Does a theme park owe you anything if you're left stuck on its rides?

February 10, 2011, 1:53 PM · The row over a disabled man suing Disneyland because he was stuck on the park's It's a Small World ride for 40 minutes prompts me to ask: What is fair compensation for being stuck on a theme park ride?

Before we get to that question, allow me to point out that the man is not suing because he got stuck on the ride. He's suing because he said that it took Disneyland 40 minutes to evacuate him, while persons without disabilities were taken off the ride much sooner. Federal law prohibits discrimination against the disabled, and making persons with disabilities wait significantly longer to get off a ride could qualify as a violation of the law. A jury will hear the facts then decide, unless the man and Disneyland reach a settlement first.

But what if you were stuck on It's a Small World, or some other theme park ride, for 40 minutes or more? What would you consider appropriate compensation for that inconvenience? Some folks might shrug it off and go on with their day. Others might consider listening to the Small World theme for 40 minutes a violation of anti-torture provisions in the Geneva Convention.

I'll kick off the discussion by saying that I do believe that people who are stuck on a ride for a significant amount of time are due something in return. If they didn't get to experience the ride in full before being taken off, at the very least, they should get a return pass to ride later in the day without having to wait again.

And if they get evacuated from a ride, I say they're owed at least a quick backstage tour on the way out. Don't pretend that we're not looking around. Ride ops should be friendly and accommodating, answering questions and explaining what's happening as they escort their guests from the ride. (A friendly attitude from park employees almost always turns potential complaints into compliments.)

But what about beyond that? How long would you think someone would have to be stuck in a ride to deserve a comp ticket or refund, in exchange for the day that was compromised by the long wait on the ride? How long would someone have to be stuck to deserve a comp day and a refund? Cash? Food? Accommodations? Are they ever justified as compensation for being stuck on a ride? I'm not talking about being injured - just being stuck.

Let's hear your personal experiences, and nightmare hypotheticals, in the comments. (FWIW, I don't think it's worth commenting specifically on the Disneyland case, since he's claiming discrimination, not a long wait time.)

Replies (40)

February 10, 2011 at 2:00 PM · A one-time exit pass/line skip for members of the group effected is enough for me. I'd only be 'stuck' in another queue anyway during that time.
February 10, 2011 at 2:06 PM · We went on Big Thunder Mountain and it broke down. The cast members cleared the ride within 15 minutes. We got a line pass for a ride for our party. Next time I'm say I'm alone.
February 10, 2011 at 2:16 PM · Back when I experience an evac off Pirates at Disneyland, I ran into other guests later in the day talking about the experience. For me, I was in the burning town section, taken off the ride, and returned to the park within 20 minutes of the first announcement about the breakdown.

These other guests were stuck on the lift hill at the end that returns boats to the loading platform for what they stated was over an hour.

My compensation was a front of the line ticket to any ride except Buzz Lightyear (it just opened that year). Their compensation was a free ticket to return to the park.

I think the compensation level should be based on the nature of the incident and the parameters of the evac. I simply had to step off the boat and walk through the set. They had to step off the boat onto a wet staircase and walk up to the emergency exit.

If a ride momentarily stops and experiences a temporary shutdown that causes effects and show to not perform properly, an immediate re-ride should be allowed.

In regards to the current suit, I hope more people read just past the headline and understand why the guy is suing Disney. I would like this to go to trial so that more details can be heard about the situation. I wonder if the gentleman was sitting there by himself at any point. But my guess is that this case will be settled out of court.

February 10, 2011 at 2:39 PM · I would say over an hour would need higher compensation.

Interesting suit though!

February 10, 2011 at 3:08 PM · I'm going to write more about ride evacuations (yeah, I know, "in-show exits") on Monday, but I learned that rides ought to be able to cleared of guests within 30 minutes. If it takes longer than that, either there was a situation with a guest that led to a delay or (more likely), the ops team wasted a lot of time trying to restart and avoid the evacuation.

The decision to try to restart without an evacuation can be a gamble. If it works, you've saved the everyone the hassle, and may have saved guests some time. But if it doesn't, you're just delaying the start of the evacuation and subjecting the guests to more inconvenience.

