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  • [Idea] Improving mental health accessibility--"content notices" for attractions

    (Before I begin, I recognize that this topic has the potential to turn too political for the main forum, and if PhotoMatt wants to move it to the Debate Lounge preemptively, I will not be alarmed, and I hope we can continue the conversation there, because I’m interested in seeing what people think.)

    So we’re all familiar with the signs posted at the entrance to a handful of attractions warning of potential physical danger to people with certain medical conditions, yes? I’ve been thinking it might be a good idea for Disney to make similar information available regarding mental health conditions such as phobias and PTSD. No one wants their vacation to be soured by a sudden trigger that they weren’t prepared for, and having this information available would improve accessibility by enabling guests with certain mental health conditions to manage their triggers in an environment full of unpredictable stimuli.

    I envision this as a feature added to the Disneyland app, in order to avoid the necessity of more large physical signage. Ideally, for each attraction, guests would be able to pull up a list of common phobia and PTSD triggers that are present, which they could then click individually for more details so that they can determine whether they wish to take their chances. The Haunted Mansion is a perfect example. The name alone tells people that there will be scary scenes, probably referencing death, but triggers can be highly specific. Someone who is very negatively affected by references to suicide or decapitation imagery would have more to be concerned about than someone who has a phobia of vampires or witches. But the former person might still be able to handle the ride if they know when and where not to look.

    If I were in charge, this feature would also include an ask box that someone can use during the trip planning stage, so that if they have a less common trigger, they can get advice from someone who knows the park backwards and forwards. PTSD triggers in particular can be not only highly specific but apparently random, things that you would never think of without firsthand experience. It could be very helpful for someone to be able to ask things like “Is there anywhere in Disneyland with a strong peppermint smell?” or “The characters won’t hug you from behind without warning, will they?” in an anonymous, non-judgmental context.

    So that’s my basic “pitch,” I guess. I’m interested in what people here think. Would a system like this be feasible? Would it be worth the effort involved? Would it help square the circle of serving guests with certain sensitivities without flattening the experience for everyone else?
    Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

  • #2
    I think this could and should be done as more and more as we have the data we are seeing that mental issues are as common if not more so and can be as much barrier as physical issues. As a society we should have empathy for those that are having an internal struggle or phobias and triggers that can be severe. Adding some basic icons on entry signage and information in the app ( which can be turned off fo those not effected ) or park maps should not be a bridge too far nor would it effect the experience for any guest as those not looking for it would not even notice.
    Disneyland Fan since the 70's

    Comment


    • #3
      I personally like this idea. I think a trigger list on the app or website would be a great place to start when you click on each attraction and that would be considered the bare minimum. I think anything beyond that might be seen as a tad excessive to the company and some guests, but if those options were available, I think it would be seen more as a positive rather than a negative.

      I also think if Disney staggers out their entertainment choices, triggers like "fireworks" or "cannon fire" which are reminiscent of gunfire for certain slots of the day would be cool.

      All in all, I think Disney could integrate this into their app experience with no issue, and market it with a simple QR code at the entrance for the attractions that are considered a little "intense." I'd like to believe people know what to look out for when it comes to these sorts of things (i.e. reading film ratings before watching).

      Comment


      • #4
        This is an A+++ idea. It solves a lot of potential problems and controversies. I don't see any downside!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Karalora View Post
          (Before I begin, I recognize that this topic has the potential to turn too political for the main forum, and if PhotoMatt wants to move it to the Debate Lounge preemptively, I will not be alarmed, and I hope we can continue the conversation there, because I’m interested in seeing what people think.)

          So we’re all familiar with the signs posted at the entrance to a handful of attractions warning of potential physical danger to people with certain medical conditions, yes? I’ve been thinking it might be a good idea for Disney to make similar information available regarding mental health conditions such as phobias and PTSD. No one wants their vacation to be soured by a sudden trigger that they weren’t prepared for, and having this information available would improve accessibility by enabling guests with certain mental health conditions to manage their triggers in an environment full of unpredictable stimuli.

