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Just a gut feeling -- Disney toned down ride by '05 - Orlando Sentinel, 6/4/06


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  • Just a gut feeling -- Disney toned down ride by '05 - Orlando Sentinel, 6/4/06

    I frantically looked around the cabin for a button to push to halt the ride, and found none . . . I was faint, breathless and have never felt sicker in my life. I honestly have never felt as close to death as I did when I was on M:S.

    This woman, writing about Disney's Mission: Space on a blog site, experienced a classic case of "fight or flight." Her adrenaline was flowing and heart banging. But pinned down in a small, dark cabin, she could not obey her body's demand to act. There was no way to release the stress.

    Although a rare event, this is where weak blood vessels or hearts can fail. That has happened twice at Mission: Space in the past year. A 4-year-old boy died of heart failure and a 49-year-old woman died from a stroke.

    Hence these green tickets my 7-year-old girl and I are holding. They are for admission to a wimped-out version of Mission: Space. Disney has turned off one of the centrifuges in the ride, so the capsules attached to it do not spin. It's part of Disney's ongoing effort to make its $100 million super-ride user-friendly and keep it out of the news.

    In 1999, I made this ironic observation while writing about Islands of Adventure: "Disney doesn't want people barfing on its rides and dying of heart attacks. Universal doesn't care."

    And so I was stunned after boarding Mission: Space when it opened in 2003. It turned my stomach more topsy-turvy than anything at Universal. I wasn't alone.

    So many people got sick that Disney had to put in distress bags. Ten people reported serious illness or injury and 130 others sought medical attention. In a word, Disney seriously screwed up. It miscalculated the intensity of a ride that was years in the planning. That kind of oversight for such a meticulous company is amazing.

    I can't prove it and Disney won't admit it, but I think the company toned down the ride by 2005. This literally is a gut feeling, backed up by data showing far fewer hospital visits by guests.
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  • #2
    Re: Just a gut feeling -- Disney toned down ride by '05 - Orlando Sentinel, 6/4/06

    Can any of our Floridian MiceChatters confirm or deny this? Since it opened, has the centrifuge version of the ride been toned down, or did this writer just have a better day?


    • #3
      Re: Just a gut feeling -- Disney toned down ride by '05 - Orlando Sentinel, 6/4/06

      If I remember correctly, the only time MS has been toned down was after the previews. I could be wrong though. And I'd like to hear a medical statistic that doesn't include the previews/soft openings. I bet the number of "illnesses" would fall greatly.
      “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney


      • #4
        Re: Just a gut feeling -- Disney toned down ride by '05 - Orlando Sentinel, 6/4/06

        M:S has never been toned down, and I hear this from people I trust beyond beliefe.
        ...a vaguely celtic music fills the air...


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