Forty-nine guests to Central Florida theme parks in 2019 suffered injuries or illnesses that required at least a 24-hour hospital stay, according to a new state report.
Major theme parks in the region are required to report any such incidents to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) as part of an agreement to avoid state inspections.
The latest report, covering the period between October and December of last year, included nine injuries. Four of those were at Walt Disney World, including two incidents that occurred within days of each other at Star Tours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
On Oct. 5, a 39-year-old female guest felt dizzy and had trouble with her equilibrium. Three days later, a 66-year-old man reported being ill after getting off Star Tours. Both guests had pre-existing conditions, which is a common theme in these injury reports.
Also at Hollywood Studios, a 46-year-old woman felt severe head pain and vomited after experiencing Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. The other Disney World incidents include an 89-year-old man who passed out while riding Space Mountain on Dec. 10.
Universal had four incidents during the quarter, two of which involved Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Islands of Adventure. On Nov. 3, a 57-year-old woman went to the hospital with motion sickness, while a 78-year-old man reported a knee injury after riding on Dec. 26.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay rounded out the list with a single incident, with a 67-year-old man feeling knee pain after riding the park’s train.
In all, Disney World accounted for 27 of the 49 injuries reported in 2019. Universal accounted for 17, with two incidents reported at Busch Gardens, two at SeaWorld Orlando and one at Legoland Florida — the park’s first appearance in the injury report since January 2012.
No deaths were included in the report. The last death reported to FDACS at a Central Florida theme park was on June 10, 2018, when a 71-year-old man suffered a heart attack at Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park.
The most notable theme park injury of 2019 was a Jan. 31, 2019 incident where an 11-year-old Brazilian boy reportedly had his foot crushed when it became caught between the ride vehicle and off-load platform at Universal Studios Florida’s E.T. Adventure.
The boy’s family pursuing legal action against Universal. Orange County Circuit Court Judge Kevin Weiss rejected Universal’s motion to dismiss the case in October 2019 and the family has asked for the case to go to a jury trial. A status hearing in the case is scheduled for Feb. 20.
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