          I envision this as a feature added to the Disneyland app, in order to avoid the necessity of more large physical signage. Ideally, for each attraction, guests would be able to pull up a list of common phobia and PTSD triggers that are present, which they could then click individually for more details so that they can determine whether they wish to take their chances. The Haunted Mansion is a perfect example. The name alone tells people that there will be scary scenes, probably referencing death, but triggers can be highly specific. Someone who is very negatively affected by references to suicide or decapitation imagery would have more to be concerned about than someone who has a phobia of vampires or witches. But the former person might still be able to handle the ride if they know when and where not to look.

          If I were in charge, this feature would also include an ask box that someone can use during the trip planning stage, so that if they have a less common trigger, they can get advice from someone who knows the park backwards and forwards. PTSD triggers in particular can be not only highly specific but apparently random, things that you would never think of without firsthand experience. It could be very helpful for someone to be able to ask things like “Is there anywhere in Disneyland with a strong peppermint smell?” or “The characters won’t hug you from behind without warning, will they?” in an anonymous, non-judgmental context.

          So that’s my basic “pitch,” I guess. I’m interested in what people here think. Would a system like this be feasible? Would it be worth the effort involved? Would it help square the circle of serving guests with certain sensitivities without flattening the experience for everyone else?
          This idea is a good one but from a corporate and business standpoint it would be difficult. Disney is already required to warn guests with physical conditions with warnings. Corporations and theme parks are not in the psychology business. Corporations are not experts on PTDS and phobias. They cannot predict how one guest will react to one attraction.
          I think they can list: high level of noise, rocky motion, darkness etc. But a corporation cannot cover and address every possible trigger that could affect guests mentally and psychologically.

          Disney already warns guests and has an extensive program for disabilities. Unless it is mandated by state and federal law, Disney is not obligated to do it.
          How can Disney predict something that can be apparently random that might trigger a reaction? A train bell can do it. Booming fireworks definitely.
          I think Disneyland Guest Relations could handle any question but Disneyland is not going to list of potential phobias and conditions associated with each attraction.

          Theme parks are stimulating. It is up to each guest to decide what to experience or not. The duty is on the guest. Good idea but not practical from business and legal viewpoints.

          Comment


          • #6
            JoeCool, hadn't considered the legal ramifications ; it may be why this great idea hasn't already been done...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Starcade View Post
              I think this could and should be done as more and more as we have the data we are seeing that mental issues are as common if not more so and can be as much barrier as physical issues. As a society we should have empathy for those that are having an internal struggle or phobias and triggers that can be severe. Adding some basic icons on entry signage and information in the app ( which can be turned off fo those not effected ) or park maps should not be a bridge too far nor would it effect the experience for any guest as those not looking for it would not even notice.
              This.

              And kudos to Karalora for starting this thread!
              "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
              it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
              together with every variety of recreation and fun,
              designed to appeal to everyone."

              - Walt Disney

              "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
              - Michael Eisner

              "It's very symbiotic."
              - Bob Chapek

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JoeCool View Post

                This idea is a good one but from a corporate and business standpoint it would be difficult. Disney is already required to warn guests with physical conditions with warnings. Corporations and theme parks are not in the psychology business. Corporations are not experts on PTDS and phobias. They cannot predict how one guest will react to one attraction.
                I think they can list: high level of noise, rocky motion, darkness etc. But a corporation cannot cover and address every possible trigger that could affect guests mentally and psychologically.

                Disney already warns guests and has an extensive program for disabilities. Unless it is mandated by state and federal law, Disney is not obligated to do it.
                How can Disney predict something that can be apparently random that might trigger a reaction? A train bell can do it. Booming fireworks definitely.
                I think Disneyland Guest Relations could handle any question but Disneyland is not going to list of potential phobias and conditions associated with each attraction.

                Theme parks are stimulating. It is up to each guest to decide what to experience or not. The duty is on the guest. Good idea but not practical from business and legal viewpoints.
                This is why I suggested that they list common triggers up-front, and have a help box available on the website so people whose situation is not covered by that list can get advice. I know Guest Relations already exists, but I don't know how familiar those employees are with the content details of every attraction. Precisely because triggers can be so wide-ranging, people need a source for detailed info so they can make informed decisions. In many cases, simply knowing that a trigger is present so you are mentally prepared for it is enough to keep it from being a problem.