Again, I'll be writing more on this for Monday.

February 10, 2011 at 3:12 PM · I think it really depends on how long you were stuck on the ride. And even then a simple re-ride or "fastpass" to another attraction should be sufficient. Admission tickets clearly state, along the lines, that Disneyland is not responsible for attraction downtimes and that they are not required to makeup for any lost time. But to keep people happy they usually do. As they should! People pay a great deal of money to make these "magical" memories.

In the case of this disabled guest. Cast Members are not supposed to aid guest, disabled or otherwise, with getting on or off a attraction for obvious legal reasons. When a attraction suffers a downtime and a disabled guest is onboard, the Disneyland Fire Department is supposed to be called so that THEY may evacuate the guest. However, a Cast Member is supposed to remain with the guest while the firefighters make their way over and remain with them while they are evacuated.

February 10, 2011 at 3:39 PM · I was stuck on the lift hill on X-Flight (Geauga Lake and Wildwater Kingdom) in 2005. (Some of you will know this coaster as Firehawk now located at King's Island.) Unlike the more common flying coaster trains by B&M (used on Manta, Tatsu, and Superman: Ultimate Flight) which are mechanical in operation, these trains use an extremely complicated mechanism, with on-board power and electronics. Something trips - you stop. Whatever caused the train to stop - once stopped could only be checked/restarted by an engineer. The physical orientation of the coaster at Geauga Lake meant you were likely staring straight at the sun, tilted back, and pretty much unable to move.

The engineers were unwilling to release the occupants from the train, even as they were having difficulty restarting the mechanism. So there we were, baking in the summer sun (my hat safely stored away for the ride)for about 40 minutes. The sunburn I experienced made the rest of this vacation somewhat unbearable. Our compensation? "We're sorry for the inconvenience." No! "Are you ok?" No. Nothing.

Considering the park wasn't busy, a re-ride pass wouldn't do much good. Frankly, just staff making the best of the situation would have been enough. Maybe a food discount. But it was just the entire feeling that as a guest, I've inconvenienced the ride ops and engineers by being on a ride that broke down - that made it such a sour, burned-in-my memory-experience.

February 10, 2011 at 3:56 PM · It depends on length of stay on ride. I think almost immediately you should be offered a re-ride and, ideally, a front of line pass for one ride. Depending on time, it should mean you get more of these passes. Another days entry means a lot more money going towards the theme park in the end, unless you are from a very local area.

The whole 40 minute issue depends on how long the other guests had to wait. If it was a difference of less than ten minutes I don't think it's fair to sue. In fact, 40 minutes isn't that long for most people. If it's 40 minutes MORE than everyone else that is an issue, but how much should he be suing for? The amount that the park ticket is? That's the most this person has lost. It doesn't seem like seem like Disney were discriminating from what this article is saying.

February 10, 2011 at 4:10 PM · I agree with Robert, only a quick backstage tour plus a re-ride (or re-admittance to another ride) should be given unless the guests are injured during said "technical difficulties." As for the suit against Disney, they didn't discriminate against the handicap rider unless they specifically didn't unload him because he was handicap (which I doubt would ever be the case). If a handicap person happens to be in the last car unloaded, that's just because that car/boat/train was the last one to be evacuated according to protocol. No discrimination in my mind. Some people expect way too much. I would rather the ride shut down if something is wrong rather that it continue and possibly injure me or other guests/employees.
February 10, 2011 at 4:12 PM · I was stuck in "E.T." just after the flying scene. It stopped like for 5 minutes, and then the ride started again but without sound. It would have been fair if they had let me ride it a second time in a row.
February 10, 2011 at 4:13 PM · I feel that if you are stuck on a ride anywhere between a minute to five minutes u don't deserve anything in return. I think if it is anywhere from 20-40 minutes they should get a free fastpass or whatever they call it at the themepark that they are at. But anywhere from a 1 hour to whatever time you deserve a refund or return ticket.
February 10, 2011 at 4:36 PM · Disney is usually very good about rerides. We went on the Haunted Mansion (for the billionth time) and the speakers were on the fritz in our doom buggy. No big deal since we could almost say the entire thing verbatum. Anyway, the cast member at unload heard the speaker mess up on the "I will lift the bar for you" line and he looked at us and said "no no, come with me, you guys are riding this again on a better doom buggy. It kinda made my day.

