Last month, a 30-year-old woman visiting Universal’s Volcano Bay water park lost consciousness at a water ride, one of 18 injuries self-reported to the state by Orlando’s major theme parks this spring.
The most recent report covers April through June. In it, Disney World listed 13 injuries at its four theme parks while Universal reported five between its two theme parks and water park.
SeaWorld, Legoland and Busch Gardens in Tampa did not report any injuries.
At Disney, two guests had seizures after riding attractions at the Hollywood Studios theme park in April: a 23-year-old man who had been riding Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, a flight simulator set in the Star Wars universe, and a 47-year-old woman who was riding Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, a trackless dark ride.
Three visitors were hurt after going on the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In April, a 57-year-old woman had issues breathing and her face felt numb after she took the tour through a recreated African savannah. On June 24, a 70-year-old woman “felt dizzy and weak” after riding, and three days later a 44-year-old man passed out following his tour.
Other injuries reported at Disney include “a cardiac event” on Living with the Land, motion sickness and loss of consciousness on Avatar: Flight of Passage, chest pain on Jungle Cruise, “stroke-like symptoms” on Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid, “faintness” on Star Tours — The Adventures Continue, and abdominal and back pain on Pirates of the Caribbean.
At Universal, a 78-year-old woman hurt her elbow at another Volcano Bay attraction, the Runamukka Reef play area, in May.
In Universal’s theme parks, a 25-year-old woman hurt her knee on The Simpsons Ride, a roller coaster simulator at Universal Studios, on May 4. The previous month, a 37-year-old woman had a seizure on the Storm Force Accelatron spinning ride at Islands of Adventure. A 33-year-old woman experienced “head pain” while on the Caro-Seuss-El carousel at the same park in June.
In the June Volcano Bay incident, it is unclear if the woman was swimming in TeAwa The Fearless River, a fast-moving river, when she lost consciousness or if she passed out after riding. Volcano Bay requires all guests to wear a life jacket on the attraction.
But the injury caused the woman with a pre-existing condition to be hospitalized on June 16. Further details were not included, and they are not required to be revealed.
Under an agreement with the Florida Department of Agriculture, which oversees ride regulations statewide, Florida’s major theme parks file quarterly reports about guest injuries on rides that require at least 24 hours of hospitalization. Injury descriptions can often be vague or inaccurate, and ride safety advocates are pushing for greater transparency about what happened.
The agriculture department said it does not have the power to alter its agreement with the theme parks without a change in state law. It promised a review of the system nearly two years ago in the aftermath of an Orlando Sentinel investigation into accidents on major theme park rides, but there have been no changes.
State Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, said she has volunteered to sponsor bills requiring stricter reporting, but she is waiting on the agriculture department’s assistance.
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