was a hassle because everyone was packed in like sardines. That was the busiest day all season...oh and it was around 100 degrees outside.
For me it was last Sunday at USF, where The Simpsons Ride had a 30 minute posted wait, when it was really 70 minutes. Not to mention September 23 at MNSSHP where I almost missed Happy Hallowishes because I was stuck on Haunted Mansion for 10 minutes.
People will just have to accept that sometimes everything is not going to be satisfactch'll !!
It was late in the spring of 2002; height of the super-patriotic-pro-military fervor of post 9/11. I was a young Marine who decided to take some leave just before my first deployment in order to take advantage of the freebie tickets for military personnel that the Universal Resort was running at the time. IoA was fairly new and I wanted to check out this crazy Spiderman ride that I had seen on TV. The free military tickets extended to one or two guests (can't remember exactly) so I brought my pal Eric along with me.
Mike.......great story and , in my view, all men & women in the Services should get lifetime passes anyway without having to electrocute themselves at the turnstiles.
I hadn't logged in. The last message was mine.
I was on the Jurassic Park ride some years ago when something went terribly wrong. It all seemed like smooth sailing at first as we cruised past the gates and into the lagoon area. We floated gently part the brachiosaurs and the triceratops, but then just as we passed the hydrosaurs the boat seemed to veer off course and we were alterted by the ride's speaker system that something had gone wrong and that we should stay in our seats while the operators diverted us to a safe point of exit.
Mike, not only was that a terrific story, but I can verify it and (perhaps) add an amusing footnote....
My mother had polio when she was a kid, and had to wear braces on her legs and use a wheelchair to go any sizable distance. We were at Disneyland sometime in the late 60's, and my mom expressed a rather wistful wish that she could ride on a roller coaster.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.