But yeah, interesting case since it would seem to be that another outcome of waiting would be him getting hurt while exiting. That would cause litigation too I think.

February 10, 2011 at 5:12 PM · When did our society get to the point that because you are inconvenienced you must be compensated. Would it be the same story if a ride failed to stop during an emergency and because of that someone got seriously hurt or killed? People would be up in arms asking why wasn't safety precautions made? They should have shut down the ride before someone got hurt.
And yet when a ride is safely shut down and evacuated the public is begging for a hand out, be happy you have your life and limbs.
Not knowing the particulars about the parapalegic not being evacuated in a timely manner, I can only imagine that this was not due to oversight but for his safety. You have a person that could be seriously hurt if he was not evacuated properly. He was on a ride that is driven by a waterway, imagine being a cast member that was carrying him out of the ride, they slipped and he fell into the water? Imagine that they were carrying him and they injure him more because he was inproperly moved? As long as there was no danger for the person, the best place was to leave him be until they could come up with a safe plan to remove this individual.
Of course it is great insight that I learned from reading a previous post that it is the requirement of the fire department to extract a disabled individual and I suspect that it was took so long to remove this individual.
Please don't get me wrong, if any establishment is wrong or errs, then it should be brought to their attention, but don't expect a handout for being inconveniented.
February 10, 2011 at 5:08 PM · They say time is money. You waste my time, you reduce the value of the product you sold me (the theme park ticket).
February 10, 2011 at 6:51 PM · In my opinion, it depends on what the situation was. one time, me and my uncle went on Forbidden Journey and the first time it broke down, it was out for a good 10 minutes. then it started back up again. it turns out someone threw up and they were just cleaning it up i mean if its something like that then thats fine, it was a pretty cool experience anyways.

but then we went on it again and the ride broke down TWICE for about 5min each time. it was a technical error that time. im not to upset about it, but if it had been for 40min, i would be pretty upset. i would probably ask for maybe 2 or 3 days of free tickets. i mean that wouldnt be to bad for them but again, it depends on the situation. technical error, most likely you deserve something, anything else pretty much goes by.

February 10, 2011 at 7:04 PM · that idiot just want money I guess.....disabled people should not come to theme parks anyway, they are just a roadblock!
February 10, 2011 at 9:18 PM · See in most ski areas if U get stuck on the Lift on the way up the mountain htye give U a pass to come back for a FREE day of sking. themeparks should do the same if U are stuck for a long period of time. It is definetly drastic to say they should pay for my hotel but the least they could do is give U a free day back at the park with a cut the line pass to ride that ride
February 10, 2011 at 9:23 PM · It would depending entirely on how long your stuck on any attraction or ride. I've been in that situation many times, the most memorable was the last year Horizons was open. We where stuck there for over an hour before they got around to evacuating us, which was highly unpleasant. Nothing was offered, no one said a word or even told us what happened until 40 minutes into just sitting there. At one point we even wondered if anyone was working the ride that night, we'd complained and got brushed off completely by management. So in this case, yes we should have at least gotten an explanation well before 40 minutes (Not even an automated spiel happened). As for getting something? Yeah it would be nice but with any park I don't really expect or have much hope for great bounds in customer service.

I've been stranded on Hulk for 30 minutes in the summer sunshine, USO did give us a cold bottle of water once they got us off the ride. Which in that situation is a very good idea to keep people and complaints down!

At other times I've spent 30 minutes or more on Spaceship Earth, Test Track, Space Mountain, Body Wars, Sky Ride, Kumba, Jaws, Cat in the Hat.. and those are just in the last 10 years or so.

