Theme Park Insider Member Daniel Etcheberry, 1972-2015

January 22, 2015, 10:43 AM · It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Daniel Etcheberry, who covered disability issues for us here on Theme Park Insider. Daniel, a resident of Tampa, was 42 years old.

Daniel EtcheberryDaniel had been a member of the Theme Park Insider community since 2010 and in 2013 started writing a monthly column covering theme parks from the perspective of a fan who used a wheelchair.

He was particularly honored when the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation chose to share his column, How using a wheelchair changes the theme park experience, to its thousands of followers in Facebook. In that post, Daniel wrote: "My theme park life can be divided in two parts; my able body experience and my disabled experience. 1999 was the year that changed the way I would experience the same rides that I rode before. Ending up in a wheelchair with no ability of standing up on my own and with upper torso weakness, it changed my ride’s experience."

What disability never changed, however, was Daniel's love for theme parks and visiting them. His columns provided advice and inspiration for many Theme Park Insider readers who did not want to let a physical disability get in the way of their enjoyment of the parks, either.

I've reached out to Daniel's family for information about services. In the meantime, I hope that you will enjoy these links to some of Daniel's best columns, as well as to take this opportunity to remember Daniel and to express your condolences to his family, in the comments.

Some of Daniel's top columns:

Replies (54)

January 22, 2015 at 10:49 AM · So sorry for your loss.
January 22, 2015 at 11:20 AM · Oh No, Daniel was a great guy. So sorry. He will be missed....

I looked up his Obit and it only says he died. No real info...

Thanks Robert for this nice write up.

January 22, 2015 at 10:58 AM · Oh, no. A huge loss to his family and a loss to TPI.
January 22, 2015 at 12:08 PM · My condolences to his family and friends. He shared a different perspective of theme parks, and his obvious love for them was always a pleasure to read.
January 22, 2015 at 12:12 PM · Sorry for your loss. =(
January 22, 2015 at 12:14 PM · I am so sorry to hear this. I enjoyed his columns and they really made me think about what it must be like to be wheelchair bound in the parks and left me feeling ashamed of the times I grumbled to myself about being caught up behind one. It put me in his shoes and he will be missed here.
January 22, 2015 at 12:18 PM · My heart goes out to his family, and I pray for peace and comfort for them. Daniel will be greatly missed by his TPI family.
January 22, 2015 at 12:30 PM · Rest in peace Daniel.
January 22, 2015 at 12:44 PM · Sorry to read this. The columns were a valued part of TPI. Condolences to his family and friends.
January 22, 2015 at 1:04 PM · It's sad to hear about Daniel's passing. His comments and articles were always thoughtful, and I enjoyed the dignified manner in which he laid out the challenges faced by the physically disabled attendees of theme parks. My condolences to his family and friends.
January 22, 2015 at 1:26 PM · So sorry to hear about Daniel's death. I send warm thoughts to his family and friends. I always enjoyed his columns and his unique perspective on the theme parks he loved. He'll be missed.
January 22, 2015 at 1:45 PM · I find myself tearing up. I never met Daniel but I feel like I lost a friend. He was a great writer, a great contributor to TPI, and we have all lost a part of our Theme Park Insider family. Rest in peace, my friend.
January 22, 2015 at 2:49 PM · Daniel made me rethink the way I see amusement parks and the people that visit them. His words had a way to convey the positivity he found when he visited the theme parks and was an inspiration to me personally when I read his columns....he demonstrated a strength I am not sure I would have. I will miss his face, his columns, and his amazing positive spirit that allowed him to make no excuses but instead to enjoy life as it came to him. With a heavy heart, I wish his family peace in this time of sorrow and that Daniel finds the peace he deserves after making my days a little brighter for these last few years. are already missed more than you could ever know. Rest now, my brother...and thank-you for the joy you brought to this world.
January 22, 2015 at 3:34 PM · Wow, this is very sudden and very heartbreaking. I didn't know Daniel as well as others here, but he definitely was a nice guy and was thoughtful to everyone here on TPI. Rest in peace, Mr. Etcheberry, and thank you for your contributions to this site and this world.
January 22, 2015 at 4:27 PM · My condolences to Daniel's family, friends and associates at TPI. I always took the time to read Daniel's articles, finding his perspectives on issues in regards to visiting Theme Parks, that I would normally never have considered, so interesting and thoughtful. Always interesting to read. So sorry for the loss.
Rest in Peace, Daniel.
January 22, 2015 at 5:05 PM · Rest in peace, Daniel. We'll miss your unique perspective and enthusiasm for theme parks.
January 22, 2015 at 5:06 PM · I feel really bummed out too (and I never have met him!)

