Forty-two guests at Central Florida’s theme parks reported injuries and illnesses that required at least a 24-hour hospital stay in 2018, including one death at Disney’s Blizzard Beach.
Major theme parks in the region are required to report such incidents to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to avoid state inspections. In the quarterly report released Wednesday, covering October through December 2018, a total of 13 incidents were reported.
The fourth quarter injuries included several bouts of dizziness and nausea, which are commonplace in the FDACS report. One notable incident occurred at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon on December 8, when a 44-year-old man riding on Miss Adventure Falls got his arm caught on the ride’s conveyor belts. The Orlando Sentinel reported that Reedy Creek Fire Rescue was able to release his arm, but the man did sustain fractures to an arm and unspecified neck and back injuries as a result.
Disney’s other water park, Blizzard Beach, was the site of the year’s only theme park guest fatality. James Persons, 71, of Waterford, Pa., suffered a heart attack in the park’s Melt-Away-Bay wave pool on June 10. FDACS confirmed he had a pre-existing heart condition.
Universal’s Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey earned the most mentions of any ride on the list with three: a guest reported dizziness and weakness on Jan. 6, 2018, followed by a bout of motion sickness reported on Sept. 3 and another report of dizziness on Oct. 10.
Overall, Disney World accounted for 27 of the 42 injuries and illnesses reported in 2018. Universal reported 13, SeaWorld Orlando reported 3 and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay reported one incident late in the year when a 53-year-old guest experienced chest pain on the Kumba roller coaster.
No incidents warranting inclusion of the FDACS list occurred at Legoland Florida in 2018. The Winter Haven park hasn’t reported any injury requiring a 24-hospital stay since January 2012.