Attractions do break down and getting the Handicapped off can be a challenge at times. I suspect this is someone who thinks they can get money easily with a discrimination suit using the ADA as a reason. In my experience (working downed attractions) most of them would rather wait until everyone else is evacuated from the ride car/train so the employees can focus on making sure the Handicapped guest has the extra help they may need.

February 10, 2011 at 10:19 PM · i can attest to reaction times of theme park employees. twice me and my family was stuck listening to spaceship earth messages over and over. when we were "rescued" they gave us passes to bypass the line line. (but honestly only ride it about once a trip for the memories and after that fr the free AC). our second incident was with the elen degeneres ride (lame!). the ride just stopped because of a power outage and we were escorted out without any sort of pass or t shirt or nothing. in US, i havent ever been caught on a ride
February 10, 2011 at 11:16 PM · "But what if you were stuck on It's a Small World, or some other theme park ride, for 40 minutes or more?"

No Song? ...I'd probably be ok.


...the water would be stained red with the blood of my boat-mates.

February 10, 2011 at 11:26 PM · I don't think there can ever be any hard and fast policy for dealing with ride breakdowns and time stuck on the rides. IMHO, a front of the line return pass and maybe a bottle of water on a hot day, plus sincere apologies from park staff should be enough. If the time stuck is extreme, like over an hour then maybe consider comp tickets.

This is really a tough one to answer, but I would think theme park management at more respected park chains have the leverage and ability to deal with these incidents on a case-by-case basis.

I have never personally been stuck on a ride but I have witnessed others that have. I remember years ago at Six Flags over Georgia several guests receiving ride exit passes after getting stuck on (now removed) Deja Vu, which was notorious for getting stuck at the halfway point. I guess this is the reason this ride has all but disappeared from the SF chain.

February 10, 2011 at 11:47 PM · This is very case dependent, but if I was in charge of a park, I would probably use something similar to the following system.

1. If the ride experience is interrupted (such as a cascade on Space Mountain), riders have the option of either an immediate re-ride or an exit pass to return to that same ride later in the day. If the riders are stuck at a point in the ride that does not interrupt their experience (for example, first lift or earlier, or final brakes or later), there is no compensation. For guests stuck at the loading platform, they may either exit the ride or return to the load platform and wait it out if they have not ridden yet.

2. If guests are evacuated from a ride, the compensation depends on the amount of time stuck. Since all riders should be evacuated within a half hour, anyone evacuated within this timeframe recieves one exit pass good for any attraction in the park. If they are stuck for longer, they recieve two exit passes for 30-45 minutes, three for 45-60 minutes, etc. This time is measured from the declaration of the breakdown until the guest actually leaves the ride vehicle.

3. If a show malfunctions and guests are unable to see the entire performance, they are given their choice of an exit pass for any one ride or a pass allowing them priority seating at any one show. If the show malfunctions before it has started, there is no compensation.

4. If a special performance (fireworks or similar) is cancelled for any reason, there is no compensation (this one should be obvious).

5. In the rare event that a ride severely malfunctions and the park employees are unable to evacuate riders, instead calling in emergency services, all trapped riders are given either a free return ticket or a complete refund of their admission ticket if they choose to leave. If a guess desires, they may swap their return ticket for an unlimited exit pass good for the remainder of the current operating day (note: exit pass would be restricted to one use per ride per hour).

6. If it is known that guests will be stuck for an extended periond of time (more than 30 minutes), they should be given whatever might be called for due to weather (water if hot, sunscreen if sunny, etc.) free of charge.

I think this covers pretty much every situation that I can think of. I don't know what any park other than Disney does, but I'm guessing exit passes are probably the norm.

