Friday, April 14, 2006




From the Associated Press : A second person in less than a year died Wednesday after going on a ride at Walt Disney World so intense that it has motion sickness bags.

The 49-year-old woman became ill after riding 'Mission: Space' on Tuesday. She was taken to a hospital, where she died...

'Mission : Space' is one of the most popular rides at Disney World. Severe chest pains have sent other riders to hospital. You get in, it spins you in a centrifuge at twice the normal force of gravity.

Here's one description of the experience : The ride simulates a rocket launch and a trip to Mars. A clock counts down before blastoff, which includes smoke and flame and the sound of roaring rocket engines. The G-forces twist and distort riders' faces.

Posters on one comment board I saw while looking around the subject of Theme Park Deaths raved about how fantastic it was to go on rides where the Gs were so strong you blacked out for a few seconds. "I couldn't wait to go on it again!" was a common response.

There's a couple of websites devoted to tracking amusement and theme park deaths and accidents from around the world. There have been hundreds of deaths and severe injuries in the past few years.

Brain injuries, severed fingers, fleshed stripped from shin bones when people have had their legs dragged under carriages, massive collisions between cars on rollercoasters that have sent dozens of people to hospital, people thrown from rides and killed on impact with the ground or steel support girders, children's hearts literally exploding under severe stress, swing rides snapping free and flinging riders sixty or seventy feet across carnivals...

Maybe that's what helps to make the rides so exciting. You are literally defying death.

This is one of the more comprehensive sites that tracks amusement park deaths and injuries, and Disney theme parks get plenty of listings :

Verified Injury Accidents At Theme and Amusement Parks.

Disney usually stretches the court cases out for a few years and then settles, quietly, on the condition that no further information be released.

Apparently a rollercoaster that 'kills' someone has been 'blooded', according to a couple of the sites devoted to coaster maniacs, and this makes them all the more desirable to ride.

There are coaster freaks from all over the world who holiday together every year and go and ride the latest and greatest coasters, and then review them, scathingly, in online forums.

Ride On.

Go here for some haunting images (and link-thrus) from an abandoned Japanese theme park.

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