Getting stuck on the ride, when there's nowhere to go
Written by Daniel Etcheberry
A nightmare for any theme park goer who is non-ambulatory is to get stuck on a ride. Sometimes the ride starts again after a few minutes of waiting, but sometimes guests have to be evacuated. One can end up surrounded by water or in very narrow spaces where the wheelchair cannot fit. I have never gotten stuck in a ride since I was left in a wheelchair until I rode Disneyland's Indiana Jones two years ago.Tweet
Photo courtesy Disney
Indy’s vehicle stopped just a few feet from the unloading area, but the walkway at that point is too narrow for my wheelchair to be placed next to the vehicle. Cast members unloaded the other guests in my vehicle, and one of them told me that I had to wait. I was not freaked out for three reasons. First, the ride was so jumpy that I needed to catch my breath, so the waiting served as recovery. Second, the cast member stayed with me all the time. He also talked to me while I waited, and that conversation took away any anxiety. Third, I could see the unloading area from my vehicle, and psychologically speaking, it helps. I waited like 15 minutes, and the vehicle moved again.
It could have been worse, much worse. I remember reading that Forbidden Journey got stuck, and they had to call firefighters to bring people down from their seats. In my case, that would have been a nightmare.
Have you ever been on a ride that had to stop before reaching unload, from which you could not be evacuated within a few minutes? What happened, and how did the park employees respond? Please tell us your story, in the comments.
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