                Think of Disneyland like a restaurant with a varied menu, including some dishes that contain common allergens. You would expect the restaurant to be up-front about those. But anything could potentially trigger allergies in someone...should people with less common allergies just have to avoid the restaurant altogether (and maybe all restaurants), or should they be able to ask someone if any dishes contain the ingredients that harm them?
                Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I just looked through an old Disneyland map to confirm it, and it turns out "Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy" has a warning next to it for "frightening imagery". So there is some precedent to your idea, albeit less specific. I think it's a good idea; I wouldn't want a sign in front of every attraction, but putting it on the app or even a park map seems subtle enough. I just hope the descriptions wouldn't deter people who actually could handle it from experiencing the attractions.
                  Brian the Pooh

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I dunno, every attraction is available as a "ride through" on youtube now. If you know enough that you can look for your "triggers" on signage or whatever, you should be responsible enough to check readily accessible videos and ride descriptions.
                    "Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money." - ​Walt Disney

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by greenalfonzo View Post
                      I dunno, every attraction is available as a "ride through" on youtube now. If you know enough that you can look for your "triggers" on signage or whatever, you should be responsible enough to check readily accessible videos and ride descriptions.
                      Nobody's going to watch every video of every attraction before a trip though. Enjoying a Disney attraction shouldn't require you to have to spoil the experience in advance.
                      Last edited by Brian PieGuy; 05-19-2021, 10:38 AM.
                      Brian the Pooh

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Brian PieGuy View Post
                        I just looked through an old Disneyland map to confirm it, and it turns out "Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy" has a warning next to it for "frightening imagery". So there is some precedent to your idea, albeit less specific. I think it's a good idea; I wouldn't want a sign in front of every attraction, but putting it on the app or even a park map seems subtle enough. I just hope the descriptions wouldn't deter people who actually could handle it from experiencing the attractions.
                        Frightening imagery is a good warning. Disney can give general warnings like this but it would never state any psychological aliment, disease or phobia or condition linked to any attarction. LEGALLY they do not want liability. SO someone rides Haunted Mansion and says the attraction caused her condition to get worse or to be diagnosed with a condition. Legally doing this will open up Disney to liability and this type of idea will not happen unless required by law.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Brian PieGuy View Post
                          I just looked through an old Disneyland map to confirm it, and it turns out "Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy" has a warning next to it for "frightening imagery". So there is some precedent to your idea, albeit less specific. I think it's a good idea; I wouldn't want a sign in front of every attraction, but putting it on the app or even a park map seems subtle enough. I just hope the descriptions wouldn't deter people who actually could handle it from experiencing the attractions.
                          As a recovering PTSD patient (and I think many people in the same camp have learned this), I've learned that there's a trigger and then the escalation. Oftentimes when a trauma patient is able to identify or know that a trigger is incoming, they can apply rational thought and avoid escalation. When a trigger is unexpected, your mind and body escalate and separate you quickly and intensely from rational thinking, leading to an outburst or panic attack.

                          I don't think the park signs would deter people who can handle it, just better prepare them for it, hence why I tend to read about why a film is rated R, because they list what type of violence is being depicted, and what I can prepare myself for or possibly avoid upon watching the film. I think theme park rides could benefit from a general trigger list, especially when it comes to depictions of suicide or very loud sounds that are reminiscent of gunfire. I think people who attend therapy understand that specific triggers tend to exist on a larger web that represents a larger and more common traumatic experience (assault, war, suicide; etc).

                          Hence why I label anything beyond the general list of triggers as being slightly excessive. The bare minimum would benefit guests just fine.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Karalora View Post

                            This is why I suggested that they list common triggers up-front, and have a help box available on the website so people whose situation is not covered by that list can get advice. I know Guest Relations already exists, but I don't know how familiar those employees are with the content details of every attraction. Precisely because triggers can be so wide-ranging, people need a source for detailed info so they can make informed decisions. In many cases, simply knowing that a trigger is present so you are mentally prepared for it is enough to keep it from being a problem.