Daniel's columns about going to theme parks really was a shining jewel of TPI. Sure, there are thousands of other websites that deal with Disney, or Universal, or theme parks, but none that had in depth coverage of how the disabled can enjoy (or not enjoy) theme parks.

January 23, 2015 at 4:21 AM · I, like many others, am deeply saddened by this sudden, and extremely sad news. Daniel was an inspiration to many as he still lived life to its fullest despite his disability. His articles were timely and informative, and his comments were always appropriate and spot on. My heart and my prayers go out to his immediate family, and I join his TPI family in saying, "Farewell, brother, you will be missed."
January 22, 2015 at 5:58 PM · On September 17, 2012, under one of the "Fix This Park" posts, Daniel Etcheberry wrote: "TH, what about a Jungle Cruise with happy hour?"


If Daniel were to read the posts offered up here, I imagine he'd be thankful for the kind words about him and the well wishes that the TPI regulars have extended toward his family.

Theme Park Insider is truly a remarkable community.

January 22, 2015 at 6:45 PM · My prayers & thoughts go out to Daniel's family. Daniel was a wonderful writer, & he always brought informative & helpful information for all of us. The TPI family was stronger because he was here & we will miss him.
January 22, 2015 at 6:46 PM · Oh no! I met and knew Daniel. He was a wonderfully insightful person who loved Disney and other theme parks. Unlike many of those with a disability, he wrote with integrity and honesty.
January 22, 2015 at 6:49 PM · Really enjoyed his columns offering me a different perspective of the theme park experience, he will be missed.
January 22, 2015 at 7:32 PM · Daniel, you will be missed. You were the top person on my list of TPI'ers that I hadn't met but really wanted to. You were set apart from the rest of humanity not because of your disability, but because of your enthusiasm and positive attitude. If more people were like you, the world would be a vastly different place. I can only imagine that tonight you are enjoying full use of your body again and relearning the joys of stretching your legs and running. I hope that when I finally shuffle off this mortal coil that I will finally get my wish of meeting you and reading all of your new articles about the best place to find a fried slice in Heaven. And if there happens to be anything resembling a theme park up in the clouds, I know that you will have figured out the best way to tackle it.

Until then, sleep well, my friend.

January 22, 2015 at 8:03 PM · What a sad news. This is my first time doing Universal in a wheelchair and I read his articles to prepare me mentily for this step. I'm going to miss his articles.
January 23, 2015 at 5:10 AM · God rest his soul.
January 22, 2015 at 9:20 PM · This is sad news. While I never met Daniel, I did enjoy reading his articles as they gave a perspective on theme parks that was rare to encounter elsewhere. Rest in peace, Daniel, and I wish the best for your family in dealing with the loss.
January 22, 2015 at 10:30 PM · A piece of TPI is lost without him. He was much more than a disabled theme park writer but a true imagineer trying to give all of us a perspective few have. I applaud what he has done and wish that he could write some more. Daniel was taken too soon and will be missed. My prayers go out to his family and friends.
January 22, 2015 at 10:49 PM · Very sad news. God bless you Daniel. Taken way too soon
January 22, 2015 at 11:40 PM · Terribly tragic news. I never met nor knew Daniel in person, but I've always felt like I have just like with any other member here. I personally don't know anyone disabled, but it was always interesting to hear from someone who was and see that we weren't that different when it came to park going. My thoughts and condolences are with the Etcheberrys during this hard time.
January 23, 2015 at 1:56 AM · Not many people get to be an advocate for others in their own lifetime, especially those who are disabled. That speaks very highly of him and the community will miss his input for sure.
January 23, 2015 at 1:59 AM · Incredibly sad news. My thoughts are with Daniel's family. I always made a point to read his columns, he brought a different view to the theme park experience which clearly many of us appreciated. Rest well Daniel.
January 23, 2015 at 5:06 AM · Tragic news. My thoughts are with his family.
January 23, 2015 at 6:16 AM · Very sad news. My condolences to his family. His posts were always a pleasure to read.
January 23, 2015 at 6:25 AM · Wow....what sad news. I enjoyed his articles very much. My thoughts go out to his family and the TPI community.
January 23, 2015 at 6:28 AM · Being a themepark lover and working with people who have disabilities, I have read Daniel's column with great interest over the years. His insights and style will be missed.
January 23, 2015 at 6:34 AM · I'm sorry to hear of his loss. His unique viewpoint was a pleasure to read, and will surely be missed.
January 23, 2015 at 7:49 AM · Sad to hear the news. I enjoyed reading his articles and seeing the parks through his eyes.
January 23, 2015 at 8:24 AM · Deepest Condolences.
January 23, 2015 at 8:42 AM · Listening to Elton John's song "DANIEL" right now in his memory. RIP.
January 23, 2015 at 9:07 AM · It was such a pleasure to read Daniel's perspectives here on TPI and I'm very sad to hear of his passing.
January 23, 2015 at 9:12 AM · We are all moved\touched\saddened by this news of his passing. This shows how much of an impression he has felt on the world. Not a bad thing Daniel – a man of great courage. I am sure he had a lot of bad days and struggles but he did not let his illness stop him from living…