February 10, 2011 at 11:57 PM · The small world does have wheel chair accessible boats if he was in his chair their is nothing Disney can do for him. If he was not in a wheel chair Disney went with getting more people off then making them wait for one person. Disney should of offered exit clearance, food voucher or another ticket. I was stuck on pirates for over an hour and I got all three of them. I did not know I had a fourth choice to sue. I know he has no use for exit clearance being in a wheelchair and probably has a Annual pass so only food voucher would work.
February 11, 2011 at 1:13 AM · It wasn't descrimination, it was a practical solution. Why should a boat full of people have to wait for him? It only makes sense to evacuate him after everyone else.
February 11, 2011 at 3:05 AM · my party got stuck on spiderman for only ten minutes and they let us through a fire door to re-ride about three times it was quiet but that was cool. how does the man know that any of the people don't have a disability just because you can't see it doesn't mean they don't have one i mean i'm totally deaf in my left ear but no one would know that if i didn't tell them.
February 11, 2011 at 3:42 AM · We was at Walt Disney for our honeymoon when we got in line for Pirates. The boats stopped for about 30 minutes. We was by the section where the drunk pirate says "here kitty kitty". Any other section would have been fine but since we have a cat I about went nuts! But let me pose another question. What about if a park looses power like Kings Island did last year? We were there and all we got was a starlight ticket that was only good till Sept. I paid full price and got a return ticket that I couldn't even use.
February 11, 2011 at 4:45 AM · Ok need to ask were on the attraction was he stuck? Did the closest exit point have access? for guests with disablities? When I was enployed by WDW there were only a handfull of exit points that you would be able to evac. a guest with special needs. And I do not feel that you should be able to sue, if you do have them. a forty min. wait to get the man off the attraction isnt really that long. id do know that if his boat was not near one of them then he would indeed have to reamin on the attration till his boat was near an exit point. weather it had to be pushed or the ride restarted. I belive the cast members had his safty in mind. And that someone did instruct him of the fact he was no were near the exit point when it broke down. As for compinsation in monies no way. Comp tickets, free food, refund, yea sure thing. But next time flip the ticket it states " By purchasing the holder here by releases WDc from any and all ..and on and on.
February 11, 2011 at 6:44 AM · It is a personal nightmare of mine to be stuck on It's a Small World. That ride is scary enough, but to be stuck on there for 40 minutes would have made me jump into the water and walk my way out lest I go insane.
February 11, 2011 at 9:01 AM · This is a tough one..I don't feel that compensation in the form of accommodations or food makes any sense because being stuck on a ride has nothing to do with either of those things.

If I were stuck on a ride, sure it would be an inconvenience but that's technology for you. Sometimes things go wrong that are beyond the park's control. I wouldn't expect some outlandish compensation UNLESS I were stuck for a crazy amount of time, say an hour or more. If it were less than an hour, I say a simple fastpass (or equivalent) and sincere apologies would do. Anything more than an hour and I would think a comp ticket for one day at the park should be issued.

Word of mouth is everything when it comes to PR for places like theme parks and you HAVE to keep the guests happy. So if something happens that is beyond the park's control, friendly staff with explanations and apologies would go a long way.

February 11, 2011 at 10:21 AM · We were stuck on the Monorail one time for about 45 minutes due to mechanical breakdown. We were out in the middle of the route so not somewhere that we could easily be evacuated. They were able to start it a couple of times and finally limped in to the nearest station. At that point since the mechanical failure seemed to be a complete power failure of the vehicle, they were unable to open the doors and had to pry them open. It was hot inside and a lot of folks needed to use the restroom. Was it uncomfortable? Yes. Was it inconvenient? Yes. Did the CM's do everything humanly possible to get us out in a timely manner? Yes. I think everyone there chalked it up to "stuff happens" and went about the rest of their day. As far as I know, nobody asked for any special compensation for their discomfort.
February 11, 2011 at 10:51 AM · AJ Hummels lengthy list pretty much sums up my thoughts. For the most part a re-ride/pass should be enough to ease any tension or frustration IMO.

A couple of years ago my kids and I got stuck on Space Mt and despite being able to make it back to the unloading area in a short amount of time we got a pass to ride it again whenever we wanted no big deal.

