The risk of injury requiring medical attention is 1 in 124,000 rides, the risk of injury requiring hospitalization is 1 in 15 million rides, and a fatality is 1 in 150 million rides.
The following is just my opionion but...Thrill rides put your body through moments of stress and increased heart rate much like aerobic exercise. In most individuals the heart rate is raised during the anticipation of the ride's "peak thrill" like climbing to the top before the fall, anticipating the upside down loop or free fall. In healthy individuals the heart rate returns to normal soon after the ride has ended and you are no more at risk of a heart attack than if you ran down the block and back.However, if are not in great shape or have not exercised for years, it makes sense that your blood pressure and heart rate may take longer to level off again. In some cases this aerobic affect may trigger more stress than your body can handle. It couldn't hurt to pre-condition your body before going to a park where a lot of walking and riding of thrill rides is your agenda. Walk daily, increasing your pace and distance at least one month before. Take some aerobic classes (a step class is a good one), visit your doctor and tell him or her, "look, this may sound stupid but I'm going to an amusement park, plan on testing my endurance by walking all day & my heart rate and blood pressure by going on lots of thrill rides. Oh, and by the way, I haven't exercised in about ten years. Could you give me a thumbs up on that one?" You'd be surprised at how seriously they'll take your concerns.Just my thoughts.
Parks already get a hard time from every money grabbing person who slips in a puddle and decides to get rich quick, and we all know that parks look after every hospitalised patron at the hospital (No news is good news in this case).How much longer will it be before you have to sign a liability waiver form every time you enter...
Any theme park has the ability to create rides that could injure all but the hardiest of people. However, they have a responsibility to design rides with a reasonable level of risk. Just because Disney puts a list of warnings in the queue does not absolve them from being responsible with the trust their patrons give them. If their rate of death/injury is higher than other thrill rides (1 in 150 million let's say) then they need to take that data seriously.
If the industry bears some responsibility, it is in a failure to draw a line between its "family-friendly" image and history and the increasingly intense experiences that some of its attractions offer. These are not "family-friendly" rides in the sense that everyone in the family can enjoy them. They are physical experiences that ought to be left only to the physically fit.
The industry would be better off, and its customers safer, if parks found ways to better distinguish this class of attractions from their others. Perhaps listing these rides not by land with the others, but by themselves in a seperate section on the guidemap? (e.g. "These physically intense rides are not for everyone in the family -- just for older kids and adults in good health. If you are not sure that you are in excellent health, please try another attraction instead.")
We need to change the culture of "If it is Disney(/Universal/Busch/Whatever), it's safe for everyone" that some people believe. Heck, that's why we have the Accident Watch. Not to embarass parks, but to educate readers that not every ride is for everyone.
I just wondering how much worse Mission Space is than that ride.
Prayers and best wishes for tyhe family. Much smypathy for their loss.
We are willing to take risks, that is the nature of all thrill rides. They are designed to take us to the edge, but not to go too far over. It is up to the individual rider to know if they have medical conditions that might effect them on any particular ride.
If the time of "Star Trek" ever arrives, we could scan each rider for problems before they board the ride. Until that time comes, we have to trust the riders to police themselves when it comes to ride hazards.
I'd go further that some of the previous writers and recommend that if you are not in the habit of exerting yourself physically on a regular basis, you should not ride high G-force, high-speed thrill rides.
You don't need a CT scan. Just an honest evaluation of your lifestyle.
Most people don't think they have a serious medical condition, because they haven't been told they have one. But the surest way to guarantee that you'll be able to handle the physical forces of a vacation thrill ride is to subject yourself to similar physical stress on a regular basis.
If you don't exercise, if you don't work out, if you have a desk job and you spend your evenings watching TV, don't take a chance with Mission:Space, high-speed steel coasters or other high-intensity thrill rides. If your body is not accustomed to this type of physical stress, you're taking a risk by shocking it with this level of activity on your vacation.