We should all live like him…

January 23, 2015 at 9:24 AM · I am so sorry to hear this. My condolences to his family and friends.
January 23, 2015 at 10:01 AM · Godspeed Daniel
January 23, 2015 at 11:34 AM · Oh my!! My jaw dropped when I read this, and have been contemplating what to write ever since. I'm less than 3 years younger than Daniel was, so it makes you think about your own mortality.

Daniel had incredible insight into the theme park industry, and had a unique and interesting perspective. It was always enjoyable to read his articles, and I hope he knew how much his writing was appreciated. My deepest condolences to his family and friends, and may he be remembered for his wit, perspective, and insight.

January 23, 2015 at 11:35 AM · I am saddened by this. My prayers go out to his loved ones. Daniel was an excellent writer and was always a gentleman with his comments. Having handicapped family members, his articles were what I used to reassure them that they too could still enjoy theme parks as they had in the past. He will be greatly missed.
January 23, 2015 at 11:35 AM · Oh no! While I never met Daniel, as soon as I saw Robert's title I instantly felt a sickening feeling. Not only was Daniel a great writer, but he used his position to bring a different perspective to situations we take for granted. Think of how many voices he was able to bring to those in similar situations. That's a good man.
My condolences to his family and friends.
Robert-- I hope you share a link of all these comments and well wishes to Daniel's family. I'm sure they'll love to see how people Daniel impacted.
January 23, 2015 at 12:01 PM · This is so sad! And so shocking. Daniel seemed to really have a handle on things and his articles, written from a unique and therefore fresh perspective, always made for interesting reading. His attitude was commendable and I'm sorry that I never had the opportunity to meet him. He will be very much missed. My condolences to his family and everyone who knew him.
January 23, 2015 at 12:04 PM · I offer my condolences as well. My wife has arthritis in her knees, and we now rent a wheelchair when we visit the theme parks. I always think of Daniel when we try to navigate the heavy crowds, and Daniel will now live on for me when we go back to Disney. His memory will live for those of us who took his articles to heart and try to be a better, more courteous, park visitor. Rest in Peace Daniel, you will not be forgotten!
January 23, 2015 at 1:08 PM · Can't believe it. His articles were so interesting and offered a different look on the world of theme parks... Rest in Peace Daniel.
January 23, 2015 at 3:46 PM · Daniel's sister informed me of the news this week, and she has been reading your comments and sharing them with the family. So, thank you to everyone who has replied. Your words have been heard, and appreciated.

Daniel's sister wrote: "Daniel enjoyed life to its fullest, setting an example for all of us who knew him - challenges exist to be overcome - he loved sharing with his writing his passion for movies, good food and of course theme parks.

"He was a child at heart and loved life even with all the physical challenges. I will share this outpouring of love for him with the rest of the family."

January 23, 2015 at 4:33 PM · So sad. An absolute gentleman, and such an important member of this community. Daniel's contributions, warmth and passion will be sorely, sorely missed.
January 23, 2015 at 5:31 PM · Deeply saddened by Daniel's passing. He gave me insight into the problems of the disabled doing things we all take for granted. My condolences to his family.
January 24, 2015 at 4:27 AM · Rereading to appreciate and learn from other comments
Thank you to the many posters for appreciation of Mr. Etcheberry's passion for life and his writing. Thank you for the quote from Mr. E. and well wishes. Thank you to Mr. Niles for sharing his thoughts and the family appreciation so eloquently.
January 28, 2015 at 7:54 PM · We'll miss your columns Daniel. They were a great insight for those of us who manage attractions and events into the world of the disabled and I believe that your comments will help us adapt our attractions for all to use.

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