A month ago my kids and I got stuck, on our maiden ride no less, in HP's Forbidden Journey for 20 minutes. The ride started and we got past the first video screen, then sputtered and stopped several times before conking out for the 20 minutes. They turned on the house lights which was interesting however we were on our backs looking at the ceiling for most of the duration, then the ride finished without the remaining 2 video screens operational. Not much of a ride, honestly I DID expect a re-ride pass or if a temporary glitch a quick detour into the Express line so we could have a clean ride without another long wait. All we got was "here is your photo ticket go to the counter over there". How about a sorry still working out the kinks, or Voldemort was in the area, and don't even get me started on the recorded English (UK) voice saying they will keeps us informed and then don't?

All this being said we rode Rip-Ride-Rockit on the same trip and the music went out going over the top of the initial climb (not a good day for rides at Universal). I must say without the music the ride isn't as thrilling to me for some reason. Anyway, I did NOT expect a re-ride for that, of course it would have been nice but I got my ride even though I didn't get the "experience". Next day we were able to ride both rides without issue but my kids walked away saying Disney (and if THEY owned a park), they would have done it differently.

February 11, 2011 at 2:25 PM · What I've found recently is that the 'squeaky wheel gets the grease', even at Disney. Now in the event of this gentleman, obviously there may have been more of an issue than simply a delay in getting him off, so I won't comment on that.

However, I just left the parks yesterday and found that every time something went wrong, people were complaining to the CM's. On Test Track, a random person was in a car with a family, and the family didn't the the look on the persons face in the photo so they wanted a 'fast pass' so they could ride again and get a better photo. On Space Mountain we heard people complaining because there were too many riders screaming and it was irritating them so they wanted to ride again (there were large groups of quinceaƱera girls there, and they were seriously loud, but its a roller coaster!). And I can't tell you the number of folks I saw walking around with the 'Guest Accommodation Pass' hanging around their neck. Not trying to stir up a hornets nest, as I have an 'invisible' disability myself (Lupus), but it seems to fit in with the 'something for nothing' issue of late.

Do they owe you something?? Have they caused an injury to you or have somehow discriminated again you? Yes - if not, I'm thinking no... As Robert said, maybe a 'fast pass' or a nice backstage tour on the way out, but compensation?

February 11, 2011 at 2:58 PM · A thumbs up to Daniel J. Allington's post.

I was stuck on Splash Mountain for just under an hour in 2004, right at the base of the conveyor belt that goes up to the final drop. It felt like a lot longer BUT you just be an adult about it, strike up a conversation with everyone and try to find the enjoyment of the situation you're in.

In 2008 I got stuck on Pirates just before the ride's first drop. Actress Diane Keaton was on the boat with us. Everyone had a great time just talking and enjoying the ambiance. I don't care what the whiners say, the worst day at a theme park is better than the best day at work.

Suing the park for inconvenience? Well,.... Maybe I could see it on the rare circumstance of the disabled man to whom this article is about but that's a big MAYBE. As for everyone else? Rides break down. Your drink doesn't have enough ice. The ride attendant didn't smile BIG enough for you. Your feet hurt. You're tired. You want to go home.

Those people are making other people in the park miserable besides themselves. At most the whiners could be given a fastpass for something but that's just to shut them up. People like that are never satisfied so I barely think it's worth the effort.

February 11, 2011 at 6:03 PM · The fear of a ride breakdown is why I will NEVER go on Small World again.

As for the question, I think the compensation should vary by the case. My girlfriend and I went to WDW in December, and spent our last afternoon at Epcot. We decided to ride Spaceship Earth before leaving (giving us plenty of time to return to Coronado Springs to catch the Magical Express back to the airport). Spaceship Earth must have broken down 5 times while we rode it; two of those times were close to 10 minutes. We were not evacuated, and obviously not offered nor expecting compensation. However, we boarded Spaceship Earth (posted with a 5 minute wait time) and easily spent 25-30 more minutes on the ride than we had planned for, but it felt much longer. while stuck, I couldn't help wondering if we had missed our ride on the Magical Express (we didn't, because we had allotted plenty of extra time to get back to Coronado) would we have been offered anything? I don't know, but certainly hope so.