Few coach potatoes would think of BASE jumping or biking Moab on vacation. No, these rides don't require those levels of exertion, but we need to convince more folks in that condition to give extreme coasters and attractions a pass, as well.
I'd love to see the warnings changed from the routine spiel about "heart, neck and back conditions" to something along the lines of "if the only exercise you've had in the past week is lifting the remote and opening the fridge, you need to go ride something else. If you can't give me 20 jumping jacks on the loading platform without needing a blow, you need to get back in line for 'American Adventure.'"
If the parks won't say that, well... I just did. It's your vacation. This is time for your body to relax. Don't stress it with these rides if you're not used to rigorous physical activity. There's plenty of other great stuff to do at Disney.
Consider this, the female rider was from Germany. Did she read and speak English well enough to understand the warnings in English?
She comes from a culture where the government does not allow unsafe products, rides or attractions to be produced or operated with out the proper review for safety.
Due to the current situation of self regulation in the United States, we may never know the real truth behind Mission Space.
If there was oversight and an independant investigation of all deaths on rides and attractions, wouldn't we all feel better about our safety record?
I know I would.
Look at the body shapes and body language of many riders of this and any thrill ride.
I see people barely able to fit in rides. You KNOW that is a tragedy waiting to happen! How about looking at all the red faced people you see in the parks WIPED OUT from just walking around!
We can go on forever pointing fingers at Disney or Universal or Six Flags or whomever, but the bottom line is if the industry tones down rides to make sure the over weight (being kind) and out of shape people of the world are catered to, then enjoy a world full of "Its a Small World" rides and our amusement parks will go by the way of the dinosaur! And you know, if all the rides turn into It's a Small World or Peter Pan's Scary Flight, somebody will still find a way to fall into the path of the ride and get hurt (oops).
If the general population doesn't seem that concerned about their health, why should the amusment park industry have to be overly concerned and the rest of us suffer from toned down rides as a result?
How can we work to change the public dialogue after these incidents from "Does this mean theme parks are not safe?" to "This is another wake-up call that we need to get in better shape and start paying better attention to our physical health" or at least "This is a sign that people need to start being more honest about the poor shape of their physical condition"?
Granted, there have been several incidents that raise questions about theme park maintenance, attraction design and even employee training. But those are not the issue here.
This brings us back to the whole discussion about being fit to ride. Are some unfit, absolutely. Should some people probably not ride due to poor health, yes. We all have to remember something though. These people are ordinary everyday folks who pay their good money to have a good time...even travel thousands of miles to the "safest place on Earth" to experience it. They are not thinking that there is a ride out there that could seriously hurt, or even kill them just by riding it. People don't think that rides are harmful by nature, and they shouldn't either. I'm sure that the astronauts and pilots who train in centrifuges have to pass a physical exam before being submitted to it, so that means that the ride in this case is potentially very dangerous to one not in good physical health. Disney has to know this, and they have to do a more effective job at educating guests that this ride is absolutely not for people with poor health. They are the ones that chose to build this ride and promote it, hence they are the ones responsible for letting the guests know the full effects it has. Not all have preexisting conditions, and not all know their body inside and out. If there weren't signs in German, there should have been somewhere...given that Epcot attracts tourists from all around the world in droves.
On the other hand, guests should take this tragic story and let it be a learning experience to them. Read the signs, heed the warnings. If the sign says those with preexisting heart conditions should not ride....than take their advice and don't ride if you have one. It's there for a reason. These machines are thrilling and fun, but they also affect the human body in a way not understood by the general parkgoing population. Those sensations are what makes the thrill. Maybe Disney didn't go quite as far as they should have with educating riders, but they do post warnings.
Let's have well-informed consumers, who know what they can and cannot ride before they book a trip or get to the ticket windows.
This ride is only for trained people who are ready to go into space. There was no line up the whole day because no one can possibly ride it twice in row. If they are going to present the fact, they should post that 2 people died on the ride.
It might be related to pre-conditions but this ride will be closed soon after the 10th death.