Theme Park Accidents

Overview

Amusement park ride safety is currently facing more scrutiny as the number of injuries as increased. The federal government does not regulate theme parks as each state has its own rules. In Florida, larger theme parks such as Universal Orlando, Disney World and SeaWorld do not undergo state inspections. However, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions has lobbied against increased federal oversight.

Amusement park accidents are supposed to be reported to regulatory authorities. In Florida, every three months theme parks report injuries, illnesses, and deaths to the Florida Department of Agriculture as part of an of an understanding with the state. Most of the reported accidents are a result of one of the following:

  • Negligence on the part of the park either by ride safety inspections or ride operators.
  • Negligence on behalf of the guest such as intentional or unintentional violation of the park’s safety policies.
  • Diagnosed or not diagnosed, pre-existing medical conditions such as heart illness, high blood pressure or recent back injuries.
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Florida’s Statistics

As previously mentioned, Florida’s theme parks report accidents to the Florida Department of Agriculture. Since 2006, there have been more than 400 reports, mostly by illness or injury. Universal Studio’s Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride has had the most reported accidents. Since the ride’s opening in 2010, there have been 29 reports of illness or injury with about a third of those being motion sickness.

Florida Theme Parks: Examples of Reported Accidents

Injury/Illness

  • 8/6/16, Magic Kingdom: a 53-year-old female suffers a seizure on the Under the Sea ride.
  • 6/21/16, Hollywood Studios: a 26-year-old male reports back and leg pain as well as lightheadedness on the Rock n’ Roller Coaster. He would later undergo heart surgery.
  • 6/14/16, Typhoon Lagoon: a 65-year-old female injures her knee in the wave pool.
  • 5/03/16, SeaWorld: a 54-year-old male undergoes chest pain and shortness of breath while riding Manta rollercoaster.
  • 10/03/15, Typhoon Lagoon: a 27-year-old female suffers a laceration while riding the Humunga Kowabunga ride.

Death

  • 7/07/15, Magic Kingdom: a 55-year-old female with pre-existing conditions lost consciousness while exiting the Space Mountain ride. She would later pass away.
  • 8/26/12, Typhoon Lagoon: a 54-year-old male collapsed into the water at the wave pool and subsequently passed away from a heart attack.
  • 12/8/07, Animal Kingdom: a 44-year-old male with a history of heart problems was found unconscious at the unload of the Expedition Everest ride and subsequently passed away.

Out of State Residents

If you are one of the numerous out of state residents that visit Florida’s theme parks and have suffered an injury due to the parks negligence, it is necessary that you contact an attorney within the state of Florida. Since your claim would be made in the state of Florida, it is necessary that your attorney is licensed within the state of Florida.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an amusement park accident within the state of Florida, contact experienced attorney Frank Eidson, P.A. at 407-245-2887 (toll-free: 888-245-2855) for a free case review. You may also email Frank personally at frank@frankeidson.com or visit his office at 327 N. Orange Ave, Orlando, FL, 32801.