                            Think of Disneyland like a restaurant with a varied menu, including some dishes that contain common allergens. You would expect the restaurant to be up-front about those. But anything could potentially trigger allergies in someone...should people with less common allergies just have to avoid the restaurant altogether (and maybe all restaurants), or should they be able to ask someone if any dishes contain the ingredients that harm them?
                            I understand your points but legally Disneyland has no obligation to do this. Legally they have to identify potential allergens in food since they sell food to the public. Legally they are not going to identify psychological conditions that could be triggered by each attraction. If they did this, Disneyland would be open to liability. Dark images or frightening images, loud noise are general warnings which they can give.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoeCool View Post

                              I understand your points but legally Disneyland has no obligation to do this. Legally they have to identify potential allergens in food since they sell food to the public. Legally they are not going to identify psychological conditions that could be triggered by each attraction. If they did this, Disneyland would be open to liability. Dark images or frightening images, loud noise are general warnings which they can give.
                              I'd also add that what additional warnings would you add in addition to those that are already posted on the outside of rides?

                              For example, the warning for BTMRR states:
                              BTMRR is a high speed, roller coaster-type ride through a Gold Rush setting of the old Southwest that includes sharp turns and sudden drops and stops.... For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions aggravated by this adventure.

                              I would venture to say that Disney's legal team would advise Disney that "or other conditions" is their way of expressing that this ride can be triggering to people who may not like sudden motion/stops, loud noises, etc.
                              Last edited by lemuth0922; 05-19-2021, 10:53 AM. Reason: I can't spell today :D

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Some people probably do use ride-through videos to check for stuff that bothers them in a more controlled context than actually being on the ride, and more power to them I say. There are enough situations for which it wouldn't be an adequate precaution that I would still like to see something like my proposal. Video might not capture the trigger well enough (our senses have a way of picking out what we are sensitive to, for good or ill, whereas cameras can blur details) or it might capture it too well, such that even seeing the video is upsetting whereas a verbal description of when and where the trigger appears would have enabled the person to avoid the upset. Some attractions have trivial variations in their scripts, and the video might not have the one that is the person's specific trigger.


                                Originally posted by JoeCool View Post

                                I understand your points but legally Disneyland has no obligation to do this. Legally they have to identify potential allergens in food since they sell food to the public. Legally they are not going to identify psychological conditions that could be triggered by each attraction. If they did this, Disneyland would be open to liability. Dark images or frightening images, loud noise are general warnings which they can give.
                                I know they have no legal obligation. I'm saying it would be a nice courtesy. I don't understand why listing common triggers on their app would open them up to liability; can you explain? I'm not suggesting that they single out the conditions that can cause people to suffer from triggers any more than restaurants put "HEY ALLERGIC PEOPLE! THERE'S ALLERGY STUFF IN THIS SOUP!" on their menus.
                                Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Karalora View Post
                                  Some people probably do use ride-through videos to check for stuff that bothers them in a more controlled context than actually being on the ride, and more power to them I say. There are enough situations for which it wouldn't be an adequate precaution that I would still like to see something like my proposal. Video might not capture the trigger well enough (our senses have a way of picking out what we are sensitive to, for good or ill, whereas cameras can blur details) or it might capture it too well, such that even seeing the video is upsetting whereas a verbal description of when and where the trigger appears would have enabled the person to avoid the upset. Some attractions have trivial variations in their scripts, and the video might not have the one that is the person's specific trigger.




                                  I know they have no legal obligation. I'm saying it would be a nice courtesy. I don't understand why listing common triggers on their app would open them up to liability; can you explain? I'm not suggesting that they single out the conditions that can cause people to suffer from triggers any more than restaurants put "HEY ALLERGIC PEOPLE! THERE'S ALLERGY STUFF IN THIS SOUP!" on their menus.
                                  Common triggers of a psychological condition that can be worsened or caused by the attraction - legally that says riding this can cause or trigger the condition. Whether it is diagnosed or undiagnosed. The legal liability would be huge. Disney cannot give anything but general and generic warnings about its attractions if it did more than that legal liability and the potential for lawsuits would materialize. Unfortunately, Disney is a corporation that has one duty which to increase shareholder value within a legal, business and ethical rules.
                                  Disney has to obey the applicable laws. There is no law requiring this. It is a nice courtesy but it would open up Disney to legal action and legal liability. They can say darkness, intense sound. Disney is not in the business of listing psychological triggers in people. Movies have ratings but the onus is on the audience to find out why something was R. It also is a slippery slope because not every attraction will cause the same or any psychological trigger in one person vs another. Unfortunately, there is an assumption of the risk when experiencing an attraction with in a theme park even when warnings are clearly stated.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by lemuth0922 View Post

                                    I'd also add that what additional warnings would you add in addition to those that are already posted on the outside of rides?