February 12, 2011 at 8:02 AM · Depends on how long and how uncomfortable. 40 minutes and longer or longer and uncomfortable possitions should be compensated with a partial refund for the theme park ticket, not some stuff that costs the park zero and might even make the park additional money like an extra day ticket (more time to sell merchandise...). 10 minutes breaks in some comfortable show ride, who cares. Evacuation: Id say Aa least reride without waiting again.
February 12, 2011 at 4:47 PM · I got stuck with my family back in the Summer of 2008 at Universal Studios Florida's The Revenge of the Mummy. It was fun getting stuck. Because when we got stuck we got to ride the ride with all the lights on. It wasn't as scary with all the lights on. But the next time we go I want to know how it really feels with out any lights on.
February 13, 2011 at 2:57 PM · In my previous post about getting stuck on the monorail for 45 minutes, I forgot to mention something. Any time you are not happy with how a situation is handled by a CM at Disney, it is a good idea to write to Disney to let them know what transpired. I have emailed Disney...twice for problems and once to praise a CM for a job well done. In every case Disney Guest Relations has taken the time to call and discuss it with me. In one case we were overcharged for a package at Pirate's League. They told us one price then charged us about $20 per kid more than they told us. The manager there told us there was nothing she could do...the price was the price...but gave us a fast pass to use on any attraction we wanted. It was good only for that day and we had already been at the park all day going on attractions so we did not use it. We emailed Disney upon our return and after checking our receipts and reading our complaint, they sent us Disney gift cards compensating us for the amount we were overcharged. Always worth the time to let them know that you are unhappy with the way something has been handled. Had the disabled man contacted them after this incident, I feel strongly that he would have been taken care of.
February 14, 2011 at 9:42 AM · As a person who worked at The Jungle Cruise (where we evac guest from Pirates) and Space Mountain, most guest think getting stuck is rather cool. They get to see a lot if they are evacuated off of a ride and always compensated with a fast pass. A fastpass may seem like a simple thing, but when five major rides go down in a day (happens on occasion)then fastpass lines will be flooded. But overall, it's the guest who wait in line who get the most upset when a ride goes 101. In Space Mountain, if we have to reset the ride ( evacuate the guest from the ride) we empty the building and give everyone a fastpass, or at least to those who follow instructions and go out the exit. But when guest start demanding things, especially fastpass for members of the party who were not in line, we are far less prone to help the guest out.

But several people are right, Disney doesn't owe anyone anything if a ride goes down, despite what most guest think. Ride closures happen and should be expected.

Also, Disney tries its best to unload handicap people quickly and efficiently because it helps with guest carry counts. The number one reason why Space Mountain at WDW breaks down is guest are too slow getting off. Like previously posted, Cast Members cannot physically touch guest for assistance, so if a guest takes too long themselves to get on or off, it's not Disney's fault that they may be in over the head with the ride.

February 14, 2011 at 9:45 AM · I cannot emphasize that if enough how often a breakdown or ride stops (five mins or less) are caused be slow guest or guest with disabilities. I'm not blaming them, but Disney is willing enough to slow down or stop a ride for everyone else for s handicap guest. The idea of Disney discriminating is absurd.
February 15, 2011 at 12:52 PM · I have been on these rides and have been stopped. Many times you can see that it is because they have to stop to load people with disabilities. When my husband was in a wheelchair after breaking his foot I was how long it takes to load and unload. Some rides he was still in his wheelchair and others they asked if he could transfer to the ride (he also had his crutches with). We have been on rides that kept starting and stopping because of loading many disabled guests. With a disability you are already getting let into the ride at a much faster rate than waiting in line. It was possible that the man was many boats from the area that you can disembark a person in a wheel chair. If the ride quits and has to be moved manually it is not a quick process (think of the difference in driving your car and pushing your car) Small things like getting to go another ride and get in line first would be fine, or free food. We have had more problems with nasty guests than park problems. My husband is now on disability after having one knee replacement and has to wait until he has insurance again to get the other one done. (you have to wait 2 years after you are on disability before you get medicare) Recently at Epcot he was pushed done by a father with children who pushed him and said they should not allow slow people in the park, he was walking at the edge of the walk not in the middle holding up anyone. There are way more rude people in the parks these days thinking they are the only ones that should be entitled.

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