                                    For example, the warning for BTMRR states:
                                    BTMRR is a high speed, roller coaster-type ride through a Gold Rush setting of the old Southwest that includes sharp turns and sudden drops and stops.... For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions aggravated by this adventure.

                                    I would venture to say that Disney's legal team would advise Disney that "or other conditions" is their way of expressing that this ride can be triggering to people who may not like sudden motion/stops, loud noises, etc.
                                    Exactly "other conditions" is a general and generic warning which will not open up Disney to legal liability.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Karalora View Post
                                      Some people probably do use ride-through videos to check for stuff that bothers them in a more controlled context than actually being on the ride, and more power to them I say. There are enough situations for which it wouldn't be an adequate precaution that I would still like to see something like my proposal. Video might not capture the trigger well enough (our senses have a way of picking out what we are sensitive to, for good or ill, whereas cameras can blur details) or it might capture it too well, such that even seeing the video is upsetting whereas a verbal description of when and where the trigger appears would have enabled the person to avoid the upset. Some attractions have trivial variations in their scripts, and the video might not have the one that is the person's specific trigger.




                                      I know they have no legal obligation. I'm saying it would be a nice courtesy. I don't understand why listing common triggers on their app would open them up to liability; can you explain? I'm not suggesting that they single out the conditions that can cause people to suffer from triggers any more than restaurants put "HEY ALLERGIC PEOPLE! THERE'S ALLERGY STUFF IN THIS SOUP!" on their menus.
                                      The use of generic or general warnings is to encompass any number of conditions that might fall under said catergorization without explicitly limiting any others or opening them up to lawsuit from a certain group.

                                      For example if they only stated people with condition X should no ride the ride, but that condition is related to the heart, without the warning that anyone with a heart condition should also reconsider (arrythmia, aneurysm, high blood pressure, a genetic condition etc.) leaves Disney open to lawsuit from anyone with one of the unlisted conditions.

                                      Putting in more specific warnings could turn into a legal loophole for people. Someone with PTSD may not be triggered by the sudden drops, but on the other hand it could be a trigger for someone who was in a plane crash. By using the generic warnings, they're covering all bases from a legal standpoint. These generic warnings are also no different than your example above (bolded).

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by JoeCool View Post

                                        Common triggers of a psychological condition that can be worsened or caused by the attraction - legally that says riding this can cause or trigger the condition. Whether it is diagnosed or undiagnosed. The legal liability would be huge. Disney cannot give anything but general and generic warnings about its attractions if it did more than that legal liability and the potential for lawsuits would materialize. Unfortunately, Disney is a corporation that has one duty which to increase shareholder value within a legal, business and ethical rules.
                                        Disney has to obey the applicable laws. There is no law requiring this. It is a nice courtesy but it would open up Disney to legal action and legal liability. They can say darkness, intense sound. Disney is not in the business of listing psychological triggers in people. Movies have ratings but the onus is on the audience to find out why something was R. It also is a slippery slope because not every attraction will cause the same or any psychological trigger in one person vs another. Unfortunately, there is an assumption of the risk when experiencing an attraction with in a theme park even when warnings are clearly stated.
                                        The essence of the OP's concept is that Disney would be doing something as a courtesy to its customers, not as a matter of legal necessity. The notion that psychological/emotional well being is separate from physical well being is woefully outdated. If it were handled judiciously (granted, a big "if"), it would not expose Disney to any more liability than anything else in its Parks business. Indeed, Disney could profit by becoming a leader in this area.
                                        "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                                        it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                                        together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                                        designed to appeal to everyone."

                                        - Walt Disney

                                        "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                                        - Michael Eisner

                                        "It's very symbiotic."
                                        - Bob Chapek

                                        Comment

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